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
Before I dive in I just want to ask why…WHHHHYYYYYYY did I wait so long to read this book????
This book was a part of the #RockMyTBR challenge for this year. And what better way to tackle a book than to read it with a buddy? I was very excited to tackle this large book with Cilla over at Paved with Books, and it sure did leave a lot to talk about.
Initial reaction upon finishing:
This book was fantastic, and everything I want in a good fantasy. It may have started off a bit slow, but once it picked up it kind of took off running. There was a lot of world building that needed to be done, and though that is important it is also something that sometimes loses me easily. This world was a brutal place. The author did not shy away from details about what happened and the awful things that people are subject to. Honestly, I think it shocked us a bit.
Once those things were established though, and we knew the world we were in for the plot really took off. Kelsea proved to be a much stronger heroine that I had thought. She came across as so timid and shy right away, but her first few acts as queen are shocking and bold. She clearly dug deep into herself and found some courage that a queen needs. She kept me on my toes when I was reading because I honestly had no clue what to expect from her.
There were other amazing characters throughout this book. Pen, Carling, Barty, the Fetch (OH MY GOSH WHO IS THE FETCH AND WHY IS HE SO FETCHING!?)…and Mace…
I honestly think that Mace became my favorite character by the end. He was loyal to a fault. He was reliable. He was talented at what he did. He knew his strengths and definitely honed in on them. And he supported Kelsea. Not always, but he definitely was there for her even when he questioned her.
There was so much action in this book. Honestly, there was little time for anything else. There were a few swoons here and there, but I was so concerned with how the country was doing on how Kelsea was going to solve all the problems that came with her ruling the country that I didn’t care (as much…I still care. I still want you two crazy kids to end up together). I feel like this really made the book fly by, and had me wanting more.
This book ended so perfectly! Seriously. I read plenty of books with a cliffhanger ending that has you BEGGING for the next book in the series. And it’s not that I’m not excited to read the next book in this series (I AM GUYS! I AM!) but I feel like it’s not a necessity. I definitely need to know what happens next, but it’s not urgent. If that makes sense. I think this book set up for the plot of the next book really well, and obviously things are about to go down that I am not even full prepared for. I am definitely excited.
This book was very enjoyable. An adventure I definitely needed, and I am really looking forward to what is next.
Who else has read this book?