Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Synopsis:
After being hidden away for 19 years, the lawful heiress to the throne of the Tearling emerges from hiding, only to find her kingdom tarnished by an ongoing atrocity perpetuated by someone she always admired, and her life in danger from many sides.

Review:
Queen of the Tearling is a bold, skillful beginning to a promising series. The twist here is that the feudalism typical of epic fantasy is actually the fallout after all technology has failed. It’s futuristic and medieval all at once, and it’s a lot of fun to puzzle through. If only Kelsea, the erstwhile Queen, were as riveting. The plot surrounding her is well developed and inventive, but Kelsea herself doesn’t have a lot of internal character development to keep me hooked on her. She has some self-esteem issues, but ultimately she falls into the Dany trap–as soon as the idealistic young girl gets her kingdom, she stops struggling with anything interesting and starts mooning over a man. Kelsea doesn’t really go on a journey, she just emerges a pure Queen very early in the book, and I wanted something more complicated. That said, I am dying to read the next one!

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