Review: The Queen of the Tearling. Tearling Trilogy 1 by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling

tearling1448 pages
Harper Collins
published in 2014

  1. The Queen of the Tearling
  2. The Invasion of the Tearling
  3. The Fate of the Tearling (Nov 2016)

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.


This one is a highly entertaining read and much better than expected after the description which sounds like it’s a pretty common fantasy tale. It is true – the tale about an exiled princess who comes into power and has to get used to her new position is far from innovative. But the way Johansen presents it, her characters, the world and tension make it a real page-turner that I couldn’t put down.

The story takes place in an interesting world – it is our world in the future that has gone back to the middle ages. Books are rare, medical knowledge was almost lost completely as well as our technology, computers, TV etc. It is funny though, that some things survived, for example the Harry Potter books. The story takes place in Europe, probably where England used to be and doesn’t give away too many details about what happened yet. I am curious though whether we hear more about the fate of our world in the next books. It is definitely a cool setting.

The story, as said before, isn’t new. Kelsea Glynn, the heiress to the Tearling empire was fostered away from home and although she was trained in many things, she doesn’t know a lot about the reign of her mother, who died while she was still young. On her 19th birthday the so called Queen’s Guard, a group of smokin’ hot warriors, who are sworn to protect the queen, come and pick her up. Of course it has to be mentioned pretty often, that they are all hot as hell πŸ˜‰

Anyways.. they are not sure what to think of young Kelsea and she has to prove that she is worth protecting. Almost everyone, especially her uncle, wants her dead and life in the capital won’t be easy for the young princess.

I like Kelsea as a character a lot and it’s easy to feel for her and understand her. I like it that she’s plain looking and quite tall and chubby – her appearance won’t be an advantage for her and stands in contrast to her mother’s who was quite stunning but obviously not the best ruler. I loved reading about Kelsea’s struggle to make the right decisions, to do better by her people and how she slowly gains the trust of the people around her. I also like Lazarus, the captain of her guard – there is more to him than it seems and I am looking forward to learning more about him in the next book.

Most of the other characters are multilayered and fun to read about. Also, I liked that I can understand the motives of the seemingly evil people. They are not just evil because, well, there have to be opponents for the major characters, but they do what they do because they think it is the right thing for them or will help them. They all develop throughout the story and some might surprise you.

We also have magic but only glimpsed a little of it. I liked it though as it remains mostly a mystery and I am sure that the next books will reveal more..

No romance in here yet but some tiny, tiny hints about what might come.. Which is great!

It’s a pretty awesome start to a series and I can’t wait for the next book!

Some other things:

– I LOVED the Fetch! Because he is such a mysterious character and you don’t really know what he wants to achieve! Also, no one knows who he really is as he is wearing a mask and only reveals himself to some. Can’t wait to read more about him.

– As I said, I liked that Kelsea is not the tiny, pretty princess but more common looking and obviously likes to eat a lot, but it’s stupid that everyone else around her is super sexy awesome looking and the author always has to stress how simple Kelsea is..

And another thing that annoyed me – not about the book and the story but about a possible movie adaptation. The rights have been sold as far as I know and the main role, if there really will be a movie, will go to Emma Watson…
I am not happy with that.
1. Kelsea is TALL, PLAIN looking and CHUBBY!
2. Emma Watson is, if you ask me, not a talented actress. She did not convince me in anything she did. She was horrible in NOAH. The movie wasn’t good but she was just ridiculous in it. Nope. I don’t like seeing her on screen.

So if she doesn’t improve her acting abilities and does what’s necessary for the role (gain weight and not look pretty), I don’t want to see her as Kelsea.


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