I have heard absolutely nothing about this book, which is surprising since I'm pretty up on book releases, and it's also a shame, because this book is uh-may-zing. So I'm going to spread the word because it deserves to be spread.
But the first comment I have is that I have no idea how to pronounce Tearling or Tear in this book. Is it Teearling, like a tear from your eye? Or is it Tearling, like a rip? After reading the book, it's not really any clearer to me, but as I read, my mind kept going back to Tearling, as in a tear from your eye.
Now, how do I categorize this book? It's a High Fantasy, what with queens and guards and armies and peasants and such. But it's also a dystopian because they talk about our time now as the past. Our books that are popular now play a big part in this book. Okay, maybe not a "big" part, but as a book lover, I love reading about characters who are book lovers. And Kelsea is very much a book lover. I'm going to say this is a High Fantasy because the dystopian part is more minor than the fantasy part. Plus, there's magic. I *sparkly heart* love magic in books!! There's bad witch magic and good magic from the heart. What's not to love???!!!
So there's this kid, Kelsea. She's spirited away from the castle as a toddler to save her life. Her mother, Queen Elyssa dies, and her Uncle Thomas, the Regent, takes over because Kelsea is like three. And gone. Kelsea is raised by Carlin and Barty. We don't find out who they really are until later in the book. Carlin and Barty teach and raise Kelsea to be the queen. They instill everything they think she will need, based on former queens and how Carlin and Barty believe a queendom should be ruled.
On Kelsea's 19th birthday, the Queen's Guard, who has spent the last 18 years still defending the queen's space in the castle, waiting for this day, comes to get her to take her home to claim the crown. But there are assassins after Kelsea. And then there's another group of people that totally make the book. I don't want to spoil the surprise. :-)
And that's all I'm telling about the plot. I love that Kelsea is a strong woman, much stronger than many queen-to-be characters I've read about. She's also vulnerable, wondering if she's pretty enough, while at the same time wondering when her next swordsman class is.
I highly recommend this book if you enjoy politics, fantasy, magic, dystopians, gruff male characters who are teddy bears at heart, but will kill someone at the drop of the hat, or just a good story. Not in that order.