The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

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

However, power is a double-edged sword, and small actions can have grave consequences. In trying to do what is right – stopping a vile trade in humankind – Kelsea has crossed the Red Queen, a ruthless monarch whose rule is bound with dark magic and the spilling of blood. 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 indeed to Kelsea’s own soul. But time is running out…

Erika Johansen’s fierce and unforgettable young heroine returns in this dazzling new novel of magic and adventure, set in the beguiling world of the Tearling.

Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ 

I’m sure it’s little surprise from my review of the first book of the series that I would be devouring the second book, which I have under 2 days (it would have been a shorter time period, but work and getting another part of my cataloging project complete took away from reading time). In any case, book 2 of this trilogy did not fail to deliver a fantastic read as the first book and I’m certain that the final book shall do the same. Now, because I’m not certain I can discuss the book with justice without revealing a few things, let me just put it out there that THERE SHALL BE SPOILERS AND YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED (although I promise to keep the spoilers mild and try to be roundabout to not totally give things away).

That being said, in the last book there is a dark thing that apparently assisted the Red Queen in her rise of power. However as we all know, it is rare that anything is given freely and considering what kind of character the Red Queen is, that the dark thing is not a kind or good character either. Yet the dark thing ordered the Red Queen to not invade the Tear, but obviously by the title of the book she didn’t listen and of course that will have consequences later although we don’t really see it in this book except for one little scene which I will not go into detail with because we all have an idea of what a minor scene entails of bad character crossing another bad character.

Anyways, like book #1, this book tends to flip from multiple third-person character views although most of it does focus on Kelsea, but we have a new character to the mix with Lily, a pre-Crossing woman who predates our heroine by 300ish years. Through Kelsea’s connection to her Sapphires, she is able to gain pieces of Lily’s life that focus on the time shortly before the Crossing. And this is where things gets interesting because through Lily and Kelsea’s connection to her, we see how the people in this world come from our world and yet their world is not our own because obviously there isn’t no new continent for discontented people to immigrate to. I won’t spoil things completely, but I will say the result of the world we’re reading is because of those Sapphires.

The same Sapphires that seem to have an impact on a lot of factors. The Red Queen’s obsession with them and if you had any suspicions or theories about her origins, you’ll get them confirmed or obliterated in this book. Even the dark thing, who is named in this book, has a desire for them although his need is different from the Red Queen. And of course, they seem to have an effect on their owner Kelsea in many ways, one which I’m not certain is the Sapphire or the connection the dark thing has to her through them. My theory is that dark thing’s connection to them is influecing Kelsea and not so noble ways, although on the other hand, considering all that she’s going through, I can see Kelsea responds as she does despite our disparity in ages, I find that I agree and would have probably respond the same way.

Anyways I really don’t want to ruin things too much, but I’ll say that part of Kelsea’s change is also due to Lily and the things she learns of the past. To summarize it, Lily was a U.S. citizen who grew up in a time period after a dictator president came into power and the gap between the rich and poor became so great that the rich really started steamrolling the lower classes and being asses (we’re seeing it today, but believe me the author shows how it can get even worse) and how women lose their rights and how Christianity in it’s worst incarnation takes over and ruins the world. Now, being a non-Christian who’s suffered persecution for my religious beliefs, I don’t always have great view of Christianity or any monotheistic religion really and I have never shied away from the fact that I’m not a fan, however I also know that true Christianity as in the way that Father Tyler in the story is portrayed is out there. People who care about their fellow man and who do not judge them for their differences or set out to persecute or harm them because of those differences. But in pre-Crossing earth, it’s clear that the bad Christians have won and that’s a scary thought considering our political climate right now when we do have some bad Christians in our government trying to shape our world into a horrible place. Anyways, I really do enjoy how Johansen shows us Lily’s world, because to me it serves as a warning of what could happen to our reality if we sit back and don’t stand up for ourselves.

So now on to the conclusion.

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