Queen of the Tearling (Tearling #1) Erika Johansen

I’ve been seeing the Tearling series in bookshops for years, but it was only recently (on a day long expedition to the library) that I actually picked up Queen of the Tearling, first in the series. The blurb sounds like it could be very hit or miss.

“It was on her nineteenth birthday that the soldiers came for Kelsea Flynn. They came to escort her back to the place of her birth- and to ensure that she survives long enough to take possession of what is rightfully hers. But like many nineteen year olds, Kelsea is unruly, has high principles, and believes she knows better than her elders. Unlike most nineteen year olds, she is about to inherit a kingdom on it’s knees – corrupt, debauched and very dangerous.

Kelsea will either become the most fearsome ruler the kingdom has ever known…or be dead within the week.”

I’m certain this is closer to a hit than a miss, but it’s not quite the bullseye. The story starts slow, and Kelsea is a bit of an annoying brat obsessed with her looks and the aesthetics of things around her, and she’s annoyed at her foster parents for not giving her all the information she needed. But I have to admit, she gets a bit more likeable as she gets to the Keep, still bullheaded and antagonistic, but she is less whiney. She’s also rather cautistic and can be really cruel, which felt a little like bullying sometimes. Either way, I’m not sure Kelsea is supposed to be liked in the ‘oh aren’t they a lovely person’s way. I liked how Kelsea isn’t beautiful-she-just-doesnt-know-it, in that aggravating way of books. I did get annoyed by her obsession with her looks, but I think her Guard did as well.

Most of this story is getting to the capital of the Tear and the bloody taking over of her throne from an incompetent Regent, and the various political hornets nest she seems to enjoy kicking. I’m curious to see what her link to the Red Queen is, and i would like my confirmation of who Fetch is. Mace annoys me and amuses me, Pen is a bit like a soft puppy who happens to be able to wield a sword, and there are many other names besides to remember.

I have to admit, while I enjoyed the book overall, I think some of the characters are a little two dimensional, and some plot points seem to be there for the sake of it rather than there being a natural progression, but on the whole it’s a good enough series, I am planning on picking up the sequel in my next library visit.

Some popular book series being heralded as rare books from Pre-Crossing days did make me chuckle. I do not agree with the grandiose statement on the front cover that this book is a cross between Game of Thrones and the Hunger Games because sure it’s a bit bloody, a bit of a trigger warning for sexual violence and it’s a battle for a crown, but in general? Not sure I agree with the statement…

Maybe I’m better at reading library books because I have to give them back…Either way, my physical-copy TBR shelf is huffing at me – I should probably read them next!


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