Erika Johansen: The Invasion of the Tearling

Relevant post: The Queen of the Tearling


Kelsea Glynn is the Queen of the Tearling. Despite her youth, she has quickly asserted herself as a fair, just and powerful ruler.

But power is a double-edged sword. Small actions can have grave consequences. In trying to do what is right – halting a vile trade in humankind – Kelsea has defied the Red Queen, who rules through dark magic and the spilling of blood.

Now the Red Queen’s armies are poised to invade the Tearling, and it seems nothing can stop them.

Yet there was a time before the Crossing, and there Kelsea finds a strange and possibly dangerous ally, someone who might hold the key to the fate of the Tearling, and perhaps to Kelsea’s soul. But time is running out . . .

The Invasion of the Tearling is the second book in the series by Erika Johansen set in the new world of the Tearling following the crossing of American separatists to found a new world. In the first novel (review linked above), we joined Kelsea Raleigh (now Glynn) in her quest to claim her right to the throne and start setting things in motion to make the Tearling a better and safer kingdom following the actions of her ancestors. In this second novel, we move further into the story. Kelsea’s actions have had grave consequences that have seen her create many new enemies but also many new friends. Her power as Queen of the Tearling is only getting stronger and it is her actions in these books that will determine the future of her country.

Yet again I found myself engrossed in Johansen’s writing and brilliant world-building. Such simple writing generates such a rich tapestry of vivid images that you can’t help but become ingrained within the novel. Tense moments within the book left me racing through the pages wanting more, and my heart beating through the suspense.

The character of Kelsea goes through a far bigger development within this novel, altering exponentially from her position within the first novel. Her abilities and powers are only growing stronger and, in this book, she battles with good and evil within her self as the power almost seems to consume her at times. As always, Kelsea is still the stubborn, bull-headed character we grew to love in the first novel but, I found myself loving her all the more this time around as she battled against being the Queen of the Tearling and doing what is right and proper, and taking actions typical of someone at her age.

An element I truly enjoyed within this novel that answered a lot of questions that arose from the first novel, was the use of backstory and history from the time of the pre-Crossing. We got to understand the events that caused William Tear, and those that crossed with him, to make the journey to this brave new world. It also gave a lot of backstory on the monarchy in the Tearling and helped to understand further Kelsea’s ancestors and the part they have played in getting the Tearling into the situation it is in today. But as usual, this sort of scenario also left many more questions unanswered as Johansen tickles your tastebuds by hinting and growing closer to the truths kept hidden from Kelsea before diverting the dialogue in a whole different dialogue. So many times I thought we were close to finding out these truths and I hate and love Erika Johansen for it!

With this being the second book in the series, there is not a lot I can say without giving the storyline away. It is a novel that is fantastical, magical, full of action, tension, and suspense, and draws you in from the get go. You become truly invested in the characters and there is a lot of emotion within the novel. All I can do is wait for the next book (please, hurry up!)


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