First and foremost, The Fate of the Tearling represents an incredibly exciting first for the Critiquing Chemist, having been the first requested book to be sent to me by a publisher! I have to thank all of my fellow bloggers for supporting the Critiquing Chemist in the last year, thereby allowing me to achieve one of my dreams/bucket list items I’ve had since I was in my teens that has always seemed fundamentally impossible.
Overview (No Spoilers): The Fate of the Tearling is the eagerly anticipated, concluding novel of The Queen of the Tearling trilogy. As often happens upon obtaining the last book in a well loved trilogy, I find myself dreading actually opening the novel in question for the fear that the author will have run out of steam or feel rushed/pressured, as such producing an uninspired finale, e.g., Hunger Games, Divergent. Rest assured, Johansen weaves a riveting tale that will leave the reader in a state of eager anxiety as they fly through page after page. The Fate of the Tearling, picking up shortly after the devastating cliffhangers of The Invasion of the Tearling, perfectly complements its predecessors with many of the characters continuing to grow in depth, while filling in many of the questions the reader has regarding the mysterious past of the Tearling. Overall, if you haven’t started this series, The Queen of the Tearling is an absolute must read and should promptly be moved to the top of your ‘To Be Read’ list. This trilogy has easily earned a spot in my top five, if not top three trilogies I’ve encountered. Although, it must be said, Red Rising is still ranked higher. Regardless, this is a series you will want to start reading before all of your friends are talking about it.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- Queen Kelsey continues to grow as a person, fighting her inner demons despite the turmoil of being held captive by the Red Queen. In this third book we see her venturing into the past again, learning more about key figures such as Row, Tear, and the Fetch. We learn so much about the Red Queen that we pity her by the end, despite all of the evil she has done.
- Heartbreakingly, we find out that Kelsea’s father is Mhurn, the traitorous Queen’s Guard that Kelsea herself executed. I was hoping for a more exciting father figure, however upon some pondering, her lack luster bloodline suits her character, and the evolving storyline.
- The rose-colored glasses are removed with regard to the Fetch as we see him as an arrogant, flawed teenager.
- Poor, poor Aisa! I loved her fiery character, but alas her demise seemed rushed, almost glossed in the final dramatic scenes.
- The ending in general left me shocked, with my initial reaction leaning towards one of mediocrity, however the more I think on Kelsea’s fate and that of the Tearling, the more I love it! It is absolutely unfair to our heroine, that everyone she knows and loves exists in a happier life that she cannot share in, but that is the price she must pay for her people. She has the opportunity for a normal life, but will she be able to live having experienced the hardships of her royal past? What has happened to Andalie in this new world? Thorne? Will Gavin have descendants? Why did Jonathan Tear have to die? What will happen if someone puts on the Tear jewels again? So many questions! How did Row find the evil magic in the new world and what was the creature in the woods? How did Tear find his initial magic in the old world? Is there magic and the gift of seeing in this new world of Kelsea’s?