The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Published by Bantam
16th July 2015
Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret after her mother – a monarch as vain as she was foolish – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard - each pledged to defend the queen to the death - arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding...
And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, win the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea's story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance - it's about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive...
This is the first in a trilogy of books by Erika Johansen set in a dystopian world where Kelsea Glynn, now she has reached her 19th birthday, is to be crowned queen of Tearling. However, having spent the past 18 years in hiding, there are many who want her dead before she is able to become crowned, not least those who work for the Red Queen, leader of the enemy realm Mortmesme.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In some ways it was disappointing that I knew it was a trilogy before I started reading it, as you sort-of already know that Kelsea is clearly going to survive to at least make it into book two, but that didn't detract from the plot of the story at all. Some concentration is needed as in any dystopian novel nothing is as it is in the present day, and there are new realms and rules to be discovered through every page of Queen of the Tearling.
There is magic and loyalty, treachery and deceit in every chapter, plus a little romance which made this a thoroughly enjoyable read. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel which is lined up on my kindle already! If you loved The Hunger Games trilogy, then I think you'll love reading this too.