Book Review – The Queen of the Tearling


Title: The Queen of the Tearling [The Queen of the Tearling 1]

Author: Erika Johansen

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian

Length: 448

Rating: 4 Star

Release Date: 8th of July 2014

Series Review: 1, 2



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.


I received this book from NetGalley. I picked it up because Emma Watson apparently signed on to do the movie adaptation.

I will have to think on this a bit I think, but as of now the rating sits at about 4.5 but rounded down. I didn’t get what I expected from it after reading the PR statement about it being like GoT and The Hunger Games (I actively searched for anything similar but only found one tiny thing, some people had crazy hair), but then again I also got way more than I was expecting because of all the negative reviews I read before picking up the book.

I really rather enjoyed it, be that because I was expecting rubbish I don’t know. However, I enjoyed it none the less and despite the fact this isn’t even out yet I want the next one now. I am hooked. There were things that bothered me but not as much as I thought.

I like our main character Kelsea quite a bit. She didn’t want to be useless and have other people look after her all the time and she tries to do the best she can. She does make some really dumb choices, but I can forgive them because no one will tell her anything that might actually be of some use to her. Like anything about her mother (or her father) or any of the choices her mother made that turned the kingdom into what it is now that she has control of it. One thing though that I wont forgive was that she pretty much instantly fell in love with with this random guy that kidnapped her and threatening to kill her. Yes she doesn’t have much experience with people since she was never allowed to see anyone besides her godparents. Bust still.

The setting for the story took some getting used to. We are both in the future but kind of in the past at the same time. Some stuff went down apparently so now civilisation has gone way back to the point where they don’t even have doctors. I also found the history of everything a bit confusing. And we kept getting random information dumps both about people and the land which was really annoying. But then we get some magic in there too which kept me going. Plot wise quite a few major things happened (mostly set up ones) which has left me hankering to find out what will happen next!

Kelsea’s interaction with other people was also a very interesting. There are either people that will die for her or people that are trying to kill her. I really want Mace to take on more of a father figure kind of role, I love him so much. I wanted more. I think Kelsea wants it to, not too sure what he feels about it yet though. How she describes her views on her family I also found really interesting. She always wondered about her mother because she wasnt allowed to know anything, but she didn’t ever wonder about the uncle she knows who is hiring people to kill her her whole life, or the father she also knows nothing of. Not even his name. They never mattered, only her mother.  There were a lot of comments about her father in this book and I think he is going to become a larger role in the next ones.

So yes, I enjoyed it despite the bad PR statement and all the negative reviews. I will be getting my hands on  a hardback at the first chance I get.

Till Next Time…

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