The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #3
Also in this series: The Queen of the Tearling
Published by Bantam Press on December 1st 2016
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In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch.
As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies - including the evil Red Queen, her fiercest rival, who has set her armies against the Tear.
To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable - she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy, and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne.
Now the endgame begins and the fate of Queen Kelsea - and the Tearling itself - will finally be revealed . . .
Picking up from the end of The Invasion of the Tearling, Kelsea Glynn is imprisoned by the Red Queen of the Mort. There in the cells, Kelsea’s visions take her back to the past and the beginning of the Tear. She follows the story of Katie, a young girl in the Town, with William Tear as their leader. Katie becomes the first Close Guard to William’s son, Jonathan. Kelsea learns not only of Katie, but of the man named Rowland Finn, and how he came to be the man he is in Kelsea’s time.
Kelsea left the Mace as Regent in her absence, but there comes a point when a Captain of the Guard must try and save their Queen. The Mace, together with some of the Queen’s Guard, head off to try and rescue their Queen. Meanwhile, Finn has created an army of terrifying killing-assassin creepy-as-heck children (yup), and they’re sweeping through the land killing and destroying. The Mace has to deal with this as well as keeping lovesick-for-Kelsea Penn in check, and making sure that the Queen is safe.
As Kelsea works with the women of the past, they together they work towards destroying the threats to their land, and creating the utopia that William Tear envisioned all those years ago. But it comes at a price, one that I didn’t see coming.
I loved the first in this series, The Queen of the Tearling, and even enjoyed the second, The Invasion of the Tearling, but for some reason I wasn’t quite as into this the last in the Tearling series. I still liked Kelsea well enough, and I really liked Katie and Jonathan’s story from the past. But this book was a random mash of ideas, none of which were really all that dominant. It also left me with a lot of questions that aren’t really answered at all in the book, and a bunch of (albeit, really neat) ideas that were thrown into the last book that didn’t really weld that well together, or were really all that necessary.
In this book we have more point of views. Fate gives us the perspective of Kelsea, but also of the Mace, Aisa a young girl, a boy named Ewen, and the Red Queen herself. While I enjoyed the new POVs, I did feel like I was more disconnected from Kelsea, and didn’t care for her as much in this book. I wanted more of the Fetch though. I liked, or was intrigued, by his character in the past book and wanted to read more about him and his story, but he doesn’t really get that at all. While the ideas were all a bit random, the writing is still great, and I do I enjoy Johansen’s story telling.
The ending. What. I don’t want t give anything away, but that ending. It wasn’t one that I saw coming, and I don’t think I liked it. It sort of felt like the easy way out, and I feel like Kelsea didn’t really get the ending she deserved after all she did for the land she loved. There seems to be mixed reactions online; some people love the ending, some people are like me and didn’t really like it, and then there are those who hated it. While I didn’t like how it ended, I do feel like it did end the series well. It would have been quite a different series if it had ended any other way.
So I like this is a 2.5-3 star book. Definitely didn’t enjoy it as much as the first two, but enjoyed it enough that I didn’t hate it. Wow. That’s a great review, Anjali. Well done. Yikes. But you know what I mean, right? One of those books that was enjoyable enough but perhaps you wouldn’t read again.
What about you? Have you read The Fate of the Tearling? Or the others in this series? Without giving too much away, what did you think?