SPRING 2017 RECOMMENDATION – “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen

Queen of the Tearling Book #1

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ☆☆☆☆☆


Synopsis: Kelsea Glynn is a 19 year old Princess who has lived in exile her entire life. In order to protect her from harm, Queen Elyssa hid Kelsea in a quiet farmhouse in the country with a couple loyal to the Tearling throne, Barty and Carlin Glynn.  The Glynn’s raised Kelsea to be a Queen – one with a sharp wit and a kind heart. 

On her 19th birthday, the Queen’s Guard comes to the cottage to escort her on a perilous journey to take her throne from her uncle, the corrupt ruling regent.  Facing hired assassins and dark magic, Kelsea barely makes it to her own coronation alive.

Determined to stamp out the rampant corruption of the government and church, Kelsea is facing an uphill battle.  She finds that her mother, who had been killed many years before, had been nothing more than a vain figurehead – and had made some poor decisions in her rule.  Including holding a monthly lottery – which chose groups of slaves to be sent to the powerful country to Mortmesne.

Mortmesne is ruled by a very powerful witch, known as the Red Queen.  Mortmesne is more advanced in practically every aspect of engineering, science, weaponry, and medicine.  They sheer numbers overwhelm the entire population of the Tear.  And the Red Queen of Mortmesne will stop at nothing to stop Kelsea’s reign.

Opinion: Just an FYI before anyone starts reading (or buys it for their children!): I know this is sometimes placed on the YA shelf.  It is NOT YA! It is very, very clearly ADULT Fantasy.  That is your warning. Proceed from here at your own risk.

Oh my… the writing of this book is absolutely incredible! I haven’t seen this skill in a writer in quite a long time.  The moment you open the book and start reading, you are instantly transported into whatever world Johansen writes for you.  It’s absolutely incredible.  (I know most books eventually do this… but a great writer can do this with ease – and ease that is all natural.  And I haven’t seen this incredible writing skill in a very long time.)

Johansen’s writing is just a thousand bars above everyone else currently writing out there. I may love other characters more, I may love other stories more, but this woman’s writing puts all of them to shame. I’m enjoying just taking in her words like air.  I’m going to be grossly disappointed when I am finished the trilogy and must return to just your average writing skill.  Sigh.

Okay, enough gushing about her writing.  This story is AH-MAZ-IIIIIIING!

The characters are well-formed, with lots of depth, and you care about them immensely.  The character development is spot on  The plot line is full of politics and corruption and magic and .. well, everything a really good book needs!

And you know what the best part is?  The utter lack of romance!  There is literally no formal romance plot.  Any “whims” Kelsea has, and her romantic leanings.. if you will… are primarily relegated to a casual mention every now and then.  Barely a mention.  Certainly not even worthy of a sub-plot. I LOVE THIS! (I am currently almost done book 2, and still the same.  This is the BEST! Our strong, female lead has no need of men! YAAAAASSSS!!)

So, yes.  I love this book.  It is amazing.  It gets better. Read on!

Since so many have difficulty with the pronunciations in this novel, I thought I’d help!

Queen of the Tearling Pronunciation Guide

  • Tearling (Teer-ling)
  • Kelsea (Kehl-see)
  • Mortmesne (Mort-mayne)
  • Demesne (Deh-mayne)
  • Raleigh (Rah-lee)
  • Elyssa (Eh-liss-ah)

If you need any others translated, let me know in the comments!

Goodreads Link: “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen

Amazon.com Link: “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen