The Fate of the Tearling | Erika Johansen | Published December 1st, 2016
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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This was so good! I've been looking forward to this conclusion for so long and it was definitely worth the wait. If you think you had things sussed out in book two, or know where certain characters or relationships are going to go… think again!
The pacing felt a lot more quicker than in the previous books and this helped create a level of intensity that kept me fully engrossed until the end. The world is expanded upon again, and we all know how tricky it can be to stay on top of the different times, but it worked so well. I mentioned in my review for the previous book that I preferred being in Kelsea’s time but Katie’s narrative this time around was just so interesting. I found myself enjoying both times equally and I really loved learning more about Row Finn and the Fetch.
The other characters continue to be so well developed too. I love that whilst Kelsea is the main show, other people still get their own stories and time dedicated to them. Aisa, Javel, Ewen, Mace and Father Tyler were all compelling. They are each in the story in varying degrees but the fact I care what happens to every one of them is a sign of great storytelling. Kelsea and the Red Queen was an interesting relationship. It goes in a direction that I wasn't expecting but learning more about the Red Queen and how she became so treacherous was fascinating. As for Kelsea.. she is still so badass and not afraid to get her hands dirty. It's actually really refreshing to read about a heroine who isn't constantly pining over a man. She just gets things done and I love that about her.
I have conflicted feelings over the ending. I can't quite make up my mind as to whether I like it or dislike it. I think I'm wavering somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, I can see why the author decided to end things this way. It feels fitting for Kelsea who has spent the series with one ultimate goal: to protect the people of her kingdom at all costs. On the other hand, it feels quite bittersweet and anticlimactic. The ending comes about rather quickly and it is different than what we’re used to so maybe another chapter of exploration would have made a difference. I did really love the last line though which I think is very fitting for the series as a whole.
I've really, really enjoyed this series and getting to know the world and its characters. It's not always an easy ride (the Tearling is not an easy world to get to grips with!) but it has been a fascinating and exciting adventure. I can't wait to see what Erika Johansen’s impressive imagination comes up with next.