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, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what 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, and 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. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.
I’ll start with this: I didn’t like this as much as the first book.
I was confused, frustrated, and a little bored for most of this book. I didn’t feel like there was much forward momentum in this installment. The first book was fast paced, full of tough choices and character development, and so unique.
Kelsea was not impressing me in this installment, she grew up so much in the first book, but in this one she basically just goes off the rails. She’s still overshadowed by her mothers past choices, but instead of continuing to forge her own path she’s suffocated by them. She’s also isolating herself from the people she trusts and keeping so many secrets that she’s not able to figure things out clearly. Instead of sharing her burdens she’s letting them tear her apart, and she becomes more and more like the antagonist throughout this book. It’s so frustrating! She was so well balanced in the fist book and in this one she’s becoming a power hungry ruler who doesn’t think anyone else can be right about things. I hated it.
Then, we have Lily. Who I didn’t care about at all for the majority of the book. I also didn’t understand how she and Kelsea were connected until about the last 50 pages of the book. That I think was the main flaw of this story. All of the riddles that were introduced in the first book were revealed in the last 50 pages, while the other 450 pages introduced more riddles!
Even though parts of this book were incredibly frustrating (and not in the good way), I really enjoyed learning more about the Queen of Mortmense, The Fetch, The Dark Thing, Father Tyler, and William Tear. We did learn a lot! I would have loved to see more of The Fetch though. Also, I really liked the potential of Kelsea and Pen’s relationship, I hope it develops more in the last book, and in a more positive way. In general I hope Kelsea develops in a more positive way, she was basically just a bitch for this whole book, until the last 50 pages of course.