Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

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Initial Note: I had first read and reviewed The Queen of the Tearling over eight months ago and am still regularly recommending to anyone and everyone.  When my brother picked up the audiobook I decided to give this delightful novel a reread to see if I enjoyed it just as much the second time around.  Needless to say, I loved it even more the second time around and finished the audiobook in two days!  This book is an absolute must read!

Rate: 4.5/5

Medium: Book

Overview (No Spoilers): Yet again Kari recommends another truly captivating series. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen is the tale of a young girl, Kelsea, who is thrust into the role of Queen on her 19th Birthday. However, she must first survive the harrowing journey to her castle, assassins, and her traitorous Uncle Regent, all while trying to heal her fractured land. Johansen’s world appears to be postmodern, with vague references to America and libraries containing the works of Rowling, Tolkien and such. The history of this world is wrapped in secrets as Kelsea’s lessons on the aforementioned subject were heavily edited. This fog of mystery very slowly beginning to clear by the end of the book, however there are so many unknown pieces of the world that have yet to be revealed. Kelsea’s strong, pure personality soon manages to draw a crowd of loyal supporters to her side. Her world involves many complex countries, traditions and cultures, with emphasis on their resources and goods.  Kelsea also demonstrates magical abilities, shrouded in mystery, which offer the promise to only get more powerful. Overall, I’m so pleased to have found two series back-to-back that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed in Throne of Glass and The Queen of the Tearling. I’m looking forward to the point of impatience to reading the next book both series. There’s talk of a movie, with Emily Watson starting as Queen Kelsea. In personality she is the ideal fit, however I’m not sure if she is ‘plain’ enough to fully to portray sweet Kelsea due to this fact being emphasized throughout the book. Regardless, the concept is intriguing and I am curious as to the remaining cast. Perhaps the Hound would be an appropriate cast for Mace.

Additional Insight (May Contain Spoilers):

  1. When will a GOT reference make an appearance?
  2. Mace is so mysterious! What is his history?
  3. Kelsey’s instant transformation from a sheltered girl with no actual court or even public experiences to a Queen displaying leadership skills was a it much to swallow. There should have been a bit of a transition period.
  4. Who is Kelsey’s father? I initially thought it was Fetch, however there was a lot of sexual tension, from Kelsea toward him. What is Fetch and who is he? Is he the evil demon that visits the Red Queen? If not why would that demon forbid the Red Queen from attacking Kelsea? Why has he been waiting for her for a long time, a statement that Fetch made almost verbatim?
  5. How will Thorne meet his demise and what other acts of revenge will he plan prior to his death?
  6. It was apparent, from almost the initial description that Mhurn was going to be a traitor. However, I wanted this foresight to be wrong, so wrong. I liked his character and felt terrible for his losses. Kelsea performing the execution was a powerful statement to her personal resolve and leadership.


  1. Hey! Thanks for checking out my blog! I really like how you pose all your questions you had during the book at the end. I personally think the Mace is Kelsea’s father and that the Fetch is just a mystery – but we shall see!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. W00t! I’ve got a hardcopy of this book on my shelves and was kind of bummed about seeing so many negative reviews on it. Thank you for giving me hope again! And for the lovely review of course 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad to know this is good. I have it in my to-read pile, but the sequel is on sale on Amazon this month, so I wanted to read it before even buying a lower-cost version.

    Liked by 1 person

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