By Erika Johansen
Kelsea is destined to rule the kingdom of Tearling when she turns 19. With the help of the queen’s guard she must make it to the capital city to be crowned.
I read the whole book during a weekend trip and found myself completely hooked. I'm tired of hearing people say this is the new Hunger Games or Game of Thrones. Yes, it’s a fantasy novel set in a post-apocalyptic world, but it has a medieval feel to the government and ruling class. This book stands on its own and doesn’t need to be heralded as the “new” anything.
There are things I like and dislike about Kelsea, which is a good thing. She’s a heroine with depth. She’s been raised almost in isolation, away from normal children and families. She has self-doubt, but also a fiery temper and sense of justice. She’s never had the chance to fall in love. She’s never thought about how she looks compared to other people. There are moments when it’s easy to forget how new she is to her throne.
BOTTOM LINE: It was almost impossible to put down and I was left wanting more, which is really exactly what I want from a series like this.
"An upset stomach was a small price to pay for fiction made real."
"But now, with the two tall men right on her heels, she wondered if your anonymity have been a gift."
The Invasion of the Tearling
By Erika Johansen
I rarely buy a new release, but the library wait was so long and after finishing the first book I just couldn’t wait.
I actually liked the second book in the series even more than the first. Instead of playing it safe and giving us more of the same, Johansen added in a huge twist to the book. We pick up where we left off with Kelsea, but we also flashback, throughout the book, to a time before the Crossing. We have a chance to see what America had become and why people longed for a new world. It gave a lot more context and depth to the book.
The supporting characters keep things interesting. There’s Mace, the head of the queen’s guard, the local priests, the young children living in the Keep, a thief named Fetch whose face no one has seen, the Red Queen and her devious ways, and more. Along the way Kelsea is trying to figure out who she is as a ruler and a woman.
Each chapter starts with a small passage from a history book. It took me a minute to realize who the author was and who they were written about, but I loved the element that those lines added to the story.
BOTTOM LINE: A fast read that left me eagerly awaiting the final book in the trilogy. The books aren’t perfect and there are certainly pieces that remind me of other books, but they are entertaining and very engrossing reads.
“Anger clouded judgment, precipitated bad decisions. Anger was the indulgence of a child, not a queen.”
“The Queen had not thought of her soldiers, only a principal, and principal was cold comfort to men who are going to die.”
“Corruption begins with a single moment of weakness.”
“It's a real thing, glory. But it pales in comparison to what we sacrifice for it. Home, family, long lives filled with quiet. These are real things too, and when we seek glory, we give them up.”