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The Queen of the Tearling: A Novel (Queen of the Tearling, The) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, 8 Jul 2014
Hardcover, Deckle Edge
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“A gripping read. . . . Johansen spins an engaging story with plenty of action . . . and intriguing characters.” (New York Post)
“Johansen’s dark, dizzying time machine is what made this book impossible to put down. You’re in the twenty-fourth century, but also the Middle Ages? The implications made us see our world today--particularly technology and education--in a new light.” (Glamour)
“Quite possibly the highlight of one’s vacation. . . . This spectacular debut is the first novel in a trilogy that is sure to entertain readers everywhere.” (Wall Street Journal, Books-A-Million List of Best Books to Finish Your Summer Vacation)
“Johansen’s strong, efficient prose convincingly conveys the pressures and inevitabilities facing a determined young woman confronting the dangers of a violent era.” (Seattle Times)
“This book worked on me with all the subtle power of an addiction: by the time I realized I was hooked, it was far too late to stop.” (Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of the Delirium trilogy and Panic)
“An impressive start to a series, Johansen expertly incorporates magic necklaces, political intrigue, questions of honor, well-drawn characters, and a bit of mystery into a compelling and empowering story.” (Booklist (starred review))
“The Queen of the Tearling is a gripping read with an enchanting heroine. Erika Johansen has created a wonderful world and I can’t wait to read more.” (Bernard Cornwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Pagan Lord)
“Erika Johansen bursts onto the fantasy scene with a page-turner full of adventure, sorcery, swords, and politics -- not to mention a clever heroine with guts and conviction to spare. The Queen of the Tearling kept me up way past my bedtime, and left me wanting more!” (Helene Wecker, New York Times bestselling author of The Golem and the Jinni)
“Queen Kelsea is the most compelling badass heroine since Katniss Everdeen in this fantasy epic set in a neo-feudal future.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“The Queen of the Tearling is destined to be a fantasy classic. Johansen’s writing is assured, confident and thrilling. I can’t wait for the next book.” (Amy McCulloch, author of The Oathbreaker's Shadow)
From the Back Cover
An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.
Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom's haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.
Long ago, Kelsea's forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea's nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen's Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.
Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen's vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen's Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as "the Fetch."
Kelsea's quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea's journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.See all Product description
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For all fantasy lovers out there, The Queen of thee Terling is a must read. Along with a strong and determined female protagonist who matures and polishes her skills to claim what is her's, you also get a joy ride through her fantastic world. Half way through the book, you'll find yourswlf captivated and wanting to know more, until it becomes impossible to put thee book down. This is one of those books that you'd want to read, reread and read again.
The story begins with Kelsea Glynn beginning the journey to take her place as the Queen of the Tearling in Tearling. Why the name 'Tearling' though? Tearling sounds as if these people originated from the teardrop of the lady in the moon. I don't know why I thought 'lady in the moon'. She has been brought up by an aged couple Carlin and Barty Glynn in isolation, and on the day of her 19th birthday must venture forth and seek her right to ascend the throne of Tearling. Here she meets for the first time the members of the Queen's guard, who had once worked to protect her mother, the Queen Elyssa, and goes on to form deep bonds with most of them. They race across the countryside, dodging the assassins her Uncle has sent, meeting the most notorious thief of the kingdom, being attacked by trained hawks and finally reaching the palace on the day of the 'shipment', which leads Kelsea to take decisions that will eventually lead to war with the Red Queen of Mortmense (again, the name, a play on words). Kelsea must learn to run a kingdom, much more difficult than simply studying to do so, contend with the members in the court and the truly evil Thorne, and fight the corruption and poverty in her kingdom.
The story is spell-binding. I do not lie when I say that I read the book in one day, even managing to starve my family that day as there was no time to cook! The magic introduced almost in the beginning, but the reader is not really sure if he/she is reading the signs correctly. The magic is not too intrusive in the story. Kelsea is instantly lovable. Even as a 19-year-old, she is never truly irrational or unnecessarily obtuse (remember the times you have found yourself screaming at a character, "Don't do it! Don't do it", to no avail). She is honest and becomes more and more aware of the responsibility that rests on her shoulders even as she refuses to back down in the face of her numerous enemies. I loved the part where she rushes to the rescue of some kidnapped tearling. It was brave and totally what one expects of a Queen. Lazarus was just the kind of person every girl needs in her life. As for the love interest, I withhold my judgement until I get to know him better. I don't think he is good enough for her, too arrogant and too good looking. Kelsea grows on you, with her ideas, her zest for life, her sudden childish insecurities and the laughing in the face of death attitude. The Red Queen has not really done anything as terrible as I expected (immediately remember, 'Be careful what you wish for'), but then she did not get enough space on the pages, which is understandable.
However, the most interesting bit in the story is 'the Crossing' and 'the Landing'. I was a bit confused as to the setting of the novel. Was it a fantasy planet? Or was it set in medieval Earth? But then I came across the references to machines and 'pre-crossing' and even 'J.K. Rowling'. So I surmise that this is a parallel universe where people have fled when something terrible happened to Earth. The author never explains it and I thought that was brilliant. It assumes a certain intelligence on the reader's part and is definitely an intriguing idea. Eventually, of course, she will come around to it, but, for now, I am pretty satisfied.
Must, must read!!
Also, disturbingly, Emma Watson is supposed to play Kelsea in the movie adaptation. What? Nooooo! Over and over again in the book the author emphasizes Kelsea's problems and insecurities about her looks as well as the comments by other people on the same topic. She is tall and muscular, whereas Emma is petite and too pretty. Its not fair or correct! But I guess that is cinema.
I absolutely loved this book! From the authors beautiful style of narration to the setting to the charactersto the whole plot. Everything about it is brilliant. I can see the film rights have already been bought even before the release of the book. It has a magnetic quality about it that is absolutely unavoidable and I finished reading this book in one sitting, resulting to a really late dinner for everyone in the family.
Kelsea is a strong character, full of doubts about herself, yet she overcomes them strongly. I liked the way the author narrated her inner turmoil about what actions to take, it made her more real to me. Lazarus is another really strong character. I hope Kelsea has him till the very end. His strong presence lends some assurance about the safety of the princess. And oh! The Fetch. I absolutely love this rebel. There is something charming about this character that has not only Kelsea smitten to him. I also liked the aura of mystery about the Red Queen, her real identity and her powers.
The narration of the story switches from POV to POV giving us a complete look at every aspect of the story from different characters. I wish though the author would have included Lazarus’s POV too. I would have loved to know what goes on in his mind. The plot is totally unique from what I have read so far. Infused with humour and twists, the story is one hell of a roller coaster journey.
Overall an amazing read that I would recommend to every YA Fantasy lovers.
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