When I finished the Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen, I couldn’t believe how long I waited to read it. It was so awesome and epic; it blew my mind. So I quickly picked up the sequel, The Invasion of the Tearling, expecting to devour a book equal in greatness. It was still awesome, but there was one particular element of the story that left a bad taste in my mouth.
Kelsea Glynn is the Queen of the Tearling. Despite her youth, she has quickly asserted herself as a fair, just and powerful ruler.
However, power is a double-edged sword, and small actions can have grave consequences. In trying to do what is right – stopping a vile trade in humankind – Kelsea has crossed the Red Queen, a ruthless monarch whose rule is bound with dark magic and the spilling of blood. The Red Queen’s armies are poised to invade the Tearling, and it seems nothing can stop them.
Yet there was a time before the Crossing, and there Kelsea finds a strange and possibly dangerous ally, someone who might hold the key to the fate of the Tearling, and indeed to Kelsea’s own soul. But time is running out…
Erika Johansen’s fierce and unforgettable young heroine returns in this dazzling new novel of magic and adventure, set in the beguiling world of the Tearling.
Unexpectedly, The Invasion of the Tearling is two books in one. Very early in the story, the main character Kelsea starts to have visions of the past (or what readers would consider a dystopian future). It was interesting to see how the world as we know it translated into the historical-feel of Kelsea’s time, but I hated switching back and forth. It was two completely different genres mashed into one story. I knew the past scenes had an impact and importance on Kelsea’s present, but I didn’t care to go back. It distracted me from Kelsea’s story, and to be perfectly honest, I was in the mood for a historical fantasy not a dystopian apocalypse and it made me frustrated as I read.
Another frustration I had was Kelsea’s character growth, or lack there of. To put it simply, Kelsea turned into a bit of a bitch with no remnant of the girl she used to be, the one I fell in love with, the one that saved her people from slavery because it was the right thing to do. Granted, the author may have done this on purpose to show later growth in Kelsea’s character, but I found it disheartening rather than endearing.
Now, this book wasn’t all bad. In fact, I can see where most readers would love the back and forth technique used in this novel. It was unique and different. I still love Kelsea and her guards. I want her to succeed and she kind of turned into a badass by the end of the book. At this point, I’m dying to know who her father is.
Overall with the series, the first book was awesome, the second book was so-so, but I’ll definitely be reading the third book to determine how I feel about this series.
STARS: 3.5 out of 5