Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Publisher: Harper
Series: Queen of the Tearling #1
Pages: 448
Received: Received a copy from Harper Collins Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 8, 2014
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Goodreads Synopsis:

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 Review:

There has been so much hype around this book, that I have been a little nervous about picking it up, but so many of my good friends have recommended it to me that I couldn't shy away. And to be honest I am glad I didn't, this book was such a great read, there is so much to learn about the land of the Tearling and the history behind everything, that I found myself immersed and wanting to come back to this world that Johansen has created.

The characters are all so unique and I wanted to know more about some of them, but this is mainly a book about Kelsea coming of age and really growing up during a difficult time. She has been hidden away for years and trained to learn about the Tearling kingdom, because she is destined to take over. Readers see that Kelsea has a lot to deal with when she gets to the kingdom, so much has changed and she has a lot of work to make this kingdom better and bring a lot of change. Erika Johansen takes her time introducing everything and that is what makes this book such an amazing opening to a series.

Not only is there a lot of information, but there is also some great action mixed in with the story. Kelsea seems to be a sheltered girl with no knowledge of the kingdom but she has a team of guards to help protect her, and trust me, there is a lot of danger around her. Kelsea needs to prove herself and I love how her attitude really shines and she proves that she can truly be a leader. Not only does Kelsea have to learn to rule but she has her own life to figure out, she needs to learn who she is as a person now that she is in this new position and no longer in hiding. Kelsea is unsure if she is prepared for this job, but she will try to do her best, and I am so excited to see what things she does next to really take control of the Tearling.

I will say there were a few times that I felt I lagged while reading this book, but all in all I wanted to keep coming back to it and see what else Kelsea would do. I loved watching her change over the course of this book and really come into her role as a queen. I think if you are a fan of fantasy books, this is one that you should add to you pile, it has a little bit of everything but the story takes it's time and really lets the reader get to know everything instead of just throwing you right in the middle of the story. 


  1. I've heard that it's bit of an info dump, at first, but I'm glad to hear that it (mostly) worked for you....

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  2. One of those books everyone's talking about.. Thanks for you review, adds a little perspective! :-) I might read this after all.

  3. I was scared away from the massive info dump from the back of the book alone! I may have to give it a shot.



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