Beneath The Keep : A Novel Of The Tearling by Erika Johansen
A gripping and intricate tale of how the flames of revolution are ignited, and the individuals who strive to ignite them.
In a kingdom descending into darkness and amidst the forging of new alliances, a battle ensues over a prophecy that will shape the course of history. This highly anticipated standalone prequel to the bestselling Queen of the Tearling trilogy showcases a land that was once a utopia, now plunged into feudalism.
As the divide between the wealthy elite and the impoverished widens, with famine looming over the land, whispers of a prophecy start to circulate. It speaks of a beacon of hope, a True Queen who will rise to save the kingdom from its downfall.
However, for Lazarus, a young boy on the cusp of adulthood, trapped within the secretive underbelly of the Creche, these rumors offer little solace. Raised and trained to kill mercilessly from his earliest days, he has never witnessed the beauty of the sun or the vastness of the sky. Until a burning desire for revenge thrusts him into the world above, where he discovers a purpose within a treacherous royal court.
Within the court, teeming with intrigue and peril, Lazarus encounters Niya, the handmaid to Princess Elyssa. But Niya is not who she appears to be, and her true identity, if revealed, spells certain death. As a righteous rebellion gains momentum within the kingdom, Princess Elyssa finds herself torn between her duty to the throne and her growing allegiance to the Blue Horizon, a group of fierce idealists vowing radical change.
Elyssa’s choices carry weight, as threats surround her from all directions. The powers commanded by an enigmatic seer and her elusive master prepare to shape the Princess’s destiny for her. It is only a matter of time before Lazarus, Niya, and Elyssa are summoned to serve a purpose far greater than they ever envisioned: the fight for a brighter future.
Beneath the Keep: A Prequel to Queen of the Tearling – Review and Analysis
Hey everyone, it’s Lexi, and in today’s article, I will be sharing my spoiler-free review of “Beneath the Keep” by Erica Johansen. This article will explore the prequel to the “Queen of the Tearling” trilogy. If you haven’t read the original trilogy, I highly recommend not continuing with this review, as it may spoil some important aspects for you.
The premise of this prequel centers around the story of Alyssa, the mother of main characters Mace and Kelsey, and the events leading up to Kelsey’s birth. As a fan of the original trilogy, I was truly excited for this book and even reread the entire trilogy in anticipation. This helped refresh my memory of the characters and made the reading experience feel like a big family reunion, although not a happy one. We get to meet many familiar characters before the events that initially introduced them, which I found to be a great aspect of the book.
In my opinion, this book did an excellent job of providing background and history to the Tearling that was only alluded to in the original trilogy. Many aspects related to Kelsey’s mother were intentionally kept secret from her in the trilogy, so diving into that was quite intriguing. Initially, I was worried that this prequel wouldn’t meet the high expectations set by the trilogy, similar to my concerns with “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” However, I can confidently say that this book delivered on all fronts.
“The Queen of the Tearling” trilogy can be quite polarizing, with strong opinions on both sides. If you enjoyed the world and characters of the trilogy, I believe you will enjoy this prequel as well. Personally, I found that it enhanced the overall experience and expanded our understanding of the world. It added layers of complexity not only to the characters but also to the history and the ultimate ending of the trilogy. I highly recommend reading the trilogy before diving into this book, as it contains many twists and secrets that will be spoiled otherwise.
One of my favorite aspects of the book was how it established and expanded on the history and knowledge of the Tearling. It added more depth to the familiar world we encountered in the original trilogy, solidifying everything and providing a broader understanding of the characters. This book also sets the stage for the political climate that Kelsey is forced to confront, highlighting societal divides, hierarchy, and the revolution of the poor that ultimately leads to the drafting of soldiers into the Mor army.
If you were a fan of the original trilogy, you will appreciate the additional background provided on characters like Mace, Thorn, and Alyssa. While these characters played integral roles in the trilogy, they didn’t receive much development or background information since they were not central to Kelsey’s story. “Beneath the Keep” pleasantly surprised me in this regard, further enriching the overall story.
I gave “Beneath the Keep” a solid rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. This prequel is a worthy addition to the “Queen of the Tearling” series, expanding on the world and characters without feeling like a cash grab. I’m excited to hear that there will be more books about Kelsey in the future, as there is still much of this captivating world left to explore. I would love to hear your thoughts on this book in the comments below. Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to give this article a thumbs up. See you next time!