This book was published literally less than two weeks ago. You may remember that I read the first two books in this series almost a year ago. As soon as I found out when the final installment was scheduled to come out, I requested it at the library and put my name on the waiting list. People close to me know well my disappointment in the final installments of recent three-part series (*cough*DivergentHungerGames*cough*), but I’m pleased to say this one was different.
Title – The Fate of the Tearling
Author – Erika Johansen
Page count – 475
Goodreads rating – 5/5 (it was amazing)
**SPOILERS warning – nothing for this book, but I will include information/events from the first two**
Kelsea is the Queen of the Tearling, and she spent the first two books ascending to the throne and learning how to rule amidst discontent within her kingdom and threats from the neighboring Mort kingdom. At the end of the second book, the Mort army has advanced upon the Tearling and is prepared to invade. Kelsea bargains her own life for the safety of her kingdom, and the rest of the book follows her journey with the Mort’s Red Queen. Dark magic, time travel, and divining the future are part of the previous books, but this one features those qualities more prominently. This book continues to explore the role of the Arvath – the kingdom’s religious center, comparable to the Vatican – in its manipulation of the Tear people for its own gain and power. And for those for whom that might seem blasphemous, I would put forth the following quote (p. 392): “[She] would have liked to blame religion itself, but even she could not deceive herself that fully. A church was only as good or bad as the philosophy that emanated from the pulpit.”
Kelsea’s philosophy of ruling is centered on justice. Doing the right thing is very important to her, but she quickly finds out that the answer isn’t always clear, obvious, or easy. In the following passage, she struggles with the classic human conundrum: the problem of evil.
“How do I fix it?” she whispered…“How do we get to the better world?”
She remained silent, hoping against hope that someone would hear her and answer…But after a moment’s thought, she realized that [William] Tear had already answered her, long ago. There was no quick and easy eradication of evil. There was only the passage of time, of generations, of people raising children who would hold all other lives just as valuable as their own.