An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.
Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom's haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.
Long ago, Kelsea's forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea's nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen's Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.
Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen's vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen's Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as "the Fetch."
Kelsea's quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea's journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
I loved this book. It’s fast-paced, it has intrigue, magic and a kickass heroine that is certainly not perfect. Kelsea is trying so hard to do what is right for the fate of her country, but she seems to be stymied in every direction. One of the smaller things that she does is support the creation and collection of books, which of course was immediately near and dear to my heart. Kelsea is forced to quickly try to understand and control the forces contained in the magic of the Sapphire necklaces, but also stay true to herself.
Be forewarned that I found the escalation of violence in this book quite abrupt. Not needless per say, but the world of Tearling is quite brutal
My biggest complaint is that the ending leaves off with a cliffhanger. If you’re going to give this one a shot, you’re going to need to be prepared to pick up the next in the series!
Warning: Contains repeated violence.
Rating: 5 stars!
Who should read it? Fantasy fans in the vein of “Throne of Glass” and “Game of Thrones”.
Want to read the whole series?