Review: The Queen of the Tearling

September 11, 2017

The Queen of the Tearling Review

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

How could a woman who looked so old still place so much importance on being attractive? (...) she saw now that there was something far worse than being ugly: being ugly and thinking you were beautiful.

 Honestly, at times I wondered if I was reading the same book as everyone else, pretty much because I couldn't find a single element in common between this book and all the glowing reviews on Goodreads. And to make it worse, this particular book was labeled after two other works I actually really like, which are The Hunger Games and A Song of Ice and Fire, both known for their great collection of strong female characters whose kind is notably absent in The Queen of the Tearling.

 So let's see, the story opens with Kelsea, a girl who is the only heir to her country's (The Tearling) crown. She has been raised outside the capital in an attempt to keep her from beign murdered before she becomes of age to be Queen, and also been kept from any human interaction besides the one involving her tutors. On her nineteenth birthday a troop of very good looking (yet pretty much useless) men appear on her doorstep and prepare to escort her back to the palace so she can be crowned. From that moment on the book takes almost two hundred pages (give or take) to describe her journey to the capital, it becomes terribly boring and painfully slow as Kelsea keeps whining and giving detailed descriptions of trivial things no one cares about; allow me to illustrate:

“Red hair was a recessive gene, and in the three centuries since the Crossing, it had bred slowly and steadily out of the population. Carlin had told Kelsea that some women, and even some men, liked to dye their hair red, since the rare commodity was always valuable.”

 The protagonist's trail of thoughts never seemed to vary much from the making of terrible decisions, with which she hopes to get into her people's good graces, and the constant, bitter reminder that she is very ugly. Overall this book held none of my interest, the writing style was nothing especial and it was in desperate need of some serious world-building. The first chapter lead you to believe it's some kind of medieval fantasy but it turns out that this story is actually happening in the future (why would people in the future decide to live without the improvements of modern life? Like penicillin for example?). There are a lot of inconsistencies and lack of common sense, that combined with the highly unlikable heroin are a definitive no for me.

 On a last note, I really hope Emma Watson backs out of this project, she's above this kind of mess.


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  1. This is the first time you've posted a review about a book you didn't like isn't it? It's pretty funny...

  2. This book was such a let down. I first noticed it because of Emma and thought, well if she likes it how bad can it be? but really, it's just not worth the attention...

  3. Jenn | thisbookishthing22 September 2017 at 00:11

    It seems like everybody either loves this or hates this...

    1. Unfortunately I was on the "hate it" bundle.

  4. I was not a fan of Kelsea - or this book - either....

    Jen Ryland