The Queen of the Tearling

the queen of the tearlingBy Erika Johansen
Rating: ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪

It was on her nineteenth birthday that the soldiers came for Kelsea Glynn.

They came to escort her back to the place of her birth – to ensure she takes 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 many nineteen-year-olds, she is about to inherit a kingdom that is on its knees – corrupt, debauched and dangerous.

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

I don’t believe the blurb does it justice. It annoys me when they say Kelsea thinks she knows better than her elders. She never admits that, and even if she hints at it for half a second she is quick to dismiss it and admit her wrong doing. She’s just frustrated with everyone for keeping her in the dark, which I totally understand. How the hell is she supposed to run the Kingdom if they won’t give her all the facts?

The other issue I have with the blurb is the last paragraph: “Kelsea will either become the most fearsome ruler the kingdom has ever known . . . or be dead within the week”. Just once I would love to read a book that explored the second option. Imagine how insane that would be if the character the blurb is talking about, the MC, was killed? Because really it doesn’t leave much to the imagination. The blurb tells you she’s either gonna be one hell of a queen, or she’s gonna die. Logic tells you the author wouldn’t have a story if she died. Therefore it’s predictable.

But I tell you what wasn’t? The rest of the novel.

I loved it, this book truly earned it’s five star rating. It is the book I’ve been waiting for. It was entertaining if nothing else. As a rule I don’t check the book’s Goodreads page until I’ve finished. Sometimes I’ll check the rating. I’m super glad I didn’t for this book. Goodreads is filled with unsatisfied readers of this novel, mainly because they’ve read Game of Thrones and feel like it’s a copy cat.

Fortunately for me I’ve never read (or watched) Game of Thrones. I will one day, but if it’s anything like The Queen of the Tearling I hope it’s soon.

If you follow me on Goodreads you’ll have seen that I wrote an update at page twenty and then nothing until 414, then nothing else until I hit the completed button. That’s because it was that amazing I didn’t want to stop and write about it. I just wanted devour and think later.

It had everything I wanted in it. Medieval feel, adventure, castle politics, and my favourite: It had a world to fix! Okay call me weird but the reason I love Dystopian fiction (particularly YA) is because they generally live in worlds that need fixing. Either the government is corrupt or there is a deadly disease or something like that…basically I love to have a main character who takes charge and Kelsea sure does that.

One of my favourite things about this book? It flaunts the characters love of books! How awesome is that? Especially since readers love books too.

My Writer-ly Perspective

***** SPOILERS ALERT ********

Disclaimer: I take no credit for the novel, world, characters, or plots of the above novel. All credit goes to the author/s. I am posting my opinion, and my opinion only, on what, I personally, would have done with this novel. I in no way represent anyone related to the creation of the novel. 

I actually don’t have one for this book. I’ve thought over it but I cannot think of anything major to change. Even the minor things are insignificant such as what time they are in. They could have explained that more, but I get the feeling that it’ll come up in later books.

I also wanted to state that I’m bemused as to how Emma Watson is going to play Kelsea in the movie. I think Emma is a great choice for the roll except how insistent Kelsea is that she’s this plain, not attractive women who could pass for a boy. Emma Watson is gorgeous, I’m hoping it’s all in Kelsea’s head. However on the other hand I think it’s good to have a heroine who’s not breathtakingly gorgeous. Even if she’s just cute, or even plain. What’s wrong with being plain? Just put on a good dress, do you hair extra special and slap on some make up. Easy peasy.

Oh as it turns out I do have one issue with the book. It’s funny what you discover whilst writing it. On the back cover it says this book has romance. No, not at all. I was quite happy to find that I could keep myself entertained without romance, a mark of a good story teller (I crave romance in books, I need it like it’s chocolate cake. Only very tasty healthy food can keep me enticed without thinking about it). The closest they get to romance is talking about whores and Kelsea having this fascination with the Fetch. Who she has barely met by the way. I found it less abrupt when at the end of the novel she wanted to touch Pen’s chest. It didn’t feel weird, it felt strangely right, considering he’s been around her for almost the whole book, is now her person bodyguard, and they shared a cute meal together.

But with the Fetch there is nothing like that. He gave her a test, and told her she was worthy therefore he shouldn’t kill her, and he also insulted her by saying she wasn’t good looking enough for him. Maybe that made her like him all the more? Still I think her feelings for him are too fast, too quick. She doesn’t even know him. She talks thoroughly about righteousness yet here she is pining after the King of Thieves. It reminds me of Tamora Pierce’s Alanna, and her choice between the prince and the rogue, except Alanna was only a knight. She wasn’t the queen. Just because a man is charming doesn’t mean you should ignore his wrong doings. And the way they try to justify it…comparing Kelsea’s crush for the Fetch with Andalie’s marriage. No, just no. I bet you Andalie didn’t know how abusive her husband would be until they got married, and she left the first chance she got. Kelsea knows the Fetch is a murderer and a stealer and yet she doesn’t care. She needs to realise she only has a crush on the bad boy. She needs to be wary until she finds out who and why the Fetch killed who he did. He’s not Robin Hood (yet?).

Aside from all of that The Queen of the Tearling was a wonderful book. It’s the best I’ve read it ages, and as for my romantic issues…you can’t be perfect. It unfortunately falls into one of the major pitfalls of most books. Building the romance too fast. At least the Fetch isn’t head over heels for Kelsea…yet? Maybe I just feel like one of those judging adults who thinks it’s silly to have a crush on someone you barely know…


One last note: this is definitely NOT a young adult book. Define young adult? That’s a big one. I definitely wouldn’t call anyone younger than sixteen a young adult. Yet these days we do have kids as young as twelve reading young adult books depending on their reading levels. Which can be quite sad as we have some great titles in the kids section such as Harry Potter and Skulduggery Pleasant which can be enjoyed by older “kids” as well. To be safe I’d put this book into the New Adult section for 17-25 year olds. Even though the MC is nineteen therefore classifying as a young adult she is constantly surrounded by men ranging from early twenties to early fifties, and these are men who are used to being men. Swearing, talking crass, and not worrying about putting things eloquently.


Jo Carter 🙂

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