The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen — Review

the invasion of the tearling by erika johansen book coverSummary:

Kelsea Glynn is the Queen of the Tearling. Despite her youth, she has quickly asserted herself as a fair, just and powerful ruler.

However, power is a double-edged sword, and small actions can have grave consequences. In trying to do what is right – stopping a vile trade in humankind – Kelsea has crossed the Red Queen, a ruthless monarch whose rule is bound with dark magic and the spilling of blood. The Red Queen’s armies are poised to invade the Tearling, and it seems nothing can stop them.

Yet there was a time before the Crossing, and there Kelsea finds a strange and possibly dangerous ally, someone who might hold the key to the fate of the Tearling, and indeed to Kelsea’s own soul. But time is running out…

Erika Johansen’s fierce and unforgettable young heroine returns in this dazzling new novel of magic and adventure, set in the beguiling world of the Tearling.

Review: 4.5 Stars

While I really loved The Queen of the Tearling there were a few elements that I felt were missing. But The Invasion of the Tearling really did fantastic in the few areas where I felt The Queen of the Tearling was lacking. This series has just gotten better and I’ve been loving it. I am thrilled to finally find an incredible fantasy series that I can binge read. I have loved watching these characters grow and think that Erika Johansen really found her stride as an author with this sequel.

In The Invasion of the Tearling we finally get to know the history of the world. I was a bit disappointed in the world building in The Queen of the Tearling, but in this sequel everything is finally explained. This world is a really interesting mix of dystopian and fantasy and I really loved learning how the world of the Tearling came to be. The series reads like a classic fantasy, but is set in a world that is very unlike what you typically see in a fantasy. It’s set in the future of the world we live in after everything has gone wrong, like you would expect from a dystopian. I loved the way the history was unveiled with the alternating timelines of past and future between Kelsea’s and Lily’s point of view.

I thought Lily’s story line was a great addition to the series. The two plot lines were both extremely compelling and kept me reading even when the pacing lagged. This sequel is a lot darker than the first book though. Some parts of this book were hard to read, but I felt that these darker aspects really got me emotionally invested. It was easy to empathize with Lily and Kelsea and I completely understood their motivations. Both women fight for a better wold and they are both heroines that I love to root for.

Once again the plot was very political and pretty slow paced. Now normally I hate slow paced books, but the characters are so well done that I was addicted to the story. Kelsea has grown into a harder and braver character.  Where in the first book she came off as a more of an impulsive girl, now she has become a true leader who I really can admire despite all of her flaws. Lily changes too throughout the book. She changes from a broken woman to someone brave who has hope for a better life. The minor characters have all become people that I love as well. Every character has depth and they all feel real. I think that the characters are a huge part of what makes this series so strong.

The Invasion of the Tearling is a much darker book than The Queen of the Tearling. I highly recommend checking the trigger warnings because it really is brutal. After reading The Queen of the Tearling I thought I would enjoy the second book, but I didn’t expect it to be even better than the first one. I do feel that the pacing is still too slow at times, but the characters are so well done. I am loving this series so much. I highly recommend this series to fantasy fans, but would definitely recommend checking the trigger warnings first.

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