Saturday, July 5, 2014

ARC Review: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Series: Queen of the Tearling, The (Book 1)
Publication: Harper (July 8, 2014)

Description: Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.

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.

My Thoughts: THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING was an amazing fantasy read. I couldn't put it down and read deep into the night until I reached the final page.

Kelsea Glynn has always known that she is the heir to the Tearling throne. However, she has been raised in isolation by Carlin and Barty. They have taught her what they think she should know to be a successful queen. They have also not told her lots of things that she wants to know. She doesn't know anything about her mother beyond the fact that she was queen and she doesn't know anything about her father.

When troops come to get her at age nineteen, she is dropped into a situation that looks like it will be too much for an inexperienced 19-year-old to handle. Her uncle the Regent wants her dead and makes a couple of attempts before she even reaches the city where she will be crowned. He has hired some professional assassins to come after her. Fortunately, the troop of soldiers who come for her are sworn to protect her. One of soldiers, Lazarus who is also called Mace for his favorite weapon was the one who had brought her to Carlin and Barty in the first place.

In their flight to the city Kelsea is separated from her troops and encounters Fetch who is the masked leader of a band of rebels and criminals. He tests her and decides that she can stay alive - tentatively. It will be up to Kelsea to survive and to fulfill the promises she has made to Fetch.

The biggest threat comes from the Red Queen of Mortmesne who controls a large army and who has already conquered Kelsea's country once. There was a peace treaty signed but, unknown to Kelsea, the treaty required the shipment of 3000 of her citizens a year to be slaves on Mortmesne. Kelsea's first act as queen is to stop those shipments which angers the Red Queen and those in her own country who have been profiting by the slave trade.

This was a fascinating story about a young woman in over her head but who is also strong-willed, smart and courageous. I liked her interest in books which are a rarity in her country. I liked the world building too as this world is apparently an offshoot of Earth. I liked and want to know more about the magic in the world. I still have lots of questions that need to be answered and look forward to the rest of the trilogy to find out what I need to know.

I loved this book and can't wait until it is published to buy my own finished copy.

Favorite Quote:
Picking up a stick from the bundle on the ground, the mother jumped into the middle of their game, battling them both while the boys giggled and shrieked. Finally, the mother pulled each child up and then held them both close to her body as they walked inside together, a continuous walking hug. The dusk was deepening, and although Kelsea knew she should try to to find her way home, she couldn't tear herself away from the scene. Carlin didn't show affection, not even to Barty, and the best Kelsea could hope to earn was a smile. She was the heir to the Tear throne, yes, and Carlin told her many times what a great and important honor that was. But on the long ride home, Kelsea couldn't shake the feeling that these two children had more than she did.
I got this book through Amazon Vine. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. Was very interested to read your review, there are a few stink ones on Goodreads. Trust yours far more! I won this on a giveaway on Goodreads and I now look very much forward to it as it sounds like something I will enjoy. I see they are making it into a movie as well?


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