Is The Queen of the Tearling the next Harry Potter? It is certainly one of the big debuts of the summer.
The first in Erika Johansen’s fantasy trilogy releases tomorrow, but many readers are already aware of the book. This is largely thanks to movie news–Harry Potter alumni Emma Watson and David Heyman committed to the film project back in 2013. Watson is set to both star and executive produce.
Early notoriety is also due to Harper’s vigorous marketing campaign, featuring a striking advanced reader copy. Library Journal’s Barbara Hoffert interviewed the author back in April, and that interview is available on the Harper website or Youtube. It includes discussion of crossover potential.
With a 19-year-old protagonist fighting for her birthright, there is no question of the book’s teen appeal. There are “mature scenes” that caused our reviewer to recommend it for older teens. Younger Hunger Games and Harry Potter fans may catch the bug, especially once the movie comes out, so it may be a good plan to read it for yourself in preparation for high interest.
You can start now–Tor.com has posted an excerpt.
JOHANSEN, Erika. The Queen of the Tearling. 448p. illus. maps. (Queen of the Tearling: Bk. 1). Harper. Jul. 2014. Tr $26.99. ISBN 9780062290366.
On Kelsea Glynn’s 19th birthday, she is seated in a tree awaiting the arrival of the horsemen she hears approaching. On this day she will begin her journey to Tear to become Queen. Whisked away as a child into the deep recesses of the forest as her mother, Queen Elyssa, lay dying, Kelsea grew up under the tutelage of the cold but capable Carlin and kindhearted Barty. For all of those years, the evil Red Queen of Mortmesne searched for her, but failed to find her. Kelsea is now ready to claim the throne that is rightfully hers. Along the way, Kelsea learns to trust the men of the Queen’s Guard as they encounter battle with Mort assassins, hide from killer hawks, and suffer capture by the dangerous, but mesmerizing Fetch, leader of a band of thieves, faithful to no one but Tear. Led by Lazarus, each member of the Guard must decide for himself if this young woman is worthy of wearing the crown. Upon arrival, Kelsea confronts the slave trade that keeps Tear in bondage to the Mort Queen and immediately takes action against it, setting the stage for future battle. Johansen has created a fantasy world that hints at the history of our world gone awry. Mature teen readers will devour this book for its strong characters, excellent plotting, and satisfying ending that leaves them knowing that obtaining the throne is only the beginning of Kelsea’s story.—Connie Williams, Petaluma High School, CA