Book Review: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Reviewed by: Bethanytearling
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Trade paperback
Page count: 448 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars
In stock: Yes

Typically, I read about as fast as molasses pours, but I flew through this book at great speed, not unlike The Flash. Thankfully, I now have book number two to look forward to…also a movie, apparently.

First of all, here’s a brief Goodreads synopsis:
“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.”

There’s a lot of craftily written characters in this book, but the development of Kelsea is the greatest to read. There’s an interesting juxtapose of Kelsea’s childhood and adulthood, for example, “Look at all these people and their crazy hair!” vs. “I just killed a guy and I don’t even feel bad”. It’s very fascinating to watch her morph into her new role as Queen of the Tearling while still acknowledging that this is basically a child.

Also, loved the tiny history lessons at the beginning of each chapter – it probably took me a little too long to realize that they were written about Kelsea, but they were enjoyable regardless.

Anyway, great character development, interesting relationships, faceless thieves, some cool magic, a guy called The Mace, and a queen who doesn’t let being stabbed mid-coronation stop her from sitting in her sweet silver throne. What more could you even want?

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