The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
A coming-of-age novel and the second book of the series, The Queen of Tearling is an arduous read with a payoff in the end.
This story picks off from the conclusion of the first novel, telling us the story of Kaelsea and her entourage.
We get more of the Tearling and some in-depth character development of all the main players. We learn about who’s who; their back stories, deepest, darkest secrets and their vices.
The tone of the book is slightly dark and gory. It has some 18+ scenes that I did not enjoy. The savagery, the blood and gore are crucial to the story, but I found myself retching at them.
The pacing was slower than book 1 (The Queen of Tearling). Throughout the book I was urging the story to move on and accelerate. Sometimes I even shook my fists with frustration at the author, asking her to get on with it, because I had too many questions that needed answers.
Who is her father ?
What happened to lily ?
Why are Lily and Kelsea connected ?
How are they connected ?
How is the Red Queen related to all this ?
What do the sapphires actually do ?
Where is the Fetch and what is his background ?
How about Mace and Thorne? Will Kelsea ever be a good queen ?
Was her mother truly her mother at all ?
So many questions !
I was completely invested in the characters. Superb characterization, I’ll give it to her. The people like Mace, Thorne, Arliss and Finn are well done and portrayed so well.
My adoration of the characters comes to a halt at the protagonist. I can hardly understand her. Sometimes she does stupid things. Sometimes she does really brave things. I had an image of Kelsea in the first book that totally blew me. She was the brave, strong, courageous girl who was given the Queenship of Tearling and the terrible responsibility of redeeming her mother and saving the people from the evil Red Queen. What happened to her now ? 🙁 What will she do in the future? (Guess I’ll find out in book 3)
Overall, the story is slow to pickup and doesn’t make sense half the time. There is a secondary story arc that catpults you to somewhere entirely different from The Tearling and makes you wonder if you are in fact reading the same novel. But, let me tell you, it all ties up in the end. The pacing picks up rapidly after 70% and you’ll be at the edge of your seat wishing for more than two eyes so you can read faster.
A fantastic story (albeit verbose) that will thrill you, entertain you and captivate you.
P.S. For those of you interested, here’s the review of book 1 >> http://bit.ly/2qdTBFL