After finishing Erika Johansen’s Queen of the Tearling, I had to start the second book in the series.
And after finishing Invasion of the Tearling, I’m itching to start the Fate of the Tearling, the conclusion of the trilogy.
Johansen’s writing style in Invasion, bouncing between Kelsea’s story and the story of Lily, who lived before the Crossing and creation of the Tearling, is once again on point. The story is told in third-person narrative format, but the narrator does not let the reader know everything they do. The reader learns things as the characters do.
We, as readers, are discovering what the Crossing truly was as Kelsea figures it out. In some ways, Johansen has written this Tearling trilogy as a bit of a mystery, with clues for readers to try and figure things out in their own way.
This writing style is fascinating to me and while the action itself may be slow developing, the plot moves quickly and keeps the reader engaged throughout.
The Invasion of the Tearling picks up with Kelsea Glynn facing the prospect of an imminent invasion by the Mort army, and the likely destruction of her kingdom and people.
But Kelsea is having visions of Lily, who met William Tear (the Tearling’s founder).
Kelsea begins to learn about pre-Crossing society through Lily’s eyes and the reader learns right along with her. Book 2 takes us right up through the Crossing and shows Lily coming with Tear to the brave new world he is creating, without weapons or technology.
At the end of the Invasion of the Tearling, Kelsea makes an important decision in an effort to save her people. And that slight cliffhanger is where Johansen leaves us.
What will happen to the Tearling? How did the Red Queen become leader of the Mort? Can Kelsea be saved?
I can’t wait to see how this dramatic trilogy ends.
A suggestion for those of you who may read these books: Block off time to read when you start. The Tearling books are not ones you’ll want to put down easily.
When I’ve started reading, I’ve taken hours to sit and explore the world, dissolving into it in a way that jars me awake when I put the book down.
I was sitting outside in Midwest spring temperatures one evening reading and when I looked up from the book, it took me several seconds to realize I was not in a moss-covered tunnel under a castle. Johansen’s writing is just that engaging.
I would absolutely recommend these books to all those who enjoy fantasy, science fiction, mysteries or books with a strong female lead. The Invasion of the Tearling has it all.