A #1 Indie Next Pick and LibraryReads Selection
Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.
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.
This book will be a beautifully designed package with illustrated endpapers, a map of the Tearling, and a ribbon marker.
Johansen makes an impressive debut with this ambitious fantasy adventure, which takes place several centuries from now following the collapse of civilization and mass migration to a newly discovered continent. The resultant society resembles medieval Europe, with modern technology all but forgotten, and magic is subtly present. Finally come of age, 19-year-old Kelsea Glynn must evade assassins and her uncle's nefarious plans in order to take her place as rightful queen of the nation known as the Tearling. Her first acts as ruler break a treaty with neighboring Mortmense and anger the unaging sorceress called the Red Queen; Kelsea rallies her allies and prepares for war. Johansen starts strongly, with a forceful, memorable heroine immediately thrust into a series of intense situations and forced to make dynamic, if overly idealistic, decisions. While the setting and backstory could stand further explanation and exploration, and many elements fall apart under closer scrutiny, this trilogy launch is still an engaging page-turner.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Queen of the Tearling
I loved this book and hope the second and third books of this trilogy come out soon. It was great to have a normal looking heroin as opposed to the always beautiful one. I fell in love with Kelsea, and her complicated strength mixed with her insecurities and empathy. Loved her quick wit, and that she could "hang with the guys" comfortably. I couldn't put the book down. So much adventure at a fast gallop (pun intended.) All the characters were interesting, and many of the hard characters were also lovable, while some are downright nasty. And, Who is Kelsea's father?? We'll probably have to wait until the third book to get that information. I would recommend this book to both men and women as well as teens. Well done Johansen. SLN in VA
Great language of writing and just enough description for me
This book was one of the best I have read in a long time. The story truly made such an attachment between me and the characters, full of both love, anger, and emotion. I do have to give some negative points for the language, only young adults and up should read it if they are ready, it is the only reason why I had to give it four. But the reason I didn't give it three was because it is true that kind of language and violent behavior is used in today's world and we should stand against it like this protagonist does. I recommend this book for people who are mature enough to read it and I can't wait for the sequel
I don’t know if it was the cheery cover or the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of Brandon Sanderson, but the author’s use of swear words and sexually explicit references just felt so jarring and clumsy—like the author was trying to hammer home that this is a a book for adults not teens. “Take me seriously; I’m crass.” Whereas Sanderson tackles sex slavery and tyrants who gluttonously fulfill their lusts, his world-building and characterization are so complete that he doesn’t need to drop the F or C words to somehow bolster it. So while I’m interested to find out how our young queen will defeat the Red Queen, the author’s crass word choice just immediately makes me envision someone in their apartment clickety-clacking on the keyboard instead of immersing me in a well-developed world where difficult issues are confronted and overcome. As a former high school English teacher, I guess I’m picky about the unnecessary use of swear words and sexually explicit references. But maybe its just that I’ve seen other authors tackle the same subjects and themes expertly in a way that appeals to both teens and adults.