[crown me] review: the queen of the tearling

20 July 2014

Title: The Queen of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication Date: July 17th 2014
Pages: 380
Source: For Review*
Format: ARC
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale-esque.
Find: amazon || goodreads || the book depository
Summary: Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother - Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid - was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea's uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea's 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother's guard - each pledged to defend the queen to the death - arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding...
And so begins her journey back to her kingdom's heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother's legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea's story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance - it's about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive...-goodreads
The Queen of the Tearling's plot is one that I love to read. No matter how many times I get offered something like this; I will say yes. This may have something to do with the fact that the first book I read with a similar story-line remains one of my favourite books of all time: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale - or it may be because I love fairytale-esque books. No matter what the reason, I jumped at the chance to review this book and I don't regret it in the least. Before accepting, I searched it on goodreads and had a quick look at the ratings from reviewers who had already read this. Let's just say the findings were not in the least bit favorable from many of the ones that I saw. Nevertheless I accepted anyway.
I found The Queen of the Tearling to be an enjoyable read, it absorbed me from the first couple of pages and I read the whole thing in two nights, (NOT easy fete as the book is a hefty brick with very, very large chapters.) The characters were likeable, the plot was strong and extremely enjoyable, the writing was descriptive enough to satisfy me. Only one thing stood out amongst the reams of words that I really disliked.
At first glance the book looks like a fairy-tale type story: princesses, re-claiming crowns, fantasy. So when i first came across the swearing I literally jumped in my chair. It was like coming across little pebbles in your cake: not welcome, and completely out of place. The language was too crude and modern to fit in the book and not stand out. I have had swearing come up in other fairy-tales, but for the most part I didn't mind as it wasn't the day to day swearing you hear around you. It was made-up, ''foul'' language to fit the characters and the book. I would have been okay with that., but in this book there wasn't. And I didn't like that part at all. There wer also some other references to the modern-day world that we live in that did not fit in with the perception I had of this being being medieval sort of fairy-tale. However, a lot of well-known references to books made-well in the story, without being to obvious to stand out.
The characters were all very different, in that some were too stereotypical to be classed as 'original', and others were altogether very intriguing indeed. Such as The Fetch, who became my favourite character at the start of the book, and stayed that way all through to the end. One thing that surprised me was the lack of romance. Usually I love books without much romance as they are a breath of fresh air from the typical love-interests that revolve around the plot. This book, i think, would have benefited from some romance, as the action and plot twists were fairly limited so it would have added a bit more interest to the book.
Overall, I thought The Queen of the Tearling was a promising book and I can't wait to read the next. Think assassins, murder-plots, evil queen versus good queen and some surprising elements that will bring a lot to the book and will make you stay reading until the very last page. My rating: 
*thank you to the publishers for sending me this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

17 comments:

  1. Ack, I REALLY want to read this book! I LOVE the sound of these types of books as well.

    But, no no no no no. I don't like swearing that is just completely out of place. Actually, I just don't like swearing in books at all, really. Unless, like you've said, they're made up curse words from a different world. Gah, that would probably irritate me!

    But I'm glad you enjoyed it and will continue with the series! I'm hoping to pick this one up at one point too! Great review! :D

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    1. Yes! Same, these types of books always engross me from beginning to end.

      AND I KNOW. I HATE SWEARING OF ALL KINDS. But it lessens the impact if they are made up. :)

      Tell me what you think if you do pick it up and thanks for commenting. :)

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  2. First things, first. HOW COME THIS I DIDN'T SEE THIS WAY PRETTIER EDITION OF TQoT?? <3
    Second, assassins. My lady, THAT is the magic word. Adding this one to my TBR buuuut made-up swear words are my enemies(RE: The Murder Complex) so I'll have to see if I can get this at a library.

    Brilliantly reviewed. :)

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    1. I DON'T KNOW WHY DIDN'T YOU. It's the UK edition, i think. :)
      YES. Assassins, i'm all about those people. WAIT WAIT, but this has no made-up swear words in it. ;) you're all good. May I ask WHY there are your enemies? :P

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    2. Ah yes, you British get all the best covers and the yummy deserts(all those tarts *dies*). LUCKY. ;)
      Oops, good to hear that! I'm okay with it if it's done to fit the time period/region (again, British insults are the best!). But I draw the line at "Flux" and "Skitz". -_-

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    3. Hahah sometimes, sometimes, but you get all the awesome books that don't even come out in the UK. :(
      WHAT. Flux? Skitz? IN WHAT BOOK?!

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  3. Gosh, honestly I'm getting mixed feelings about this book after reading your review, but I guess I'll have to give it a try some time. And I don't really mind swearing if it doesn't take away from the book but if it does, I don't enjoy it, especially when out of character.

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  4. Hahah that's maybe because i'm feeling the mixed feels. :P I think you should, because aside from a couple of things I actually did enjoy it and the swearing was definitely *in character* so, tell me what you think?! :)

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    1. I guess I should! And I replied to your comment on my blog (thank you, by the way), I appreciate it! Newbie blogger ;P

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    2. Yes and awwh no problem I will go and check :)

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  5. I have read an interview with the author where she talked about the world building and revelations still to come that would make the world make more sense so to speak, so maybe that will address your concerns between the modern feel & fantasy mix!

    I feel like I'm quite in the fence about this one, feeling like a long lengthy read like this one might not be what I need, but a book with no romance is something I really feel like reading like now!

    Great review!

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    1. Really? Awesome, I'm excited now! Do you know where I can find the interview?
      Yeah, at first I was too but in hindsight I'm glad I read it even though it wasn't perfect, If you do read it, be sure to tell me what you think. :)

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  6. Eep yay! I am SO EXCITED to read this one...once I get it, I mean. I still have to get my hands on a copy eeps!

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    1. MUAHAHAHAHA when will you? And do you like the US/UK cover better? I'm not sure..:p

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  7. Assassin's and murder plots?? Ohhh my gosh I need this book in my life asap. I love retellings and I actually haven't heard much about this book! I WAN TO TRY IT. Also that cover, there is something very creepy and intriguing about that cover.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

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    1. YES I LOVE ASSASSINS. I think you do. Really. GO GET IT.

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  8. This book sounds EPIC! And yay for assassins, although the first assassin book I need to read would have to be Throne of Glass, but I'll keep my eye out for this one! Great review and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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