The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen


Rate: 5/5

Medium: Book

Initial Note:

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?



  1. Aahhhhh!!!! I am so beyond excited for this book. I loved the first two so much, and I can hardly contain myself waiting to get my hands on this one. I’m so glad you liked it. I’ll have to come back and read your spoiler section after I’ve read the book. Aaaaahhhhh!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only skimmed your review since I haven’t started this series yet but I’m glad it’s a strong conclusion. That makes me want to read the series even more. And congratulations on receiving the book!!

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  3. Congrats on getting the book!! Wow, if it ranks with Red Rising, it must be pretty dang good. Thanks for the review- I’ll return to read the spoiler section once I’ve read book III 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m afraid to read your actual review because I’m in the middle of “Invasion of the Tearling” and I’ve got this one to read and review after, but your rating of 5/5 says everything. I’m going to come back and read this when I’m done. All I know at this point is, I like the 2nd in series even better than the 1st, and I’m hoping the 3rd and final will be even better. 😀

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  5. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. The ending felt totally rushed and not thought out.

    Where did William Tear get his sapphire and why was it special?

    I felt that they put way too much importance on her father for it just to be Mhurn. I understand that she had some inner turmoil that she killed her father, but she was over that in 3 pages.

    The way that Row was killed just seemed stupid. She turned into a demonic monster that came out of Katie by going into the past? There should have been more of a fight to actually kill Row than that.

    Jonathan Tear had to die so that there wasn’t a Tear dynasty moving forward. If he had lived, people would have resented him and it wouldn’t have been an equal society.

    How did we get doctors in this new future?

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  6. The ending did confuse me because history still stated that Row had killed Jonathan. Also, I assume that when Lily died in childbirth the baby died also? If they mentioned that, I did not absorb it. Katie decided to take the Tear name? At the end, Caitlin Tear was the one and only queen of the Tearling. These things confused me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think it matters that Lily’s baby died in childbirth because they wanted us to think that Katie was pregnant with Jonathan’s child, which would preserve the Tear line.

      I’m not really sure why Kelsea was the only one that could use the pendant. Why didn’t it work for the red queen?

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  7. I was also disappointed in the ending, mostly just because of how much Kelsea lost. I go back and forth between how I feel about it in regards to how I thought it was written. On one hand it was definitely a surprise and an interesting end. I had just assumed that the reason history still says that Row killed Johnathan was because whoever wrote it down wasn’t there and just assumed Row did it. Although that’s putting a huge assumption on Gavin and the others not screaming about what really happened through town.

    I feel like there’s so many points that undermine other parts of the book. Namely killing Row; Katie had once thought that she should have killed him when she had the chance but then decided that it wouldn’t help because there are other people who would just take his place. But then the solution that changes the entire future of the Town ends up still being to kill him.

    I also feel a wanting for more on Mhurn. We find out that she is able to use the sapphires when no other Raleigh could because she has Tear blood, and since it didn’t come from her mother it had to have come from him. But there was no explanation or even addressing of the fact that he must be a descendant of Tear.

    I was also really confused about the whole Caitlin Tear thing. I’m wondering why she did that. And if Johnathan had to die for the Town to feel more equal, why was it still able to become what it did after she took the Tear name and became queen? Going back to there being more power hungry people than just Row, why did Caitlin have no contest for power?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can’t wait to read this one! I have read the first two books of the series and have this one waiting on the shelf.
    Great review 📚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have all of these questions too! I’m hoping that there is forum or a new book or something that can assuage these. And yeah, the ending was the best part. I loved how things just fell into place, It was sad for Kelsea, yes but I like to think that she can always befriend her ‘Guard’ and others in the new world.

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  10. I relate so much to this: “I find myself dreading actually opening the novel in question for the fear that the author will have run out of steam…”

    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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