Book Review: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Similar to my reaction upon reading and finishing the first book, The Queen of the Tearling, I loved getting entrenched in this second installment, The Invasion of the Tearling and being left with quite the mixture of feelings. If it wasn’t for my local library, I don’t know if I would have gotten to start this series when I did considering that I’ve been trying to utilize resources like the library rather than just buying whenever I want to, etc.

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To give a broad look into my feelings while reading the book, here is a screenshot of my Goodreads updates:

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Clearly, I was very engrossed with this second installment to where I finished it in three days. However, like many books, there are things I really liked and things that I disliked or just didn’t love.

The Plot

Let’s start with the general aspects of what this book is about. Well . . . the title pretty much sums it up in five simple words: The Invasion of the Tearling.

Because of Kelsea’s first act upon arriving at her new home, the Keep, she angered the Red Queen of Mortmesne even more resulting in the nation preparing and then invading the Tearling. There are of course other, smaller events that happen, but I may end up in rant mode and then give away more than I should. However, because it’s in the blurb, we do get snippets from visions that Kelsea starts to have about a woman from the time of pre-crossing. It’s basically a huge history lesson and gives major insight into how the Tearling came to be.

What I Liked

Speaking of that huge history lesson, that was one of the things I really enjoyed because it showed where the people of this world came from and how they got to the Tearling. It was something that we didn’t really get to learn about, except in vague conversations, in the first book. I think that the thought Johansen put into the history, the people, etc to create the world is impressive and is one of the major unique aspects.

Similar to the first book, we got different character point of views, which helped the development of the story and is something that, if done right, I really enjoy. I thought that the character and the different relationship development was good, though I’m not sure I really like or even disliked some of them. Kelsea as character grew and changed a lot in this book, which is something that I both liked and disliked.

What I Disliked

Still speaking on Kelsea’s growth and change as a character, there was two major points that I can’t say I liked. Both stem from her growth of magic – either power she has innately or power she draws from her sapphires. I hate that I can’t talk more about it because I think they would definitely be considered spoilers, but they’re both kind of related to the whole appearance/ looks thing.

While I loved the visions Kelsea had that showed one particular woman’s life before the crossing, I didn’t exactly love how much space they took up in the book. On the one hand, I get why Johansen wrote the scenes. However, we didn’t even get the end of that story! Maybe it was done that way for a reason.


In any case, while I can see that this story as a whole doesn’t have that many unique parts, the aspects that are unique make this an enjoyable read. Ultimately, I think this book – and the series – is a worthwhile read.

Have you read this series or this second installment? What do you think??

XO Nicole

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