Monday 1 December 2014

Book Review - The Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #1
Genres: Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 17th July 2014
Publishers: Bantam Press
No. Pages: 448
Source: Review Copy - Bantam Press
Buy From: Amazon |
Book Depository | Barnes and Noble
Her throne awaits..
If she can live long enough to take it.

It was on her nineteenth birthday that the soldiers came for Kelsea Glynn. They’d come to escort her back to the place of her birth – and to ensure she survives long enough to be able 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 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've heard this book compared to lots of other series, Game of Thrones, Hunger Games and Harry Potter. Even though I'll admit, I get sucked in sometimes when a book tries to sell it's self as the next best thing since blah blah and such and such, but another side of me can't stand when publishers try to pass it off as anything like the others, because this book has no comparison to Harry Potter or even The Hunger Games and only slightly reminds me of Game of Thrones. Why can't we just be left to come up with our own opinions of it? The problem with telling us that it like a different book, is when we start reading it we start to expect certain things to happen only to be left with disappointment when it doesn't or feeling like we some how must have missed something. At one point it was even dubbed 'the female version of Game of Thrones'.. *feels boobs*.. pretty sure I'm a female and that show is one of my favourites so I'm not exactly sure where they were going with that.

Apart from that, this book was a pretty damn brilliant. I know a lot of people had problems with the book, and it wasn't exactly flawless but I enjoyed it so much that for me it was pretty close. One of the things that stands out the most about this book is the magnitude of back story you get, the only thing we don't seem to have is a little more explanation as to what the magic is or where it came from, however because it's a series and because Kelsea didn't exactly know herself, I'm holding on to the hope that in the next one more will be explained.

When it comes to the characters, I personally think the development was spot on. In the form on a main character we have Kelsea, a young girl who has spent her whole life hidden away until she turns 19 and will take her rightful place on the throne as queen. Despite being hunted, despite having a huge responsibility on her shoulders, despite the fact that after being told from as early as she can remember who she was meant to be, she doesn't give of this vibe of self importance. She doesn't think she's better than everyone else or want to be treated different, in fact at times she wants to be treated as an equal. She's a humble girl who really does seem to care about her being queen and wants to make her kingdom a better place for the people that live there.

The sub-characters are just as well written with their own personalties and quirks, from the hilarious queen's guards who are insanely loyal and dedicated, to the mysterious, intriguing and sometimes intimidating outlaw, no one knows his name and very rarely anyone has seen his face but he keeps popping up to save Kelsea and I warmed to him instantly. Perhaps the only one I didn't feel a connection of any sort to was the Red Queen of Mortmesne, I think this is down to how little we know about her or read from her point of view, the only thing that is certain about her is how power hungry she is.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was a long book, and took a while to read but once I got in to it I couldn't put it down. At times it did lag, instead of faced with the problem of having too much dialogue that some books have, I was faced with there not being enough at times to break up the manotomy of it all. A lot of things could have made this perfect, as a fantasy lover I was able to just enjoy it for what it is where as others may focus too much on the drawbacks to it.

One thing I did find out today, that I did know, was that the series is going to be made into films with non other than Emma Watson as Kelsea. Although I am a fan of hers, I'm not exactly sure if she's right for the part, however I do think this book will make a great film and perhaps a better film than book. So I will be keeping my eyes out for that :)


  1. It makes me smile to see you liked this book so much! I loved it too. I can't wait for the movie and I can't wait for the next book :) I agree with you that it is frustrating when publisher's try to sell a book by saying it's like all these other books out there because I think that doesn't help reader's expectations, it makes it worse.

  2. I reeeally want to read this. But I agree 100% about those annoying comparisons. I feel like EVERY YA book these days is "the next Hunger Games". Whyyyy. They never are. They never are even remotely similar and it just makes me critique the book on expectations that shouldn't even be there! And that one about "female version of Game of Thrones" is SO SEXIST. *glares at whoever writes those comparisons* So wrong.
    I'm glad the book stood up on it's own, though! :) I want to see the movie (whenever that happens, hehe, I don't even know) so I probably should read the book first. *nods*

  3. Fantastic review, Stacie! I'm looking forward to reading it even though a few people have been disappointed by it. Glad you enjoyed!


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