The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen is the second book in The Queen of Tearling series. We leave off a few months after the first book. Queen Kelsea has become a queen both feared and respected. She has taken on the mantel and all that it entails. But her decisions come at a price.
The Red Queen has declared war and every day her army grows closer to the Tearling’s gates. All she can do is evacuate her people and stall for time. Desperate to find a solution, Kelsea finds herself beholden to a terrible ally, one whose price may be too much to pay.
Among the scramble, Kelsea is changing. She is no longer the plain, scared little girl found in the woods. Her appearance has altered dramatically and there is an anger and thirst for blood inside of her that she can barely contain. And through it all Kelsea loses herself in fits of memory of the pre-crossing and of a young woman who might hold the key to her salvation.
Will Kelsea save the Tearling from tyranny and ruin? Will she lose herself in the effort? And what secrets could the past possibly contain that would help the future?
Good lord this was long and loads more complicated then the first book. After reading the first book I thought The Queen of Tearling was a little vague but The Invasion of Tearling was complicated and filled with … a lot. I mean woahh–a lot happens, there are a lot of characters and now we have this whole backward-forward in time thing. Oh, and we are left with even more questions. Thank goodness the whole series is out or else I’d probably be a lot more frustrated.
We get a lot of background and history in this one, which I liked. That was really what I felt was missing in the first book, so it was a relief to get some context. However, the plot went from a fairly simple, girl gains crown amidst diversity and must save the realm–insert love interest here and evil backstabber there, to a complicated story filled with plot, subplot and a smattering of side-plots meandering off at random. I’m sure everything will come full circle in the third book, but I wish just a little more balanced so I knew what I was getting myself into.
That being said, I still want to know what happens. I think the story wanders a bit too far and could definitely have been cut back a little but it isn’t a bad book. I do like where it is heading, that’s for sure. The ending gave me just enough fire to want to read more.
Overall, I give this one three stars. A little lackluster at the start but it worked its way up in the end.
That’s all for now!