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The Queen of the Tearling #3

The Fate of the Tearling

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Fantasy (2017)
In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader.

And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies - chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them.

To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable - naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne.

So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea - and the Tearling itself - will be revealed...

With The Fate of the Tearling, Erika Johansen draws her unforgettable story full of magic and adventure to a thrilling close.

496 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 29, 2016

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Erika Johansen

11 books4,681 followers

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5 stars
9,301 (24%)
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,174 reviews
Profile Image for Anne.
3,917 reviews69.3k followers
March 23, 2017
Alright, I'd put off reading this for a long time, because I kept reading review after review about some sort of a wonky ending. I loved both of the other books, and I just couldn't seem to bring myself to ruin it if Johansen decided to pull a Divergent on me, you know?
Ok, so this was the second time I'd checked the book out from the library, and I almost let it go back again...but at the 11th hour I decided to grab my nuts just go for it.


WHOA! I'm so glad I did! Talk about an interesting ride. This was such a cool story, I literally finished it in two days. Sure, I had stuff to do, but you know how it is when a book is that good. You're scared to see what happens next, but you have to see what happens next!


I gotta say that I did get the vast majority of my questions answered. Enough, at least, that I'm not pissed off by a ton of dangling threads. And I had already figured out what the solution to all of this stuff would have to be by the halfway point, so that wasn't a surprise to me, either.
It was...odd.
Ok, now I'm going to put some tagged spoilers at the end for those of you who want to get a peek, but for those of you who don't want any, I'll just give you a non-spoilery answer about it.
My BIGGEST problem with the way it ended was that it was just...ABRUPT.
I seriously sat there screwing around with my Kindle for about 15 minutes, trying to see if there was an epilogue or something I missed.
Like, shit just got cut off!
Where the fuck is the rest of the story...?!


I mean, I'm sure the author meant it to seem like a dramatic way for it to end - Boom! Screen goes black.
But... damn ! That was just a pisser!


Ok, ok. Not that bad, but the strange way the story stopped really did lessen my enjoyment for the overall trilogy. Sorry, I gotta knock a star off for it, because the way you close something is just as important to readers as everything in between. We get invested in these characters and their worlds, and when they don't get (what we feel is) a proper send-off there's some very real disappointment that churns in our tummies.


Still, on the whole, this was a great book, and I'm glad I read it.

Alrighty. For those of you who are like me (and by that, I mean you occasionally read the last page first), or for those of you who have already read this and want to discuss it...


*rubs hands together*
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,460 reviews9,611 followers
December 3, 2016
For me, I didn't like the ending at all!




I don't even know what to say! I mean, I loved the first two books and there were parts of this book I REALLY loved. Like what went on with the Red Queen, but there wasn't much of Pen or Fetch in it. We do go back in time when Kelsea has her visions and see how it all started. That part was kind of cool.

I'm just not happy with the ending, that's all I got. I'm just not happy but I guess we can't win them all. I am glad there are many out there that loved the whole series, I was hoping I would be one of them :-/

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 18 books13.3k followers
December 7, 2016
2.5 stars.

This series is so important to me, let me put that out there. I am so invested in this world and have been waiting for this finally for a while.
I have really enjoyed reading 80% of this novel. IT WAS BRILLIANT... BUT BUT BUT! The last 20% has ruined it for me personally.

Reason for such low score:
-This last book was disjointed.

i could literally cry.

WHY DO AUTHORS DO THIS! The book ended with the classic ' and she woke up and it was all a dream '. Why do i feel like this world got to complicated for the author and she coped out with an ending.
Don't get me wrong, it makes sense. I get that. Its her book not mine and she knows this story better then me....

but personally, this ending is my worst nightmare. I saw more of this ending, more baddassery.
WHY HAVE THERE BEEN SO MANY QUESTIONS LEFT OPEN. I mean come one really. At least answer some!

I really need to stop now as this will get out of hand and i will end up crying all over my keyboard.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Joni Graybill.
160 reviews2 followers
February 9, 2017
Actually me upon finishing this book:

All those writings and quotes from the first book that foreshadowed the greatness of the Glynn Queen - the woman who saved and revitalized the world? That was bullshit?

What even was the point of this series? I've been furiously angry about the ending of books plenty of times before, but at least they were endings to the same story I started reading. This isn't even that. This is Johansen either not knowing or not caring about figuring out how to get her story to the conclusion that was promised, so instead she used time travel to push a big old reset button. It literally wipes out the events of the last two and a half books as well as the relationships and personalities of her characters. They're all strangers living together in a utopia - if they were born at all. Really?

I'm so disappointed. Of all the series I've been following in the last couple of years, this one showed real spirit and innovation. Kelsea was a wonderfully morally ambiguous heroine - such a rare thing in any genre. Johansen's writing was strong and her vision was so clear, I was certain that this was going to have an incredible conclusion that would bring about everything that was hinted at in the first volume. Instead I get... whatever this is. I could tell right away that something was off. It never grabbed me and wouldn't let go like the first two did. Characters weren't acting like themselves, entire plot points were just dropped, never to be heard from again and Kelsea was regulated to a supporting player in her own story... but, still, I kept reading because maybe the ending would be worthy of the beginning. Ha!

I've been enthusiastically recommending this series to everyone I know for years, but now I'm telling them to not even bother. How can you ask someone to become invested in a story when none of it means a damn thing?
Profile Image for Tomoe Hotaru.
248 reviews850 followers
December 14, 2016
14 Dec. '16
blog | goodreads
This book propped up the series for me. What I would otherwise consider an okay, but could've been better two-star debut trilogy is now a solid three stars.

The questions I addressed in my review of the previous two books, particularly concerning the powerful necklace: where it came from, what exactly were its powers, and why it only worked for Kelsea, where thankfully answered by the end of this book. The answers, although fairly exciting and contributive to the worldbuilding and overall plot progression, unfortunately does not excuse the fact that the necklace is still a deus-ex-machina .
At the end of the day, rather than the necklace being a tool for our heroine, it was Kelsea who was the tool for her necklace. This really undermines her as a character and as a driving force of the trilogy , and I think this was largely what made this book (and series as a whole) fall flat despite all its other, more promising, factors.
Of course not all of the questions were answered. Johansen left enough mystery out there for it to still be intriguing. Such as how the Tears came to be in possession of the gemstone to begin with . I found these elements of mystery were well-balanced with the amount of answers given, so that did placate me a bit.

There was one other thing that prevented me from giving The Fate of the Tearling more stars than it probably deserves. This book suffers from, in my opinion, a case of where the secondary plot was far more interesting than the main plot . This was also the case with The Invasion of the Tearling. In the previous book, Lily's story was far more intriguing than Kelsea's - and here, Katie's was also far more engrossing.
This, I think, is due to what I've explained in my first critique above. Both Lily and Katie had what Kelsea did not: an impact on the plot. They were not sitting around, waiting for the necklace to do its thing and save the day. They were proactive. The plot followed them, and not the other way around. And when your secondary characters/plot is far more interesting than your main character/plot ... you may have a problem.

