“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.”
My Thoughts: With The Fate of the Tearling, Ms. Johansen proves her mettle as a writer. Not only does she not shy away from making the types of decisions that may not be popular with her readers, she stays true to the heart of her story throughout its entirety. In a masterful sleight of hand, this heart turns out to be on a whole other level than the one readers initially thought, and therein lies Ms. Johansen’s genius.
To be fair, the ending to the Tearling series is going to upset readers. Kelsea does not get the ending one hopes she will get, and the story itself takes some unusual and unexpected twists that require readers adjusting their expectations and understanding of the story. However, once readers get past the surprise and discomfort at the shift, the brilliance of the series begins to shine. It might take a few paragraphs or chapters or even days to get to that point, but it is well worth it. To say more would be to spoil the surprise, and it is a journey that every reader needs to undertake without any preconceptions.
The Fate of the Tearling is a spectacular ending to an amazing series. Ms. Johansen’s world is vibrant and real, and her lessons about history and life are brilliant. She adds enough magic to assuage the fantasy enthusiast, but her story ultimately lies in her well-developed characters and their actions and reactions to the situations in which they find themselves. It is a story about fate as much as it is about selflessness and learning from past mistakes and well worth the long wait to reach the conclusion.