cover image The Invasion of the Tearling

The Invasion of the Tearling

Erika Johansen. Harper, $24.99 (528p) ISBN 978-0-06-229039-7

After the events of 2014’s The Queen of the Tearling, Kelsea Glynn is still settling into her role as the ruler of the titular land, which feels more like a fantasy realm than a distant planet populated by the descendants of people who fled Earth in search of a better life. Kelsea must juggle politics, war, and her own growing magical abilities as she faces an unstoppable opponent, the malevolent Red Queen. She is also having visions of the past, in which a young woman named Lily Mayhew gets caught up in William Tear’s exodus from 21st-century America to a new world. As Lily struggles to free herself from an abusive relationship, Kelsea finds the key to dealing with the Red Queen. Johansen’s vision of a dystopian near-future America is chilling and sadly plausible, but Kelsea’s far-future world remains vague and ill-defined, and the magic is always precisely as powerful and versatile as the plot demands. While many questions are answered, many more arise, leading to a cliffhanger ending. Readers enticed by strong female characters who seize control of their own destiny will forgive the story’s flaws. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, William Morris Endeavor. (June)