So I did end up reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but I started it right after I put up my last post. And seeing as it is the shortest in the series, I finished it before the end of 2015. Then, I realized I still had a couple books I’d picked up from the library and decided those were a more pressing priority. Because due dates. The rest of HP will come later, but for now, here is my first selection for my 50 Book Challenge:
Title: The Invasion of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Page count: 511
This book is actually the second in a trilogy. It follows The Queen of the Tearling, which was also fabulous. Go read it. Like The Queen, I sped right through this book. It follows a young woman named Kelsea who is the heir to the throne of the Tearling, a sort of territory/state located…I’m not exactly sure where. That’s part of the intrigue of this selection. The Invasion is a little more clear about time and location (I definitely can’t explain more without giving away some major plot points), but The Queen was unclear – is this in the past? Future? A made-up land? Somewhere based on reality? And the genre is this delicious mix of historical fiction, fantasy, dystopia, mystery/suspense. In The Invasion, Kelsea must grow into her responsibilities as the Queen of the Tearling and own her choices…how they affect the people of her country and how they begin to affect her own soul.
One thing I’ve liked about this series so far is how it treats the dichotomy of “good” characters versus “bad” characters. As Sirius Black said, “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on.” People are complex, and it is refreshing to see that so widely represented in this book’s characters. There are definitely a few people presented as purely evil (*cough* Greg *cough*), but even the Red Queen is shown to have a (brief) backstory for why she is the way she is, and even the most admirable characters make some questionable decisions.
Each chapter begins with a quote/selection, usually from a piece of literature in this fictional world. There are two from “The Glynn Queen’s Words” (compiled by Father Tyler) that I really admire:
“Even small gestures of kindness have the potential to reap enormous rewards. Only the shortsighted man believes otherwise.”
“Fortune favors the bold, history tells us. Therefore, it behooves us to be as bold as possible.”