The Queen Of The Tearling
Harper, Jul 8 2014, $26.99
Nine warriors with ten horses arrive in the forest to escort Kelsea Glynn back to her birthplace New London as the now nineteen year old comes home to the Keep for the first time since she was an infant to replace her vain mother as Queen of Tear. As she awaits the Ascension ceremony to replace her uncle the regent, Kelsea knows she is naive and that the leaders, including Captain of the Guard Lazarus, have no respect for her. Though she misses her elderly guardians (Barty and Carlin) Kelsea accepts her responsibly and the fact that she has a lot to learn about political intrigue and family members. Kelsea understands she lacks experience, but also learned a lot from Barty and Carlin including to conceal her insecurities behind a façade of decisiveness.
Heeding the visions the Tearling gem she wears now provides her, the new queen proves resolute when she ends the horrid treaty her mother made with Mortmense; which angers their sorceress Red Queen. Still sadly Kelsea accepts her decree will cause some of her subjects to die as war is a certainty, but also gains the admiration from her warriors starting with Lazarus. This and other decisions the royal makes upset her uncle and other powerful leaders who plot to unseat her.
This is a strong opening act of an action-packed post-apocalyptic fantasy starring a coming of age protagonist who is a combo of doubts and tenacity. Although more insight into the heroine’s childhood and of the cataclysmic destruction of technology is needed to anchor time and place; readers will appreciate The Queen of the Tearling trying to do the right thing for her people.