Synopses & Reviews
Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother's throne, learn to be a ruler — and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queens Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon — from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic — to prevent her from wearing the crown.
Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea's kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.
But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun — a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend... if she can survive.
This book will be a beautifully designed package with illustrated endpapers, a map of the Tearling, and a ribbon marker.
"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) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“The Queen of the Tearling is a gripping read with an enchanting heroine. Erika Johansen has created a wonderful world and I cant wait to read more.” Bernard Cornwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Pagan Lord
“The Queen of the Tearling is destined to be a fantasy classic. Johansen's writing is assured, confident and thrilling. I can't wait for the next book.” Amy McCulloch, author of The Oathbreaker's Shadow
“Erika Johansen bursts onto the fantasy scene with a page-turner full of adventure, sorcery, swords, and politics — not to mention a clever heroine with guts and conviction to spare. The Queen of the Tearling kept me up way past my bedtime, and left me wanting more!” Helene Wecker, New York Times bestselling author of The Golem and the Jinni
“This book worked on me with all the subtle power of an addiction: by the time I realized I was hooked, it was far too late to stop.” Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of the Delirium trilogy and Panic
“An impressive start to a series, Johansen expertly incorporates magic necklaces, political intrigue, questions of honor, well-drawn characters, and a bit of mystery into a compelling and empowering story.” Booklist (starred review)
About the Author
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.