Title: The Queen of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Publication: HarperCollins, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy, Book 1 of 3
Audience: Fans of YA fantasy; authors such as Elizabeth Marie Pope, Kristin Cashore, Tamora Pierce
What I liked: Just when you think you’ve read enough YA fantasy, and you’re tired of the same old plot – young woman (who thinks she’s plain) slowly becomes aware that she is the only one who can save the kingdom, but must learn to use her power as well as figure out her complicated romantic situation. Here, however, the author combines the elements of adventure, romance, magic, and suspense in a way that made me feel it was completely new, despite the familiar plot devices. One of the most intriguing characters is Fetch, a masked man who lurks in the underworld, a cross between Robin Hood and political leader. He challenges Kelsea to put aside her fears and live up to her potential, to claim her throne and be the Queen the Tearlings need. She develops a serious crush, but he seems too old to be a romantic possibility yet says he is not her father, the other logical possibility.
What I disliked: Overall, I loved this book; was a little disappointed in the sequel, and eagerly await book 3 in the spring. Although the book is set in the future, it has an appealing medieval feel. It is a pity that all the religious characters are depicted as evil or weak but I am hoping Father Tyler will survive to become a hero.
Emma Watson is interested in producing the movie and playing Kelsea but such deals often fall through. I think she would be perfect for the part.
Source: I got this book from the library for my sister last summer but didn’t have time to read it myself. Thanks to her enthusiasm, I saved my copy for a long plane trip where it was the perfect entertainment.