cover image The Fate of the Tearling

The Fate of the Tearling

Erika Johansen. Harper, $25.99 (496p) ISBN 978-0-06-229042-7

In this centuries-spanning epic adventure, Johansen concludes the Tearling trilogy (after The Invasion of the Tearling) with Queen Kelsea Glynn risking everything to save her beloved, beleaguered homeland from troubles both internal and external. Beset by visions of the time after the Tear’s founding some 300 years ago, she struggles to understand how the past defines the present and what part the malevolent Orphan, the enigmatic Fetch, and the ruthless Red Queen of Mortmesne have yet to play in the destiny of their world. Numerous stories play out against a wide backdrop, with the death of a dream creating hope for the future. Johansen’s vision—a society tearing itself apart amid the effort to redefine itself—is ambitious, and the conflict is fleshed out through myriad character arcs, some more compelling than others. However, the bittersweet resolution, which wraps up the story quite nicely, undermines much of what transpires here. The historical scenes carry more weight and significance than the chaos of the present, though Johansen adeptly describes the destruction and despair. This is a solid, if not entirely satisfying, end to the series. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, William Morris Endeavor. (Nov.)