Philippa Gregory meets Game of Thrones in this epic debut, in which a young princess raised in secret returns to her belated mother''s kingdom, The Tearling, to reclaim the throne from her uncle, a puppet of The Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighboring Mortmesme, and redeem The Tearling from forces of corruption and dark magic.
"The Glynn Queen: Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, seventh Queen of the Tearling. Also known as the Marked Queen." --The Early History of the Tearling
At age nineteen, Kelsea Glynn is coming out of hiding. Raised in secret by foster parents while her mother--the beautiful Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid--mysteriously died after bankrupting the coffers and soul of her kingdom, The Tearling. For eighteen years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea''s uncle the Regent, a puppet of The Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighboring Mortmesne. Today is Kelsea''s nineteenth birthday, and the tattered remnants of her mother''s guard--nine men, ten horses--have arrived at Kelsea''s cottage to bring this most un-Queenly young woman to reclaim her throne.
Despite the identifying burn on her arm and the sapphire around her neck, a symbol of Glynn royalty, around her neck, Kelsea has never felt more like an insecure girl. But when she arrives in the Tearling and sees the poverty and devastation of her people, Kelsea begins to take action. In one dramatic gesture, Kelsea defies the Tearling''s treaty with Mortmesne and throws the kingdom into tumult. While the Tearling prepares for the Red Queen''s wrath to strike, Kelsea is learning who she can trust. One of her guards has turned on her and no one knows who, her sapphire is beginning to lend her superhuman strength, and there are bets in the Tearling as to who Kelsea''s father is. The quest to save her kingdom, and her life, takes Kelsea''s on a journey of self-discovery while grappling with the daily realities of coming-of-age--insecurities and attractions alike--and with the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly.
With heart-pounding action and terrifying plot turns, Johansen has written a memorable and magnificent debut.