*Spoilers – With this being the third and final book in the series, please be aware that there will most likely be spoilers from the previous two books.
I received a free physical copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch.
As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies – including the evil Red Queen, her fiercest rival, who has set her armies against the Tear.
To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable – she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy, and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne.
Now the endgame begins and the fate of Queen Kelsea – and the Tearling itself will finally be revealed . . .
The third and final book in the Tearling series, The Fate of the Tearling follows on from events within The Invasion of the Tearling after Queen Kelsea sacrificed herself, and the power within the sapphires, for the safety of the Tear within the coming years. Fate follows Kelsea during her time as a prisoner of the Red Queen within the dungeons underneath the Palais. During this time she frequently finds herself falling into the past as she did within the second novel. Throughout her time as a prisoner, secluded as she is within the cell, Kelsea finds herself contemplating the future of her kingdom and questioning the actions of herself, and those before her – all whilst trying to conjure up a way to bring the kingdom, once and for all, into safety.
Having stayed up for many hours over the past few days reading this novel, and common sense eventually prevailing to remind me that, every once in a while, I do need to sleep – I have now finished this series and cannot fathom what I am meant to do with myself. I’ve been deeply invested in the Tearling series since I first embarked upon the series last year. Johansen knows how to bring real world issues into a fantastical world that is reminiscent of our own history, simplifying life and plunging everything that we know into a world devoid of elements we truly take for granted. She knows how to bring three-dimensional, gritty, likable characters that we can deeply relate to. All of this, whilst bringing those elements of magic and fantasy that we all find so immersive and entertaining.
Now that I have finished the series, I want to gush to everyone how brilliant this series is! I’m deeply sad that there is no more within the series, though I am secretly hoping for some spin-offs of characters who weren’t fully fleshed out in terms of backstory (Mace!).
In this final novel, Kelsea fully develops into the Queen that the Tearling has been waiting for. During her time in contemplation, she can see that she has been blindsided by the power that the sapphires hold and, when she figures out the truth of both the sapphires, realises that she hasn’t truly been herself, taking on elements of these sapphires and their power by absorbing the hate and rage that courses through one of them. It is during this moment that she realises that her actions weren’t truly hers, and that she begins to truly feel guilt and regret for some of the things that she had done within the second novel. That she is able to realise this, and understand who she truly is from this, really shows Kelsea’s development and makes her all the more likable for it. She doesn’t need to be told that she has changed (even though she does get told this by Mace in the second novel) to realise that she has not been herself. Kelsea develops in many different ways throughout this novel as she begins to uncover the truth of characters and what really drives them, and what has caused them to become the people they are today. This is helped in part by the excursions back into the past, and being able to see the similarities between past and present, resulting in her decision to want to change the future so that they do not truly repeat history.
The Fate of the Tearling answers all of those questions you’ve been asking yourself since the beginning. It brings excitement, unexpected surprises, and a variety of twists and turns that truly make this novel a brilliant conclusion to the series. We find out more about the Tearling empire as it first emerged following the Crossing, and we delve deeper into the lives of questionable characters. As I previously mentioned, I think it would be nice for Johansen to bring novellas on characters that have more limited backstories as of now and to explain events in some characters lives that we haven’t truly gotten to understand.