After reading the initial novel of The Queen of the Tearling series, I looked forward to the second instalment of the tale. Although the post-apocolyptic, fantasy genre is not what I would normally be drawn to, it was an enjoyable read recommended by a friend. Like The Queen of the Tearling, The Invasion of the Tearing reads a bit like an adult fairy tale. It has a taste of magic and is set in a time similar to the middle ages although it actually takes place in the future in a period where the modern conveniences like electricity, cars and internet no longer exist.
The story continues the tale of the Queen of the Tearling’s (Kelsea’s) reign over the Tearling during a time of pending war with the Mortmesne. Kelsea has stopped the horrible shipments of human slaves to the Mort Queen and strives to gain respect, making choices for the greater good of her people while repairing past mistakes by her mother. As she learns to lead she is also struggling to control the power of the sapphires that she wears around her neck.
The people watch her carefully as she opens the gates of the castle to protect the villagers. They witness her brutal punishment of Thorne, who had organized the draw and sent slaves to the Mortmesne and they are hopeful that she will be able to save the Tear. As she works diligently to protect her people, she has visions of the past and spends time in the life of Lily, a brave woman during the time of the Crossing.
Lily’s life was a struggle. Outwardly, she appeared to be happy – living in a nice home, with nice things yet she lived a life of guilt (for turning her sister in) and abuse (from her spouse). Lily gradually learned that she had a strength that would help her be free and Kelsea learned from these visions.
Like the first novel, Invasion of the Tearling reads like a young adult novel. It is unfortunate that there are sexual references and inappropriate words, as they did not add to the narrative and reduce the possible readers. I did enjoy the story and will continue reading the series as books are released.