The Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling

A Novel

eBook - 2014
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Coming out of exile to ascend her rightful throne, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, with a cadre of soldiers and the magical Tearling sapphire to protect her, makes a daring decision that evokes the wrath of the evil Red Queen.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, 2014.
ISBN: 9780062290373
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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May 21, 2021

I loved this book. I thought it did a fantastic job of really setting the plot for the whole trilogy. I will say that there is a bit of a trigger warning for some sexual violence. It’s not a ton but there are a couple lines that really caught me off guard.

Nov 29, 2020

This fantasy book kept me entertained the entire way through. Few thoughts about characters I'm looking forward to finding out more about in the next book(s).

HCL_staff_reviews Aug 12, 2019

In a medieval future where children read the 7 volumes of Rowling, a queen comes out of hiding to take her rightful place on the throne. A thrilling read! The young queen struggles to fight for justice and earn the respect of her people while assassins threaten her life. The story is full of colorful characters, heartache, and hope. I eagerly await the second book! — Gwen W., Ridgedale Library

Jun 04, 2019

There were plenty of opportunities for the author to flesh out the characters more. Would have been much more intriguing. But was an enjoyable read. Not great. But enjoyable.

PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 09, 2019

I'm going to say something I rarely have: despite knowing this book is not at all a stand-alone, I still liked it. Generally, I want some sort of wrap-up and this book doesn't have it, but it poses such interesting questions that I found myself not minding. Tearling is a poor land that has been settled by America (seems like USA) and Europeans (guessing British???) after The Crossing.

This is left totally open-ended. Did they cross an ocean after global warming? Did they cross to another planet? (seems unlikely given that they discuss a ship sinking and survivors being left floating in the water). What we do know is that the people who settled Tearling didn't get the best land, most of the doctors and medical technology were lost in The Crossing, and books are nearly as dear as doctors, since they still haven't been able to recreate a reliable printing press. Also... there is magic.

Or is there? It seems that some people have magic, but it also appears to be tied to objects, which made me wonder if these things seem like magic but are simply technology they no longer understand. Regardless, I was completely enthralled by the world and can't wait to find out more. Needless to say, if my questions are not answered by the end of the series, heads will roll.

Kelsea has been hidden away since she was a baby, trained by servants faithful to her mother, the queen, to be able to lead the Tearlings when she comes of age at 19 and is able to boot out her uncle the regent. Interestingly, I read this at the same time as Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix, and both have princess characters raised by surrogate parents in a simple setting that they don't initially want to leave. Kelsea is relentlessly pursued by assassins from her uncle who doesn't want to give up power; from the Queen of Mortmesne, a ruler of 100 years who has flattened all neighboring countries into giving her a monthly tribute; and Arlen Thorne, the slave-trader turned government worker who makes his living delivering the monthly tribute from the Tearling.

Kelsea and the Mace are interesting and well-drawn characters. They complement each other, but I found the secrecy the Queen's Guard had about speaking about former queens to be a bit ridiculous. Once Kelsea is crowned, doesn't she need to know what went on with the prior queen? Yet, secrets are still kept from her, in what felt like an unrealistic plot device. Regardless, the world is interesting, the action is fiery, and Kelsea has the potential to be a great lead character, if Johansen will stop playing up Kelsea as the "plain girl who at least has the good sense to know she's plain" and allow her to make some mistakes along the way.

If you're looking for deep dialogue, this probably isn't for you, but if you want something that feels unique while being fast-paced, with a lot of potential, I'd give The Queen of the Tearling a try.

Jul 17, 2018

There are few books I've hated as much as this one. The flaws in this book, the characters, the plot, the world, etc. were all too severe, but mostly this intense dislike stems from the book claiming to be everything it is not. It's advertised as having a smart heroine (like Hermione), political intrigue in a fantasy setting (Game of Thrones), dystopian (some Hunger Games comparisons). It is none of these things. Even putting aside the misbranding, the irrationally created characters, wandering and nonsensical plot, and inability to commit to an idea make this a poorly written book.

You learn from the book cover, or at least the first few pages, that Kelsea has spent her entire life in the woods, in complete isolation. Despite this, you're supposed to believe that she's socially capable, and is ready to lead the world, despite only ever meeting three people. She's supposed to be smart, guys, because she READ A LOT OF BOOKS. That's not what makes a person smart, and throughout the novel Kelsea makes no smart decisions but lets others make them for her, and she's heralded as a genius. She gets to make some idealistic leadership moves, and the author misses every opportunity for character development by forcing the character to work through something ethically ambiguous. Kelsea self-describes herself as plain and ugly, and complains all the time about vain women, but frequently criticizes and describes other women as ugly and vain. In fact, none of the characters really have any depth. They're all shallowly written and unlikable, ,and we're just supposed to trust them because... magic?

The world makes no sense. Nothing is adequately explained. I know the author wants to set up for sequels, but there needs to be a foundation in the first book. It feels like fleshing out a universe was too hard for the author, who was trying to do too many things, so she just decided not to do it.

The plot isn't really interesting. The intrigue is predictable, the villain doesn't have any credible reason for why they're bad, and the dialog doesn't flow naturally.

The author's use of words, and the writing itself, was fine.

Jun 26, 2018

These books are amazing! Well written and a great story. You should read them.

May 03, 2018

The writing in this novel (and the series) is fantastic. The world building is detailed and vivid. What's amazing about this series is you think you know exactly what is going on, and you're surprised to find out it's not what you expected at all.

Apr 10, 2018

I very much enjoyed reading Queen of the Tearling. It had a very interesting plot with lots of tough decisions and character developement. I couldn't help but get attached to Kelsea as she embarked on her journey and set out to make her kingdom a good place for everyone to live in.

LoganLib_Kirra Feb 19, 2018

The story follows Kelsea Glynn, the Queen of the Tearling that has been in hiding since her mother sent her away days before her assassination. Her adoptive parents Carlin and Barty have raised her strictly and studiously to ensure she becomes a fine ruler but now that she's reached the age of nineteen she must make the journey back to her kingdom and take the throne from her uncle, the regent.

Kelsea truly becomes a different person throughout her journey that had many ups and downs and though I became slightly distracted in the middle I enjoyed the full story because it was paced well with plenty of detail and information. There were several points of view but I enjoyed Kelsea's the most as I found the other ones could be drawn out at times. As for other favourite characters, Lazarus was amazing, Pen is the sweet and loveable type (Kelsea's personal guard) but The Fetch has the incredible allure of the mysterious man with danger and secrets.

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Oct 10, 2020

littlebadbooks thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jan 02, 2018

davi817 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

May 01, 2017

olive_rabbit_1 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Aug 31, 2015

Nvfera thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Aug 12, 2014

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Jul 28, 2014

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Add Notices
Jul 28, 2014

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There is one scene where a child is involved and it is not pleasant.

Jul 28, 2014

Coarse Language: Mostly f-bombs.

Jul 28, 2014

Violence: Some, but it's not gory.

Jul 28, 2014

Sexual Content: Multiple mentions of rape, abuse, pedophilia.


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Stories moved Kelsea most, stories of things that never were, stories that transported her beyond the changeless world of the cottage.


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