July 15, 2015

The Invasion of the Tearling Blog Tour: Review

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen! Today I'll be sharing my review of the book - and don't forget to follow the rest of the tour by checking out the schedule at the end of the post!

The Invasion of the Tearling (Queen of the Tearling #2)
Author: Erika Johansen
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Release Date: June 9, 2015

Publisher: Harper

In this riveting sequel to the national bestseller The Queen of the Tearling, the evil kingdom of Mortmesne invades the Tearling, with dire consequences for Queen Kelsea and her realm.
With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, Kelsea has crossed the brutal Red Queen, who derives her power from dark magic and who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what she claims is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing. She finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. Soon Kelsea herself begins to change; she does not recognize either her reflection in the mirror or the extraordinary power she now commands. The fate of the Tearling—and that of Kelsea's own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Queen Kelsea is running out of time.

In this second volume of the compelling trilogy begun with her bestselling The Queen of the Tearling, Erika Johansen brings back favorite characters and introduces unforgettable new players, adding exciting layers to her multidimensional tale of magic, mystery, and a fierce young heroine.

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The Invasion of the Tearling is the second installment in the bestselling Queen of the Tearling trilogy. In this book, Kelsea Glynn - our main character - is adjusting to her new life and responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. One of her first acts as Queen was to stop the shipping of slaves to Mortmesne, which enrages the Red Queen of that nation. The Red Queen decides to invade the Tearling to take what she believes is hers - and she won't let anything stop her. As the invading troops get closer to Queen Kelsea, she finds herself becoming friends and allies with a woman named Lily. Lily lived in a time where it was almost a crime to be a woman - before the Crossing. The more Kelsea's connection with Lily grows, the more she can feel herself changing. Soon she doesn't even recognize herself in the mirror and finds that she has immense power at her command. These changes in Kelsea are related to Lily and her story, but time is running out for both the Queen and for the Tearling. Kelsea must embrace her new powers and prepare both her country and herself for war.

I'm not usually a big reader of high fantasy - not because I don't enjoy the genre, but because there are simply too many books that I want to read and this category isn't a go-to favorite for me. That being said, I honestly can't convey how much I loved this book - and how much I adore the series so far. I didn't think I'd be able to lose myself in a book like this - one with completely different worlds and races of people, among so many other details. I figured that it would be hard to slip inside the world the author created because of how different it was from our own - not to mention the magic and other fantasy elements that are ingrained in the plot. Much to my surprise, the author managed to suck me right in from the very beginning of the book and didn't let me go until long after I had finished the last sentence. There's so much attention to detail - the vivid imagery and descriptions of every little thing in the story really brought it to life right in front of my eyes. I was enchanted by this fascinating world and all the things I found inside of it - I didn't want it to end. Every single piece of this book - from the setting and the characters to the plot itself and the writing style (and everything in between) - was so well executed that it quickly became one of my favorite books of the year so far.

The characters were all well rounded - especially Kelsea, our main character. She continues to grow and mature throughout the book as she takes on more responsibilities as Queen and must deal with an invasion of her land and an imminent war. I truly enjoyed getting to know Kelsea on a deeper level as well as watching her character change during the story. The plot was compelling and I couldn't (or wouldn't) stop reading. I definitely would have read this one straight through if it weren't for supposed necessities like eating and sleeping. I was so in tune and connected to every aspect of the book that I didn't want to break the spell it had cast over me. Thankfully, I was able to easily slip right back into the story like I had never left. The main story of Tearling being invaded by Mortmesne and the impending war between the two was full of action and adventure. Once things started really moving in the story, it didn't slow down until the end. The secondary plot of Kelsea meeting and connecting with the mysterious Lily added a fantastic twist to the story - one that I loved reading about. I wanted to know everything about Lily - who she was, what her life was like, what she wants from Kelsea, and all the other details I could get. I really think that this side story gave a whole new depth to the book that it wouldn't have had otherwise - and it was all the better because of it. 

I could keep talking about the book for hours, but I'll stop myself there. I know I didn't touch on many specifics in the story, but that's only because I didn't have the time or the room. This is one of those books where you are so blown away by it that there just aren't the right words to describe it - to convey to other readers how incredibly remarkable it is and the experience you had reading it. I know my attempt at a review doesn't do it nearly the justice it deserves, but I hope that it got across some of the points and emotions that I wanted to touch on. I can't recommend this book or series highly enough! I truly believe that fans of every genre should give it a chance - it will blow apart any expectations you may have at the beginning. Fans of science fiction and fantasy will NOT want to miss out on this series - and, in my opinion, every reader should get their hands on a copy as soon as possible!

By far one of the best books I've read so far this year!
Erika Johansen grew up and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She went to Swarthmore College, earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and eventually became an attorney, but she never stopped writing.

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Tuesday, June 23rd: Books Without Any Pictures
Wednesday, June 24th: 5 Minutes For Books
Thursday, June 25th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Friday, June 26th: Ageless Pages Reviews
Monday, June 29th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, June 30th: Bibliophilia, Please
Tuesday, June 30th: Reading Lark
Wednesday, July 1st: Fuelled by Fiction
Thursday, July 2nd: Book Loving Hippo
Monday, July 6th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, July 7th: The Reader’s Hollow
Wednesday, July 8th: fangirl confessions
Thursday, July 9th: booknerd
Monday, July 13th: Spiced Latte Reads
Tuesday, July 14th: A Reader of Fictions
Wednesday, July 15th: A Dream Within a Dream
Friday, July 17th: Into the Hall of Books

1 comment:

  1. I do love high fantasy so I'm always thrilled when someone who isn't a huge fan of the genre gets pulled in by a great series like this. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!