Which brings me to the climax. Because I did not care for Kelsea's arc/plot, the ending did not evoke as much emotion in me as it should have . I'm aware that it was supposed to be a bittersweet sort of thing, but I just didn't care. Don't get me wrong, I was happy with the conclusion - but I had none of that sadness that would have otherwise made this trilogy much more memorable.
What saved this story for me was the consequence of Kelsea's actions (eg. the butterfly effect). The reasoning behind some small nitpicks I had in the previous books (eg. Kelsea's sudden beauty). The successful avoidance of pure black/white characters (eg. the Red Queen).
And despite my many critique, I still have enjoyed the writing style and narrative voice from Book One. The pacing also suits me, and the balance of mystery-action-intrigue makes for just my cup of tea.

my review of The Queen of the Tearling.
my review of The Invasion of the Tearling.

02 Dec. '16
Review to come

11 Jul. '16
Phewh. Relax, folks. The UK cover is beautiful.

11 Apr. '16
Is that the cover though?
Eughhhh nooooooo

I hope the other editions will be better! I want something pretty to match the other two books on my shelf (T__T)

16 Jan. '16
Looks like the release date is delayed. Here is a note from the author:

Dear Tearling fans,

I wanted to apologize personally for the delay in publication of Book 3, The Fate of the Tearling. This delay is entirely my fault, not my publisher's or editor's. The publication schedule for the book simply proved too tight for my own creativity to match, and I felt that the original draft I turned in to meet my deadline wasn’t up to par. I am very proud of this series, and I don’t want to disappoint either myself or readers who care about this world by concluding with a weak book.

My publisher has been extremely understanding and accommodating of my request for more time, and I do believe the draft on which I am now working will meet the standard I tried to set with the first two novels. I ask for your patience as I work toward the new publication date, 11/29/16.

Thank you for your wonderful support for these books, as well as for your continued positive feedback, which has helped me every time my morale has flagged. I apologize again for the wait, but I hope the final installment will be worth it.


Erika Johansen

24 Feb. '15
People rating books that aren't even out yet really annoy me.

They got every right to, of course, so I won't try to stop them.

But just so you know. You annoy me.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,165 reviews98.2k followers
February 10, 2017
1.) The Queen of the Tearling ★★★
2.) The Invasion of the Tearling ★★★

“This, I think, is the crux of evil in this world, Majesty: those who feel entitled to anything they want, anything they can grab.”

I honestly feel like I don't know how I feel about this series. There is so much good in this series, and such a strong sense of feminism, which brings up a lot of important and not commonly discussed topics: the need for birth control and women to be able to protect themselves, rape culture, child abuse, human trafficking, the brain washing that can happen with religion and fear, body image issues and body shaming. Yet, this series just never enthralled me the way it did others. In fact, I gave The Queen of the Tearling and The Invasion of the Tearling three stars, too.

And that's truly how I feel about this book series: It's good, and has some really unique concepts that blew me away, but it is also long winded, has some plot holes. It never grew into anything that I would cherish, recommend, or want to reread in the future; it was just a passable fantasy series, with strong female representation that I appreciated.

I know this is the final installment of this series, but I'll try to give a non spoiler synopsis: Kingdoms are warring and kingdoms are breaking apart from their rulers. Corruption and greed are at an all-time high, and the church is trying to seize all the power. This world is set in the future of our world, but everything is set back and it feels like medieval times. Our main protagonist, Kelsea, has the ability to see different perspectives from the past, while trying to make a better future for her current world, even though that seems impossible. People refuse to learn from the past mistakes of the world, and evil always tries to triumph good, in any way possible. (Not to self: Try your hardest to not talk about the 2016 Presidential Election, Melanie.)

As some sort of disclaimer, I will say that the topic of religion in this book is going to make quite a few people upset or uncomfortable. Erika Johansen doesn't shy away from one of her main protagonist's beliefs, whatsoever, and paints religion in a very negative light. I was fine with the very negative view on religion, because fear makes people do terrible things, and everyone is entitled to their own feelings and opinions, but it did become a little overwhelming for me. There are bad, evil people in every walk of life, and those people will always try to manipulate others to be evil with them by using fear, it isn't just in churches. Obviously, the author is a well educated woman, and knows this, but I just had to put my two cents in, because I think this book could ruffle a lot of feathers with its portrayal of the two religious cults groups.

“And what was so important about blood anyway? She had just cut ties with the woman who’d borne her, and it had been the right decision.”

My favorite thing about this book is that it talks about something that is somewhat rare: the feeling that we, as humans, feel like blood makes us connected. This book really touches on how you are not the sins your parents have committed, and that sometimes it is truly best to cut toxic people out of your life. Not to get too personal here, but seeing Kelsea's inner struggle with that really touched me on a level I can't even write about. For that alone, this book will always have a place on my bookshelves.

“The tie of blood is only as strong as you want it to be. Some parents are poison, and it’s best to simply let them go.”

This book actually, surprisingly enough, does have a squeaky clean ending. Like, the reader will be left with many questions and it leaves a lot to be desired, but it is a clean cut ending that I didn't see coming. That being said, I really disliked the ending. I actually think it will be a polarizing love it or hate it ending, but my gut feeling tells me most people will dislike it. This book was a lot of world building, a lot of character development, and just a lot of work in general, to have a very anticlimactic ending. I feel like the author might have bit off a little more than she could chew. I mean, this series is very intricate, and had some pretty strong villains, and I think the ending she chose was almost necessary, even though I very much disliked it.

I also know the ending made me feel very uncomfortable for Kelsea, and I hate that I'm left with only being able to hope for her well being in her new and very uncertain future.

To end on a positive note, I do believe if you're still upset about the 2016 Presidential Election (I mean, who isn't?) this would be a very impactful book for you. Even though I stated that I only liked this book, and will stand by my three star rating, the discussion on what people will do when they are being governed by fear is very important and very eye opening. I think many people in this world would gain a great deal of insight if they picked up this book series.

Now I'm going to go into some MAJOR SPOILERY discussions! Please DO NOT continue reading if you have not completed this book, read The Queen of the Tearling and The Invasion of the Tearling, and do not wish to be spoiled!

Okay, I feel like there is way too much to discuss without mentioning some spoilers. I'm just going to talk about a few key individuals, and how their reveals/arcs made me feel:

Row Finn - AKA: The Orphan, or dude that lives in the fire. Like, I don't know about you all, but I could see him being William Tear's kid from the start of Katie's past being told. His being evil just for the sake of being evil got really old, too. And I'm all for girls having sex with whoever they want, whenever they want, but I was actually disgusted that Katie slept with him.

The Fetch - AKA: Gavin. Man, talk about writing a hot, mystery man and completely tearing him apart and making him look like such a weak man. Like, I'm not even upset about his character; Erika Johansen did an amazing job destroying my previous image of him, and I don't think that's easy to do, so bravo. My only complaint about his character destruction is that I feel like in the previous books, we are to believe he will play a pivotal role in the ending, since he is such a mysterious man with all these secrets, but it ended up just being a flop.

