The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Title: The Queen of the Tearling
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #1
Author: Erika Johansen
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Pages: 448
Source: EW

Summary from Goodreads:
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.


The Queen of the Tearling is so much and more.
    It is political – Kelsea inherits a broken kingdom and must carefully right the wrongs of those who ruled before her; wrestling power away from the greedy and the corrupt.

    It is suspenseful – Kelsea is surrounded by enemies who will stop at nothing to see her killed. Even those who are loyal to her, she must prove herself to, or they might turn their back on her.

    It is inspiring – Kelsea rises to the occasion and carefully handles herself and those around her. She is one of the bravest and most level-headed young women I know.

    It is magical – Kelsea slowly learns that the sapphire around her neck is more than just a simple jewel. It might defeat the dark sorceress in the neighboring kingdom. It might save her own.

    It is complex – The characters in this book, as well as the relationships, vary greatly and have many layers. Many bonds are formed, while others are broken.

    It is beautiful – The writing was flawless; the pacing, seamless; the emotion, rampant. I was completely captivated by this world, this kingdom, these people.
I loved this book without reservation.

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