I recently finished the first book in a trilogy that is wholly fascinating to me and a great read for anyone who is a fan of the fantasy/science fiction/series with a strong female lead genres.
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johnansen introduces readers to Kelsea, the queen of a kingdom in a future that seems a lot like the past.
The Tearling kingdom was founded after “The Crossing” and while it takes place in the future, there are not many of the technological advantages the future would normally have. There are no books, no computers, limited medical capabilities. The feudal system has taken hold once more.
Kelsea, 19, ascends to the throne from the back country home she had been hidden away in for nearly her entire life. As soon as she begins her journey to the throne, her life in in jeopardy and the Queen’s Guard, including Mace (also called Lazarus), are charged with protecting her.
Once crowned, Kelsea has to deal with the strong likelihood of an invasion from the neighboring kingdom of Mortmense and a variety of other issues, namely gaining the trust of her subjects (and her guard) and figuring out how the sapphires that are part of her birthright work.
I found out about Johnasen’s trilogy when I had read that Emma Watson was interested in producing a movie based on the first book. If Emma Watson is on board, that usually means I’ll enjoy it.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this trilogy because it really didn’t sound like anything else I had read before. The cover of the book is beautiful and, although I wasn’t judging based on that alone, the presentation of the novel is spectacular.
Johansen’s writing is also a treat. While the action moves at a slower pace than other novels I’ve read in the fantasy genre, the writing moves the story along well. We get glimpses into Kelsea’s mind, her past and the world she’s learning about.
The most fascinating thing to me was learning about Tearling and the Crossing as Kelsea does. The reader doesn’t have all the information readily at hand to judge Kelsea’s actions accordingly as they occur. You learn along with the main character.
As soon as I finished Queen of the Tearling, I dove into the second book in the trilogy, The Invasion of the Tearling, which so far is just as intriguing.
This is the kind of series that you need to block out some time to read for a while because once you sit down and enter Tearling, you won’t want to leave right away.