Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler - and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.
On her 19th birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon - from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic - to prevent her from wearing the crown.
Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.
But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun - a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend...if she can survive.
©2014 Erika Johansen (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers
I understand what the author was going for, but the story is just not very compelling. I enjoy epic novels, but this one skipped around from character to character without developing an empathy.
I should have known better. I did read an Erika Johansen novel before, and didn't like it that much, but I thought this story would be interesting. I was wrong
She had a nice voice, but again, the story didn't grab me enough.
I've listened to this reader on other audiobooks and liked her, but this audiobook didn't work for me. She went from speaking normally to yelling in my ear every couple of minutes, which was very distracting.
Lawyer, reader, writer, performer. Just love listening to books and talking about it!
I started this before and liked it but for some reason put it down. Came back to it while cleaning up my half read list, and purchased the audio to help. I was pleasantly surprised at the depth the narrator added to it, and at how much I enjoyed the book as a whole, it was easy to commit to this time around.
Pure earth fantasy, with magic, red queen, guards, outlaws (the handsome fetch) and a come to age white queen story. Fun spring break reading. P. S. I think it's interesting how there are still the red queen/white queen basis to stories so many years after that conflict in English history.
Avid audiobook listener. If it's not on audio, I probably haven't read it!
I didn't read the print version.
Kelsey was such a great, strong female lead.
She did a great job with all the male voices.
All the characters, but particularly the growth of the young Queen.
I love Katherine Kellgren as a narrator. Her pace is perfect and I thought the character voices were all excellent, especially for the Queens' guard. I will say she was a little piercing in the beginning, but she calmed down as the story went. And in defense of the narrator, the main character struggles with being quick (and often) to anger. So there is that to consider.
I will never get a book read by Kellgren. Her voice ruined sound itself for me. I couldnt even get through 10 minutes of her yelling. If you enjoy high pitched noises and treble at levels that break glass then get this book or any other read by this narater. My GOD!!!!!!
Strong writing, decent story-- if a bit clinical and readymade. Could have had a stronger back half. While compelling, it felt a bit like the first few chapters of a stronger novel. Though I know the true confrontation is coming, I would have liked a payoff that felt somewhat less irrelevant.
There is nothing earth shattering about the plot here, but the characters more than make up for that. This is good fun, well told, slightly profane,and better for that in many ways. It is more direct about the dangers and realities of really bad behavior.
The narrator is, to my taste, slightly mannered both in her accent and delivery -she's forcing the style a little too much in places, and her natural speech isn't nearly this posh I think. However the fact that I was sad when it ended means that that wasn't such a trauma.
A lot of people complained about the reader but I didn't have any problems with it. In fact, I rather quite enjoyed her voice. There were a couple of issues with the writing but overall I really enjoyed the book and would highly recommended.
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