The Queen of the Tearlingby Erika Johansen Series: The Queen of the Tearling #1
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-07-08
Genres: Coming of Age, Fantasy
Source: TLC Tours
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.
Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.
But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.
The Queen of the Tearling introduces readers to a world as fully imagined and terrifying as that of The Hunger Games, with characters as vivid and intriguing as those of The Game of Thrones, and a wholly original heroine. Combining thrilling action and twisting plot turns, it is a magnificent debut from the talented Erika Johansen.
This book has been getting quite some buzz already before it was published and even before people could read it. Pitched as the next Harry Potter it’s been already optioned for film with Emma Watson playing main cast. Emma Watson!!!!! Like with many books with lot’s of pre-pub buzz there are people who absolutely love the book and some people who don’t … I most certainly belong to the first category and let me tell you why!
The most fantastic heroine – brave strong and even stronger at the end!
Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn is raised as a normal girl deep in the woods outside of the main capital, which also gave her the chance to grow up outside of court. Even though Kelsea always knew that at some point she would be Queen, she most definitely is neither spoiled nor arrogant or smug. She likes the woods, loves her foster father very much and she loves to read and believes in the power of literature, books and knowledge.
In short – she is a fantastic heroine, because when she has to leave her foster parents to ascent the throne, Kelsea even grew stronger and braver even with so many new circumstances she’s been trust into! I absolutely adored seeing her grow into a woman and then into a Queen – her development was fantastically portrayed and carried the story wonderfully! We start the story with Kelsea the kid and end it with Kelsea the Queen!
Intriguing Setting, a Mysterious Plot and political warfare
Don’t let any blurbs fool you – the setting most definitely feels and screams “High Fantasy” even though it’s actually set in the future. There are only few hinds to the backstory about how this world was created and some how Kelsea’s ancestors got there, so we were mainly left with a fantasy-feeling. I actually found a few things quite amusing, like when they found in a library the classic “7 Books of Rowling”. They could have been more backstory though, but I think it would have distracted from the main focus too much and I believe it will be a bigger issues in the next book!
The story not only follows Kelsea’s growth but also centers around an old war with an evil witch who is threatening Kelseas kingdom. There we even have the addition of a little magic, which just added more details rounded the story up nicely!
Fantastic cast of characters – with a mysterious men I wish would get more “screen time”
Kelsea is of course surrounded by lots of advisors and knights and there some amazingly intriguing characters among them who wonderfully enrich the story. I think I was most fascinated by a mysterious assassin or Robin-Hood like figure who just mesmerised me!! Sadly, he didn’t get too much “screen time”, but I desperately wished to know more about him, get to know him better, learn about his true motives and thoughts! I am still highly enchanted by him. He’s also one possible love interest, which of course makes him even more intriguing. Sadly, the romance took a back seat in this first instalment and I just had wished for a little more.. Just a tiny little bit more!
The lack of romance and the lack of background info made me drop my rating to a 4 instead of a 5 – but I strongly believe this series is having a big future with a heroine who will grew even stronger!
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen is a fantastic debut with an wonderfully strong and amazing heroine, who’s growth from a kid to a queen we have the pleasure to follow in this firs exciting instalment. The Queen of the Tearling can easily appeal to fans of High Fantasy of all ages and I personally am super excited about this amazing new series!