Raised in an isolated cottage by foster
parents, Kelsea is the future Queen of Tearling. Hidden from enemies to her throne, the
Queens Guard come for her on her 19th birthday to escort her to her city
to be crowned. A lot of people want her dead and she is pursued by assassins on the
journey, causing the Guard to split up so their trails are divided and harder to pursue.
Kelsea then is kidnapped by a masked group who may or may not kill her. Striking a deal
with the leader, Fetch, she makes her way to the city.
Tearling is poor, its people starving while the aristocracy grow richer,
and they live with the threat of the neighbouring country, Mortmense, and its
tyrantruler, The Red Queen. Tearling has to provide tribute to Mortmense to stop it
invading it again and Kelsea, horrified when she finds out what the tribute is, has to
decide whether to do the right thing or turn a blind eye for the sake of her country.
The world building is interesting, you think its a medieval setting
then a mention of modern technology is dropped in and you gradually realise its set in the
future after an apocalypse and these people had left to build a new land. Having all the
drs and nurses travelling in one ship, which sunk during the Crossing, seems really stupid
The characters engage your sympathies and are likeable, except The Red
Queen and bad guys like Thorne, and as with Javel, you see why good men do bad things.
Kelsea grows up quickly and has to make some hard choices, but does what she feels is
right. I was puzzled why the elite Queens Guard, being hunted by assassins, would
build a huge fire in the woods and get drunk though.
There was a lot of exciting action, and a mystery about the magical
necklace that guides Kelsea. I look forward to finding out more about its powers and why
it has a twin. I want to learn who The Red Queen is and see if my theories about the
identity of Kelseas father and who Fetch really is are correct. I was captivated
with this book from page one and eagerly awaiting the rest of the trilogy. A great debut
novel from an author who is now on my must-read list.
The film rights have been optioned by Warner Bros. Emma Watson will star
and the producer worked on the Harry Potter films. Not sure if the beautiful Emma Watson
can pull off playing the plain Kelsea.