The Invasion of the Tearling Book Review

The Invasion Of The Tearling: Book Review by Dinh.



With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, Kelsea has crossed the brutal Red Queen, who derives her power from dark magic and who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what she claims is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing. She finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. Soon Kelsea herself begins to change; as he does not recognize either her reflection in the mirror or the extraordinary power she now commands. The fate of the Tearling- and that of Kelsea’s own soul- may rest with Lily and her story, but Queen Kelsea is running out of time.

Synopsis from hard cover version, 511 pages, copyright 2015, published by Harper Collins.

Invasion of the tearling book review


I enjoyed reading The Invasion of the Tearling, the sequel to Theย Queen of the Tearling. It is slightly better than the first book.

I still had some issues with the book, some of which were highlighted in The Queen of the Tearling (see review), but overall it was a bit more of an enjoyable read.

Here’s what I liked.

Writing Style

I like Johansen’s use of the same style of straight forward writing. It’s easy to read, with lots of conversation, so it’s a quicker read.

Story line

In this second volume, the story line is about the Tear Queen preparing for the imminent invasion by the Red Queen’s army.

It’s not just about the invasion, we get more info on the time before the Crossing and there are new revelations.

I enjoyed the focus on what happened in the pass and how the Tear people came about, more than what was happening with the invasion.

The plot does not really move. It seemed that Kelsea was just waiting for the invasion to happen, but the story had a nice pace because we switch back and forth between ย Kelsea’s time and Lily’s time with the Crossing.

Invasion of the Tearling Book


There are a cast of new characters as the story goes back to a time before the Crossing as well as more details of the existing characters.

  • Lily

Lily story is interesting. It’s nice to see where she fits in with the history of the Tearling and her importance within the story.

  • Kelsea

Kelsea’s character is darker in this book. She is older and the jewels are making her look different; more beautiful. Due to the stress of the invasion, Kelsea has not been sleeping and has loss quite a bit of weight as a result.

Kelsea is still acting like a petulant teenager but she is focused on the task at hand dealing with the problems of impending invasion.

The Ending

I enjoyed the ending. It’s left on a cliff-hanger so it does open up to more questions, even though some of the connections are made.

I also enjoyed the twist that I wasn’t expecting.

I loved the magic and more of the mystery yet to be explained. Hopefully the last book will tie up the loose ends.

Erika Johansen Invasion of the Tearling


What didn’t I like?

I didn’t like the implicit message that Johansen was setting with Kelsea’s appearance. What is she trying to say with our thinner more beautiful protagonist?

I liked that Kelsea was ordinary looking and had real insecurities as a teenager in the first book.

In the sequel, Kelsea’s appearance changes. She looks more beautiful and is thinner. Our heroine is no longer the same person we met in the first book.

Kelsea is always thinking about outward appearance. It’s all about how handsome this or that person is.

Warning: Although this book is in YA category, it should not be. It should be in the adult books because of the explicit domestic violence, rape, masturbation and swearing which is not appropriate for early teens.


My Final Thoughts

I enjoyed The Invasion of the Tearling. I likedย the second book much more than the first book.

I enjoyed the story line and the cast of new and existing characters. The pace was good, and the book ended with a cliff-hanger. Some of the questions that were asked in the first book was answered in the second book.

The Fate of the Tearling is the last of the trilogy and I want to check it out just because the story line is interesting. Also, I want to know more about the jewels and what happened with the Crossing. What is going to happen to the Tearling?


The Invasion of the Tearling is available here. You can also listen to it for free with an Audible trial.

Discover your next great read!

15 thoughts on “The Invasion of the Tearling Book Review

  1. I still have Queen Of The Tearling sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. It’s been there for over a year now! I really should get round to it…

    I also see Armada sitting sneakily in that photo!
    Can we expect a review soon?

    1. Hi Jodie!
      It’s hard to read a book unless you want to. I am a mood reader- I read books that I am in a mood for so some books may take longer than a year for me to get to. Right now though I’ve been into more sci-fi/fantasy and historical fiction.

      I’ve am reading The Fifth Season right now and Armada is up next, so yeah you expect a review of that soon.

  2. Seems like there is a little issue with age there. But I also think that this doesn’t sound the most exciting. A book about waiting for something to happen? However, the characters sound good, and it seems like the perspectives switching do open it up to having a bit more excitement in it as well. It seems like a decent enough sequel!

    1. Hi Olivia!
      The exciting parts were when Kelsea had visions about Lily’s life. The invasion was happening but very slowly it seemed.
      It was a good sequel, at least I enjoyed it more anyhow. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I am usually a pretty easy to please type of person when I read (of course I somewhat check out ahead of time what the book is about) but I find reading dystopian type books kind of hard. Now, I like watching this type of genre on TV or the movies, but maybe it’s because that’s the way my brain works.

    I loved your review of this book, how you sorted out the characters and put them in perspective with the story line. It seems like the author is ramping up for the final book.

    1. Hello Linda!
      Nice to have you back again. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I like to think I am easy to please but in reality I don’t think I am.
      Is it bad to want only to read good books? I find that with so limited time that I prefer to get something out of my books. I don’t mind the genre as long as it’s interesting.
      I don’t like horror in books or movies. I’ve tried but I am a scaredy-cat!

      I am looking forward to having the whole picture in the final novel, The Fate of the Tearling. It’ll be nice if Johansen can pull it all together and tie all the lose ends. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Cee!
      Yeah, this one has quite a bit of action to sink your teeth into.
      They are making a movie of The Queen of the Tearling, the first book so I’d expect they’ll make this book too. Emma Watson supposedly is involved in the movie. I think the movie will be great. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I guess this is what they call New Adult? YA that is a bit more mature, so to speak. I have heard of Queen of the Tearling but there’s just too many YA/NA books coming out that I can’t keep up! Is it your usual genre to read, or do you prefer literary/historical/adult fantasy?

    1. Hello Gemma!
      I really am a bit ignorant of the category between New Adult and Young Adult. All I know is that the protagonist is an adult (19 in the first book) but she is still immature, like a teenager.
      I love all genres except horror and read whatever my mood takes me. If it sounds interesting and has caught my attention then I will give it a try. It’s difficult to find good YA series though. I like them because most of the time it has sci-fi/fantasy elements that I love.

      Whatever the genre, I love a book that makes me feel something and is a page turner!

  5. Good Day Dinh, and thanks for this detailed review of The Invasion of the Tearling.

    You describe the story well and your comments about the writing style, the characters and the fact that this is part of a trilogy have me interested in this story.

    Do you find trilogies and continuing stories more exciting? or Do you like stories that end suddenly, at the edge of a cliff?


    1. Hello Paul!
      So nice to see you here! ๐Ÿ™‚
      I do like trilogies as some stories need to be told in three books than just one. They do tend to end in cliff-hangers so the reader is excited to find out what’s next. I love that aspect of it too. I like to find out the whole story and it’s satisfying when you get all the missing pieces and it all makes sense.

      Thanks for stopping by. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I wonder if this second installment is more appealing because it’s a bit less YA? I personally like YAs that trend toward NA or Adult myself. =) I’m not sure how I feel about the focus on appearances. There has to be a good reason, but from what I sense from your sentiment, it’s a bit shallow. Glad you’re enjoying this series, Dinh!

    1. Hello Lonna!
      I think I liked it more because all the elements came together and the whole picture was taking shape, though not all of it. I did think the topic of domestic abuse and Lily’s perspective was well done. It’s interesting that Johansen failed to deliver with her main character Kelsea.
      I’ll be checking out the last installment soon. Stay tuned!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.