The Fate of the Tearling (Queen of the Tearling #3) by Erika Johansen
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published November 29, 2016 by Harper
Please note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for review as part of the book tour. Please also note: This review may contain slight spoilers for the previous two books. However, this does not contain spoilers for The Fate of the Tearling. If you are looking for a review of either of the previous two books, check out some of the other stops on the tour.
This series holds a very… strange place in my heart. When I’m reading it, I’m completely engrossed and totally obsessed. When waiting between installments, I certainly am eagerly anticipating the next one, but I have no problem waiting. And by the time that next one comes out… I seem to have forgotten all the pertinent details. This doesn’t usually happen with books I love, but love these books I do.
Sadly, this is the final book in the trilogy.
When I began reading The Fate of the Tearling, I sort of wished I had re-read the previous books to refresh my memory. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have the time to do that, so I took to the internet. Luckily, this time around there were plenty of reviews and synopsis floating about (this was not the case when I reviewed The Invasion of the Tearling).
As I read, the important things generally came back to me. And man, I was sucked in. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about reading it. It’s such an interesting world with complex and flawed characters. I was always longing to get back to them and their fate.
If I’m being honest, there are flaws in these books and things that, upon reflection, I don’t love. However, when I’m reading them, none of those matter. I get so caught up in the story and the characters that my emotional side takes the reins and my intellectual side takes a bit of a break (but only a bit).
Kelsea is a really interesting character. She is a young woman with so much riding on the success of her reign. There is so much she wants to do for her kingdom, but all of that comes at a price. In this book, payment comes due as the Red Queen takes Kelsea off to Mortmesne. She must face the reality of her decisions the decisions of those that came before her. Is there anything she can do to save the Tearling from its fate?
This book continues the trend of switching back and forth in time and back and forth between characters. We read chapters from Kelsea’s perspective, the Mace’s, the Fetch’s, and characters from the past such as Katie, and Row Finn. We learn more about the Tearling and how it came to be the way it is.
This time around, these changes in perspective sat much better with me. In The Invasion of the Tearling, I found that the changes were jarring and brough me out of the story. In The Fate of the Tearling, however, I thought it was executed much better. I never felt myself pulled from the world of the book.
One of my few qualms with this book is the same as in The Invasion of the Tearling: there wasn’t enough of the Fetch for me! He is such an interesting character and I don’t think he’s used nearly enough! In this book, he was in it much more than the previous one. But most of it was backstory. And honestly, I didn’t love his backstory.
Another qualm I have with this series as a whole is its treatment of religion. It makes sense to me that the Church would become corrupt, and this in itself is not what I have a problem with. I don’t particularly care for the way the characters talk about religion as a whole, as if only the ridiculous, gullible, and uneducated follow any religion. It was treated as a cult. And yes, in this story, the religions are more like cults. But this felt like a blanket judgement of all religions. That didn’t sit right with me.
Finally, this is only kind of a qualm: the ending. I think it’s a fine ending and it was really quite brave of Johansen to do it this way. It makes sense with the plot and it rather fitting of the series. However, when I finished the book, I didn’t feel satisfied. And I know that maybe that’s not the worst thing, especially since the ending was true to the integrity of the story. But still. I wasn’t satisfied.
Overall, I LOVED this book and completely devoured it. This series is definitely one of my favourites. If you haven’t read it, you need to!
Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Harper for the opportunity to read and review this book! For more reviews, tour stops, and author information, check out the rest of the book tour here.