The Red Queen - I loved her relationship with Kelsea in this book. I felt like in a The Queen of the Tearling she was being written to look like an evil queen, and to make us hate her, but she was pretty likable in this book. I have a weak spot for helpless evil queens, I guess.

Asia - I kept thinking that Erika Johansen was going to write a spin-off about this child assassin! Her devotion to do what's right, her being a child victim of sexual and physical abuse and facing it to overcome it, her courage in the Creche - these are all such amazing things that completely hooked me and made me so excited for the possibility of a spin-off in this world! Unfortunately, the ending of this book made that outcome look impossible.

Mace - Um... I actually hated him in this book. *Gasp*, I know, I'm terrible. But as soon as that plot twist with Kelsea's mother came out, I was so disgusted with him. Seriously, he's dead to me. Also, Kelsea's reveal about her father was the most infuriating thing about this whole book. Like, I wasn't having any of that scene with "Lady Chilton" whatsoever.

Pen - Pen is the other character that I feel Erika Johansen killed without killing. He can't be Kelsea's guard because.... he loves her? Like, what kind of backwards logic is going on here? Then, in the new and better world Kelsea ends up achieving, my heart literally wept. I'm not saying that the female lead has to end up with a male to be happy, but with everything Kelsea has been through in her life, her ending up with Pen in this new world would have been enough for me to be happy. I don't mean they had to be married with three kids, but Pen, or Andrew, being single and willing to hang out with Kelsea would have turned this whole damn ending around in my eyes.

Father Tyler - Or do I mean Brother Tyler, now? Either way, he's amazing and a perfect little cinnamon roll, and saved the whole damn world. I actually wanted to scream at Kelsea when she didn't want to talk to him in her new world. I'm like, girl, if anyone is going to believe your crazy story - it is going to be his ass.

Ewen - He is the other perfect little cinnamon roll in this series. I don't have much to say about him, but I completely loved reading about him and his heroism, and couldn't write a review without mentioning him.

Brenna - God, I loved Brenna's character arc in this book. I loved reading her heartbreaking past, and realizing that she grew up in the Creche, absorbing the pain of others. God, it still hurts me to think about. Like I said, some parts of this series are honestly 11/10.

Javel - As much as I freaking loved Allie Alice, Javel's story-line was pointless. Like, yeah, we got to see him unhealthily cope with losing someone, and coming out of alcohol addiction, but this story would have been 100% fine without his arc.

I could touch more on Kelsea, Katie, Jonathan, Lily and William, but I don't really feel like I need to. The shock factor of Kelsea being able to change the past, and then have to deal with numerous butterfly effects was pretty overwhelming, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it, and I might never know how I feel about it. But I do know I wish Kelsea the best, and I hope she finds the peace she deserves, because she now has to live in a world where no one knows her sacrifice but her.

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Profile Image for Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd).
332 reviews7,309 followers
April 4, 2017
Maybe it's a 3.5 but I can't decide

I'm so so so deeply sad right now. This has been one of my all-time favorite series and I think the first two books are masterpieces, but this one just stumbled and fell on the ending. It could have ended any other way and I think I would have been happy, but this ending is one of my ultimate pet peeves in terms of fictional worlds. It frustrates me like nothing else does and I can't get over it.

The rest of this book stands up with the series. There are still new characters that are interesting, still a morally gray main character who is so flawed and fascinating and strong. And it was seriously terrifying a few times. If not for the ending this would have been a nearly perfect series. But the ending. Oh, the ending. I'll just be crying forever now.
Profile Image for Samantha.
416 reviews16.7k followers
June 2, 2020
TW: brief body horror; sexual harassment w/ threats of assault; mentions of child abuse and pedophilia

I can see why this final book is polarizing. It feels so different from the first book but is a solid conclusion from what was revealed in the second book. This story challenges the reader. There aren’t any perfect answers and it can be frustrating at times. None of the characters are perfect. Kelsea as a character is striving to build a better world while obviously not knowing what the consequences will always be for her actions. It does leave a feeling of lack of fulfillment at times, but that feels true to this entire series arc.

I will say the very very end of the book threw me for a loop. There are some scenes I don’t quite feel I understood and did feel rushed. I think it could have been wrapped up in a more universally satisfying way, but I do feel the author didn’t go that route on purpose.

This series will always stand out as something unique to me. I will be doing a video review and discussion on my channel.
Profile Image for Sophie "Beware Of The Reader".
1,289 reviews339 followers
February 6, 2017
2 stars.

Just know that I gave 5 stars to the other books of this trilogy, so:


If you follow me usually you must know by now that I always try to be constructive in my reviews. Even when I did not like a book. Fortunately it does not happen often. Either I’m pretty easy to please either I choose my reads wisely, take your pick.

But right now, I’m so fuming mad it will be really difficult to tame my anger and try to write something that could be useful for the readers and the author. Even if it’s highly unlikely she would read my review.

Why do I write this review then? Because I loved the first two books so much that I just feel betrayed by the author and need to vent my frustration.

I loved the first 70% of the book. We went back and forth between present (Kelsea at the hands of the Red Queen waiting in her dungeon) and past. No longer with Lily but with a young girl Katie. Little by little we learn about William Tear, his utopia, his family, his town. How dissent slowly grew in this small community. I found Katie interesting and was happy to know more about the Tearling’s origins.

There was so much in the book about past mistakes, lessons to learn, how humans maybe aren’t meant to live equals, how the better intentions can lead to disastrous consequences how…it was just too much, too dense!
I had sometimes to read sentences and passages twice and yet I did not understand everything. Maybe I’m not smart enough. It was like the author tried to cram as much topics, concepts, conflicting emotions and characters as was possible. It just did not work at all.

Now I want to be constructive, give some advice and explain what did not work at all for me personally:

-don’t make your story so convoluted it becomes unbelievable. The “genre” was so far from the first two books some passages in the last 30% were worthy of a horror book. And I don’t like horror stories. Just to illustrate: the way Kelsea chose to “use” Katie in the last scenes was just grotesque. Sorry to say it plain and simple but I did not recognize the story at all.

-don’t write scenes staging your characters behaving erratically, so far from who they are that your reader does not recognize them. Stay true to them especially if it does not serve any purpose in the story. The scene between Katie and Finn in the woods at the Autumn festival was just poorly executed. It just came so “out of the blue” and was not Katie at all. It was short barely a blink and I can still not fathom its purpose. If it was to distract her it could have been achieved by a simple dance. The same can be said for the scene between Jonathan and Katie under the church. Nothing led us to expect it. It was just cold clinical and…

-don’t make some characters we came to love either die if it’s not absolutely essential or let them achieve their whole purpose and destiny. I’m speaking about a girl I came to love and thought was meant to achieve something exceptional but…no;

-don’t bash your characters or paint them in grey light gratuitously just to disappoint us. I know people come in shades of grey. I usually do prefer nuances in my characters but…Learning about The Mace’s past, how he behaved under Kelsea’s mother reign greatly disappointed me and did not add anything to the plot. The same could be said of Pen. He was mopping in the beginning and I just wanted to slap him. Then suddenly he changed his mind. Kelsea and Pen shook hands and wham, bam, madam it was set and done as if no feelings ever existed between them. Sorry but you can’t just turn a switch and stop your feelings. I don’t buy it.

