Queen of the Tearlings by Erika Johansen

Amthiel has most cordially invited me to share my opinion on my most recent fantasy-find.
You may have guessed from the title of this post that I have had the pleasure of Queen of the Tearling.
I do not remember the exact search thread that took me to Queen of the Tearling, it was probably something like; “please give me a book series that resembles Harry Potter, Name of the Wind, Game of Thrones and the Farseer Trilogy, because I cannot wait another second for the next instalments of the latter three”.
However – my boolean must have been flawed and thus the search returned something else entirely. But my penny-pinching nature won (the book cost a mere 2,5 $ on Amazon).

I’ve read somewhere that Emma Watson of Hermione Granger fame, has expressed interest in being part of a movie version of this book despite her having also been adamant that she’ll never be part of another franchise.

So – another franchise. Meaning, I’ll once again have to wait years for the conclusion? Well, not years. The second book has been published and the last in the trilogy (and I will be pretty annoyed if it suddenly becomes a pentalogy) will be published this autumn (thank you ms. Johansen). Yes I have also read the second book.

Imagine a world with all – well maybe not all – the books you know, but without the technology we’ve all come to know and love – like say…a printing press or penicillin. A world were Ian Fleming’s name might be well known, but Alexander Fleming is forgotten. We are somehow in medieval times, while also being in the future. Our heroine is Kelsea Raleigh, the soon-to-be queen of the Tear, a kingdom founded by the fabled William Tear centuries ago. Kelsea has been fostered by forest-dwellers Carlin and Bartholomew. But Kelsea has come of age and it is time for her to take charge of the country she was born to rule.

An eventful journey takes Kelsea to the capital of the Tear – New London (I think most of us will realise by now, we are not in Westeros anymore). Not knowing her mother, Kelsea has idolised the long dead queen Elyssa, but she is quickly divested of that notion.

Her upbringing with the austere and just Carlin and the loving Bartholomew is put to the test when Kelsea is forced to make hard decisions, where every option is a bad option.
Had Kelsea not changed during this process, had she not made mistakes that austere Carlin says are “point of no return”-mistakes. Had she not been very much human – I would have probably not enjoyed this book as much as I did.  But I did enjoy it – even though it does not objectively live up to what I wanted when I made the search.

You know the depression that hits when you’ve finished a fantastic (fantasy) book? Where you miss the characters and “sort-of” hate the author for not writing faster? Well that feeling sometimes comes back months or years after I’ve finished a book – I mean it has been many years since I finished Harry Potter – and I tried filling it with Queen of the Tearling, which worked a treat. Until I realised I’d have to wait another 3-4 months for the final Tearling book.

I have truly enjoyed Kelsea’s journey – and her supporting cast of Lazarus the Mace, Father Tyler, Pen Alcott and so on. But if you have issues with magic in “our” world, you should stay away.






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