With school out and very little on my plate I can finally catch up on all of the fantasy books that I’ve been hoarding for the better part of six months. I tend to read fantasy when I know I have a lot of time, given that they tend to lean on the thicker side of the book spectrum, and The Invasion of the Tearling is no exception. When I read the first book in this trilogy, The Queen of the Tearling, I left it feeling slightly under satisfied, given that everyone and their mothers had given it such high praise. So the million dollar question is, did the 515 page sequel better go against my expectations? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
The Invasion of the Tearling is the sequel to the Erika Johansen’s bestselling debut novel The Queen of the Tearling. Following characters established in the first novel, readers are thrust back into the struggle between the kingdoms of the Tearling and Mortmesne, and the consequences that have come about since Kelsea Glynn’s decision to stop shipments of slaves to the later state.
Wow. Absolutely shocked as to how much I loved this book. I think it’s the first adult fantasy novel that I haven’t been able to put down and leave for a few days.
The writing, much like the first, was enough to keep me entertained, but what really enthralled me was the multiple perspectives and how by the end of the novel they had been carefully woven together.
It was nice to see that Kelsea had indeed grown from the first novel, both in physical appearance and in maturity. Some of her decisions in the novel might have been brutal, but I feel like they were necessary in order to convey the situation Kelsea has gotten both herself and her people into. Her solution at the end of the novel had me literally yelling at the book (Mace and I are one and the same on that one,) and I hope that she continues to grow in the last novel, The Fate of the Tearling, released in November of this year (fingers crossed the publishing date doesn’t get pushed back again.)
The Red Queen was an interesting perspective, and her back story was something I had not expected. It will be interesting to see how she reacts with her new reality in the final book of the trilogy.
Finally, and I think most importantly, was the perspective of a new character, Lily. Though I won’t give away spoilers, I think her story was an important one to be told. I didn’t like her originally, given that all I wanted to read about was the struggle between Kelsea and the Red Queen, but by the end of the novel I felt like Johansen could release a novella about Lily tomorrow and that I would buy it. I hope Johansen continues her perspective in the last novel as I don’t think Lily’s story is quite over yet!
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.