This is one of the best books I have ever read.
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 neighbouring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what 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, and 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. The fate of the Tearling – and that of Kelsea’s own soul – may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.
I have taken a while to write this review because I really wanted to think long and hard about why I loved The Invasion of the Tearling so much. Rarely has a book spoken to me as much as this one did. I felt as if it had been written just for me, just for my enjoyment.
First of all, Erika Johansen’s writing style is just so incredibly smart. She writes like such a seasoned and experienced author, yet her writing isn’t pretentious and doesn’t go over the reader’s head. Her words flow so well, forming a beautiful and intelligent narrative.
Secondly, the characters from this series are just phenomenal. Every. Single. One. I adore Kelsea, all of her strength that is built up and accompanied by all of her flaws. Pen is my darling, I just want to put him in my pocket and keep him safe forever. Mace is perfection, I love him in the way I love Liam Neeson, with a major crush but a healthy amount of fear. And then there is the Red Queen. I loved seeing her falter in this book. Even so, she’s still completely terrifying and I looked forward to each of her POVs.
Third, the stories intertwined in Invasion were stunning. The back and forth between Kelsea and Lilly was fantastic, feeling in no way forced. It made the book feel so unique. This really is one of the most original series’ I have read in years. The whole fantasy-meets-dystopian feel is done so well by Johansen, I wonder if anyone else could have even pulled it off with as much grace as she did.
In summary, I HIGHLY recommend this book, but please read The Queen of the Tealing first, as it is also very, very good. I am now eagerly awaiting the third book in the Tearling series, because Invasion’s ending was crazy good, with some huge cliffhangers and questions that I’m dying to get answers to! The Invasion of the Tearling is worth every penny, five stars, two thumbs up, and I’ll throw in a standing ovation as well.
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The Random House Group