The Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling

A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2014
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An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut'the first novel in a trilogy. Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom's haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands. Long ago, Kelsea's forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea's nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen's Guard'loyal soldiers who protect the throne'have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling. Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil'and unleashing the Red Queen's vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen's Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as "the Fetch." Kelsea's quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea's journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins ; [Prince Frederick, Md.] : [Distributed by] OneClick Digital, 2014, p2014
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780062332288
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Jan 02, 2018

My comment is mostly a response to a review below which is a silly, hyperbolic denunciation of a audiobook that I am finding very enjoyable right now. I am fairly new to AudioBooks and I am currently very picky about the narration or types of stories I listen to. I am going out of my way to select narrators that add to the experience and stories that are conversational in content so that the material is easy to follow along during a car trip. There is not a lot of resources for Audiobook reviews, and for now I think word of mouth is highly important when trying to find one that is right for you.

Audiobook quality:
The narrator, Katherine Kellgren, performs admirably. She creates a great "space" for the novel with establishing a voice for the protagonist, a voice for her interior monologue, and a voice for the story narration. She creates a great cast of characters. Her men sound gruff, but not in a patronizing sort of way. I particularly like Lazarus' character. Kellgren's read sets you up for the humor to be successful. All in all, I will flag Kellgren as a reader to watch out for when I select future audiobooks. Lastly, if the names of the characters are supposed to be pronounced in a specific manner, the book doesn't provide context for that. I didn't find any issues with names being used incorrectly, either. I, of course, was not listening with the text at hand nor have I read the novel before so I can't verify word for word, but as a listener, I did not experience any story inconsistencies due to misreadings.

Content of the novel:
The Queen of the Tearling is a breath of fresh air for me in regards to a fantasy story. The protagonist is one of my new favorite female protagonists/characters. She is intelligent, strong, cunning, and humorous. She is an advocate of female liberties in a male-centric society. Her rise to Queen is an interesting one. Since she was raised in seclusion, she is ignorant of many things, but she learns quickly and really is an admirable character.

There is some swashbuckling in this tale, but I find most interesting the strategic planning that goes on with the Queen's guard. There is a lot of discussion of how difficult it is to protect a single person and all the possible things that can (and will) go wrong.

The fantasy world established definitely has some mystery and I will leave it at that. The protagonist was raised in isolation, so much of it is a mystery to her as well. The world's history is not spoon-fed to the novel's audience. Part of the enjoyment of the series is learning about this particular world's quirks and mysteries.

In regards to this specific comment:
"The characters are two dimensional and frustrating. This book is preachy and lacks any nuance. Skip it, unless you enjoy being amused by poorly written fiction."

The characters are nuanced, face difficult decisions, and live in a world where a lot is at stake. The book is not preachy. It provides a context for a discussion of women's rights, human rights, and how a leader should rule. The novel prioritizes knowledge and education and espouses the importance of books.

The audio book is around 14 hours long and I've listened to 8 hours of it. Definitely intrigued to see where the story goes.

Feb 25, 2016

This book is so bad, it's *almost* enjoyable. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator is fine... but at times gets names/words wrong. Kelsea is pronounced Chelsea. Allie is Annie. How did they miss this during editing?
The book itself is completely ridiculous. The world building makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. The author never really gives an explanation of when/where/how this new world and history veered from our own. They don't have simple medicine, but they have Harry Potter? Riiiiight.
The characters are two dimensional and frustrating. This book is preachy and lacks any nuance.
Skip it, unless you enjoy being amused by poorly written fiction.


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Jan 02, 2018

davi817 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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