The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Having won the enduring love of the majority of her people, but stirred up a hornets nest by stopping the shipment of Tear slaves to neighbouring Mortmesne, Kelsea Glynn finds her kingdom on the verge of invasion by a vastly superior force. With guerrilla warfare tactics only able to stall the inevitable defeat of the Tear, the Red Queen’s Dark Thing taking an unhealthy interest in her, and her nobles and the Church agitating at home, Kelsea is in need of a miracle. But her sapphires are silent, their only effects seeming to be a dramatic change in Kelsea’s appearance and a darkening of her own soul, the chances of a way out seem slim. And when Kelsea starts having visions of the life of a pre-Crossing woman, her concentration is taken away from the business of battle to the events of three hundred years ago…
I’m still loving this series. While I initially found the flashbacks to the pre-Crossing era a bit irritating, especially with the upsetting levels of sexual violence, I really came to appreciate the more rounded view they gave of pre-Crossing society and the formation of the Tear. It was especially interesting to speculate as to how this lined up with Kelsea’s own genealogy (seriously, who is Kelsea’s father?) and what events must have occurred to place a Raleigh monarch on the throne and the Church and the Arvath (does that word come from Our Father?) in a position of power sufficient to rival the monarch in a nation that was designed to be free from religion.
I’m hoping that The Fate of The Tearling the third novel in the trilogy focuses more on the Post-Crossing world, but I’m really looking forward to it. For a start I can’t wait to discover what caused the particularly interesting dynamic between the Fetch and Rowland Finn and who Kelsea’s father is. I can’t see any of the characters described in the novel so far being a likely candidate… though I do think that the Fetch might be of the Tear line as well as Kelsea… could the red haired woman he asked about be Jonathan Tear’s wife and thus his mother? It doesn’t explain what he’s being punished for though.
Speculation always welcomed.