Ads 468x60px

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

NICOLE'S REVIEW + Novel Nails #21: Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Title: Queen of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: July 8 2014
Publishing House:  Harper
ISBN: 9780062328090
Source of Copy: Gifted by Sab


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 nation who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea's nineteenth birthday, the tattered remains 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 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 journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend...or destroy her.

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I was hesitant to pick this book up mainly because of the reviews it got over on goodreads. People had a love or hate relationship with this book and it got me scared. So I need to take a moment and thank Sab for gifting me this book because I love it.  If you can get over the world building, which I will get into later, it's an interesting book and it helps that the men who make up Kelsea's guard are a bunch of hunks. 

On her nineteenth birthday, the men who comprise the Queen's Guard whisk Kelsea away from her quiet life in the forest and thrust her into the role of Queen - into politics and lies and deceit. Her first actions as monarch, though brave, incite the anger of the Red Queen and puts her kingdom into peril. Danger is around every corner and the fight for the survival of her people and her kingdom has just begun. Dodging attacks on her life and fearful magic, Kelsea has to find a way to secure the future of her kingdom and be the queen they need her to be.

One reason to love this book is Kelsea. She's an incredibly strong, good character (righter of wrongs, our Kelsea) but also very much relatable. In the book, people have a tendency to comment on her looks - she's plain-looking - and I wanted to give them a good slap because plain or beautiful, it was obvious that Kelsea had the guts and the resolve to maneuver through all the nasties that her uncle, who ruled while she was away, had done to her kingdom. She's intelligent and witty and that's what counts, because how is beauty supposed to rule a kingdom? 

Another point for this book is the lack of romance and abundance of possible romantic interests. Okay so maybe 'interests' isn't right, but when the men who make up the Queen's Guard are all incredibly fine specimens of the opposite sex, I couldn't resist. It also helps that they're pretty well nuanced and interesting characters. Lazarus, for example, whom Kelsea's makes captain of her guard. He's a fierce warrior and acts as a sort-of-but-not-quite father figure for Kelsea. Then there's the Fetch who is equally mysterious and fierce. He's got a vested interest in seeing Kelsea rule the Kingdom right for reasons unknown. It makes me a little suspicious. 

As for the world building it was, admittedly, a little strange. It's like a dystopia combined with historical fiction with magic for added flavor. They referenced J.K. Rowling's books! A little weird but truthfully, I found that I didn't mind at all but i can totally understand why people have a bone to pick with the worl building. I just hope that we get a little more backstory in the next book. It would be good to finally understand what actually happened that Kelsea's forefathers felt the need to establish a new world. 

I also enjoyed Johansen's writing. Loved how she plotted out the story, the twists and turns and secrets that just so happen to be everywhere. Don't people know it's not smart to keep secrets from the Queen? How is she expected to rule a kingdom and save it from its enemies when all the cards aren't on the table? 

This book is definitely heavier than other YA books, is it even YA? I would recommend it to older teens though since there is a lot of nasty that happens in this book. Lots of rape and violence and yeah. But I loved it and I seriously cannot wait for the next book. 


"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.

Yaaaaas! Queen of the Tearling nails! This set just about drove me crazy. It was tough trying to draw on the castle. 

Nail polish used:
China Glaze Liquid Leather

The book.

Nails with the book. 

Drew the castle on the middle finger.

The thumb, I just added on a layer of glitter.

Closer look. 


No comments:

Post a Comment