• Hardcover: 528 pages
• Publisher: Harper (June 9, 2015)
In this riveting sequel to the national bestseller The Queen of the Tearling, the evil kingdom of Mortmesne invades the Tearling, with dire consequences for Queen Kelsea and her realm.
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, Kelsea has crossed the brutal Red Queen, who derives her power from dark magic and who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what she claims 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. She finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. Soon Kelsea herself begins to change; she does not recognize either her reflection in the mirror or the extraordinary power she now commands. The fate of the Tearling—and that of Kelsea's own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Queen Kelsea is running out of time.
In this second volume of the compelling trilogy begun with her bestselling The Queen of the Tearling, Erika Johansen brings back favorite characters and introduces unforgettable new players, adding exciting layers to her multidimensional tale of magic, mystery, and a fierce young heroine.
New characters are introduced like simple-minded jailor Ewen and a bit more on a soldier named Hall. I can't remember if Hall was in book one much but his involvement promoted an intense question of glory to the queen that I found to be great. It was an outside view on what was going on with Kelsea and though it couldn't be more wrong, it was an idea that was taking seed outside of Kelsea's immediate surroundings. Kelsea finds she has to grow up fast in this atmosphere. She's come face to face with politics, military tactics, zealous religious nuts and her own personal life.
With all of that going on, there's a side story about a woman named Lily who lived in approx 2058 which is a time where technology has advanced but a lot of political and social advances for women, minority groups and basic freedoms have been obliterated. Amidst the strangeness where the line between the rich and poor has left a widened gap, a rebellion is beginning. Lily, to me, is a bit naive to the world though she faces an abusive relationship and stifling laws. Though in all that, she helps in the Pre-Crossing and only gains strength as she goes. Pre-Crossing is something that had been mentioned lots in book one and it was good to see the story behind it instead of just an explanation. I hope this isn't the last that we hear about the history of the Tearling.
I really enjoyed this book. The deeper I got, the more dedicated I became to the characters and the situations that faced each of them. Also, there's a long awaited meeting that happens that I think the author did wonderfully.