All Hail ‘The Queen of the Tearling’

I inherited a Kindle device about a year or so ago, and for a long while I barely laid a finger on it.

For years I was so against digital readers that I remember making almighty remarks to my friends when they purchased and began reading from them.

“Oh, but the feeling of turning the page…”

“The weight of the book itself!”

“Am I the only person who sniffs their books anymore?!?”

Now, I still appreciate all of these aspects of the traditional printed novel, but I just finished reading Erika Johansen’s The Queen of the Tearling on a Kindle, and not only am I impressed by the comfort and ease of the device, but by the incredible storytelling skills exhibited by Johansen in this piece.

If you search for reviews of the novel online, you’ll most likely run into a few critics proclaiming that our protagonist is “the next Katniss Everdeen”. I love The Hunger Games trilogy as much as the next fan, but there’s something about The New World that seems far more relatable than the 13 districts in The Hunger Games. Both stories take place in a dystopian society of our future, but Tearling feels more real to me. More plausible. Erika Johansen not only introduces characters to the plot, but goes deep inside their heads and shows us what makes them who they are. Subplots and secondary characters make the world seem so deep and rich, but at the heart of the story is our brave and flawed protagonist just trying to serve her people and her place in society.

On her nineteenth birthday Kelsea Raleigh is hauled off to the land of Tearling, where her castle and kingdom has awaited her since her birth. Tearling has by no means been kept safe in her absence, however, as the malevolent Red Queen of Mortmesne receives timely shipments of townsfolk (men, women, children, and infants) to use as she likes in her own lands. Due to Kelsea’s carefully exiled upbringing by her foster parents, she returns to her kingdom with the determination to make things right, and although she may not believe it, the power to do so once in the right circumstances.

This book keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning, and leaves you wanting so much more in the very best way possible. Luckily, I read this on a Kindle, and within moments I had purchased, downloaded, and begun reading Book Two: The Invasion of the Tearling.

And to fuel your fire for delving into the story, British actress and Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women Emma Watson has already signed on to produce and star in the film adaptation of this novel.


With political experience as well as plentiful acting jobs under her belt, I’m expecting Emma to knock this one out of the park. But, according to the film’s IMDB listing, we still have a long way to go before Tearling hits the big screen.

In the mean time I’ll be lounging on my couch or in my bed, eyes glued to my Kindle, reading on into Book Two of Johansen’s intriguing story and rooting for Queen Kelsea every step of the way.


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