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Your Highness. Im Carroll, Cap- tain of the late Queens Guard.

A moment passed before the rest bowed as well. Te guard with the mace bent perhaps an inch, with the slightest perceptible dip of his chin.

We must see the marking, muttered one of the guards, his face nearly concealed behind a red beard. And the jewel. You think I would swindle the kingdom, man? Barty rasped. She looks nothing like her mother, the red- bearded man re- plied sharply. Kelsea ushed. According to Carlin, Queen Elyssa had been a classic Tearling beauty, tall and blonde and lithe. Kelsea was tall as well, but she was dark in coloring, with a face that could charita- bly be described as plain.

She wasnt statuesque by any stretch of the word, either; she got plenty of exercise, but she had a healthy appetite too. She has the Raleigh eyes, another guard remarked. I would prefer to see the jewel and the scar, replied the leader, and the red- haired man nodded as well.

Show them, Kel. Kelsea pulled the sapphire pendant from beneath her shirt and held it up to the light. But Barty and Carlin had already explained that they wouldnt let her do that. She was the crown princess of the Tearling, and this was her nineteenth birthday, the age of ascension for Tearling monarchs all the way back to Jonathan Tear.

Te Queens Guard would cart her back to the Keep kicking and screaming, if need be, and im- prison her on the throne, and there she would sit, hung with velvet and silk, until she was assassinated. Te leader nodded at the jewel, and Kelsea shook back the left sleeve of her cloak, exposing her forearm, where a distended scar in the shape of a knife blade marched from her wrist to her bicep.

One or two of the men muttered at the sight of it, their hands re- laxing from their weapons for the rst time since theyd arrived. Tats it, then, Carroll declared grufy.

We go now. One moment. Carlin stepped into the doorway, gently nudg- ing Barty out of the way. She did so with her wrists, not her ngers; the arthritis must be very bad today. Her appearance was impec- cable as always, her white hair pinned up neatly of her neck. Kel- sea was surprised to see that her eyes, too, were slightly red. Carlin wasnt one for tears; she rarely demonstrated any emotion at all. Several of the guards straightened at the sight of Carlin.

One or two even took a step back, including the man with the mace. Kelsea had always thought that Carlin looked like royalty herself, but she was surprised to see these men with all of their swords daunted by one old woman. Tank God Im not the only one. Prove yourselves! Carlin demanded. How do we know you come from the Keep? Who else would know where to nd her on this day? Carroll asked. Several of the soldiers chuckled unkindly.

But the soldier with the mace stepped forward, fumbling inside his cloak. I do know you. I brought the Queens instructions, he told her, producing a thick envelope, yellowed with age.

In case you didnt remember. I doubt many people forget you, Lazarus, Carlin replied, her voice tinged with disapproval. She unwrapped the paper quickly, though it must have played hell with her arthritis, and scanned its contents.

Kelsea stared at the letter, fascinated. Her mother was long dead, and yet here was something she had written, actually touched. Carlin seemed satised. She handed the piece of paper back to the guard. Kelsea needs to gather her things. A few minutes only, Highness. We must go. Carroll spoke to Kelsea now, bowing again, and she saw that hed already dis- missed Carlin from the proceedings. Carlin had seen the tran- sition as well; her face was like stone.

Kelsea often wished that Carlin would get angry, instead of withdrawing into that inner, silent part of herself, so cold and remote. Carlins silences were terrible things. Kelsea slipped past the standing horses and into the cottage. Her clothing was packed into her saddlebags already, but she made no move to approach them, moving to stand in the door- way of Carlins library.

Te walls were lined with books; Barty had constructed the shelves himself, of Tearling oak, and given them to Carlin on Kelseas fourth Christmas. In a time of vague mem- ory, that day was pure and bright in Kelseas mind: Many years had passed, but Kelsea still loved the books, loved seeing them side by side, with every single volume in its own place. But the library had been a schoolroom as well, often an un- pleasant one.

Most of all, his- tory, the history of humanity stretching back before the Crossing. Carlin often said that history was everything, for it was in mans nature to make the same mistakes over and over. She would look hard at Kelsea when she said so, her white eyebrows folding down, preparing to disapprove. Carlin was fair, but she was also hard. If Kelsea completed all of her schoolwork by dinnertime, her re- ward was to be allowed to pick a book from the library and stay up reading until she had nished.

Stories moved Kelsea most, stories of things that never were, stories that transported her beyond the changeless world of the cottage. One night shed stayed up until dawn reading a particularly long novel, and she had been allowed to skip her chores and sleep away most of the next day. But there had also been entire months where Kelsea became tired of the constant schooling and simply shut down.

