2016 · 2017 · December · January · Reviews

Book Review: “The Queen of the Tearling”, by Erika Johansen

Published in 2014 by Harper | The Queen of the Tearling #1 | Three Feathers


Kelsea Raleigh has been raised in isolation, destined to take over the throne of the Tearling. But the road there is dangerous, and Kelsey must fight for her right to the throne.

(That was such a soppy summary, but the Goodreads one was way too long ^.^’ . Sorry!)


So. Where to start? My favourite part of this book was that Kelsea, though slightly tropey in being this plain girl who’s supposed to accomplish something extraordinary, was still more relatable than many other heroines I’ve read about lately, which is definitely something I appreciated. I also found the idea for the world interesting, in the sense that it’s set in a future of our current world, but in a regressed society – so, basically, it’s our future, but a medieval-like society.

However, I did have some problems with it. Firstly, I found it way too slow for the most part. It did become better towards the end, though, but mostly it was just really slow. I mean, the first third or so was about Kelsea being escorted from the cottage to the Keep. In addition to that, the chapters were ridiculously long, with many of them landing on around 40 pages. It might seem strange, but I can be really picky about the length of the chapters in a book. If they’re too long, I eventually lose interest even if I like the book otherwise.

Also, the book doesn’t really provide any background to this regressed society. There’s so much talk about the Crossing and how they have mostly given up on technology, but I would have liked to get to know how and why they did that. Also, where is the New World? I saw the Tearling as based on Spain and Mortmesne as based on France, but why would the British and the Americans take their boats and go there? What happened in between? In connection to that, I just found it so stupid that they didn’t educate Kelsea about the recent history of the Tearling. She knew a lot about the pre-Crossing history, but not very much more. For one, she was raised to become the Queen, and the Queen should presumably know. Secondly, she is bound to do something stupid because of it.

Overall, I found this good enough to keep reading and to want to read the sequel, but I’m hoping to get more answers in the next part in the series.