Monday, June 8, 2015

A Queen Not To Mess With

"Telling me to watch my temper 
is the first and best way to wake it up, Lazarus."
--Erika Johansen, The Invasion of the Tearling

Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Harper 
Pages: 480
Publication Date: June 9th, 2015
Source: eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: The Queen of the Tearling
Goodreads Description

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 can't really break down this review into my typical fashion because everything I love about this book all ties back together. If I had to bullet point it would be this: The Story, The Past, The Future, The Progression. All those things tie this book together to make the story great. We meet Kelsea in the midst of an invasion. The Mort are coming, they are here, and Kelsea continues to struggle to with making her country of the Tearling succeed with limited resources, no money, and an army that dwindles in comparison to the Mort. They are down but are they out? Read to find out.

Kelsea continues to be a fantastic bright spot in this grim world. She is a fantastic example of a 19 year old monarch trying to do the best job she can and protect her people without sacrificing her morals and her peoples' well-being--i.e. the human trafficking she stopped recently. Kelsea is basically between a rock and a hard place underwater because she has no room to breathe. I empathized with her plight so incredibly much because all she wanted was the bare basic necessities for her people. Health, education, clean living. It's not so much to ask but the price is astronomically high because of the current state of her country.

Because of all of this stress and turmoil, Kelsea is changing. The reasons are unknown to the reader and the results are...surprising...and then alarming...While the decisions Kelsea makes are not always the best, this is also what I love about her. She isn't stupid in her decisions rather emotional which hinders some of her other relationships. She grows from her mistakes and is really such a fantastic Queen to her people. Her storyline is one of massive spoilers so I can't say anything except that I LOVED where she went. I could relate a lot to her decisions based on emotions and I loved that she also opened herself up to some other emotions as well....I'll let that one hang there and interpret as you will.

While Kelsea continues to earn my fealty, my favorite and most shocking part of this book were the flashbacks. That's all I'll say because I don't give spoilers but holy shit, y'all. Shit. Is about. To get real. How everything played out was SO intriguing and captivating I couldn't put the book down once it got going. I wish I could tell you everything I loved about it but I don't want to be spoilery but I will say that there is a HUGE *mic drop* at the end of book one that my jaw actually dropped open. Uh. May. Zing.

Kelsea isn't the only character to steal the show there. There is one character I can't talk about who I LOVED but the development of Mace and Pen were also fantastic. I loved how they played a huge role in this book and I have so many feels about them in so many different ways. I love them both so hard but the dark horse of this tale is Father Tyler. Wowza. This old man is one to be reckoned with. No spoilers but I love this man. He has a major piece of my heart after reading this book. And that's saying a lot when Mace and Pen are on the radar.

The Pacing
The pacing, like the first book, is quite slow. It took a little while for me to get into and really want to keep reading but once I got there around the 30% mark. From there I was completely invested and had to know what would happened. But even while I was invested, the pace is still slow objectively. It doesn't bother me per say, but I would have liked it to be a bit more engaging earlier on.

Backstage Pass
If you love complex fantasy worlds, a little bit of mystery, and strong female heroines...this book's for you.


  1. I wanted to fist pump the entire time I was reading your review, Kelly! You've mentioned just about every single thing I loved about this sequel. It was smart, it was twisty and it was just so dang compelling. Even though I had a WTF moment with it at the start (as you know), I just couldn't tear myself away from it - and I'm so glad I was able to read through it in what was basically one sitting ;)

  2. Yay! So glad to hear you liked this one! I still haven't read the first one...epic fail, but hopefully I'll get to it soon so I can figure out what all these wtf moments are you're talking about. Great review!


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