Queen of the Tearling: Review

queen of tearlingAuthor: Erika Johansen

Publisher: Bantam Press

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother – Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding…

And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea’s story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance – it’s about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive… (Via Goodreads)


The Queen of the Tearling is a book that for me went back and forth between being very good and being very average. It was strange because when it was reading it I never wanted to put it down but when I did I was usually a bit hesitant to pick it back up.

This book does have a lot of things going for it. I really liked the characters, I thought they were well written and multifaceted but there were times when I felt like they were going in circles with their progression, especially Kelsea particularly when it came to trusting Lazarus the Mace, so at times that was a bit dull and repetitive but it was only a minor issue.  At times too the characters and their actions were kind of predictable and you can see certain plot lines that are going to unfold before they happen, I mean it wasn’t a bad predictability but a bit more mystery would have been nice.

My main issue with the Tearling was the world building. Johansen did do a good job of creating her world but I needed more background on it. When I first started reading I thought this book was set in medieval times and it is but it’s also in the future. Children are still reading Harry Potter which I thought was a nice touch but it definitely through me for a loop so I really hope we get more detail on that in future books.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. I finished it really quickly, I thought it was paced well and I thought the plot was interesting, if a bit tired, and while I thought it was better than good it wasn’t quite great. That being said I will pick up the sequel when it comes out and I will probably go see the film (starring Emma Watson, apparently) when it comes out.

3.5 Stars


5 thoughts on “Queen of the Tearling: Review

  1. Nice review! I’ve been hesitant to pick up this book because all I’ve heard are mixed reviews and reading that there is a lack of world building… meh! Just because for me world building is one important thing when it comes to fantasy and if it’s not done right, well it ruins sometimes the reading experience

    • I think the world isn’t too bad in the present but how they got to that point could definitely use more fleshing out. Still, I enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to the sequel. Let me know if you wind up reading it and thanks for stopping by!

  2. “when it was reading it I never wanted to put it down but when I did I was usually a bit hesitant to pick it back up.”

    That part you wrote, I find that happens to me with certain books as well. Like The Book Thief when I read it for example. I don’t know if that’s good or not.

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