-if you write in crescendo with a real appalling gory frenzy by the end don’t stop with something so anticlimactic. It just feels like “much ado about nothing” and I just want more.

OK I stop here.

Dear author:
To sum it up: read the first two books, stay true to your characters, to your story and don’t become so elated as to write something your readers will never recognize and understand.
And I don’t take gloves to write this review because I just loved your story so much I just feel betrayed. In itself it’s a praise to your work because you made me feel so much for your characters and plot it just hurt me in the flesh to read this.

Dear readers:
You can consider me arrogant as I’ve never written a single book in my life and yet here I am giving advices. You would be right. But on the other hand I’ve read more than 10.000 books in my life, done several beta reads so far and I know my own mind, my likes and my dislikes. I don’t write reviews to praise authors but to be honest and help other readers expressing my own personal opinion. Now, just sue me.

Will I stop reading Erika Johansen’s books? Certainly not as she’s previously proven she can achieve greatness.

Profile Image for Jenna.
267 reviews78 followers
July 9, 2020
I put a lot of pressure on the conclusions of series. Most readers do. Annnnnnnnd Erika Johansen did not disappoint and wove a beautiful 3rd book and ending to this series.

The Fate of the Tearling deserves 5/5 stars
The ending was a bit of a ?????? moment. I honestly did not expect that ending. There were things I wanted from the conclusion of this book that I did not get. Yet I must remind myself that the book itself was astonishing. It brought the best elements of the previous 2 books. The ending, although not what I would have preferred, did not ruin this series for me.
If you have not read this series, I urge to try it! It has become one of my favourite fantasy series.

Erika Johansen created a world full of history and complex details. To have a fantasy series dive into the world's history and how the world was developed is amazing. Few books really do that. For me, I loved it. There were so many small details in this book that all come together in the end, every word she wrote had a purpose to the story. I'm sure this is a series that when you re-read it, you catch something new every time and it makes it even better.

Another reason this series is amazing is because there are soo many life lessons. One of them is to accept yourself, appearances are deceiving and you should not care if you're 'pretty' or 'skinny'. Another message, as one of the comments on this review shared is that everything comes with a price.

I cannot wait to see what other books Erika Johansen writes because it will be an insta-buy.

The rest of my review contains spoilers
The ENDING. Everything throughout the books was leading up to this moment and I felt like it was only partially satisfying. It was a completely different world.

Not completely different, but everything had seemed to change for the better, which is awesome! But no one else remembered what Kelsea did or everything that happened in that alternate history. She was alone, her friends were leading other lives, without the slightest notion of what had happened.
I was happy for Pen, that he found love and a family. Happy that in this alternate world, Aisa probably did not have her neck snapped, or who knows, maybe she never existed? Her mother may have never married her terrible father. It was just so surreal, this ending. Kelsea felt alone. After all the experiences binding everyone together, she was the only one who remembered. It was sad. Happy but sad. A sacrifice for the better good.
I liked that Carlin was still alive and that Elyssa was present in Kelsea's life, she finally had the mother she dreamed of. Sure it wasn't perfect, but they had a good new life and relationship.

Okay I'm backing it up now. So Mhurn was her father? I actually really enjoyed that reveal. Throughout the book we were led to think it had to be someone noble and strong and powerful. I liked that Mhurn was her father because unlike some fantasy novels, Erika Johansen made her father a regular guy. A guy that had issues, drug problems. Her mother was vain and not very bright. It was different, unexpected and very refreshing.

Another reason I was slightly disappointed with the ending was that we grew accustomed to so many characters that we didn't get to see how their new lives planned out. Ewen, Elston, Barty, Andalie, Hall, etc. There was also the idea that was brought in earlier in the series about the importance of a printing press and the loss of innovation from the crossing. Innovation that Hall's twin brother as we learned in this final book, had the potential to bring to the Tearling. An entire small story arc that relatively didn't have much of a conclusion. We are just to assume most of them were alive and living lives that were significantly better then the ones they were living before.

Pen and Kelsea's reunion was very underwhelming. I understood what had happened, each character growing and learning about themselves in different ways. Yet I still was disappointed with their.. amicable break up? I'm not sure if break up is the word since they were never really a couple? It was very amicable and I liked how Johansen wrote it. In the aftermath, Kelsea still felt for Pen, that longing and hurt that most people feel after losing a friend or significant other. When you see each other on the street or with friends and you no longer have the chemistry or acknowledgement of closeness that you had before. It was realistic and I liked that.

When Kelsea saw the Mace, my feels were uncontainable.

I was really upturned by how Aisa was killed quickly and with very little reaction from the other characters. The Caden killed her so they could reap the reward? After all they had been through together? Or was it a mercy killing because of her infection? We truly will never know. There was so much going on in the ending there that the characters had no time to really spend thinking about her death but I still felt like perhaps we could have had a bit more on that.

I have read critiques on this series, especially about how Kelsea views vanity and her judgemental tendencies. Yet if they read the whole series, they should realize that it was all part of something she had to deal with. Her mother was extremely vain and beautiful yet Kelsea was extremely insecure about her beauty, she knew she was plain and wasn't 'skinny' and didn't really like how she was portrayed. She also didn't want to end up like her mother. Her judgement came from a place of insecurity and she learns within the book that beauty is not important, that appearances are deceiving and that lastly, they should not hold much weight. She wakes up in this new world and there is a mirror. A full length mirror. She had grown up differently in the other world but now that Elyssa was raising her there were mirrors around. At this point she see's her original self is back and she is grateful for it. She had finally accepted herself for who she was and was learning to accept others for their faults as well. This story arc was complicated and I guess some people just didn't relate to it or understand it, thus they criticized it. Yet it all comes full circle in the end, with a good message.

There is so much more to discuss with this book and I'm sure I will add more later when I think of it. Happy reading!!!

ITS FINALLY HERE!!! I'm so excited omfg

hype hype hype hype hype! This year we have harry potter and the cursed child, empire of storms AND the fate of the tearling???? WE ARE SO LUCKY GUYS
This series is so underrated, like why is this not on the top 100 YA releases of 2016??? Because this is in MY top 3 most anticipated releases of the year. I love this series to pieces and can't wait to read this!
Profile Image for emi.
445 reviews1,078 followers
December 5, 2016
1.5/5 Stars

The first 92% of this book was amazing. There were parts I was unsure about, but over all it was a 3, perhaps even 4 star book. Then that last chapter happened and I have NEVER been more disappointed in my entire life. That was not an ending, that was just the easy way out. I have never hated an ending more than I hate this one, and I now feel like giving it two stars is being generous. Urgh. I wish I didn't waste my time with that ending. Maybe I'll post a more detailed review later.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,962 followers
January 11, 2017
Maybe it's just me or maybe the author has just gotten better and better with each installment. I had some slight issues with each one but as they came along, all my questions and concerns got resolved. Was I slightly annoyed at just how strong the young queen became, so quickly?

