Review: The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

by 3/11/2018 0 comments
Dear readers, I have loved this series, but The Fate of the Tearling let me down. There, I said it. I am disappointed. And it had been a while since I had run across a series that really drew me into a fantasy world in quite this way. But, c'est la reading life. This review contains spoilers, so continue forewarned.

Series: The Queen of the Tearling, #3
My Rating: ❀'s
Genre: Fantasy 
Add to Goodreads

Now, I will say, if you have come this far in the series, don't give up. I think you need to finish this series. It's worth seeing it through to the end because as a whole, the series is pretty solid. But, this book has serious flaws which causes the series to as a whole to have flaws. At least, in my opinion.

Now, in earlier books there was some hinting at the Crossing being not a crossing of seas to some new land mass but rather, a crossing through time. And I was fine with that as long as the story didn't become too dependent  on this plot point. To me, the Tearling world was new and fanatical, a story set in some "other" world connected to our own, but very different as well. A world that was changed. A mirror world of sorts. A world that Kelsea needed to improve because society demanded change. Justice demanded change. I really liked how so many of today's problems were brought to the forefront in this series; the divide between rich and poor, the sexism that still exists, the inequalities that plague society at large. It made for compelling reading because it asked us to consider what is right, and what is wrong, to look at social justice through a different lens, one not coloured by prejudices or personal emotion.

All of this is still of the series, however the ending provided easy answers and felt a bit deux ex machina. The sapphires Kelsea has worn have always had power. It was unclear whether Kelsea could use the magic because the sapphires were magical or if the sapphires simply worked for her. But in the end, when the Tearling was lost, when Kelsea and all her loved ones were lost, these sapphires saved the world by allowing Kelsea to go back and fix everything so that Tear's utopia could be realized. A new world was built up, one which seemingly had no divisions in class, or even crime but a world in which Kelsea was no way connected to those she loved, not really.

I really hated that. It was too easy. It gave no credit to the hard work of people fixing or improving a flawed or troubled society. It gave no credit to the goodness of people or our capacity to love and be fair and stand together. So it killed the series for me. I wanted to see the struggle come to a more imperfect end if you will, one in which things are better but in which people still have to work hard not to become complacent, not to overlook the suffering of others, to embrace others despite differences. Instead, it all happens off page because of some magical sapphires. All in the past. And while Kelsea can be hailed a hero, I wanted her to be the one to lead the people into this brave new world, to realize Tear's vision instead of merely becoming apart of it because of some magic that is never even explained or understood by the readers. At least, this reader. I'm not saying the author could have accomplished this all in one book, but at least the groundwork could have been laid. At least I could have closed the book thinking, Kelsea is a leader who can bring about great change and that people have the capacity to love enough to change. Instead, it was all down to the sapphires.

I had expected more. But still, this series is brilliant in forcing you to think about the human condition, so while this book and series did not end as I would have liked, or expected, it's still worth the read.

Happy Reading, 

Jewels E


I'm a thirty something girl who loves to read, write and dream. Because I'm so addicted to the written word in all its forms, I created this blog to share the books that devastate me with you.