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
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.
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.
It's up there. It definitely starts out slow--I have seen super mixed reviews about this book, and in most cases people cite the slow beginning as a negative. Don't stop there! It picks up once she arrives in Tearling.
Kellgren's performance is excellent. At first her accent was too much for me, but by the end of the book, I wanted to listen to more of her narration. Her voices bring the characters to life. I was pretty impressed with her range.
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.
The narrator did a good job differentiating between the many characters in this fantasy series starter. There were times the audio did seem to change in volume, but not too many. This is marketed as a YA book, but I think it is better for older teens rather than younger, some of the sexual language (in reference to acts only mentioned rather than part of the plot) may make some a bit uncomfortable. Adult fans of fantasy will enjoy this, too. Romance in not a factor, but world building, changes in society, and adventure take the main stage.
Lots of violence towards children in this book. If I had known that I would not have read it.
Great first half with an amazing story opportunity. It seemed like the author changes paths halfway through, opting for a more disturbing ending for no real reason. The history that could be explored with "the crossing" is never fully explained, the characters are unable to develop because of a stunted story line, and they have Emma Watson playing the role of Kelsey... Not even close to how she should look.
It really held my attention from start to finish.
A very well formed and exciting story, with a strong, yet relatable, female lead
She has a nice voice and does the different characters well, but at time she seemed to be yelling with the excitement of the book. It makes it difficult to find an acceptable volume for listening through earbuds.
SPOILER! I teared up when the Queen chose to execute the traitor in the Queens-guard. Nothing is black and white/ all good and all evil in this book.
This book was recommend to fans of Harry Potter, but it's almost more Game of Thrones than the former. Though considerably less violent than GOT, I still can't believe it's classified as Young Adult. Can't wait to see the film!
I know what i'm talking about
I felt like the narration enhanced the experience. Often times I prefer print, but I felt like being read to for once.
I think the most interesting aspects are the potential for future devloping relationships. The Fetch (or is the Fetch actually a sibling or her father), and there is potential for something to happen with the priest who loves books as much as the Queen.
No, I have not, but I enjoyed her narration, and was going to look for other books she narrated. You aren't going to please everybody, People either like the narrator or they don't. I liked this narrator, and I thought she did a great job when the narration required enthusiam and excitement.
I was a little confused as to what the time period was. Occassionally something was mentioned that made me wonder. Carpet? That wasn't invented until the 1700s, there were rugs before that. Pens? or were they referring to Quills? Building a printing press? Hand drawn books. Just what year is it exactly. It may have been mentioned, but I must have missed it That being said it didn't detract from the overall story line, just every once and a while, I wih had a better grasp of the time frame.
Yes. It is wonderful.
Katherine Kellgren is the best narrator ever. Listening to her read a book is almost like watching a movie. Each character has a unique voice and she conveys their emotions perfectly.
I read this book as a committee member of my state's book award committee. I'm not a fan of fantasy, so I never would have chosen it on my own. Having said this, I was pleasantly surprised and am eager to listen to the sequel.
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