Johansen Tearling

Review: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Kelsea has been living a quiet and isolated life in hiding, waiting for the day she could claim her throne. No one believes she will survive her rise to greatness, and if anything, the people of the Tearling are convinced if she does, it will be a short reign. Kelsea is a plain, and well, as described, rather homely and plump girl that lives in a new civilization, which settlers from America and England created after the Old World collapsed for reasons unknown. They crossed an ocean, bringing some essence of their previous greatness, but somehow were  unable to transport any of the technology. The future has essentially reverted to the past, as Kelsea’s world is one of serfs and nobles, and a little bit of magic, of course.

Johansen’s storytelling is solid, and the reader can really picture the world of the Tearling, as well as that of the Mort, one of Kelsea’s greater enemies (she kind of has a lot of them, everywhere) in the country next door. They are led by a mysterious Red Queen, who I hope we see more of in the next book. Kelsea is a likable character and though the book gets off to a slow start, it barrels into action, which once started, doesn’t stop. The characters are interesting and there are a lot of them to follow. Be prepared to make a list!

The Queen of the Tearling caught my eye for two reasons. First, it was billed as a cross between Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, which happen to be two of my favorites. It was also being promoted by Emma Watson, as she is already attached to the film. Mind you the book JUST came out July 8th. I would say it’s much more Game of Thrones than The Hunger Games. This is also because it has some sex, lots of violence, nudity, more violence, adult language, and then some more bloody violence. So if you’re going through GOT withdrawal, this could tide you over! I’m curious to see just how Emma Watson is attached to the potential film for this…she’d have to gain a few pounds and ugly up a bit to play the role. The author has made it a big deal that not every heroine has to be a beautiful woman, basically that average and/or ugly chicks can be heroes, too. I hope the movie stays true to that. I’ll definitely be interested in the sequel, which I’ll now have to wait for for the next 1.5-2 years, I’m sure.