The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Published by Harper
After feeling like the second book in this series was good but not fantastic (and I had a MAJOR issue with one particular element in that book), I went into the final installment in this series with a bit of trepidation. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised – I liked this book better than the second and almost as much as the first in the trilogy.
One thing that I really liked about this book is that I felt like all of the characters really came into their own. Sure, some of the more important characters of the first two books are less so here, but others feature a more prominent role. Also, Kelsea gets inside the mind of yet another person from the past – only this time, it’s a teen girl who was born just a few years after The Crossing – and this peek into the Tearling twenty years post-Crossing was hugely transformative in Kelsea’s understanding of how the world became what it currently is and helped her shape her ideas of what it “should” be. I particularly liked these parts of the book, as the author uses this avenue into the past as a way to fill in gaps in understanding that she’d been keeping from the reader (and Kelsea) for the entire series.
One thing I feel that was missing was a better ending for the evil Queen – yes, she is evil, and no I don’t think she deserved a “happy” ending; but I felt that Johansen did an incredible job showing the humanity of this horrific woman, and there were still things about her that, even at the very end, I didn’t really understand. I felt that she did that particular character an injustice by having her story end the way it did.
Now the ending. Without giving away any spoilers I will say that I was VERY surprised by the ending. Not at all what I was expecting, or what I could have expected in my wildest dreams. However, I think I kind of liked it. It was unconventional, maybe a little too neat and convenient, maybe “easy” for the author, but I thought it was kind of cool. And again, totally unexpected.
So overall – a great series that I’m really happy I read. While not everything about all three of these books was perfect, and there was one particular element to them that enraged me, overall I seriously enjoyed the time I spent with these books and with Kelsea.