Maybe. But practically everything else that happened in the tale supported the conceit and all the other characters drew me in, and in the second book all those concerns went away as I was drawn into the visions of the past within the second novel so I just didn't care about anything else. :)

But what about the third book? Did it expand on all this great Fantasy awesomeness? Yes! Did I get even more of the past and the world-hopping and even more present war and great sword action? You betcha I did, and I got the best sequences of the Red Queen in all three of the novels, too! She actually grew on me. It helps that her circumstances had changed so damn much. :)

But then I come to the last great reveal/action. All to this point, I was really rocking to Johansen's writing and I was having a great time, and then we were thrown a WTF moment at the end.


Trust me, you'll know it when you see it.

But on reflection, and I had to keep recalling all the events leading up to this last event, I have to admit that while it's strange and I recall much worse examples of this kind of event, Johansen actually pulls it off with aplomb. All the events lead up to it nicely. There are tons of pointers that make this kind of end perfectly natural, and so, in my mind, I got carried along with it.

That's not to say that it wasn't slightly jarring, of course, but after all that page-space away from either kingdom? It makes good solid sense. :)

Final verdict?

Solid except for some really seemingly rocky shoals which actually turned out to only be close calls. :) In the end, I really liked it. :)
Profile Image for Anja H..
731 reviews448 followers
February 6, 2017

"Hatred is easy, and lazy to boot. It’s love that demands effort, love that exacts a price from each of us."

FUCK NO. I refuse to believe this!
THAT was the big revelation after 2 entire books and 400 pages of building up my anticipation?? No. Just no. I will never forgive you for this, Erika Johansen!

That entire last chapter was such a big letdown, I'm left speechless. That chapter just never should've happened, honestly. I was so prepared to give this book 5 stars after that immense buildup in the first 400-ish pages and everything seemed to come together like pieces of one big puzzle and then... I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but I really don't get how Erika Johansen could do that to all the characters we've gotten to know and love throughout this trilogy! Lazarus, Pen, Andalie, Aisa... no, just no no nooo.
That ending made me change my rating from 5 to 3.5 stars, just because the buildup was so so good.
Profile Image for hayden.
1,054 reviews733 followers
December 14, 2016
well, that was not what i expected.
but i loved it nonetheless.
more to come later, maybe?






Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,376 reviews1,430 followers
November 6, 2017
The Fate of the Tearling ties up the series nicely. All questions of the founding of Tearling, the shadow and Mort are answered.

And we also learn all of the secrets of the Fetch. Finally! "For three long centuries... William Tear's dream sunk further and further into the mire. No one in the Tearling could even see Tear's better world any longer, let alone muster the courage to dig for it." pg 6, ebook.

The path isn't easy. Kelsea questions herself every step of the way. "Maybe we aren't capable of being satisfied, Kelsea thought, and the idea seemed to open a chasm inside her. Maybe utopia is beyond us." pg 90, ebook.

But she is determined to see things through to the end: "We can't simply stay here, hiding, while the kingdom burns. What sort of queen would I be?" pg 273.

Though Erika Johansen writes a thorough ending, I found myself dissatisfied with it. Read it and let me know what you think. I'm still thinking about it, even though I finished this book last week.

I found some of the scenes with to be the creepiest thing Johansen had written for this series.

From a lackluster start, I think The Queen of the Tearling series turned out to be fairly enjoyable. I would classify it as adult because of some of the themes, imagery and language.

It uses fantasy to examine the human condition, society and what happens to communes after a charismatic leader dies.

I think Kelsea is one of the strongest female characters I've read. Bravery-wise, she fits right in with Katniss Everdeen. She doesn't quit and isn't afraid to admit when she's wrong.

Throughout the series, we see her grow from uncertain child to warrior queen. Bookish and introverted, Kelsea may appeal to those who wish they could be something more than they currently are.

Recommended for readers who are willing to invest some time in a series to enjoy it and for fans of fantasy/dystopian worlds. The Queen of the Tearling grew on me. It has heart.
Profile Image for Nasom.
195 reviews139 followers
July 12, 2018
I'm honestly glad to finish this book. I almost DNF a lot of times because of how slow it was.

What I didn’t like
- This book was very anti-climatic: First of all in terms of Kelsea’s father. This series made it seem like that was a major point-plot but the reveal was so underwhelming. Same with the fetch. He was made to be this hot, mysterious dangerous guy but this book did a 180 on his character. His backstory was also so underwhelming.

- One thing that motivated me to read this book was to get answers to unanswered questions but I was just left with more questions. How did Row Finn make creepy children? How did those jewels become what they are? Who are the Raleighs and how did they come to rule? . I’m sure there are some unanswered questions I’m forgetting to include bc this book was just all over the place

- There were some odd plot points like the 2 odd sex scenes. Those sex scenes were so random and I was like ‘wth is happening??”. It’s like the author wanted to include them but was not sure where to put them so she picked random times.

- I know some people hated the ending but I wasn’t angry at how it ended, mostly because I stopped caring about anything at that point but it was a cop out!

- The #1 thing I dislike about this was the portrayal of the Christian religion. Throughout this series, ‘the church’ has been one of the bad guys and the ‘holy father’ is the worst of the worst. It didn’t really bother me because I get that people do bad things, including self-proclaimed holy people. But in this, it got too much. This book is divided into the past and present. The main character in the past is a girl called Katie. Katie is an atheist and is intolerant of anything religious (she got so mad when she heard someone calling upon God and wanted it to stop). Her hatred isn’t checked but rather is justified when it turns out that she was right to worry about Christianity becoming a thing since they became a terrible force in the town 😒. So not only is Christianity bad in the present, it was also bad in the past. Devout people are either manipulative or are easily manipulated. The non-believers are the ones who are ‘good’ and can see past the manipulation. I literally had to stop reading at one point to google the author, just to see if there was any information about her belief (or lack of) but I didn’t find anything.

What I liked
- I didn’t hate everything lol. I did like that we got some answers, like how the society started changing. Also, the importance of learning about history to prevent it from repeating itself.
Profile Image for Cesar.
353 reviews236 followers
March 11, 2018
1.5 stars

WARNING: This review will contain spoilers. If you have not read The Fate of the Tearling, do not read this review. You have been warned.

Deus Ex Machina.
de·us ex ma·chi·na
dāəs ˌeks ˈmäkənə,ˌdāəs ˌeks ˈmäakənə/
*an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel.
* The Fate of the Tearling.


When you start a series, you are first introduced to the world and the main problem our protagonist is facing. By the end of the series, the protagonist, after going through tough times, is victorious in the end.

The Fate of the Tearling did not have that. Rather, the author pulled a deus ex machina and wrote the worst ending I have ever read. I was so disappointed by how the series ended. It was such a complete copout. I spent weeks going through each book with their goddamn long chapters only to have a copout ending.

When the Fate of the Tearling was released, I saw that a lot of people were not happy with the ending. And because of those reviews, I did put off reading FotT for a while. But I did say I would finish this trilogy and I don't go back on my word. So here we are now, and I can definitely see why the ending wasn't well received.

The Fate of the Tearling was supposed to be the final battle between Kelsea and the Red Queen. The last two books have to lead up to this moment where Kelsea would save the Tearling and her close group of guards and companions.

