Today (as you can probably tell by the title), I am doing a book review of The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen!
I ADORE The Queen of the Tearling Series. I love the premise, world building and creativity of the world Johansen creates.
The Fate of the Tearling was nothing less than spectacular. (5 / 5)
WARNING: If you have not read The Queen of the Tearling or The Invasion of the Tearling, this review may contain minor spoilers for you! I recommend reading them (because they are SO GOOD!), and coming back to this review later!
WARNING #2: This series is NOT YA. There are some mature scenes that I feel do not fit into the realm of YA.
In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader.
And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies – chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them.
To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable – naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne.
So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea – and the Tearling itself – will be revealed…
With The Fate of the Tearling, Erika Johansen draws her unforgettable story full of magic and adventure to a thrilling close.
We leave off with the Tearling in peril after the Mortmesne invasion. Kelsea Glynn, the Queen of the Tearling, has been handed off to the Red Queen, leaving the Mace in charge of the kingdom. Not only does Kelsea have to worry about if her kingdom will survive the Mort invasion, but the Red Queen also has her sapphires and who knows what power will be unleashed when she uses them.
I LOVED this ending novel to the trilogy. The whole book left me on my toes. The book kept unraveling more and more, leaving me thinking “how could this possibly end in 152 pages?” But, Johansen did it beautifully. I was super impressed by this as she had a lot of questions to be answered in this book!
The creation of the world that houses Mortmesne and the Tear Kingdom is one of my favorite parts of this series, and we get to learn a lot more about it in this third book! Johansen does an incredible job at increasing the complexity (of an already very complex world) and expanding the history that helps shape the story. We get to learn a little bit more about the political relations of the lands and why people put up with the Red Queen (because why would you? she’s scary and mean!). But more importantly (and more interestingly) we get to learn a lot more about the past and how the beautiful utopia of William Tearling’s dreams has died. This is the by far the best part of this book for me. It was intriguing and so much more is learned about the power of the sapphires and how the world came to be! Katie’s point of view is back, like in The Invasion of the Tearling and seeing her life is just as interesting as Kelsea’s!
A lot more of the answers come through with other characters subplots to the story. These are expanded through this novel (YAY) through different POV’s. We get to keep an eye on pretty much everything going on in the Tearling world at once, which is interesting as it allows us those more personal moments with smaller characters in the series like Ewen, Aisa and Javel. Also, we finally get to learn a lot more about some of the mysterious characters in the book, like The Fetch and the Red Queen! Another thing that I enjoyed is all the strong female characters such as Aisa, Lily, Kelsea, Katie and the Red Queen. They each have their own background and have uniqueness in what ways they are powerful. I loved seeing such variety in ways that the female characters could shine!
The only really disappointing thing about these books is there isn’t much romance in any of the novels (sad). But there are a lot of fun sword fighting/battle scenes that make up for the lack of romance!
Finally, without giving away spoilers, THE ENDING! If you have seen a couple of other reviews, you might notice that a lot of other people did not like the ending. However, I am not one of them. I thought it was pretty cool and it took my breath away. It isn’t what you would expect and I think that maybe thats why people were unhappy? After reading it, I couldn’t really see her ending it anyway else. That isn’t to say I didn’t wish I had more, an extra twenty to thirty pages of MORE DETAIL of the ending would have been great.
Overall, these books are some of my favorite fantasy novels. They are so different from other fantasy reads (I LOVE that these books don’t feel like something I have read before) and Johansen never does the expected thing, always leaving you wondering what will happen next! Plus her creativity with utilizing the past to gain information and the themes are wonderful!
Have you read The Fate of the Tearling? If so, what did you think of the ending?