Rambling about books

Book review: The Queen of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen

Book cover from Goodreads

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️☆

Title: The Queen of the Tearling

Author: Erika Johansen

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult

Goodreads link

From Goodreads

An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.

Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom’s haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.

Long ago, Kelsea’s forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen’s Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.

Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen’s vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen’s Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as “the Fetch.”

Kelsea’s quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea’s journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.

I told myself in 2018 that I would not pick another series to read again. I had too many to count in my hands, and I don’t think I would manage to follow another one. But, I was so so so curious about this book. I read so many reviews about this book that I finally took the plunge and see for myself how good was this book. I would brace the stormy seas of another series, of countless names and characters that I have yet to memorise just so I can understand the book and the story. And, I was not disappointed. The book was good. Not a big fan of the characters so far, and the slow build up (but that is always the case with the first book in a series, right?), but the plot was definitely surprising for me. I really did not thought that that was where the story was going to go.

It’s an interesting world, plot, and definitely intriguing. There were so many questions that kept me on the edge of my seat. It really poke fun on my curiosity but not in a annoying way. Like, I know I am meant to held my patience and wait until the story unfurls on its own. I can see the hype behind this book now that I have finished the first book, but frankly speaking, I don’t think I will be picking up the second and third book anytime soon. I really can’t be bothered to keep up with the oh so many characters, plot twist, storyline, what have you. The books are thick, and I don’t think I can keep up with that. 2018 taught me that work can really get the best of me, and picking up a book even for relaxation can be hard, so I’m just going to stick with books that wouldn’t feel like a chore for me for the remaining of 2019. We’ll see when I can be able to continue the series.

Despite the fact that I would not be continuing the series until God knows when, I would still recommend this book. It so much different from all the other dystopian books I have ever read before. Though, now that I mention it, I just realised there was definitely one thing from the book that don’t sit  quite well with me; it’s how the subject of how plain the main character that keeps appearing throughout the book. Like, okay, we get it, she’s plain, but surely we don’t have to dwell on it one too many times, right?


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