I love a fantasy story, it’s my favourite genre, and this is the kind of book that just reaffirms that love. Erika Johansen has created a really fascinating world, a kingdom on the brink of war and a young new queen, who must somehow survive in the corrupt and dangerous Tearling and save them all.
I’ll admit this book does start off a little slow, it took me the first couple of chapters to really get into it, but once I did I was hooked. It really is an epic fantasy novel about the future of a kingdom that has lost its way, and with treachery, danger and the looming possibility of destruction constantly threatening what’s not to love?
Kelsea is an impressive young woman, and what I liked about her the most was that she was not without flaws. She is clearly out of her depth as she begins her journey to reclaim and repair her kingdom; she must somehow learn who to trust, while preventing the Red Queen from destroying the lives of her newly claimed people. She is, at the very least, a young woman though, and I liked that Johansen allowed her to make mistakes and be self-conscious. Kelsea definitely has some growing up to do, but that just makes her a better heroine, she’s not perfect and doesn’t have all the answers.
I found all the characters to be really engaging, they all came with their own histories, some of them very painful, and the book constantly hinted at so much more still left to be uncovered about them. Mace, in particular was probably one of the most interesting characters in the book, yet so little back story is given of him. I’m looking forward to reading about him in the next book and hopefully finding out more about him.
I absolutely recommend this book to all book lovers, it’s a great new world to get lost in. Johansen managed to get just the right balance of intrigue by giving readers snippets of information, while still withholding the right amount to keep us guessing. The Queen of the Tearling definitely left me wanting more, and with the second book now out, I’m glad I don’t have long to wait. I’m eager to jump right back into the world of the Tearling and find out what happens next.