Title: The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #2)
Author: Erika Johansen
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Acquired Via: Publisher
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 neighboring 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.
Read our reviews of the first book, Queen of the Tearling, here:
The Invasion of the Tearling was a much better book than The Queen of the Tearling, although it took a little while to get there, and I really liked The Queen of the Tearling. The book opens with a character that I really didn’t remember from the first book, and honestly didn't care about. His name was Hall, and he was a Tearling solider. I just wanted to read about Kelsea and the Fetch. I'm so sad that there was only one real Fetch scene, and it was way too short. There better be more Fetch scenes in the third book, that's all I'm saying.
Most of my complaints with the first book were regarding the world building and the lack of an explanation for "the Crossing". Well, that was all answered, and the world building improved ten-fold, although the pacing was directly affected by it. It didn't seem like much of anything happened in the first couple of chapters (and these are longgggggg) chapters, but there were little hints sprinkled throughout. It all comes together in the end, but the first half seems to lack action. BUT, pretty much all of my questions were answered, except of course about the Fetch, my absolute favorite thing about these books. There's also some unanswered questions about the dark thing and what happened to Father Tyler?
Not only is The Invasion of the Tearling a much stronger book, it is also a much grittier book. There is a little bit of gratuitous violence, so be warned. Kelsea is also a much stronger and harder character, sometimes so much so that she's hard to be likable, but that makes her all the more believable. She's a queen trying to save her country and people; not every decision is going to win everyone's hearts. She's also not mooning over a boy with every single breath. Sure, she does do a little bit of mooning, but she's a teenager so that's believable. The few scenes regarding the boys just show that Kelsea is real and not a child anymore.
The Invasion of the Tearling does some flash-backs to the pre-Crossing time, and I kind of wish that those scenes would have been shorter. Some of it was pretty brutal, and there was a lot of repetition just for effect. It was hard to feel bad for Lily because a lot of women had it a lot worse and most women had it just as bad. And, we kind of see where the Crossing ended up, so I just wanted to know what was going to happen with the Tearling.
Another one of my issues with The Queen of the Tearling was the over-emphasis with Kelsea's "ugliness". Kelsea becomes magically pretty in the sequel, and I don't like it much better. I just wish that Kelsea would have stayed unattractive, and it wouldn't have been a big deal. It would have made a better story.
If you liked The Queen of the Tearling, especially if your only problems with it were the world building, you'll probably really like The Invasion of the Tearling. However, if you didn't like Kelsea or some other aspect of the first book other than the world building concerning the Crossing, you probably won't like The Invasion of the Tearling.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I each received a copy of the novel from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an unbiased review.