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. @goodreads
Okay a few excerpts from the book before I get into it!
"There's no other life for me. Anyway, clemency wouldn't begin to repay your debt. I've given you a greater gift than you know."
"You'll find out. In return, I expect you to keep it safe."
Kelsea turned back to the mirror. "Great God, tell me you didn't impregnate me while I slept."
The Fetch threw back his head and roared with laughter. He placed a friendly hand on Kelsea's back, making her skin prickle. "Tear Queen, you'll either be dead within a week or you'll be the most fearsome ruler this kingdom has ever known. I see no middle ground."
"I demand punishment, Majesty!" Lady Andrews had recovered her voice. "Give me that guard!"
Kelsea burst out laughing, true laughter that rang across the audience chamber. It felt wonderful, more so as Lady Andrew's face turned a bright, choleric purple.
"I'll tell you what to do, Lady Andrews. You take your dress and get the hell out of my Keep."
She grabbed his arm, not hard, but not too gently either. "But make no mistake: if you ever refuse to obey a direct order of mine again, I will kill you. Anger almost made me do it once, and could easily make me do it again. I'm not a child any longer, Lazarus, nor am I a fool. I'm either the Queen or I'm not....there can be no grey."
Mace swallowed; she heard it clearly in the dark. "You're the Queen, Lady."
"My eyes are terrible. What is that?"
"That, Lady, is a head on a pike," replied Wellmer.
"Your uncle's Lady. I went down there just to make sure. The pike is hung with a placard that says 'A gift for the Tear Queen, compliments of the Fetch."
Despite the gruesome nature of the offering, Kelsea smiled.
OMG!!!!!!!! I freaking loved this book and it is on my favorite books list! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!
So... all of her life until she turned 19, Kelsea was brought up by Carlin and Barty. They taught her as much as they could about being a future queen, not the fancy stuff, real life stuff. Her mother, Queen Elyssa sent her away as a baby to make sure she was safe.
One day the Queen's Guard came to get Kelsea and take her back to the Keep to take the throne. Her mother had been dead for some time, but I won't tell you about that. Kelsea's jerk of an uncle has been ruling in her mother's place and he is an arsehole beyond and back!!
Not all of the guards make it back as they have to split up since her uncle sent assassin's to kill her, told you he was an arsehole, but he is worse than you think.
My favorite out of this group is Lazarus who goes by Mace, he is tough as nails and has a sworn vow to the Queen. He's a very smart man and for some reason I kept picturing the Hound from Game of Thrones. Anyhoo... Kelsea makes him the Captain of the Guards. I love the banter these two have all through the book. There is a snark there and it's not like your typical Queen and Guard or servants, Kelsea is a nice person, well to those that deserve it at any rate.
Along the way to the Keep we get to meet some bandits/criminals with the Fetch as their leader. He is awesome too. I love his character and can't wait to find out who he is and what his deal is because he always wears a mask, although at one point some little thing was revealed and I need to know!!
I loved when they made their first appearance at the Keep and Kelsea stands up to some bad trade that is going down in her kingdom. She also has a little magic, but I won't tell you about that either :) Let's just say they made a fearsome sight at the top of the hill giving out orders.
This is a long book and it never got boring to me one time! I was just loving it the whole way through. I see that it's one of those books that people either hate or love and I'm a lover!
All of the trials that Kelsea was put through and came out on top and the better for it were awesome!
There is an evil Queen of Mortmesne (Red Queen) that the Tearling are going to have to battle and take out at some point. I'm anxious to see what happens in these next books with this evil, evil woman!
Oh yeah and I love the guard Pen too, he's a good guy.
I think the cover of the book is beautiful and it has a string bookmark inside. I kept forgetting and looking around for my bookmark, but I digress. Just awesome! If I could do gifs on here I would do a little dance at how much I loved this book :) Fin!
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