Author: Erika Johansen
Genre: High Fantasy // Magic // Adult
Format: Physical Copy
Her throne awaits . . . if she can live long enough to take it.
It was on her nineteenth birthday that the soldiers came for Kelsea Glynn. They’d come to escort her back to the place of her birth – and to ensure she survives long enough to be able to take possession of what is rightfully hers.But like many nineteen-year-olds, Kelsea is unruly, has high principles and believes she knows better than her elders. Unlike many nineteen-year-olds, she is about to inherit a kingdom that is on its knees – corrupt, debauched and dangerous.Kelsea will either become the most fearsome ruler the kingdom has ever known . . . or be dead within the week.
Combining thrilling adventure and action, dark magic, mystery and romance, The Queen of the Tearling is the debut of a born storyteller blessed with a startling imagination (goodreads).
In the beginning, this book didn't quite know what it wanted to be. I'm happy that it managed to get back on track towards the end of this first installment.
Plot: The Queen of Tearling opens with the reading being dropped right dab in the action. Kelsea is finally of age and is ready to be transported to the kingdom (or the Keep) to take her throne back from her uncle who has been serving as regent king. I was really confused about Kelsea's family life and her world as the author does not take much time to explain anything to us newcomers, we kind of just have to go with the flow. The book picks up when Kelsea is finally safely delivered to the Keep and begins her reign as the one-true queen, while dodging assassination attempts. I was most interested in this portion of the novel because it dealt with betrayal and family secrets, and uprisings. It was the second half of the book that The Queen of Tearling felt like a true high fantasy novel. One thing to note, even though Kelsea is only nineteen, this is not a young adult or even new adult novel. The language can be graphic and the scenes are bloody. I have an example from my Teaser Tuesday to show you what kind of language you should expect and see if you feel comfortable reading this novel.
Characters: Kelsea is quite naive and sometimes even annoying. I can't fault her for that because she is only 19 years old and spent her entire life in hiding. As she is young and naive, she is suspectible to the dreaded insta-love, or maybe it's just insta-attraction. I don't know. All I know is that if Kelsea were queen of my kingdom, I would not be okay with her fawning over paid assassins. They are here to kill you! You don't play nice and drink the night away with them. No queenie, no! I don't know if this series will have a love story as the romance was very light and doesn't seem to have any connection to the plot quite yet. Even though Kelsea is our main character, I found myself more interested in the secondary characters who come into play once Kelsea reaches the Keep. There are definitely a lot of family secrets that need to be explored and some characters even have magical abilities that help move the story along. More than anything, I want to know more about the Red Queen who doesn't come into play a lot in this novel, but is clearlyl a key figure in the overall series.
World Building: I remember reading this novel one night. My husband was playing Destiny on PS4 and I finally got fed up with the novel. I gave him The Queen of Tearling and asked him-based on the cover and synopsis- what genre this book would fall under. Like most people, he assumed high fantasy and probably young adult. This is my biggest problem with the book, the world building doesn't many any sense. Kelsea and her team travels by horses and they live in giant castles. So why are there allusions to The Hobbit, and modern day science. Seriously, they talk about birth control. I have no idea when this book takes place. There is a point where someone mentions the year 278, so then how do they reflect on American doctors, British conquerors, and computers. AND WHY DON'T COMPUTERS EXIST IF MODERN MEDICINE DOES. NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE. If you can overlook the lack of proper world building, you may really enjoy this; unfortunately this inconsistency kept me from really getting into the book.
Short N Sweet:The Queen of Tearling promises adventure and political intrigue along the lines of The Game of Thrones. Thankfully it delivers in that aspect, if only the characters and world were as developed as this cat-and-mouse storyline.