‘The Queen of the Tearling’ – Erika Johansen

Queen of the Tearling


This book has been on my to-read pile for a while, but there never seemed to be a good time to get started on something that I thought might take a while to get through.

Initially, I found the book confusing. Everything about the novel suggests a Medieval setting, but it actually seems to be set in some post-apocalyptic setting in the future. Once I got past this confusion, I found myself intrigued by the world described.

We are told that nineteen year-old Kelsea Glynn is the rightful heir to the throne of the Tearling. She has spent years in hiding, and her guardians were trusted to prepare her for her future role. When soldiers come to escort her to the Keep, it is clear that Kelsea has a lot to learn.

I found it annoying that so much of the initial part of the book focuses on Kelsea feeling frustrated by her plainness, and her obsession with the appearance of those around her. Why did this have to be important? As I kept reading, though, it was clear that appearance was important in this world, and Kelsea’s learning to accept who she is plays a major role in her coming to accept her new position in society.

There were some interesting characters in the novel – and some that were downright unpleasant. I have so many questions:  namely about the Fetch; who Kelsea’s father is; exactly what has got Mace so annoyed; the background to the Mort Queen; what role the jewels worn by Kelsea will play and when the odious Thorne is going to get his come-uppance.

I’ve heard this talked about as Game of Thrones for teenagers, but there’s some rather nasty details that might put off younger readers. However, this will probably get its fair share of fans once the movie comes out – though it’s doubtful that Emma Watson is quite what I’d picture Kelsea to look like.