Book Review: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)

Posted September 4, 2016 in 4 Star Ratings, Book Reviews / Leave a comment!

Book Review: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #1
Published by Harper Collins
Published On: July 8, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia
Maturity Level: New Adult - Some sexual and mature content
4 Stars
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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.



The characters were all fantastic to me. I loved our main character Kelsea because even though she didn’t grow up in the world she’s being forced into, she still tries to make the best of it. I’m excited to see more of our side characters like Fetch (umm yes please) and Mace because they seem so interesting but we didn’t get to see enough of them in this book. It was also really nice that there was no romance in this book though I’m sure one will develop over time. I’m actually really looking forward to a romance here because I think it can be done well. I also loved that we got to know some of her Queen’s Guard. I loved Pen especially, he was adorable. I’m mostly excited for the next book because I want to see more of all these characters.

The plot was pretty slow most of the way through the book for for some reason I really enjoyed it anyway. I loved seeing how Kelsea was learning to be a queen and not become her mother. Normally, I can’t stand slow plots yet I couldn’t put this book down. I guess I was just in the perfect mood for reading this book because it immediately sucked me in. I also loved that everything about this book (the plot, setting. character backgrounds) were all given to us but there was no massive info dump at any point in time. We got exactly the information we needed without being overwhelmed by everything.


The world-building. I was so confused! I thought this was a completely different world and it kind of is, but not at the same time? Apparently it’s our earth that we’re currently living on (at least I am) but then there’s a new piece of land somewhere and that’s where this takes places. Not only that but they went back to a medieval-like time period when the rest of the world didn’t. I just found it weird that they were in this fantasy world mentioning things like Lord of the Rings and the internet which they don’t have here. It was just a strange world and there wasn’t enough detail for us to learn about it.


I’d recommend this to patient fantasy lovers. I read this book with two other fantasy lovers and they had a hard time with it because of how slow it was. I think you need to be extremely dedicated to read this book because it is a slower paced book. Though if you’re a fan of some politics and like details of running a kingdom then you’ll be ok. It’s not as bad as some people are saying I don’t think.


This book was slower paced but still extremely enjoyable for those who don’t mind some politics. It’s a great start to a series and will leave you dying for the next book.




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“Even a book can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and when that happens, you blame the hands, but you also read the book.”

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2 responses to “Book Review: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)

  1. pavedwithbooks

    The world-building threw me off too at first! The way I read it was that they are in the future, but society has regressed back to feudalism for reasons not yet explained. Kelsea is one of the most fascinating characters I’ve read in a while, I think, in the way she handles the challenges she faces. I hope you’ll get to read the next book! I’m reading it now and discovered I’ve forgotten a few of the details xD

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