Kelsea Glynn has been taken by the Mort. Leaving her kingdom in the hands of the Mace, she is taken across the land to Mortmesne. Meanwhile, she taps into a new consciousness – a girl named Katie in post-crossing Tearling. Katie is the first generation of Tearling-born children, and Kelsea knows there is an important key in her story to saving Kelsea’s own kingdom. Meanwhile, the orphan runs rampant over the land and the Arvath rises up against the Tear… something has gone terribly wrong and everything is broken. Yet, Kelsea must save her people… but how?
I’ve loved this series – when The Queen of the Tearling was announced, I preordered it… and every book since. I know from time to time the story gets difficult to follow, but once you reach the end, it is clear to see why the multiple timelines are so important. Still, it can be a little difficult to follow at times, and I had to force myself to read slowly.
I love Kelsea. For all her flaws, I love her. I think she’s strong, brave, and focused. I love her willingness to do what she must for her people, despite the personal sacrifice; I also love her grieving after the choice has been made. Kelsea is human, and in a queen, that is difficult to write. Johansen allows Kelsea’s story and the story of the Tear be front and center; never once is that story usurped by a love triangle. I love that she stays so focus on the rise and fall of her empire, and not personal dabbling.
I also think this trilogy is important in the ties we can see in our modern world. Dystopias are supposed to call up the things in our own lives that are unsatisfactory and bring attention to them. The separation of social classes, petty power struggles that harm the less fortunate, and even a draw away from literacy all feature prominently here.
Overall, the book could have been drawn out more, and the ending felt incredibly rushed (I had to go back and read it over again, because I felt like I lost something). Still, the flaws I see here are nothing different than in Mockingjay or any other successful dystopia. I think Johansen did an excellent job in the writing and construction of this book and series, and I’d be happy to read anything else by her.
One other thing I want to note – she does and incredible job merging a rich fantasy world with a crumbling science-fiction world. That is no small feat.
I would recommend The Fate of the Tearling (and the entire Tearling trilogy) to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy, complicated dystopia, and especially to fans of the Hunger Games and Divergent series.
This book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Thriftbooks, AbeBooks, and basically all over the place. Don’t forget to check your local library! I get no affiliation brownie points for these links – I just want to give you easy access if you’re interested in reading the book!