The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

This has been on my TBR list since before it even came out, so I was super excited to read it. Admittedly, I had really high expectations because everyone I know who read it loved it. Me? I liked it. A little generic, but good nonetheless.

The Queen of the Tearling starts out with the nineteen year old crown princess Kelsea Raleigh-Glynn of Tearling being picked up from her forest home by the Queen’s Guard. When Kelsea was a baby, her mother, the late Queen Elyssa sent her into hiding until she turned nineteen, whereupon Kelsea would become queen. For the first 140 pages, Kelsea traveled to the Keep (the name of her castle), which for me was the only sore spot of the book.  It was monotonous (we set up camp, we eat dinner, we went to bed, we woke up, we rode, we set up camp…) But once she arrives at the Keep, The Queen of the Tearling finally began living up to my expectations. Armed with only her sharp mind and strong sense of social justice, Kelsea starts her queenhood by stopping a slave lottery that’s been going on for years- and potentially beginning a war with the feared Red Queen of Mortmesne, the neighboring kingdom.

Honestly, I was expecting to really dislike Kelsea. She’s a real Plain-Jane, but something about her is just… interesting. I just couldn’t help but like her. I also loved the world that this took place in. it’s some sort of dystopian-fantasy mixup, and I loved it, even if I thought it was a little (ok, a lot) improbable. 

Told from interesting, alternating perspectives, The Queen of the Tearling is chock-full of suspense, magic, palace intrigue, and drama, and an enjoyable read.

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