A gripping fantasy of a young woman's path to taking her throne, and freeing her kingdom from the excesses of her predecessors. Kelsea was raised in exile until the time when she would enter her kingdom and take her throne. But the kingdom she inherits is twisted, broken, and in the shadow of the merciless Red Queen. New to her throne, and not knowing who to trust, Kelsea will have to use her education and her instincts if she's to become a true Queen of the Tearling. You won't be able to put this book down, and the sequel can't come soon enough.— Marika McCoola
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea, who was raised in exile, is escorted by the Queen’s Guard back to the palace of her birth, where she will be expected to take her late mother’s place as Queen of the Tearling. Soon, Kelsea discovers that there are some who will stop at nothing to deny her the crown, even if it means using dark blood magic to do so. The Queen of the Tearling is a novel filled with action, magic, and a touch of mystery. The world-building is on a whole new level, as are the characters and their relationships with each other. You will absolutely fall in love with Kelsea and her guard Lazarus (the Mace), mark my words.— Cassidy Washburn
“The Queen of the Tearling is a brilliant tale, brilliantly told. It has everything -- magic, high adventure, mystery, and romance. Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, who was raised in exile, must reclaim her mother's throne and learn to be a ruler despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles: the Red Queen, a powerful monarch in a neighboring kingdom; the Caden, a group of assassins tasked to destroy Kelsea; and her own Uncle Thomas, Regent of Tearling, who will do anything to stay in power. Kelsea must earn the trust and loyalty of her subjects and those who would protect her, and learn to use the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense power. This is the book everyone will be reading and recommending this summer!”
— Jerry Brown, The Bookstore, Radcliff, KY
“Call it The Hunger Games of Thrones. Erika Johansen’s debut novel is a genre mashup: medieval fantasy meets dystopian future. . . . The setting, combined with Johansen’s deft hand with character and plotting, really does work. . . . An addictive and enjoyable adventure. . . . The Tear is just as easy to get sucked into as Westeros or Hogwarts or Panem.” —USA Today
Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.
Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.
But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.
Erika Johansen grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. She went to Swarthmore College, earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and eventually became an attorney, but she never stopped writing.