Friday, 11 December 2015

Book Review: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Read: December 6-8    Verdict: 4.5 Stars

I pretty much knew nothing going into this book. All I knew was that it was about a girl called Kelsea that, one day, gets called up to take her rightful place as Queen and I think this book works when you have no idea what you're getting into it.

The Queen of the Tearling reads much like a fantasy book, an adult fantasy not a YA fantasy which I kept forgetting, except at some points where America and Britain are mentioned as well as the “seven volumes of Rowling” (which I take to be Harry Potter) as well as The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. It’s pretty confusing though whether the country of Tearling lies somewhere in America or Central Europe, as well as Mortmense.

I liked Kelsea as a character, and I particularly liked that she wasn’t one of these characters who never gained weight. She describes herself as having a bit of extra girth and she likes second and third helpings. And while Kelsea is aware that she needs to slim down to become a better swordswoman, she doesn’t make huge efforts to do so. Which is refreshing as it’s so very normal.

However, the lack of information about pretty much everything is incredibly frustrating for the whole of the novel. I felt like 50% of the book was Kelsea asking questions, and everyone around her refusing to answer because of a very annoying vow. We find out barely anything about Kelsea’s mother, apart from some not-so-nice tidbits, and considering there’s so much emphasis on the jewels and their power, I still have no idea about them or what exactly they do and what kind of magic Kelsey wields and if she has any kind of control over them.

I did like the lack of romance and how all of the plot focused on Kelsea’s journey to becoming a good Queen. But that doesn’t mean that I’m looking for some more chemistry-laden scenes with the Fetch, and maybe some more bare-chested scenes with Pen, no? I do think that the Queen of the Tearling set up a great adventure to come, and I’m looking forward to reading the Invasion.

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