The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen takes us into the future and a world ravaged and torn by war. Queen Kelsea must find a way to keep Mortmesne from invading her kingdom of Tearling. As she comes to terms with the possibility of failure, she takes a stance. Every move now must be to keep up the moral of her people and to find the strength to combat the evil queen of Mortmesne. Her magic works strangely, and she often finds herself disappearing into the past and the beginning of the Tearling. Finding escape from the past is more difficult each time as she continues her battle to save her people and put an end to the evil of her land forever.
That past is of a woman named Lily. Lily has no idea her life is being watched by a future queen. She only knows that things are changing and terrorism is escalating. She has recently come face to face with a group that she had no idea existed, and is intrigued by their ideology. They believe they can save the world from oppression. Queen Kelsea knows that if she can just understand Lily, and how the Tearling began she can use that information to save her future world. But her magic is mercurial, it does not always follow her command and she is unable to stay in the past without putting her life in danger.
In the future things are escalating and the Queen finds even more traitors to her crown hidden behind the guise of religion. Her own guard is one of the best. She trusts them with her life. Yet as danger comes near she must choose which can stay and which must go, for what she plans has need of only a few. Feelings run high, but she must make the right choices to save her kingdom.
Can she pick up the pieces of a world gone mad, or will she lose her own life and that of her people to the ravages of the evil that has infiltrated every corner of the land?
In the continuing saga of The Queen of the Tearling, Johansen keeps us captivated with her characters. The flaw and romance are just a few of the interests. Alternating her characters between future and past she takes us into another thought process. Is life truly about bloodlines or is it just a possible migration of souls. You certainly begin to wonder as you embrace this group who seem to be on the brink of destruction.
If you enjoy mystery, romance, magic, and intrigue you will find yourself immersed in the story of the Tearling. There is fascination in the ability of looking at the past, and although there is no possibility of changing what had become, we find that the mistakes of the past could relate to the saving of the future.
This would be a fun read for a reading group. Be prepared though for once you become attached to the characters you will be ready to find the prior words leading up the The Invasion of the Tearling.