But nope. What we got was a convoluted mess of plot and a shit ending.

Now, even with the mess of a plot, I still could've given this 3 stars had it not been for the ending and a certain thing that happened midway through the book. The first half was good and had lots of potential for the remaining half. But things went downhill after the first half.

Here come the spoilers. The reasons why I did not like TFotT

1) The Red Queen's death.
(This is the thing that happened midway I wasn't fond of.)
The Red Queen is described as a fearsome woman who rules with an iron fist. Or so we thought. Turns out she's weak minded and has no control of her kingdom. She has gained magic from the other antagonist, Row Finn, a long time ago. But when Row and his children army are after the queen, she high tails it out of her kingdom and is later killed by Kelsea as a mercy kill.

With Row Finn being introduced as a new villain, I knew the queen would be taking a backseat in the plot. I did not expect her to just die. With the liberation of Mortmesne, I figured the death of the queen would somehow impact the story. Nope. Nothing happened after her death.

2) The Origins of the Tearling.
Like in The Fate of the Tearling, Kelsea get visions of the past. This time it's from a girl named Katie who was born after the Crossing. Katie's story explains how Row Finn came into his powers and how the Town (such an original name) fell.

I could appreciate what Erika Johansen does when she was writing Katie, and I did like how a few questions were answered about what happened after the Crossing, but I didn't really care that much for Katie.

3) Asia.
I'm sorry, but am I supposed to feel anything about this character? Like, I did sympathize with her due to her upbringing, but I did not care about Asia. She did not have a distinct role in the second book and it's the same thing here. She's supposed to be a guard in training. But she had no role whatsoever. She could've been written out of the story and it would not change anything.

To make it even worse, she dies near the end in a quick way. And since I didn't care about her, I felt nothing when she died.

4) The Fetch.
We are first introduced to the Fetch in the first book as this thief who is charismatic as he is devious. He's not a good guy or a bad one. More like ambiguously grey. He started out as this mysterious man to only have his character be tossed out the window and reduced to an exposition character. It is later found out that he was made immortal along with some of his friends as punishment for siding with Row. You would think he would play a major role near the end. You guessed wrong.

5) The Ending.
Here we go people, the ending. So this is where Johansen pulls the biggest Deus Ex Machina I have ever seen.

New London is on the brink of being destroyed by the Church and Row's army of demon children. Kelsea then uses those fucking OP sapphires and talks to William Tear. He then says that Kelsea can change what is going on in her present by going to the past and interfering. She chooses to go back to when the Town was on the brink of collapse and possesses Katie's body to kill Row and everything was changed. Kelsea is now living in an alternate time where the Red Queen and Row Finn don't exist and everyone from the Tearling timeline don't remember her.

So everything that has happened before might as well never have happened. There was so much storytelling built from the first book only to have it end in such an easy way. That was not a good ending.

Were there good things about TFotT? Yes, a few. I still enjoyed the world of it and even if Kelsea does sometimes speak without thinking, I do admire her determination. But that's about the only reasons why I didn't give TfotT 1 star.


What started as a series with great potential ended in a deus ex machina. I would not have minded if this book was 600 pages if it meant there would be more room for plot. Hell, I would've been fine if there had been a fourth book.

But all we're left is with an ending that was full of wasted potential.

Thanks for reading my review!

Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.5k followers
February 17, 2021
The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #3), Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling is the debut novel of Erika Johansen. It is set on a fictional landmass several centuries in the future, and is the first novel of a fantasy trilogy.
The other books in the trilogy are:
The Invasion of the Tearling (2015)
and The Fate of the Tearling (2016).

Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn must defeat the powers of the Red Queen, who is out to destroy her. She must journey to the royal castle to claim her throne, and is accompanied only by the loyal Queen's Guard which is led Carroll and the mysterious Lazarus. Along the way she must earn the respect of her people and fix the broken shambles of the Kingdom of Tear.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز شانزدهم ماه فوریه سال 2018میلادی

عنوان: ملکه اشک کتاب سه سرنوشت اشک آور؛ نویسنده اریکا یوهانسون؛

شاهزاده خانم «کلسی رالی گلین» باید «ملکه سرخ» را؛ که برای نابودی او، دست اندر کار است، شکست دهد؛ او برای ادعای تاج و تخت خود، باید به قلعه ی سلطنتی سفر کند، و تنها گارد وفادار ملکه، که توسط «کارول» و «لازاروس» مرموز، هدایت میشود، همراه او هستند؛ در طول راه او باید احترام مردمان خود را، بدست آورد، و لکه های شکست «پادشاهی اشک» را، برطرف کند؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 28/11/1399هجری خورشید؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews837 followers
November 25, 2016
Spoiler-free review!

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Book Three of The Queen of the Tearling series
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: November 29, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Tearling trilogy.

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch. As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies—including the evil Red Queen, her fiercest rival, who has set her armies against the Tear.

To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable—she gave herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy—and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign, imprisoned in Mortmesne.

Now, as the suspenseful endgame begins, the fate of Queen Kelsea—and the Tearling itself—will finally be revealed.

What I Liked:

Upon finishing this book, the only thing that came to mind was the word "WOW". This book blew me away. I can't say that I absolutely loved the story and will definitely reread the series again, but I enjoyed the trilogy, especially this final novel. So many pieces come together in a surprising, shocking manner. What an end.

Kelsea Glynn has given herself over to the Red Queen, in a tactful decision to protect her kingdom. Now in the hands of the Red Queen, she will have to fight to get back to her kingdom, with her sapphires. She begins to see more visions, but visions of the past, involving Jonathan Tear (William Tear's son), a girl named Katie, and Rowland Finn. Meanwhile, the Mace is struggling to hold control over the Keep. And then there is Aisa, Andalie's daughter, who is starting to see her purpose in serving the Queen (Kelsea). A guard named Javel and a simple boy named Ewen will play opposing but important roles in the story, in surprising ways. And all will come together but not as you would think. Everything will end in a way that will have you second-guessing everything.

I'm kind of stunned by this novel (if you couldn't tell). At first I had to orient myself in the Tearling world, because I didn't remember much of book two (besides the ending). A lot of names and places were lost on me, at first. But I started to get back into the story quickly. The beginning lagged but I had no trouble in continuing.

This particular book is told from many third-person POVs besides Kelsea's; Aisa, Javel, Ewen, the Red Queen. There are flashes from the past - visions that Kelsea sees - in the perspective of Katie Rice, a teenager who lived during the time of William Tear. Katie plays a vastly important role in the book, possibly more important than any other character besides Kelsea - and Katie is merely part of a vision from the past (i.e. she isn't an actual character in the present).

Johansen does a magnificent job of crafting this Tearling world. It's set in a futuristic time, and it's not quite fantasy, since many references are made to this modern time. For example, the Atlantic Ocean is what William Tear crossed (the "Crossing"); America is the old world; certain technologies once existed that no longer do. The world that Johansen has created in this series is intriguing and awe-inspiring. I think I got the best sense of the Tearling world from this particular book.

