The Fate of the Tearling (Tearling #3) by Erika Johansen
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.82 stars
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary: "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."
Review: I seriously loved the first 90% of this book. This book had a lot of ground to cover, and a lot of characters fates to wrap up, but Johansen did it spectacularly. The pacing was spot on. There was tension, action, suspense, horror, triumph, loss, and victory, and every scene was masterful.
Kelsea was such a powerful heroine, and she really came into her own here. I also loved Ewen, Father Tyler, Aisa, and the Mace. I loved where the author went with Kelsea and the Red Queen's relationship. There were a few major surprises too that I didn't see coming.
I also really loved the discussion around history, religion, corruption, power, sacrifice, and greed.
Until the end. I think a bittersweet ending is fitting for this story, so I wasn't expecting a cherry-on-top happy ending for everyone. But I left the final page feeling disgruntled. I wanted more satisfaction than I got. This isn't just personal preference either- there were some plot holes and unanswered questions that bothered me. There was plenty of foreshadowing for this kind of ending, so it didn't completely come out of left field. But the way it was written was so... sorrowful. And that sense of sorrow stayed with me more than anything else.
I really wish this book had an epilogue with a little more closure. Or a different final chapter. It's a small change that would make all the difference. As it stands, that final bitter taste left me feeling really conflicted about this series. I'm glad I read it, and I appreciate its originality, but I wish it hadn't ended quite so bitterly.
Review in a GIF:
Bottom Line: A great read to a great series... until the end.