The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – A Review


Being a lover of historical fiction, The Queen of the Tearling interested me from the beginning. I was quite hesitant to read it as there were so many mixed views. However, I’m grateful now that I stuck with my gut feeling and read it.

Brief overview –  So essentially this book is a  historical fiction interlaced with political and fantasy elements. The main female protagonist, Kelsea Glynn has been in hiding for nineteen years with her adoptive parents, in waiting and in preparation to be sent back to her place of birth to reclaim her deceased mothers kingdom, the Tearling. This Kingdom is corrupt, with many people wishing to dismantle her power, including the Red Queen who reigns as a sorceress/tyrant  in the neighbouring country of Mortmesne.

Things I loved – 

  • I love the world The Queen of the Tearling is based around. So basically it is set in a place called ‘The New World’ once referred to ‘New Europe’ consisting of places such as ‘New London’. I found this so interesting as I’ve never come across (yet) an author that has used modern day country titles or state titles within their fictional world.
  • The political elements within this world are so intriguing! I normally get quite bored or uninterested with books that contain strong political elements within it but these are just too interesting.
  • The dialogue and story has a really nice flow.
  • How Kelsea Gylnn is relatable ! She is sassy, not afraid to say what thinks and has a love for books and literature.

Things I didn’t like (as much) – 

  • I felt as though the book was missing some high paced moments.

Recommended reading age There has been lots of questioning whether The Queen of the Tearling be Adult or Young Adult Fiction. I’m considered a young adult and I can definitely see some elements that may not be suited for people under the age of 14 (Strong Curse language , high level violence, rape themes). So I would recommend this book to people  15+ but then again it all depends on maturity.

If you are a lover for a historical fantasy I would definitely pick this one up!