The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Queen of the Tearling
To peak my interest, one really only needs to mention the following words: post-apocalyptic fantasy novel with Emma Watson signed on to play the lead in the film adaptation. I’m quite easily entertained. And I adore Emma Watson.

So, when my friend Sarah said those words to me (almost verbatim actually), I immediately pre-ordered The Queen of the Tearling. And then read it the moment it was released. And finished it in seriously record time.

One disclaimer about this novel: it is definitely a set-the-stage novel often seen in novels intended to be a part of a series. While the plot is moving forwards and the story line is definitely interesting, a lot of questions are left unanswered.

So now for the baseline synopsis:

The Queen of the Tearling is centered around Kelsea Raleigh Glynn – a nineteen-year-old girl who is heir to the throne of the Tearling (a new land, discovered and settled several centuries before by a group of Americans and Europeans). She is described as being plain (so not exactly Emma Watson-y, but we can let that slide) and bookish in a world where royalty is assumed to be beautiful and fairly idiotic and books are all but extinct. She is threatened by the Red Queen of the neighboring enemy country and her power-hungry uncle, but Kelsea is able to lead and come into her own due to the diligence of her Queens Guard and a magical sapphire which inexplicably gives the wearer the power to physically defend himself or herself, no matter the opponent.

Told ya. Lots of questions.

At its core, The Queen of the Tearling is a coming-of-age story about a young, sheltered girl’s journey of self-discovery. Though there are a few mentions of adult topics, I would definitely recommend The Queen of the Tearling to Young Adults as their next post-apocalyptic series choice. I was left slightly confused (again: so many questions) and a little underwhelmed to be honest, but I will definitely read the second installment of the series when it’s released… and go see the film adaptation.