Erika Johansen’s debut novel, The Queen of the Tearling, is a good read. It didn’t wow me like I hoped it would, but I still thought it had a number of excellent “reading moments” throughout. I enjoyed getting to know Kelsea and other characters. This book is set to become a movie, and I can see why. I recommend that you pick up this book and try it out for yourself to see if you like it- I tend to have very high expectations.
The Queen of the Tearling
Title: The Queen of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Format: Paperback, 434 pages
Source: Received from TLC Book Tour in exchange for an honest review
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.
Can we talk about this cover? It’s funny because lately I have seen so many beautiful covers on books! This one is absolutely gorgeous- the black and the gold! LOVELY! Anyways, on to what you all came here to read about- the actual book!
Format and Writing Style: This book is narrated by a third person who does not take part in the novel. It follows the main character Kelsea through her adventures of becoming the Queen of the Tearling. She has been in exile since she was a baby and so has not experienced life outside of the cottage where she lived with two other individuals. Trying to rule as queen would be hard enough, but throw in the fact that she has to deal with her neighbour the Red Queen and her dark magic, and you have a whole other adventure!
At first I found this book really slow- I kept finding myself wanting to put it down in favour of other books. I think this was because the first part of the book concentrated on Kelsea and her guard venturing towards the castle and not much happened. Yes there were a few encounters, but they weren’t really all that “OMG!”. After she finally got to the castle though, things started to pick up and I enjoyed the story. The plot moved at a much faster pace once this was the case and had a lot more action.
Characters: We meet a wide variety of characters throughout this book, but the main focus is on Kelsea, her guard, the Red Queen, and Kelsea’s uncle. Each character adds to the story, but Kelsea is the one that the book is concentrated on the most. She has a lot to learn about ruling, and this is made even harder by the Red Queen.
Overall, I thought this book was good. It didn’t blow me away like I expected it to, but I enjoyed the read. The characters were well developed, and eventually the plot started to move at a good pace. I can see why they would make this book into a movie. I recommend that you pick this book up for yourself to see if you would like it- it might just not have been my cup of tea at the moment.
Thank you to