And then there were no stories, no library, only housework, loneliness, and the granite disapproval of Carlins face. Eventually, Kelsea always went back to school.

Barty shut the door and approached her, every other footstep dragging. He had been a Queens Guard a lifetime ago, before a sword to the back of his knee had left him lame. He placed a rm hand on her shoulder. You cant delay, Kel. Kelsea turned and found Carlin looking away, out the window.

In front of the cottage, the soldiers shifted uneasily, darting quick glances around the woods. Teyre accustomed to enclosure, thought Kelsea; open space alarms them. Te implications of this, the life it foreboded for her at the Keep, almost overwhelmed her, just when shed thought that all of her crying was done. Tis is a dangerous time, Kelsea. Carlin spoke to the window, her voice distant. But your moth- ers Guard are good men, and theyll surely look after you. Tey dislike me, Carlin, Kelsea blurted out.

You said it would be an honor for them to be my escort. But they dont want to be here. Carlin and Barty exchanged a look, and Kelsea saw the ghost of many old arguments between them. Teirs was an odd marriage; Carlin was at least ten years older than Barty, nearing seventy.

It took no extraordinary imagination to see that she had once been beautiful, but now her beauty had hardened into austerity. Barty was not beautiful, shorter than Carlin and decidedly rounder, but he had a good- humored face and smiling eyes beneath his grey hair. Barty didnt care for books at all, and Kelsea often wondered what he and Carlin found to talk about when she wasnt in the room. Perhaps nothing; perhaps Kelsea was the common interest that kept them together.

If so, what would become of them now? Carlin nally replied, We swore to your mother that we would not tell you of her failures, Kelsea, and weve kept our promise.

But not everything at the Keep will be as you thought. Barty and I have given you good tools; that was our charge. But once you sit on the throne, youll have to make your own hard decisions. Barty snifed in disapproval and limped over to pick up Kel- seas saddlebags.

Carlin shot him a sharp look, which he ignored, and so she turned it on Kelsea, her eyebrows drawing together.

Kelsea looked down, her stomach tightening. Once, long ago out in the forest, they had been in the middle of a lesson on the uses of red moss when Barty had blurted out, apropos of nothing: If it was up to me, Kel, Id break my damned vows and tell you every- thing you want to know. Why isnt it up to you?

Barty had looked helplessly down at the moss in his hands, and after a moment Kelsea understood. Nothing in the cottage was up to Barty; Carlin was in charge. Barty came second. Carlin was not cruel, but Kelsea had felt the pinch of that iron will often enough that she could understand the shape of Bartys bitterness, almost feel it as her own.

But Carlins will had ruled in this matter. Tere were large gaps in Kelseas knowledge of history, and information about her mothers reign that Kelsea simply didnt have. She had been kept from the village and the answers it might have provided; hers had been a true childhood in exile.

But more than once she had heard Barty and Carlin talking at night, long after they thought Kelsea was asleep, and now she understood at least part of the mystery.


For years now, the Regents guards had ranged over every part of the country, looking for a child with the necklace and the scar. Looking for Kelsea.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Ive left a gift in your saddlebags, Carlin continued, bringing her back to the present. What gift? A gift youll discover for yourself after you leave this place.

For a moment Kelsea felt her anger resurface; Carlin was al- ways keeping secrets! But a moment later Kelsea was ashamed. Barty and Carlin were grieving. Even now, the Regents trackers were probably tracing the Queens Guard across the Tearling. Barty and Carlin couldnt stay here; shortly after Kelseas departure, they would be leaving themselves, of to Petaluma, a southern village near the Cadarese border where Barty had grown up. Barty would be lost without his forest, but there were other forests for him to learn.

Carlin was making the greater sacrice: Tese books were her lifes collection, saved and hoarded by settlors in the Crossing, preserved through centuries. She couldnt take them with her; a wagon would be too easy to track. All of these volumes, gone. Kelsea picked up her night pack and shrugged it onto her shoulders, looking out the window to the tenth horse.

Teres so much I dont know. Do you have your knife? Keep it about you always. And be careful what you eat and where it comes from. Kelsea put her arms around him. Despite Bartys girth, his body was shaking with fatigue, and Kelsea realized suddenly how tired hed become, how completely her education had taxed en- ergy that Barty should have conserved for growing old. His thick arms tightened about her for a moment, and then he pulled away, his blue eyes erce.

Youve never killed anyone, Kel, and thats well and good, but from this day onward, youre hunted, under- stand? You have to behave so. Kelsea expected Carlin to contradict Barty, Carlin who always said that force was for fools. But Carlin nodded in agreement. Ive raised you to be a thinking queen, Kelsea, and so you will be. But youve entered a time when survival must trump all else. Tese men will have an honest charge to see that you get back to the Keep safely. After that, Bartys lessons may help you more than mine.

