Thursday, 17 July 2014

FANTASY REVIEW: The Queen of Tearling - Erika Johansen

Release Date: 17/07/14
Publisher:  Bantam


Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother - Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid - 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 19th 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, earn 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...


To be honest with you I spend a lot of time in fantasy worlds and whilst I always enjoy being treated to a new one, this title sadly had so many elements wrong with it that it felt like the fantasy aspect was more of a second thought with references that were from an earlier version still hanging on to this one.

A key example of this is the use of America, England, the literary books within (that the queen cherished) all round left me feeling cheated with the work within feeling like it was haphazard and shoddy. Don’t get me wrong I did like a lot of the elements within but when the reader is amidst fantasy and then suddenly has real world references thrown in it ruins the illusion with something that could quite easily have been fixed.

Secondly whilst I did get to like the Queen and her principle guards there was so much wrong considering that she had been raised in isolation. Yes she had books to read but her knowledge seemed to encompass way too much for it to be purely literal with her interactions feeling way too scripted to be functional considering that she’d only had two people in her life until 19.

It just didn’t work on that level and all round left me feeling what the hell was happening within the book. All round, its not a book that a lot of fantasy fans will love and with so much confusion surrounding the world building alongside the competency of the principle cast all round left me feeling cheated.

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