Review: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Thursday, May 28, 2015
Why I chose this book:
The Queen of the Tearling was very nearly my top read of last year. I was obsessed, you guys! Like seriously obsessed! So when The Invasion of the Tearling was available on Edelweiss, I got on that book swiftly! I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book of the content of my review.

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: June 9th, 2015
Genre: Adult Lit, Fantasy, Dystopian
Format: eARC
B&N  ||  Amazon  ||  Book Depository

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possible dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her  life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling--and that of Kelsea's own soul--may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not habve enough time to find out. (Goodreads)

My Bookish Thoughts:
First I will say that this book was not like the last, some of that is good and some of it is meh. I felt like some of the reasons why I fell in love with Queen of the Tearling was not found in Invasion. The spark just wasn't there in the beginning, I guess. It also took a while for me to get into the story.

The one thing that Queen of the Tearling lacked was an explanation of what exactly the Tearling/the world they lived in was. Because this world gave off the idea of it being a high fantasy realm with magic and all that jazz, but at the same time it gave off this weird dystopian feel that would screw with your mind as you read. Luckily, Invasion of the Tearling addressed those issues, and explained more deeply how and why the Tearling is the way it is (though it left much room for questions that will most likely be answered in the next book).

That being said, you get two stories in this book: One is Kelsea's and the other is a woman named Lily that existed before the Crossing when she was still in a dystopian America. I had the hardest time with her story at first. It was such a stark contrast to the original story that I found myself not entirely interested... that is until things began heating up in Lily's world. By the end, I loved Lily's story nearly just as much as Kelsea's, and I'm hoping we get to learn more about it come the next book.

Overall, I felt like this book was a worthy sequel, though I will say that I didn't love it as much as Queen of the Tearling. Even so, it's still a very good book, and anyone who enjoyed the first one will most likely enjoy this installment.

If this book were to come with a warning label, it would look a lot like this:
WARNING: This book will have you wondering what you would do if you were Queen, and what kind of difficult decisions you would make if you were in her shoes. Nothing ever seems to be right or wrong, but full of gray... and just watch out or you might get lost in the gray.

***Caveat for the Squeamish:
This book is most definitely an adult book. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. This has a lot of violence and squirm worthy moments that make you pause. And this book has some hella dark turns. There is also a particularly graphic rape scene that may act as a trigger for some of you readers, so be wary when you read this. It's not to say that this wasn't an excellent book, but you may want to be careful as you read and know your own limitations.

I gave this book 4.5 stars


  1. Glad that this one was good, even though you didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book. And haha, totally on board with you when you say it is an ADULT book with a capital A. Looking forward to reading this one soon! Great review :D

    1. Thanks!! Yeah, it was pretty good, but it's most definitely not YAL. Like FAAAARRRR from it lol!

  2. I still need to start this series. I have the first book on my Kindle, but haven't read it yet. I think I'll bump it up on my TBR. Great review!

  3. I am so excited for this one, but I think I might need to reread The Queen of the Tearling first. I remember most of it, but I feel like I need a refresher.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. And I agree with you - all that stuff last year about the first one being YA ticked me off because it's just very mature. I can see it attracting older teens because of Kelsea's age, but it's still very adult.

    Now I'm just super pumped and can't wait to buy my copy.

    Erin @ The Hardcover Lover

  4. Glad to hear it's still good even though it's different!
    To be honest, I remember really enjoying the first book, but I barely remember what went on in the book. Like I can't remember the plot :o It's so weird, I don't understand how I've forgotten it all... I'm contemplating re-reading the first book because of this...

    Jordon @ Jordon's Travels


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