She left her post by the window and placed a gentle hand on Kelseas back, making her jump. Carlin rarely touched anyone. Te most she seemed capable of was a pat on the back, and those occasions were like rain in the desert. But dont allow reliance on weapons to impair your mind, Kelsea. Your wits have always been sound; see that you dont lose them along the way.

Its easy to do so when you pick up a sword. A mailed st thudded against the front door. Your Highness? Carroll called. Daylight fails. Barty and Carlin stepped back, and Barty picked up the last piece of Kelseas baggage. Tey both looked terribly old. Kelsea didnt want to leave them here, these two people whod raised her and taught her everything she knew. When will it be safe to send you a message? When can you come out of hiding? Barty and Carlin looked at each other, a quick glance that struck Kelsea as furtive.

It was Barty who nally replied. Not for a while, Kel. You see You will have other things to worry about, Carlin broke in sharply. Tink about your people, about xing this kingdom. It may be a long while before you see us again. Carlin Its time to go. Te soldiers had remounted their horses; as Kelsea emerged from the cottage, they stared down at her, one or two of them with outright contempt.

Te soldier with the mace, Lazarus, wasnt looking at her at all but staring of into the distance. Kelsea be- gan to load her baggage onto the horse, a roan mare that seemed somewhat gentler than Bartys stallion.

I assume you can ride, Your Highness? He made the word highness sound like an infection, and Kelsea snatched the reins from him. Yes, I ride. She switched the reins from hand to hand as she put on her green winter cloak and buttoned it closed, then mounted her horse and looked down at Barty, trying to overcome an awful pre- monition of nality.

He was grown old before his time, but there was no reason he shouldnt live for a number of years yet. And pre- monitions often came to nothing. According to Barty, the Mort Queens own seer had predicted that Kelsea wouldnt reach her nineteenth birthday, and yet here she was.

She gave Barty what she hoped was a brave smile. Ill send for you soon. He nodded, his own smile bright and forced. Tis gesture was so unexpected that Kelsea stared at the hand for a moment before she realized that she was supposed to take it. In all her years in the cottage, Carlin had never held her hand.

In time, youll see, Carlin told her, clenching her hand tightly. Youll see why all of this was necessary. Beware the past, Kelsea. Be a steward. Even now, Carlin wouldnt speak plainly.

Kelsea had always known that she wasnt the child Carlin would have chosen to train, that shed disappointed Carlin with her ungovernable tem- per, her lax commitment to the enormous responsibility lying on her shoulders.

Kelsea tugged her hand away, then glanced at Barty and felt her irritation vanish. He was crying openly now, tracks of tears glinting on his face. Kelsea felt her own eyes want- ing to water again, but she took the reins and turned the horse toward Carroll. We can go now, Captain. At your command, Lady. He shook the reins and started down the path. All of you, in kite, square around the Queen, he called back over his shoulder.

We ride until sunset. Tere was the word again. Kelsea tried to think of her- self as a queen and simply couldnt. She set her pace to match the guards, resolutely not looking back. She turned around only once, just before they rounded the bend, and found Barty and Carlin still standing in the cottage doorway, watching her go, like an old woodsman couple in some tale long forgotten. Ten the trees hid them from view.

Kelseas mare was apparently a sturdy one, for she took the un- even terrain surefootedly. Bartys stallion had always had prob- lems in the woods; Barty said that his horse was an aristocrat, that anything less than an open straightaway was beneath him. Tose were Carlins orders. Whenever Kel- sea spoke longingly of the things she knew were out there in the wider world, Carlin would impress upon her the necessity of se- crecy, the importance of the queenship she would inherit.

Carlin had no patience with Kelseas fear of failure. Carlin didnt want to hear about doubts. Kelseas job was to learn, to be content without other children, other people, without the wider world. Once, when she was thirteen, Kelsea had ridden Bartys stallion into the woods as usual and gotten lost, nding herself in unfa- miliar forest.

She didnt know the trees or the two streams shed passed. Shed ended up riding in circles, and was about to give up and cry when she looked toward the horizon and saw smoke from a chimney, some hundred feet away.

Moving closer, she found a cottage, poorer than Bartys and Carlins, made of wood instead of stone. In front of the cottage had been two little boys, a few years younger than Kelsea, playing a make- believe game of swords, and she had watched them for a very long time, sensing something shed never considered before: Until that moment, she had somehow thought that all children had the same life.

