April 29, 2015

Review | The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Title: The Invasion of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Publication Date: June 2015
Publisher: Harper
Series: The Queen of the Tearling {Book 2}
Source & Format: Edelweiss; ebook
Links: GoodReads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out. 

I received an advance reader copy of this book from Edelweiss, but this in no way influenced my opinion or review of this book. Promise!

I had a mad fascination with this series the moment I finished The Queen of the Tearling. Kelsea’s strong will, the magic of the land of the Tearling, and the tension of the rising war with Mortmesne captivated me. When I received The Invasion of the Tearling, I immediately delved in. 

The title The Invasion of the Tearling represents the building of war, the tensions between the two counties, but it also foreshadows the exploration of Kelsea’s own person in the story. In The Queen of the Tearling, Kelsea is a still a girl, growing into the role of the queen. In the second novel, Kelsea has grown into a more confident, competent woman, one that wars with the light and dark inside her.

I truly loved how Johansen focuses on the story, including strengths and weaknesses, of the Mort Queen, Kelsea’s nemesis. Creating a human side to the Red Queen makes the tensions building behind the war even more potent. Showing the Red Queen’s history and perspective, contrasted with Kelsea’s own personal discoveries, created a strong narrative, pulling the reader into the world of the Tearling.

Simple to say, the conclusion of the story left me breathless and turning pages, hoping that the story hadn’t ended with this cliffhanger or at least there was something that would tide me over until Johansen’s next book is published. 

The dual narration was a bit disconcerting at first, but once the parallels to Kelsea’s story were established, I loved the variation in the story. Lily’s story helped developed not only the plot, but Kelsea’s own character and added a great aspect of history to the Tearling. 

The Invasion of the Tearling is a fabulous story, pulling in elements from the first installment to create tension leading up to the final book. I do wish the next installment came out quickly so I can find out what on earth happens!, but I appreciate how Johansen left her story; it’s the perfect example of a well-done cliffhanger.

Posted April 29, 2015 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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