The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Maybe it's just me or maybe the author has just gotten better and better with each installment. I had some slight issues with each one but as they came along, all my questions and concerns got resolved. Was I slightly annoyed at just how strong the young queen became, so quickly?
Maybe. But practically everything else that happened in the tale supported the conceit and all the other characters drew me in, and in the second book all those concerns went away as I was drawn into the visions of the past within the second novel so I just didn't care about anything else. :)
But what about the third book? Did it expand on all this great Fantasy awesomeness? Yes! Did I get even more of the past and the world-hopping and even more present war and great sword action? You betcha I did, and I got the best sequences of the Red Queen in all three of the novels, too! She actually grew on me. It helps that her circumstances had changed so damn much. :)
But then I come to the last great reveal/action. All to this point, I was really rocking to Johansen's writing and I was having a great time, and then we were thrown a WTF moment at the end.
Trust me, you'll know it when you see it.
But on reflection, and I had to keep recalling all the events leading up to this last event, I have to admit that while it's strange and I recall much worse examples of this kind of event, Johansen actually pulls it off with aplomb. All the events lead up to it nicely. There are tons of pointers that make this kind of end perfectly natural, and so, in my mind, I got carried along with it.
That's not to say that it wasn't slightly jarring, of course, but after all that page-space away from either kingdom? It makes good solid sense. :)
Solid except for some really seemingly rocky shoals which actually turned out to only be close calls. :) In the end, I really liked it. :)
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