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The Queen of the Tearling
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Kelsea Raleigh Glynn (Female), Princess, Raised in exile; sets out on a journey back to the castle of her birth to reclaim her dead mother's throne and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful sorceress; loves books and learning; around her neck she wears the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power
Coming of age
Magic gemstones
Magical powers
Assassination attempts
Dark magic
Post-apocalyptic society
Time Period
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  Library Journal Review

Princess Kelsea has been hiding in the forests of the Tearling since her mother's death, training for the role she will have to play when she turns 19 and becomes the queen. But once Kelsea arrives in the capital and proves her right to the throne, her troubles begin. Her uncle had been acting as regent, and the alliance he made with the sorcerous Red Queen of neighboring Mortmesne is the first thing Kelsea decides to change. She will have to find allies fast as her actions threaten to plunge her kingdom into war. VERDICT Johansen's debut is a solid fantasy that doesn't stray very far from the traditional playbook. Intriguing references to a "great crossing" that happened 2,000 years ago and led to the immigrants' civilization losing access to higher technology could have added depth if developed (perhaps it will be in future volumes). The novel does have a strong heroine, but the publicity campaign describing this as Game of Thrones meets Hunger Games is misguided. Libraries will want to purchase, as the movie is already in the works with Emma Watson set to star. [See Prepub Alert, 2/1/14; also named the top Indie Next pick for July.-Ed.] (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Johansen makes an impressive debut with this ambitious fantasy adventure, which takes place several centuries from now following the collapse of civilization and mass migration to a newly discovered continent. The resultant society resembles medieval Europe, with modern technology all but forgotten, and magic is subtly present. Finally come of age, 19-year-old Kelsea Glynn must evade assassins and her uncle's nefarious plans in order to take her place as rightful queen of the nation known as the Tearling. Her first acts as ruler break a treaty with neighboring Mortmense and anger the unaging sorceress called the Red Queen; Kelsea rallies her allies and prepares for war. Johansen starts strongly, with a forceful, memorable heroine immediately thrust into a series of intense situations and forced to make dynamic, if overly idealistic, decisions. While the setting and backstory could stand further explanation and exploration, and many elements fall apart under closer scrutiny, this trilogy launch is still an engaging page-turner. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, William Morris Endeavor. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
<p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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."</p> <p>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.</p>
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