The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, the last book in the Tearling trilogy, finishes the series with a bang and twist. It is just as good, maybe better, as the other two books in the series.

From the publisher:

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 gave 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, imprisoned in Mortmesne.

Mind-bending and awesome are the words that come to mind after reading this book. Mind-bending in the different turns that the book takes (it goes to very unexpected places) and awesome in finding out the fate of different characters and the events that led to their destination.

As she has in the previous books, Johansen liberally uses Kelsea’s ability to “see” into the past.  Johansen introduces us to Katie and the events that led to Jonathan Tear’s death (and how the Fetch and Row Finn played a part). Most of the holes from the past are filled in – such as, how the New World broke into different countries and how the Red Queen rose to power.

Character development is a big strength in the book. The Red Queen is made more human and frail. Her faults are highlighted, especially as the book progresses. The Mace is shown to be struggling with holding power and knowing what to do.

The biggest strength though is the twists. I do not want to go into too much detail, but Johansen surprises the reader toward the end of the book and then surprises the reader again in a bigger way at the end. I am not sure I like the ending, but I definitely did not see it coming.

It is 475 pages, but those pages fly by. It is a trite saying, but it is hard to put down.

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