I gave this selection 5/5 stars. I loved the character development in it. Sometimes with fantasy books, the author is in such a hurry to move the story that they forget that the story is about these characters and the worlds they are building. Erika Johansen did a great job in developing all the characters, and those that still leave you guessing, that is done for a reason to move the story into the next book.
Young Kelsea, future Queen of the Tearling, is raised in hiding by her foster parents. At the appointed time, the loyal members of the Queen's Guard appear to accompany her on her journey to take her throne. She is being hunted both by her Uncle, the Regent of Tearling and the Red Queen of Mortmesne, who will do everything in her power to prevent Kelsea from reaching her full potential and unlocking the secrets of the Queen's Jewel.
I love strong heroines, and this story has that in abundance in Kelsea. She is a leader who knows how to earn loyalty. She leads through her own actions, not through orders. If you enjoy works of fantasy, this story is well developed and written. I am looking forward to the sequel, The Invasion of the Tearling, sometime in 2015.