One of the worst fears I have about reading a book series is that I won’t like the ending. I’ve always been afraid that I will become emotionally invested in a series I enjoy and then the way it ends will change my whole opinion.
And that’s what happened to me with The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.
I really enjoyed this entire trilogy. Johansen created a world in the Tearling that is totally fascinating and unique to anything else I had ever read.
The Tearling is a world in the future, but it feels a lot like the past. There is not technology or medicine like we would expect. There is no printing press, no telephones, no firearms even.
Fate of the Tearling picks up right where Invasion of the Tearling leaves off: Queen Kelsea has been taken prisoner by the Red Queen of Mortmense and Kelsea’s guard are desperate to get her back.
In the meantime, Kelsea is continuing to have visions of the past, but instead of following Lily, she’s now following Katie. These visions show the crumbling of the “Better World” created in the immediate aftermath of the Crossing and the rise of Row Finn.
I was really enjoying the story line in the third book. As a reader, I was finally getting answers to questions I had since the first book with regards to how the Tearling came to be and the history leading the “country” to the point it was at.
And then, I got to the last chapter.
I don’t know what exactly I was expecting the ending to be, but I wasn’t expecting what I got. While it makes sense given the plot and the Tearling trilogy being in the fantasy genre, I didn’t like it.
I actually really hated the ending.
I wanted there to be some recognition between the former queen and the people who had been most loyal to her. I didn’t want there to be just an entirely clean slate with only Kelsea having memories.
However, I will acknowledge that Kelsea got what she wanted. She got a normal life with lots of books and none of the pressures of ruling a kingdom. She also got a world in which the amount of evil inflicted upon it by Row Finn did not exist.
But it wasn’t how I envisioned this series ending. It really wasn’t. The ending has now colored my view of what otherwise is a fantastic series.
The Tearling trilogy is incredibly well written and is unique in its premise, character development and plot. I really truly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to anyone (I’ve already done that to be honest…). But the last chapter of the last book.
Maybe as time passes and I reflect on the series as a whole, my reaction will soften.
Have you read the Tearling trilogy? What did you think of the ending? Let me know in the comments!