The Invasion of the Tearling picked up where the last book left off. The Mort army is invading the Tear because of the actions of Kelsea, their new queen.
I won’t say what exactly those actions were, in case you didn’t read the last book. Let’s just say: she’s breaking with tradition in more ways than one.
Kelsea has started to embrace her power in this book. It suits her.
The girl who had been raised by Carlin Glynn would never have trusted in visions, but Kelsea’s world had broadened well beyond the width of Carlin’s library. The Mort would come, and the Tear army wouldn’t be able to stop them. All they could hope to do was slow them down.” pg 33, ebook.
I remember being rather unimpressed by the first book in this series. It felt cliched to me and predictable, except for the shadow creature and the introduction of the magic of the gems.
This book has more of both of those things. I approved.
Trigger warning in The Invasion of the Tearling for anyone who has had issues with cutting.
“Just the skin,” Kelsea whispered, staring at her arm, focusing all of her will on a tiny inch of flesh. She had borne worse; surely she could handle this. “Just a scratch.” A shallow line of red appeared on her forearm. Kelsea bore down, watching the line deepen, her breath hissing through her teeth as the skin parted with a sting, allowing a thin line of blood to well up and hold.” pg 117, ebook.
There’s also domestic violence, rape, non-graphic torture and some hints of sexual abuse. I suppose a young adult could read this, depending on their maturity level. 16+ may be appropriate. I would hesitate to go any younger.
Queen Kelsea has a lot on her plate: “My people are starving and uneducated. We have no true medicine. On the eastern border is an army that will crush us into dust. These are real problems, and so for a time I’ve let the others lie.” pg 208, ebook.
Will she be able to save everybody?
“And Kelsea wondered suddenly whether humanity ever actually changed. Did people grow and learn at all as the centuries passed? Or was humanity merely like the tide, enlightenment advancing and then retreating as circumstances shifted?” pg 381, ebook.
I wonder that sometimes too.
Recommended for readers who enjoy their fantasies on the gritty side. I don’t feel like it ever veers into the truly “dark” but there are some disturbing elements to The Invasion of the Tearling.
Thanks for reading!