First things first, more Fetch please.
Here we have a book that dares to cross genres. It’s a fantasy/dystopian blend that is mostly-vague about the origin details. We know there was a world very similar to ours, same country names, technology, books, and culture. Then, “something happened” in an event known as The Crossing and we lost technology, electricity, advanced medicine, and were reduced to living in a world with torches, swords, archery, farming, hunting, villagers and nobles, etc. etc.
This is the story of a 19-year-old girl who is the heir to the Tearling throne, had been hidden and raised by foster parents until she came of age, and then has to suddenly become a queen. Her kingdom has been brutalized by her uncle, who was Regent, and by a neighboring evil queen who demands a repulsive monthly tithe of Tear slaves.
Kelsea is the new, young queen and she immediately begins making changes and struggles to earn the respect of her guards and citizens. This was a book that ended without a cliffhanger, but there were plenty of pieces that are still to be resolved.
What I really liked:
- Kelsea was great. She is one of my new favorite female characters. She is no Mary Sue and has to fight and earn her place. She is assertive and confident and yet still has the realistic self-doubt of any young woman concerning her looks and desirability. I thought there was a lot of girl power in this!
- As I mentioned, no cliffhanger. The first part of the story ends satisfactorily, but makes you want more because there are still at least two people that Kelsea will potentially have an epic showdown with.
- No romantic angst or manufactured drama! (There is no romance in this at all, actually.)
The only minor issue I had was that the book felt a bit over-long, but the pacing was still pretty even.
I would not classify this as Young Adult. There was no smut, but there were graphic descriptions of sex, rape, and abuse to women and children. People got their throats cut and were gutted. The main character is 19 when the story starts and everyone else is older than her, so if anything, it’s “New Adult.”
I enjoyed this enough that I am putting it on my favorites shelf and would buy a physical copy and re-read it at some point.