I didn't really connect with Kelsea as much as I would have liked, in the previous books, but I've always liked her. She is a powerful Queen who is smart and brave. In this book, she isn't an acting Queen, as she is captured the whole time. But this doesn't take away from her strength and intelligence. She is compassionate where other Queens were not, and very clever.

There are so many other stories/subplots in this book, involving so many secondary characters. For example, Javel, a gate guard, whose wife was sent in a Tear shipment to Mort six years ago, struggles with the reality that his wife is not his wife anymore. Aisa, an adolescent who is very good with knives, wants to do something more with her skill. Ewen, a simple boy and guard, wants to do something as well. So many secondary characters that are important, and very fleshed out.

I think my favorite "story", of this book, was Katie's. We get to see long passages of the past that involve Katie, and William Tear and his son Jonathan, and her best friend Rowland Finn. There is so much history that is so important in shaping the present and future. Kelsea sees Katie's story bit by bit, and begins to understand what she needs to do.

A lot of parts and pieces from the previous two books started to fall into place, and a lot of questions are answered. By the end of the book, anything you might have been curious about earlier in the series has been addressed (in my opinion). I love how intricately woven the story is, and becomes, by the end.

There is little to no romance in this book, and series in general. Not for Kelsea, anyway.

The end! Shocking, clever, and bittersweet. That's all I'm going to see. A fitting and powerful ending, a clever and unconventional one, but not a deus ex machina type, and not a "bad" one.

What I Did Not Like:

I already mentioned this, but the beginning and other parts of the book definitely dragged at times. I wouldn't say that this book was boring (it was quite engaging!), but it was dense. There was a lot to take in, sometimes in a short amount of space.

Also, I really really wish there was an epilogue.

Would I Recommend It:

If you like adult fiction (specifically, fantasy), then this is a good series to start. This is NOT Young Adult and certainly not appropriate for just any reader. There is plenty of mature content (gruesome, gory, and sexual), so be aware. But it's a very intriguing and enjoyable series, one that I will be thinking about in the future.


4 stars. This is a conclusion novel worthy of the series. And this is an author worthy of all the hype and praise. Seriously, the writing of the series is so stunning. I will definitely be looking for more books by this author. Also, I am still going to hope for an epilogue!
Profile Image for Anniebananie.
535 reviews399 followers
March 29, 2021
Hä? Was war das denn für ein Ende? Bin ich zu blöd oder fehlt in meinem Buch vielleicht noch das letzte Kapitel/ein Epilog? Vermutlich leider eher ersteres... auf jeden Fall lässt mich dieses Ende irgendwie gefrustet zurück.
Dabei hatte es so gut angefangen. Ich kam gut wieder in die Geschichte rein auch wenn ich Band 1 und 2 vor mehreren Jahren gelesen habe, fand ich mich schnell wieder in der Welt zurecht.
Der Schreibstil lies sich wieder angenehm lesen, auch wenn mich die extrem langen Kapitel wieder den ein oder anderen Nerv gekostet haben, kam ich schnell voran.
Die Spannung war zumindest stets so hoch, dass ich wissen wollte was als nächstes passiert, auch wenn ich mir noch ein wenig mehr Spannung in so einem finalen Band gewünscht hätte.
Wie in den ersten Büchern, wird auch hier aus wechselnden Perspektiven erzählt. Leider immer aus der 3. Person heraus, wodurch mir die Charaktere irgendwie immer etwas fern bleiben und nicht so sehr unter die Haut gehen.
Trotz allem fand ich das Buch wirklich gelungen und vor allem die Kapitel, welche in der Vergangenheit spielten, fand ich grandios. Auch, dass ich bis zum Ende hin keine Ahnung hatte wie die Autorin alles auflösen wollte, lies mich mit Spannung bei der Sache bleiben...
ABER es stellte sich für mich heraus, dass nicht nur ich keine Ahnung hatte wie die Story sinnvoll aufgelöst werden soll, sondern anscheinend hatte Erika Johansen da ebenso wenig Plan...
Profile Image for Ashley Marsh.
252 reviews15 followers
February 7, 2017
WHAT. THE. STUPID. HELL? She should have made us wait even longer for this book so she could come up with a proper ending befitting the entire story that came before this.

Stupid. This is so stupid. I was enjoying myself so much. You can see the story arc leading up to some weird possibility of this ending, but I spent the last 30% of the book trying to think of other routes it could take. ANY ending would have been better. I would have been happier if she had pulled a Veronica Roth and just killed her off. The majority of three books focused on Kelsea and it all was leading to a successful queen in control of her kingdom, but we're just going to throw all of that away, I guess. I can't believe the author actually submitted this. I can't believe it actually got published. I'm in shock.

First, you add too many villains to a single trilogy. You don't give yourself time to wrap up all the loose ends, and there are LOTS of loose ends. The entire final book, great as the majority of it was, felt rushed. You end up with this disastrous ending of shit and wreckage. We fell in love with all of these characters, and they're just ERASED. Gone. It's truly remarkable how one author could screw this entire series so far into the ground in a single chapter. Instead of actually finding solutions to problems and making things right, let's just wipe out EVERYTHING and start over to see what we get? Smart move.

Every character you're led to believe will be important to the finale ended up in a weird, disjointed mess of far too many storylines. Finding out who Kelsea's father is was such an integral part of the story in the first two books, and then, when she finally found out, it was absolutely POINTLESS. So many possibilities, and she chose an easy cop out. I guess you can't ask too many questions if he's dead. Characters I loved, like Aisa and Ewen, weren't really necessary to be honest. There was just too much shoved into one novel. Trying to fit everything in just didn't work out the way it could have. We're left with too many questions. Not every single thing needs to be explained, but if you throw a major plot point at me and then refuse to give me the answers, I'm going to be upset. For example, what the HELL is up with these stupid sapphires? Great, they're magical, but why? How?

I enjoyed Katie's perspective, but honestly... What was even the point of this book? The Red Queen was supposed to be the bad guy. Okay, she's not that bad. We have a new bad guy. Enter Katie and Row. Just like that. While I loved the odd relationship between the queens, I just don't feel that it was right. Nothing was right. Why? Why build up the Red Queen as a monster for two books, just to make her weak in the last one? This is like spending six and a half Harry Potter books believing that Draco is the bad guy, just to find out that he's only mildly annoying and the real bad guy is far, far worse so we need to cram Voldemort's entire backstory into the very last chapters. It. Makes. No. Sense. If you're going to have two villains, at least make their characters consistent.

It feels as if Johansen didn't have a plan for the trilogy as a whole. It's as if she made it up as she went along, throwing in new ideas that should have been at least alluded to in the first two books. Making the Red Queen more "human" as a means of forcing us to focus on the new villain definitely backfired, in my opinion. It's not my biggest issue with the book, but it also has no place in the story. Speaking of Row, what the fuck is up with those "children" of his? Like I said, too many plot points, too many loose ends. This army of evil children didn't just materialize overnight. I personally don't even think that the author knows these answers. She didn't delve deeply enough into the things that matter to the reader, and she spent way too much time on pointless shit.

