The Invasion of the Tearling│Tour Review & Giveaway [closed]!

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Fantasy, Dystopian
Hardcover, 515 pages
Published June 9th, 2015 by Harper
[Goodreads]
Purchase: [Amazon] [Book Depository]
Note: An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher for my participation in this TLC book tour and my honest review. All opinions expressed here are completely honest and completely my own.

It was really weird—WEIRD—because when I went to read this book, I for the life of me could not remember how the first book ended. I scoured the internet but still basically came up empty. So I just dove into the next book, hoping pieces of the first would come back to me. It basically did, but not really. WEIRD. That never happens! And I loved that book!
 
Anyway. Enough of that.


The Invasion of the Tearling. This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2015. I lost my mind when I saw it as a book tour opportunity. So I obviously jumped at the chance.
 
If you haven’t read The Queen of the Tearling, I’ll tell you what it’s about. Kelsea Raleigh Glynn is the heir to the throne of the Tearling. When she was a baby, she was secreted away to a cabin in the forest to be raised by foster parents. Her mother, the Queen, is dead, and the identity of her father unknown.
 
On her 19th birthday, she is to ascend to the throne. Soldiers will come to her hiding place and take her to the Keep—the palace of the Tearling. The journey is dangerous, and she will soon finds out it’s not less dangerous when she arrives. The Tearling is now ruled by a corrupt Regent, her uncle, and a corrupt religious order. They all seem to want her dead.
 
Kelsea must try to survive long enough to get her crown and save her people from corruption and devastation. However, the key to doing this may yet bring doom down upon them all—the wrath of the the Red Queen of Mortmesne. 
 
If you haven’t read The Queen of the Tearling yet, DO IT! What are you waiting for?! Also if you haven’t read it yet, you may want to skip down to my rating of The Invasion of the Tearling, because my review here may contain spoilers for the first book. 

At the beginning of The Invasion of the Tearling, Kelsea is coming into her own as queen. She has stopped the reprehensible shipments of her people to Mortmesne, but in doing so she crossed the Red Queen, a woman of strange and dark power with a taste for vengeance. The Mort are set to invade the Tearling, and their army is much bigger and stronger than that of the Tearling. It seems nothing can stop the Mort. Invasion is inevitable.Kelsea and her troops aim to put off the invasion as long as possible and prepare for siege. Kelsea and her mysterious powers are her people’s only hope. Tension runs high as the Mort army draws ever closer. Meanwhile, Kelsea has developed a strange connection with a woman named Lily from the past. Kelsea experiences visions of pre-Crossing America, and watches as Lily’s fate unfolds. Does the key to saving the Tearling lie in Lily’s story? Will Kelsea unravel it before it’s too late?DUH DUH DUH

One of the things I loved about the first book was Johansen’s careful and quiet weaving together of the world, characters, and plot. I found the pacing to be on point for a story of political intrigue and corruption. I became so fully immersed in the world I could not put the book down. I also love Kelsea! These things remained true of the second book. For the most part.

In this sequel, there is a lot of waiting going on. There’s not a lot of big things happening, because we are waiting for the big thing to happeni.e. the invasion. However, there are a whole host of smaller things going on that have large impact. There’s the stuff that goes on in the church (holy corrupt-pants! holy gruesomely-cruel-pants!), there’s Kelsea’s mystery fugues, there’s Lily, there’s all sorts of thingsso we definitely don’t get bored.

In this book, Kelsea’s story in the present is told alongside Lily’s story from the past (all of which is well ahead in our world’s future). When Kelsea slips into her fugues, she sees Lily’s life unfold in the past. While I did find Lily’s story super interesting, and while I did find the story in the present interesting, I found the way they were told alongside one another jarring. I would get thrust into one time, becoming fully immersed and invested, only to be yanked out and put in the other. Each shift it took me a while to get my bearings. I really did really enjoy both story lines, but there was something about the way it was done that just didn’t sit right with me.

Another thing I found was that the characters always felt like they were at arm’s length—I never felt truly connected to them. Sadly I found this especially true for Kelsea in this book. I could tell that she was changing, but I didn’t feel like I knew her very well by the end. It was weird. Also, why did she have to magically become prettier? Why does she need to be pretty? And why is there so much time spent talking about her appearance? First it was hearing about how plain she was all the time, and then it became about how she was becoming less and less plain. Anyway. 

Also, why was The Fetch not in it more? Sad face. 

With those few gripes aside, I really enjoyed this book. I was always excited to jump back into it, eager to learn more. It was engaging and exciting, with an interesting look at the history of the Tearling—which I did not expect, but definitely welcomed! The world building is so cool and unique! It’s a strange medieval-seeming world, but it’s actually in our future! It’s not a whole new world! Well, not exactly. I’m really looking forward to finding out where Johansen is going to take it from here.

I definitely recommend this series if you enjoy fantasy! It’s great.
Side note: this isn’t a young adult series, although everyone seems to think it is.
Side side note: the age of the protagonist does not determine the age of the intended audience.
 
About the Author
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.
 
Tour Stops
Tuesday, June 23rd: Books Without Any Pictures
Wednesday, June 24th: 5 Minutes For Books
Monday, June 29th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, June 30th: Bibliophilia, Please
Tuesday, June 30th: Reading Lark
Thursday, July 2nd: Book Loving Hippo
Monday, July 6th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, July 7th: The Reader’s Hollow
Wednesday, July 8th: fangirl confessions
Thursday, July 9th: booknerd
Monday, July 13th: Spiced Latte Reads
Tuesday, July 14th: A Reader of Fictions
Wednesday, July 15th: A Dream Within a Dream
Friday, July 17th: Into the Hall of Books
 
GIVEAWAY!
Want to win a copy of this awesome book? You’re in luck! 
This giveaway is brought to you by Harper and TLC Book Tours!
It is open to residents of Canada and the US.
Please be sure to read the Terms and conditions. It’s not very long and you want to
make sure that you are eligible and that your entries will not be disqualified!