The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
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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.
What I thought
The Queen of the Tearling is the first book in a young adult fantasy trilogy. Upon coming of age Kelsea must claim her mothers throne from her uncle. She has been in hiding for the majority of her life so that one day she can take the throne.
This book has been sitting on my shelf for a few years and I actually moved it to a stack of not sure if I want to keep them. While looking at these books I decided to give it a try thinking that there was a good chance that I would end up DNFing it and moving on. With no guilt giving it away. Now you may be asking why in the world did I buy this book if it was just going to end up at that point. Well, I found it in a bargain section (a huge weakness that I am trying to overcome) and was so happy to read it at the time, but then I started seeing so many negative reviews then I became afraid to pick it up.
So things that I heard were around the world not being good and the main character being bland and so on. I point this out because I am going to explain my feeling about both of these facts.
This is a fantasy book with a medieval feel setting but as you go through the story you see that it’s also an apocalyptic/dystopian setting. You learn of some event that happened and how people were leaving America and so on so I think that the actual setting was more complicated than what some people understood due to them taking it at face value. This world was not laid out in one big chunk but in small bites throughout the entire book.
Our main character Kelsea I absolutely loved. she is not your everyday perfect princess and I found that so refreshing. Kelsea is a very smart girl and she loves books. She is described as looking plain and she states at one point that she needed to start exercising because she was putting on some weight but it was not shaming but stated as oh now that I am sitting all the time I am gaining weight and I should start exercising again. She also decides that since her kingdom is going to be fighting another kingdom that she needs to get a sword and defend herself too. She does not leave everything up to everyone else to do for her. I found her to be very refreshing.
So long story short I really enjoyed this book. And I learned that maybe I should not let negative hype make the decision for me.
I wanted to go into this review not to dispute what I heard but to let people know that even though people say one thing you might see it very differently. If you have been on the fence due to reviews give it a shot.
My Rating: /5