Review: Invasion of the Tearling

July 15, 2015 in Book Reviews, Fantasy

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Invasion of the TearlingInvasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #2
Published by Bantam Press on 16th July 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars

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. -From Goodreads.

 

The second book in The Queen of the Tearling series by Erika Johansen, Invasion of the Tearling is out tomorrow in the UK (16th July). I was very fortunate to be sent an ARC copy of this book a wee while ago by the publisher, so the day before publication seems like the perfect time to share my thoughts.

First things first, if you haven’t read The Queen of the Tearling then you can find my review for it over here. If you have read it, should you be going out to get your hands on Invasion of the Tearling? YES. 

I really enjoyed book one, loved the character of Kelsea, her journey to becoming Queen etc. However I felt it slightly predictable. Invasion of the Tearling is NOT predictable! Let me try to explain…. however, if you want to go into this book totally blind, stop reading now. Just know that I enjoyed it.

….

I was happily reading along about Kelsea, the continuation of her story in protecting the Tearling from the Red Queen, and really enjoying it. Then *BAM* I honestly thought that a chapter from another book had erroneously been inserted into my copy. Kelsea starts to feel a strong connection to a woman called Lily, starts seeing flashbacks to parts of Lily’s life.

Lily lived in the pre-crossing times, in a country that had fallen to pieces. A dystopian setting, whereby Lily lived in a compound with her abusive husband. As a female she’d lost all of her rights, become merely a possession of her husband. Tagged with a microchip, the authorities (including her husband) could trace her at any point in time. Her life was an existence, with her priority being not to become pregnant, not to have that child that her husband so wanted. That is until one day when a terrorist attack occurs nearby. A fleeing woman drops into Lily’s garden and open Lily’s eyes to a whole new world.

At first I didn’t know what on earth was going on with the switch to Lily. Like I said, I felt like I’d just jumped into another book, as though two chapters of totally different books had somehow been bound together. I soon became absorbed by this interlude though, and found myself enjoying both elements of the book – the protection against the invasion of the Tearling and the pre-crossing, dystopian world.

By the end of this book I found many questions answered. We come to have a better understanding of the crossing and why it happened. Also, an insight into the world before the crossing. I do have to warn you though that reading some of Lily’s interludes can be tough as she experiences horrendous domestic violence.

As for Kelsea, I continued to enjoy her character, her relationship with her guards and the progress of her journey into Queen. She juggles her connection to Lily with her own need to protect the Tearling from the invasion of the Red Queen. All the while she becomes more beautiful and increasingly dangerous.

This really is a very different book from The Queen of the Tearling. It’s not at all what I expected, but I liked that about it… eventually. When Lily and those flashbacks first appeared I really didn’t know what to make of them. However once I accepted that this wasn’t going to be like book one, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I’m really intrigued to see what Erika Johansen has in store for us in book three!

four-half-stars