Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Summary Reactions 1: The Queen of the Tearling

I've decided to write a series of posts where I analyze the goodreads summaries of soon-to-be-published, heavily-hyped books. I think this would be a fun way to compare my initial reactions about a book with my feelings after finally reading it.

I'll start with The Queen of the Tearling, a fantasy novel that comes out in July.

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The following summary was copied from Goodreads (minus the parts in, blue, which are mine):

"On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, (bookish protagonists always give me a knee-jerk sense of dread--the first thought that jumps into my head is always "self-insert".) Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa ("I'm not like all those vain and frivolous girls!"). But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless (Good): Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus (Wait, nevermind. She's not defenseless because she has an item of uber!magic and a team of powerful, brave men to defend her). Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. (She's nineteen. I get that she was raised in exile, but did no one ever think to actually spend those nineteen years actually teaching her about said kingdom? Whatever happened to 'she loves books and learning'?) But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. (Okay, so besides the protagonist, we have mention of one woman who is/was "frivolous and vain" and one who is evil.) Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust."

Wow. Not only does this story sounds incredibly cliche, but it really knows how to push all my feminist buttons.

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As you can see from this reaction, my expectations for this book are not very high. However, that doesn't mean I won't enjoy it. If anything, this book makes me think of The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I had my doubts about it at first, but I ended up loving that series, so maybe there's still hope for The Queen of the Tearling.

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