REVIEW: ‘The Fate of the Tearling’ by Erika Johansen


Erika Johansen wraps up her Tearling trilogy in another stunning novel!

I have adored this series from the beginning. The Fate of the Tearling only served to reinforce what an incredible writer Erika Johansen is, and to make me determined to read anything she writes in the future.

The blurb:

Kelsea Glynn returns as this unforgettable trilogy full of magic and adventure draws to a thrilling close.

Since ascending to the throne, Kelsea Glynn has grown into a powerful monarch and visionary leader.

But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice within the Tearling, she has made many enemies. Chief amongst them is the evil and feared Red Queen, who now holds Kelsea – and her magical sapphires – captive in her castle in Mortmesne, a deal brokered to protect the Tearling from a Mort invasion.

But the Tearling needs its Queen, and the Mace, head of Kelsea’s personal guards, will not rest until he and his men have rescued their sovereign.

Now it is time for the fate of Queen Kelsea – and the Tearling itself – to be revealed…

Once again, I read this book unbelievably quickly. I felt a physical pull towards it every time I put it down; I just had a constant need to read. Needless to say, I loved Johansen’s conclusion to the series. It was perfectly imperfect in all the right ways (read it, you’ll understand what I mean).

I thoroughly enjoyed being thrown back into the world of the Tearling. I loved the different places we got to see (Demesne, Gin Reach, Tear’s Town) and Johansen’s world-building continues to amaze. The novel took us on a journey all over the land, through a variety of perspectives. One thing I admire in Johansen’s writing is her ability to switch perspectives so effortlessly and so brilliantly. No character voice sounds the same. They all have different frustrations, different thought processes, different worries. Each character used was beautifully rounded and full of life. There is a place in my heart for all of them.

Erika Johansen points out some very interesting political points within this series. Despite the Tearling being entirely fictional, there are some very harsh realities that parallel real life. In fact, in her acknowledgements, Johansen writes “I am determined to make this kingdom echo life”. She does this not only in her harsh realities of society – and where it could be headed – but also in her writing of human nature; and in the way she reveals information (or not). The tale can be frustrating at times – but it is also so well done that you simply have to accept it as it is.

The Fate of the Tearling left me wanting – simply because I am not done with this fantastic concept. I want moreI loved it so much and I am not yet ready to let go of Kelsea’s world. I could tell when I was only halfway through that this book would not be enough for me. It has been an incredible journey, and I seriously hope Johansen has other novels in store for us (and soon please!)

I will admit to one slight disappointment – I wanted to see more of Kelsea ruling the Tearling. Towards the end there was some skipping – completely understandable and fitting in well with the story – but I wanted all the gory details. I would have gobbled up every single word the author dared to put in there, even if the novel ended up twice as long! As with The Invasion of the Tearling I found myself getting a little bored of Katie’s point of view. I thought, however, that it was done better than Lily’s, yet sometimes I found Katie’s PoV lasting too long.

Overall the final novel, and indeed the series as a whole, has been a delight to read. I will definitely be rereading it in the near future, and it has easily become one of my all-time favourite series. Make sure you pick up this finale, and keep your eyes peeled for any Erika Johansen updates! I have heard rumours of more Tearling stories, but nothing confirmed as yet.



Another stunning novel, another stunning rating.

An explanation for the four: as mentioned, there was some skipping. This, along with the chunks of Katie’s perspective brought the rating down, for me.

Eleanor is an English graduate and Medieval Studies student looking to use her skills to help save the planet. She adores reading and knows books will always be at the heart of her life, no matter where her career takes her.

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