Category Archives: Erika Johansen

Erika Johansen: The Queen of the Tearling (Review)

Author Biography

 Biography Erika

Erika Johansen grew up and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She went to Swarthmore College, earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and eventually became an attorney, but she never stopped writing.

Product Description:

This title will be released on July 17, 2014.

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Queen of Tearling

Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother – Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding…And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea’s story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance – it’s about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive…


This is something a bit different, a book that crosses genres with liberal smatterings of Historical Fiction, Fantasy and Dystopia. Erika Johansen has pulled off something quite remarkable, seamlessly joining these genres into not only a coherent plot but one thats a rival for any of the high profile dystopian tales out there (for me it eclipses the depth of story of your Hunger games type tale and is up there with Wool for inventive writing).

From the start we follow Kelsea a young girl just turning 19, heir to the Tearling throne, someone not expected to live beyond the first few pages, only Kelsea is determined and trained to disappoint those people and thrill the reader. This young girl must win loyalty from her Guard, survive her own family and government and try to turn a decaying kingdom into something bright again. All she has is her rigorous upbringing and education by her adopted parents and the magic jeweled heirloom left to her by her mother. Set against her is, her uncle, her government, a cabal of assassins and the seemingly immortal Red Queen of their neighboring kingdom a kingdom far exceeding hers in arms and economy, the feudal system working against Tearling and its chance of getting out from under the treaty in place between the two nations.

Thrown into this fantasy landscape are hints and references to “the crossing” and then “America” “new London” and then various books like “Lord of the Rings” showing this is a group surviving some form of global disaster,

I don’t normally give this much background into a book plot, but i wanted to try and portray some of the clever plot ideas, the writing and skill that this author has in this book. Queen Teresa is like a Dystopian Elizabeth the 1st is just one of many great well rounded “real” characters in the book. At over 430 pages the book isn’t small, yet i tore through it in two sittings.

Have to say very impressed and very very eager to get my hands on book two.



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Filed under Dystopian, Erika Johansen, Fantasy, Historical Fiction