The Queen of the Tearling
by Erika Johansen
That was intense! This is the first book by Johansen that I’ve read, but it will not be my last. It literally swept me along from the first page to the very end. I thought that it was a novel premise for such a well known genre. I was on the edge of my seat as I read, but I also really enjoyed what I read and wasn’t anxious in a way that took away the fun. 😉
Kelsea is the uncrowned Queen of Tearling who has been hidden for nineteen years for her safety. She’s been raised by her guardians, Carlin and Barty who are also training her to be a queen. The story begins when Kelsea is of age and ready to be crowned. However, it is not simple for her to gain her throne because of traitors and an usurping uncle. She has to win the trust of her guard and her people and not be killed in the process.
I was SO frustrated throughout the book because Kelsea doesn’t know a lot of her history and /or who she really is or what is going on in her country. I felt like she had the right to be more prepared. She was prepared in other ways, but it wasn’t enough. That being said, I’m pretty sure that was part of the point and it was certainly part of the plot . . . just super annoying for me personally because I totally fell for Kelsea and wanted her to succeed from the first sentence. I loved some of the novel concepts like that fact that Kelsea is really plain and how she is very clever for not being told a lot. She is a strong and courageous heroine and that was wonderful to read. A caution: there is a decent amount of language (heads up to those of you who are sensitive to that), and a lot of heartache. As a mother, it was very hard to read a bunch of the scenes. I get why they’re in there and they are important to the story, but it’s sad.
I loved, Johansen’s writing style and I really enjoyed her plot, characters, and the way the story developed. I begrudgingly admit that Kelsea not knowing things was good for the reader in that you had to wait to find everything out (hurumph) . . .I guess I’m just impatient! This book was just so good and I’m really happy I picked it up. Credit is due to my sister who recommended it based on the fact that I loved Goose Girl and I enjoy the show, Game of Thrones. 😉 Thank you, Han! Awesome recommendation.
Summing it up: I really enjoyed The Queen of the Tearling and I’m looking forward to the second book in the serious (hopefully Jan/Feb I’ll get to it!). I definitely recommend it! Has anyone else gotten swept along with Johansen’s stories? Are there other good ones to check out?
All the best, Abbey