Te boys clothes were ragged, but they both wore comfortable- looking shirts with short sleeves that ended at the bicep. Kelsea could only wear high- necked shirts with tight, long sleeves, so that no chance passersby would ever get a look at her arm or the necklace she wasnt allowed to remove. She listened to the two boys chatter and found that they could barely speak proper Tear; no one had sat them down every morning and drilled them on grammar.

It was the middle of the afternoon, but they werent in school. Yous Mort, Emmett. Is Tear! Is not Mort! Morts short! Mum said you supposed to make me Tear sometime! Yous Tear, but Is using magic! After watching the two boys for a while, Kelsea marked the real diference, the one that commanded her attention: She was only fty yards away, but the companion- ship between the two boys made her feel as distant as the moon.

Te distance was only compounded when their mother, a round woman with none of Carlins stately grace, came outside to gather them up for dinner.

Come wash up! We aint done. Picking up a stick from the bundle on the ground, the mother jumped into the middle of their game, battling them both while the boys giggled and shrieked. Finally, the mother pulled each child up and then held them both close to her body as they walked inside together, a continuous walking hug.

Te dusk was deepening, and although Kelsea knew she should try to nd her way home, she couldnt tear herself away from the scene. Carlin didnt show afection, not even to Barty, and the best Kelsea could hope to earn was a smile. She was the heir to the Tear throne, yes, and Carlin had told her many times what a great and important honor that was. But on the long ride home, Kelsea couldnt shake the feeling that these two children had more than she did. When she nally found her way home, she had missed dinner.

Barty and Carlin were both worried; Barty had yelled a bit, but be- hind the yelling Kelsea could see relief in his face, and hed given her a hug before sending her up to her room. Carlin had merely stared at Kelsea before informing her that her library privileges were rescinded for the week and that night Kelsea had lain in bed, frozen in the revelation that she had been utterly, monstrously cheated. Before that day, Kelsea had thought of Carlin as her fos- ter mother, if not the real thing.

But now she understood that she had no mother at all, only a cold old woman who demanded, then withheld.

The Fate of the Tearling

But halfway there, she gave up and turned around. Obviously, she does survive, because otherwise I wouldn't be writing this review. Ok, with that out of the way, I proceeded to read this sucker. And, like I said, by the halfway point I was fairly certain that Kelsea was going to have to go back in time and try to fix things from that end. Here's what did surprise me, though - I sort of assumed she'd stay there. It didn't occur to me that after she 'fixed' it, she'd end up back in her original time.

Vídeos The Queen of the Tearling (2)

But, then again, I thought it was cool that you could see that her desperate attempt to save everyone worked. Looked like everything was going well for the Tearling New London society! Except Kelsea still had all her memories, and no one remembered her. But the fact that she was all miserable and depressed about all of the friends that she'd lost was a HUGE anti-happy pill.

I thought that when Carlin began talking to her at the very end we would get more than one paragraph of Kelsea taking a deep breath and squaring her shoulders to the reality of her new life. The fuck? Eh, it coulda been worse. But I still have a few questions.

First, why did Kelsea pick that moment to go back in time? I get that it was her last memory of what Katie had been doing.

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But why not go back before all of that? Like, back to the night that Row left her in the woods with that creature he made. William, Lily, Katie's mom, etc.. She could have offed him and then told William that he HAD to start telling all the younger people what had really happened before the Crossing, then go scare the shit out of or kill the weird religious guy and put an end to his nonsense.

It's not like he wouldn't have believed her if she'd told him all that stuff - he's a fucking time traveler, himself! Or did it only work if all of the Tearlings were dead, and Katie became a Queen who with the help of Gavin and the others instituted a democracy after her death?

Or why couldn't she go back to when they originally landed, and just pass that info on to William years before everything went sour. Hey, William! Just popped back in time to let you know that if you don't start talking about the past this utopia won't work.

You may also want to institute some form of democracy or you're in for a whole bunch of your descendants f-ing things up. S - Row is evil and on his way to becoming a vampire.

You may want to deal with that sooner rather than later. That was a veeeeeeery WTF moment for me! Did he have to die for some reason? If his 'goodness' was so overpowering, couldn't she just have told him to leave the settlement and never come back?

I mean It would have also been cool to know why the Tears could use these Sapphires, and why the stones were magical to start with. Hey, quick question: what was the deal with the stone that appeared in the dungeon with Kelsea?

Download Free ebooks PDF The Queen of Tearling

It was all glowing and protective when the creepy jailer showed up, and thenThis book will be a beautifully designed package with illustrated endpapers, a map of the Tearling, and a ribbon marker. Tank God Im not the only one. HarperCollins Imprint: Yes, I ride. All Kel- sea could see of him was his grey cloak. His thick arms tightened about her for a moment, and then he pulled away, his blue eyes erce.

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