The Queen of the Tearling

Description from Goodreads:

An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.

Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom’s haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.

Long ago, Kelsea’s forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen’s Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.

Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen’s vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen’s Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as “the Fetch.”

Kelsea’s quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea’s journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.


Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen has 448 pages and was published by Harper in 2014.

This is the story of a young princess that is raised in hiding until her 19th birthday. At that time guardsmen are sent to retrieve her and assist her in claiming her throne. Somehow she must protect her kingdom and right the wrongs of the previous generation.

Queen of the Tearling is an interesting blend of fanstasy and dystopian genres. This tale is set some time in the future after “The Crossing.” However, the people of the Tearling have lost all modern technology and have reverted to a medievil type of lifestyle.

Kelsea is a strong female protagonist. As an inexperienced monarch thrust into the role of making tough decisions for a kingdom that has long been neglected by the noble class, she quickly gains the respect of her people by fighting to end corruption in the Tearling.

While the plot may seem slow to some, I enjoyed the detail that went into crafting this story. There were plenty of twists and turns to leave the reader in suspense. The characters were well-developed and engaging.  It has a heroine that the reader can admire, brave guards, handsome love interests and a villain (the Red Queen) that you love to hate.

The Queen of the Tearling is sometimes categorized as YA. Nonetheless, there are some sexual themes as well as graphic language that would lead me to categorize this more as adult fiction. These elements are relatively minor in comparison to the novel as a whole.

Overall I enjoyed this book and would recommend for fans of The Hunger Games.

Rating: 4 Plot Monster Spiders


Notable Quotes:

“Those who cease to worry about their souls often find them difficult to reclaim later”
― Erika JohansenThe Queen of the Tearling

“Carlin often said that history was everything, for it was in man’s nature to make the same mistakes over and over.”
― Erika JohansenThe Queen of the Tearling

MDW original review. Source: Library

3 thoughts on “The Queen of the Tearling

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s