tearling1
Title: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: October 31st 2013
Pages: 448
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Purchase: The Book Depository | Amazon
❝ A young woman. A kingdom.An evil enemy.A birthright foretold . . . With the arrival of her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn is ascending to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling. Surrounded by enemies, including an evil sorceress possessed of dark magic, the young ruler stands little chance of success. But Kelsea possesses fearsome weapons of her own, including the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic. As an epic war draws near, Kelsea’s quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny begins a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.❞
The Queen of the Tearling is a very engaging read from beginning to end. Many aspects of the book were slightly different from the average book in the fantasy genre and literally made me grin in delight. I really appreciate the choices the author made in her book and certainly hope some other authors will take note. 
First and foremost, the protagonist was my favorite thing about the story. I get so tired of reading about beautiful females who attract all attention, or worst yet, females who don’t think they’re pretty but still have several boys fighting over them. No, give me a heroine like Kelsea instead who is a bit on the chubby side and isn’t even spared a sideways glance because she is extremely plain. It’s much more realistic (because let’s be honest, not all queens are beautiful and thin as sticks, not in the past and not now) and it allows for more focus on characterization. 


Kelsea, though unsure about her new role as queen, made all of her decisions as regent to protect others and was not easily swayed by intimidating individuals. She stuck to her decisions, but was not afraid to seek advice when she needed it. Nor did she ever show self-pity for her position and her privilege This aspect of her personality made her into a very humane and appealing protagonist. Bonus points, she went through some character development. What else could you desire from a character?


What surprised me most about The Queen of the Tearling was perhaps the complete lack of a love story or even a love interest for the heroine. It’s not something I come across in books often nowadays, and boy, did it make me happy.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore love stories and I’m a true shipper, but often the romantic aspect of a story demands all focus and takes away any other interesting subplots. So yes, I was glad that there was absolutely zero focus on a love story, but all the more attention for  other kinds of relationships human beings maintain: family, friends and respect among employer and employees (so to speak, I’m not sure how else to qualify the Queen’s Guard). This was equally as interesting and I reckon that there’s plenty of room in future novels to establish a real romantic interest, if ever at all. 


I got invested in the stories of other characters, such as Mace, The Fetch, Pen and even the Red Queen, as well as the plot. The author did not shy away from sensitive topics such as rape, slavery and abuse, which I find a good thing because it’s realistic and almost always relevant. My only issue with this book is The Crossing from a modern world like ours to a complete wasteland, The Tear. It wasn’t realistic to me. Any modern society like ours would be much too dependent on technology and luxury to abandon it all and sail to an unknown destination with only books, little food, no drugs and only two doctors. For no apparent reason, might I add. Anything my education has taught me about our society made me skeptic about this subplot and it is the only thing I disliked about the book.


Apart from that one issue though The Queen of the Tearling is a really interesting book with an amazing main character. I’m not really sure how I feel about a movie adaptation, but I know for sure that I will be counting down the days until the second book in the series comes out!

The Queen of the Tearling

8.6

Characterization

10.0/10

Plot

8.0/10

Writing Style

8.5/10

Pace

8.5/10

Setting

7.8/10

Pros

  • Realistic, likeable heroine
  • No love story
  • Addresses sensitive topics
  • Practically all characters are interesting

Cons

  • The Crossing makes no sense