I've never felt so betrayed in my life. I've been pushing this series on everyone from the minute I read the first book in one sitting. Now I regret it and I hope that no one ever picks this up because of me. I'm disappointed, if that wasn't obvious. A stupid ending to what had the potential to be a completely original, amazing epic fantasy. Gross.

Unique as it was, I probably would have been happier with the trilogy as a whole if the entire time travel/Lily/Katie aspect had been left out. Just let the queen have some magic necklaces and defeat the bad queen while some weird darkness lurks around in fires and takes human sacrifices. That would have been fine. This needed more time to develop. Not just three books.

I'm trying to find positives from the first 85% of the book, because the ending is absolute shit and it's all I can focus on at the moment. I'm giving this three stars because the majority of the book deserves five, but the ending threw all of that away, and the end product probably deserves one.

Okay, I'm back to add some more thoughts on this thing. I've been getting angrier and more disappointed from the second I finished this. This insanely original world was built up, including plenty of backstory, for the entirety of three books. We're given a substantial view of the world they left, as well as an in-depth look at the founding of the new one. We get to see how far this world has come by the time Kelsea takes her place as Queen. In the end, though, none of that matters. The world-building was PHENOMENAL, if a little rushed in the third book. I just can't wrap my head around the decision to throw that entire world away. Kelsea had the potential to save things and make the world so much better. I don't necessarily require a happy ending to enjoy a series, but I do have some general expectations that include NOT DESTROYING EVERYTHING. This ending is trash, and I say that with a complete understanding of why the character/the author felt the need to make this decision to kill Row and start everything over. I get it. She made this great sacrifice. She did her duty as Queen. It still sucks. It still isn't good enough.

Also, what was the point of throwing her *not dead* mother in? Those pages could have been used to fix the disastrous ending or answer some of my MANY questions. As readers, we were never led to care about Kelsea's mom. She was careless and stupid, in addition to just genuinely being a horrible queen and selling off her people as a form of appeasement. We don't need her. Leave her dead.

In addition to these glaring issues, I have a problem with how much of the book was dedicated to Katie and Row. I do believe that all the information we received was necessary. We just really needed it to be spread out over the course of more books. I think this could have been so much better as a four or five book series. There just wasn't enough time for all of this new information. We spent two books falling for Kelsea, but because so much information on the founding of the Tearling was needed in this one volume, we're left feeling more distant from Kelsea, despite her being our heroine. Maybe she distanced us from Kelsea in order to soften the blow when she destroyed all that she worked towards in that God-awful ending. Either way, it wasn't a smart move. Just like this book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Simona B.
892 reviews2,986 followers
September 14, 2017
“Lady, if you don’t wake up, I’m going to have you baptized.”

In spite of the love I bear to the first two installments in this series, I almost didn’t read this book. Right after finishing the second one, I (voluntarily) got myself a spoiler of the ending and didn’t like it at all; and so, a story I used to love acquired kind of a sour taste. But as the bitterness went away, my adoration for this world remained ultimately untouched, and now here I am.
I am so glad I didn’t give up.

•I will always think of this series as one of my absolute favorites when it comes to fantasy (just fantasy, not fantasy YA), but of course there are some noticeable flaws that annoyed me and that I wasn’t able to ignore. For one thing, a considerable lack of explanations as regards the magic system, specifically, for instance, questions like .
It’s possible that I’m being to anal about this, obsessed as I am in knwing the hows ans whys of everything. But to me, sime of this questions, if not all, seem like fundamental points, and as far as good sense is cincerned they were not explored as they should have been for all the dots to form a complete picture.

•I’m also disappointed by the way the revelation of the Red Queen’s story was interrupted halfway and then forgotten. It looked like a cheap trick to make up for a lack of imagination (from which I’m sure Johansendoes not suffer, which makes this lacunaall the more weird).

•Back to the ending: as I said, against all odds, I actually ended up liking it, and liking it very much at that. The problem with this kind of finales is, in my opinion, that more often than not they leave you, reader, feeling as if pages and pages of character development were worth absolutely nothing, resulting in your rightful rage, indignation and bitterness. It’s almost inevitable, I should say, and it happens inthis case as well, up to a measure; but in this case, as I see it, this loss is not totally meaningless, as it becomes essential to the last step of Kelsea’s growth. And Kelsea is and as always been since the beginnjng such a rounded, fleshed-out character, that I can forgive, almost light-heartedly, all the rest. Besides, the last pages are so sad, so deliciously bitter-sweet, the most sadisic side of me couldn’t really resist.

•What instead I didn’t like about the ending is that it is, if you ask me, maybe a but too simplistic (which is not the same as optimistic). Because according to this book, it was sufficient to. I wouldn’t believe that if a saw it with my eyes. Besides, the extreme semplicity if this solution fundamentally contradicts what Johansens has been trying to convey for three (two and ¾?) books, that is, that history is a maze, that human nature is a maze, a ugly, infinite, exhausting yet fascinating maze, and that you can trust people until all at once you can’t anymore, for the silliest reasons. Even though I wish I were able to believe a world like the one depicted bin this ending could exist.

➽ I’ve mentioned only negative things because, if I remember correctly, the reviews I wrote for the previous chapters of the series already deal with how utterly beautiful this story is, how compelling the characters, neat and perfect the writing, and astoundingly talented the author. I love these books to pieces, and even that is an understatement. I love everything about them except for the magic system, but all things considered, I can overlook that. I can because The Queen if the Tearlung is not about magic: it’s about history and, what Ilike best about it, about simple humans who try their best (or their worst), on their own or with each other, and sometimes fail and sometimes succeed. It’s a taste of real life transported ina an imaginary world. That is to say, it’s the fantasy genre at its very best.
Profile Image for Lily Ewing.
3 reviews1 follower
August 23, 2015
This book doesn't even have a title yet but I know it will outshine the two before it... It will be amazing !!!
Profile Image for Cherie.
193 reviews76 followers
December 15, 2019
The first 92% of this was an amazing 5 star read. After that, it felt like the author took the easy way out. I have never been more disappointed in an ending in my life. I have invested my time in over 1,500 pages of this trilogy, and loved these characters, for the author to abruptly throw it all away with the worst ending I have ever read.
Profile Image for Sean Smart.
150 reviews123 followers
December 17, 2016
I loved the series but the ending seemed like an anti climax after such a big build up
Profile Image for samantha  Bookworm-on-rainydays.
278 reviews118 followers
December 27, 2016
The series is worth reading & my heart aches at the ending, but I am content now but i wasn't sure initially about how the story line wrapped up. The writing is clear even if the plot isn't always straightforward but all in all i loved it.
Profile Image for Suzzie.
908 reviews164 followers
September 12, 2017
It wasn't bad but had a different feel to it than book one and two. I really loved book one. It was so awesome. Book two was good also and added new characters that were great to read about but this one added more new characters (which was not an issue) and just took a different turn than most would expect. The ending was alright but not as great as I expected after falling in love with book one.

Overall, it was an intriguing trilogy with some incredible world building and fascinating characters. I am glad to have read this trilogy in a row as I did because I believe the changes among the books could be difficult when recalling information.
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