I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #2
Published: June 9th 2015 by Harper
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
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The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen continues the riveting story of a young queen’s struggle to stay true to her ideals in the face of impending doom. In the previous book, Kelsea Raleigh chose to end human trafficking to the nearby country of Mortmense, and as a result, the Red Queen is now poised to invade the Tearling. Kelsea knows that she could stop it by restoring the slave trade, but she’s not going to, because by doing so, she’d be reinstating a great evil. Instead, she desperately tries to find a solution that doesn’t end with either the betrayal or massacre of the people she’s sworn to protect.
Therein lies one of the central themes of the novel–that the ends, in fact, do not justify the means, and that acts of injustice carried out in the name of justice end up tainting the end result.
Now, before I really get into the meat of that thought, here’s some context. The Queen of the Tearling and The Invasion of Tearling are set in a future version of our own world. The gap between the rich and the poor in America continues to widen, to the point where the poor rebel. The president declares martial law, and oppression ensues. There are special gated communities for the super rich that are walled off from the rest of the world. And then, a group of people emerge who dream of a better world and strive to make that dream a reality. They travel to a new land in a manner reminiscent of the story of Noah’s Ark in the almost mythical Crossing, and they rise from the ashes to create a new society that becomes the Tearling that Kelsea now rules.
Juxtaposed with Kelsea’s story is the story of Lily, a rich woman from the pre-Crossing era. Even though she has married into privilege, her life is far from easy. Her husband is an abusive asshole, she has pretty much zero rights, and she’s trying her best not to get pregnant, because she can’t fathom bringing a child into that world. Then, Lily begins to hear stories of a better world, and crosses paths with the Separatists. But the Separatists are facing the same ethical dilemma as Kelsea. In order to be able to realize their dream, they are forced to sow chaos and destruction, creating a loop that unites the past and the future.
The end result is a stunning novel that juxtaposes the past, present, and future through the lens of compelling characters living through rough times. Both Kelsea and Lily must discover their own tenacity in order to not only survive, but shape the fate of the worlds in which they live. If you enjoyed The Queen of the Tearling, the The Invasion of the Tearling is a must-read.