Book Review: Invasion of the Tearling

Monday, December 19, 2016

Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

In this riveting sequel to the national bestseller The Queen of the Tearling, the evil kingdom of Mortmesne invades the Tearling, with dire consequences for Kelsea and her realm.

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.

In this dazzling sequel, Erika Johansen brings back favorite characters, including the Mace and the Red Queen, and introduces unforgettable new players, adding exciting layers to her multidimensional tale of magic, mystery, and a fierce young heroine.

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A thrilling, gripping sequel to an excellent debut. Johansen's characters are so full-bodied and emotionally wrought. This is a captivating world, and the story and setting is much more established in this second installment. It also pulls in the addition of a mysterious woman, Lily, in a past generation, which added a great layer to the novel, as well as additional intrigue and impact.

These books aren't always fast-paced. Don't pick these up expecting a YA book you can fly through in a couple hours. They're relatively long books with small fonts and lots of characters and dimensions. This is definitely more of an adult fantasy/adventure story. It's got some graphic violence, language and zesty scenes too. Partly because of all of that and for many other reasons as well, it's a really incredible, developed story that totally captivated me. This is good stuff.

Although I love the adventure, political intrigue, magic, and so on, of these books, the thing I was most impressed with in this second installment is the way it deals with difficult topics. In the span of 500 pages, this stunning novel includes elements of self-harm, depression, domestic abuse, child abuse, body positivity and self-esteem, sexual violence, guilt, loss, and more, all in the most impressive and mature ways. Johansen doesn't hold back on depicting these difficult and too-common problems, but she does so in a thoroughly realistic, honest and respectful way. Nothing feels forced here. The problems of the characters are real and painful, but they are given the space to be fully depicted and are allotted the proper respect. I was incredibly impressed.

I highly recommend this amazing series to fans of fantasy, political intrigue, and terrifying/wonderful heroines. Queen Kelsea continues to kick ass 24/7. She's so legit, but also damaged and imperfect. I love that. Please pick up this series. 

Thank you to HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours for sponsoring this tour (and the tours for the rest of the trilogy!). Check out the rest of the tour stops here

1 comment:

  1. I like getting lost in a long, detailed adventure so these books are right up my alley!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.