Did Not Finish: Queen of the Tearling – Erika Johnson

17415882Review copy provided by Edelweiss in exchange for a fair review


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 introduces readers to a world as fully imagined and terrifying as that of The Hunger Games, with characters as vivid and intriguing as those of The Game of Thrones, and a wholly original heroine. Combining thrilling action and twisting plot turns, it is a magnificent debut from the talented Erika Johansen.


If you want to read this book, do yourself a favor and don’t think about it. This is the perfect example of a book that works okay if you just let yourself soak in the text, but the <i>second</i> you begin to think it completely falls apart.

The setting is nonsensical – we’re in medieval Europe! No, wait, we’re in the future on some place on earth that probably doesn’t exist because there are few places left to explore.

The technological hangups make no sense- they’re no doctors because they drowned and no one thought to sneak across the boarder to train! Double-paned glass is amazeballs!

The MC finds herself incredibly plain – despite living in pure exile for 19 years and not having had any access to a mirror. What societal influence shaped this opinion of her, because beauty IS directed by society. Remember Reuben and how a long time chubbier women were sexy because it indicated wealth and enough food to eat?

The MC is a naive idiot who talks like a politician running for office that despite her extensive “schooling” knows nothing of her land and apparently missed the lesson on “the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few.” You don’t end an unjust treaty that is keeping your land at least marginally peaceful when you have no army nor comparable weapons because zomg slaves. Oh, and did I mention that she’s vowed to never betray the thief called Fetch who kidnapped her? Yes, he didn’t kill her, but that’s hardly cause for promise of pardon or such loyalty. Hell, you can feel her guard practically facepalming in light of this information.

The Red Queen is supposed to come off as Joffrey-like figure (ZOMG, by bed slave is snoring! I know! I shall sever his vocal cords, cut out his tongue and uvula because it annoys me!) but the way she’s written, I can’t take her seriously.

At the end of the day, I just can’t with this book. I got a quarter of the way through and I can’t keep going.

The writing is breezy and it can be fun…just don’t think about it.


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