|The Invasion of the Tearling (#2) |
by Erika Johansen
pub June 9th 2015 by Harper
Adult - Fantasy
Kelsea became the Queen of the Tearling and every day since, she's been learning more and more about what that means. She's made an enemy of the Red Queen and trying to fight off her advances on the Tearling. Plus she's still trying to win her own people over at the same time. It's easy to forget she's still a young woman despite the heavy weight of responsibilities resting on her shoulders. It's that particular conflict I was most interested in. There's an internal struggle within Kelsea between her own personal desires, a thirst for magic and what I felt was a need for connection. She's still the same intelligent and resourceful woman willing to do whatever it takes and that's what makes her such an admirable heroine.
She continues to have a strong cast of characters surrounding her like Pen (still love him), Mace (still wish he'd show more beyond his gruff exterior) and Fetch (still so mysterious). But the world felt like another character in itself. Much more so than in the previous book, Johansen sheds light on how the Tearling came to be. Its history and what it was like before the Crossing, which I don't think I fully recognized before. I was impressed by how she weaved this fantasy world with elements of a real one. It threw me off at first but I quickly began to enjoy the unique aspect it brought to the series.
(Some) reservationsSomehow through magic or Kelsea's newfound abilities, she is able to make a connection with a woman from the past named Lily. She existed in the pre-Crossing and Kelsea is able access her memories as though she is actually living them. In those memories, she finds unexpected answers to what's happening in her life right now. I understood the importance of Lily, especially towards the end, but it was difficult to spend half the book in Lily's shoes. Every time we switched to her time, I immediately wanted to go back to Kelsea's. There was just so much going on in the present that I wanted to be more privy too. Particularly Kelsea's journey and the changing relationships in her life. The alternating point-of-views really slowed down the pace of the book overall and ultimately I think it took away from the central story instead of adding much to it.
Do I recommend?I do. The first book in this series was so strong and I'm looking at this second one as a means to set the stage for what I hope will be an exciting book 3.