I’ve been trying to work my way through my (embarrassing) backlog of books for review. I tend to neglect the netgalley ones because I can’t actually see them (or fall over them, or have them fall on me (and oh how I wish I was kidding)) so I decided that I’d do one for one to at least try and get my percentages up there a bit, given I got refused for something I really wanted recently. (And I’d far rather have egalleys so as not to have the precarious piles of books issue get any worse.)
So, Queen of the Tearling. Epic fantasy, in the grand tradition (and yes, by that I do mean it’s a book you need a wheelbarrow for. Or read as ebook to save your back).
Her throne awaits . . . if she can live long enough to take it.
It was on her nineteenth birthday that the soldiers came for Kelsea Glynn. They’d come to escort her back to the place of her birth – and to ensure she survives long enough to be able to take possession of what is rightfully hers.
But like many nineteen-year-olds, Kelsea is unruly, has high principles and believes she knows better than her elders. Unlike many nineteen-year-olds, she is about to inherit a kingdom that is on its knees – corrupt, debauched and dangerous.
Kelsea will either become the most fearsome ruler the kingdom has ever known . . . or be dead within the week.
Combining thrilling adventure and action, dark magic, mystery and romance, The Queen of the Tearling is the debut of a born storyteller blessed with a startling imagination.
It took me a little while to get into this one – I’ve been reading lots of YA recently, which moves at a faster pace, and tends to be somewhat shorter. Once I was into though, I was well and truly hooked. It reminds me of Feist in a few ways, although there’s a bleaker strand to it somehow. Or perhaps it’s just less humour – I find there’s a dry humour in Feist from time to time that was missing here.
Kelsea is a good strong character, though she’s struggling with a lack of direct knowledge of her own background. Having been brought up in hiding far from the seat of power, although she’s been well educated, actually being in the thick of things is bound to be a shock to the system, and she doesn’t precisely hit the ground running. There’s a lot going on under the surface that we aren’t told about as well, so the scene is well set up for subsequent instalments, but it doesn’t feel like a cliffhanger (which would have annoyed me).
If you like your fantasy big, and bold, with magic, politics, treachery, without any of that unnecessary romance that so often gets in the way, this will be right up your street.