Saturday, 30 August 2014

Book Review - The Queen of The Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Queen of The Tearling
By: Erika Johansen
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #1
Publication date: 8th July 2014
Publisher: Harper (US)
Page Count: 448 (paperback) / 448 (hardback)
Genres: Fantasy, Adult
Source: Purchased

Rating: 7.5
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.

The Queen of the Tearling introduces readers to a world as fully imagined and terrifying as that of The Hunger Games, with characters as vivid and intriguing as those of The Game of Thrones, and a wholly original heroine. Combining thrilling action and twisting plot turns, it is a magnificent debut from the talented Erika Johansen.

The Queen of The Tearling is one of my current favorite high fantasy books. Initially, I was hesitant to read this and did not have much expectations due to the mixed reviews on Goodreads. However, after reading it, I realized that I personally really enjoyed it. I am as such now anxiously awaiting the next book :)

Basically the Queen of the Tearling is about this 18-ish year old Queen who has been living where it is safe so that she can't be killed. There, she has foster parents who teach her how to be strong, and intelligent, etc. One day, a group of guards come and bring her back to her kingdom to reclaim her throne. The story is about her journey as Queen for the first few days and her actions and decisions which causes the main antagonist of the book AKA another Queen to probably get angry. Throughout the book, she learns how to be Queen and how to face the people who want to kill her and how to trust the people around her, but also not to let everyone judge her by her age, because she is Queen of the Tearling.

However, the Queen of the Tearling does not have much action in the first book because it is more about the story building. It introduces the entire world very detailedly and beautifully and leaves you wanting so much more from the world. As a lover of High Fantasy, I am really excited for how this book will continue because oh my gosh I need the rest of the series already.

What I am Loving:
Firstly, I adore the Mace. He is this super strong, really cool person who is the head of the Queen's guard. In the beginning he is just really secretive and stuff but as the story goes along we get to know him better and I got to love him. I have a feeling he has some secrets or something, some kind of story which makes me really excited because I love his character.

Secondly, I think Kelsea (the main character) is just really kickass. If you have been reading my reviews, you would know that I find most female main characters whiny and needy butttt not for Kelsea. Nope. Kelsea is probably one of the coolest and most intelligent female character I have ever read about. She doesn't take crap from anyone. She handles everything pretty well. She makes her own decisions. I just. Love her.

Thirdly, as I have mentioned, the world building. The world building is beautiful and wonderful. It leaves you wanting more, much much more from the world building. I just want to read the next book just so I can know more about the world.

What I am Unsure Of:
The thing I am most unsure of is the romance in the book. Basically there wasn't much of it. Like not even 10% of the book is romance. I went in thinking for some reason that there would be much romance or at least a sufficient amount of it but turns out there wasn't. I was a little disappointed because of it. But at least we meet whom I think is Kelsea's potential love interest. At the same time, I was pretty okay with the fact that there wasn't much focus on the romance because I think that this book wouldn't have been as great this way. Oh well.

Next, plot progress. This book focuses more on the world building and stuff so I think it was the reason there wasn't as much action and adventure. However, once again I'm not complaining much about it because I love the story building although the book really needs to pick up and quickly, otherwise the series will turn from good to bad.

Final Verdict:

Overall, I am really satisfied with this book. I cannot wait for the book because of the above reasons. I know that there are certain things I am unsure of but i feel that it was necessary for the book because it IS the first book of a high fantasy series. Therefore I would really like to read the next book of the series and I fully recommend this book to everyone.

*All pictures and graphics do not belong to me. I take no credit at any of it.
** All opinions are mine and are in no way influenced by anyone or anything.

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