THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING
Johansen’s intrigues and plots are pitch perfect. This enjoyable tale centers on Kelsea, who is such an authentic heroine. But some of the slow pacing and traveling (they travel a lot!) will not appeal to some people, since it stalls the narrative a bit. Plus, more backstory would’ve been appreciated. And while the tale is undoubtedly well crafted, there are some plot holes and loose ends that will hopefully be explained and picked up on in the next book. One thing’s for certain: I can’t wait to see what Kelsea will do next.
Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn has been raised in exile her entire life. Now at 19, she is forced to set out and reclaim her birthright and ascend the throne. But she’s nothing like a queen: She’s plain, she’s serious and she’s never played with dolls or dresses. And she has no shortage of people who would see her dead, like her uncle the regent, the Red Queen and many who hated her vain mother. Kelsea must dig deep, find a backbone of steel and dive into the fire and hone her will until it is steel — only then will she be able to reclaim her throne and become a true Queen of the Tearling. (HARPER, Jul., 448 pp., $26.99)