Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

genre: young adult fantasy
The Fate of the Tearling is the third and final book in a series (book one here and book two here) so, obviously spoilers ahead.
Kelsea is in the grips of the Red Queen.  Alone and powerless, her only solace is that in giving herself up she has bought her kingdom time - at least, she thinks she did.  But Mace, left behind in New London, knows that only she is fated to lead.  And he will do whatever it takes to put her back on the throne - but at what cost?  With the Red Queen still a force to be reckoned with and a dark magic leaking from the mountains, even if she is saved, Kelsea may have nothing left to rule.
There is some interesting time-travely-stuff going on in this book again.  Because not only are we reading Kelsea's story, but in her head she keeps going back to the time of William Tear and the initial community he designs after the Crossing - and here is where things get complicated.  It is one thing to imagine a Utopia, it is another to convince very fallible people that they want to stay in one.  I found this particularly interesting, finally being able to put all the pieces together that we'd been getting snatches of for two books.  It's a well-done narrative device, I think.  Not perfect and sometimes a little bit of a stretch but I think in the end, it worked for me.  Yes, it would'be been cool to get more nuts and bolts of HOW and WHY for various things but what we got was still good.  And then end, while not as tied-up-with-a-bow as maybe it could have been, actually felt strangely satisfying and hopeful.  If I can suspend my disbelief to go along with all the other crazy things that happened in this book, then the ending should be absolutely not a problem to swallow.
I enjoyed this series.  I think with a bit more romance I would've liked it more - this is definitely a darker story (more graphic sexual content and language than your average YA series) but with a really simple and important question at its' heart: what would you give up to make a better world?

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