The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – Review

Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother – Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding…

And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea’s story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance – it’s about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive…


I read a lot of good reviews about this book and requested it for review, but later did see a lot of bad reviews for the same. Anyway I wanted to check out this book for myself and I was not disappointed.

This book is the first book of the ‘The Queen of the Tearling’ trilogy and it also happens to be the debut novel of the author. For a debut novel, this book is a great attempt though it takes some time for the reader to understand a bit of the place called Tearling.

I cannot place this novel in any specific genre that I am familiar with. This is not fantasy neither historical fiction though it has super natural elements in between like a sapphire jewel which seems to possess certain magical powers.

This novel has its own flaws especially considering that the readers are confused about the background details of the book. Probably the author should have hired a  better editor who could ask her the right questions at the right time so that the readers understand the context  a bit more clearly.

Overall I enjoyed this unique book which is the first one in the trilogy, but I do have high expectations from the next books where the story and the setting should be clearer. Now the story is a set of random background details which has tremendous potential to be developed as a solid series. But things depend on how the story evolves in the next book in the series…

Ok. Now about the comparison with Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games series…I have not read even a single book in GOT series ( I can see horror on some faces), but have read ‘The Hunger Games’ series. I could not find anything much common with The Hunger Games except that the main characters are both teenage girls in both series. I am definitely amused by the fact that there is a movie which is going to be released on this book starring Emma Watson ( this news triggered a lot of hype for this series).

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Transworld Digital
First Release: July 2014

Note: I received a digital galley of this book from the publisher through netgalley in return for my honest review.

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