Let’s Read Queen of the Tearling: Chapter Four

OK, I have a sad admission. I thought I was an ever-flowing fountain of hate but I started feeling more positive about all art while putting off writing about the terrible crap that is Queen of the Tearling. Hey, maybe I should write about something I appreciate! If I could get one person to read White as Snow or Megahex or Beauty—all of which I have read and enjoyed since beginning my Tearling takedown back in the fucking mists of fucking prehistoric time—that would be really cool!

I guess this happens. Does the great reservoir of hate run dry? Maybe this is part of growing up, you guys!

But I swore I’d finish this, and finishing what you’ve started is also part of being a grown person. Part of the problem is that Queen of the Tearling is so generically bad, it’s hard to engage with it to hate it at length. So I’ll keep the summary short. If you really need to know exactly what happens in each chapter, you can read it yourself and suffer like I did. There, now I’m in the mood to hate, let’s start!

Kelsea and the Mace dude leave the bandit camp. Kelsea thinks a lot about how she wants to bone the Douche. The Mace asks her about the Douche, turns out she saw his face, which is a big deal because he usually keeps on his dopey psuedo-Anonymous mask all the time (it must smell). Kelsea declares that she will never turn in the Douche to the law, the normally overbearing Mace is perfectly cool with his future dictatorial leader wanting to bone all over a criminal. They still don’t get to the capital. End of chapter.

OK, let’s talk about Kelsea and what a waste of meat she is. She hasn’t made any decisions yet, everything has happened to her. When she talks about how she wants to rule her kingdom, she’s parroting what other people have told her. She’s been really passive, but that’s about to change. She’s about to actually make a decision, all by herself. Yeah, I know, most people get to that point well before the age of nineteen, but good for her for starting somewhere, right?

So the first decision she makes is… that she won’t turn a criminal in because she thinks he’s hot. Not because the police are corrupt, or because this guy is doing Robin Hood-style good for the poor, or because she wants to co-opt him and use him as a spy. It’s because she wants to ride his dick.

If I were the Mace, I would just drag Kelsea into the woods and kill her, because isn’t this the way her horny mother acted—the mother who everyone denounced as an idiot and a slut?* I mean, damn, from what we’ve seen of this royal line they’re all dumber than bricks. Why is everybody cool with this? Doesn’t somebody else want the throne? I know this country is messed up but there’s no reason why somebody else couldn’t have a whack at it. (Supposedly the throne is dangerous but considering that this line of morons has stretched out for years, it couldn’t be that bad, because they’ve somehow managed to breed and pass the crown down.) At the least, the Mace could explain to Kelsea why this is probably not a great decision. That is, if he wants her to succeed as a ruler in her own right—maybe she’s supposed to be a puppet? That would seem to be the safer option, if this is the quality of Kelsea’s thought process.

Oh, I forgot, Kelsea is the protagonist and she’s a great heroine because she’s ugly and doesn’t like dresses. As long as she’s a stupid tomboy, it’s cool. If she was hot or liked to wear makeup, then her decision would be terrible simply because femininity taints everything around it. I hope this world is destroyed by an army of nuclear-powered genderqueers and transwomen.

* Implication alert: it’s acceptable for a criminal to run around the Tearling stealing whatever he can get his hands on, as long as Kelsea sits back and moans about how ugly she is and how she can never have her masked man. Putting one’s personal likes and dislikes above the law is just fine, but if Kelsea actually slept with this guy, then she would be evil, like her mother. According to Queen of the Tearling, a woman’s moral worth is entirely centered in her vagina.



  1. Hi Magpie! I was reading The Queen of the Tearling and hating it as much as you and it was driving me crazy. I couldnt put it down though because I couldnt bear the thought that it would be sold as a feminist book and that it is going to create a craze when it comes out as a movie and I wanted to see just how misogynistic it would get. Maybe I secretly hoped it would redeem itself (it does not). Anyway, the point is: thank you for your blog entries. In addition to being hilarious (my husband came to check on me cause I was laughing so hard), they were such a source of relief (I thought maybe I was the only person noticing and being appalled). I also struggled with the issue you spoke of earlier, about being positive. I have spent so much time reading and hating on this book (and writing open letters to Emma Watson in my head). I wonder if I too should instead focus on the positive. After all there are so many great books out there. I will look into the ones you suggested. But the struggle remains because your criticism I think was beneficial to me, and not only because it made me laugh but because it made me think, it helped me see through the subtleties that were bothering me viscerally in the book. But then again time is so limited in this life. So I’m not sure. Anyway, very long way of saying: thanks for these posts. I loved them!


    1. Thank you! It’s odd to think that somebody out there thinks Emma Watson is “plain,” isn’t it?

      I’m thinking of doing a recommendation post on books that address the subjects that Queen of the Tearling fails at–politics, female leadership, possibly romance. It’s an excuse to showcase Beauty, at the least.


  2. Thanks for putting up your archive. Now I’ll be back regularly to see what you’re up to. I’m in the blessed position of never having even heard of Queen of the Tearling let alone tried to read it. I plan to keep it that way, but at least I got some laughs out of your summary.


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