This book had a lot of hype. I saw it referenced as a female game of thrones and it's being turned into a movie starring Emma Watson.
I think Emma Watson will do fine in the role. Female game of thrones, it is not. Here's the thing with me. I love ASOIAF. They are fantastic books with a great TV adaptation. But they are also insanely complicated with a gigantic cast to the point where it took me three times to start the book and I really wasn't able to read it until I found a character guide. I love the series, but I really don't need another one like that.
Queen of the Tearling is simply not on the same scale as ASOIAF. It is some type of fantasy world,(show spoiler)
and there are people trying to get power and we see the world from different points of view. But there isn't a battle for the power with an insane amount of behind the scenes scheming and the majority of the viewpoints overlap. Kelsea is the main character and we see the world through her eyes most of the time.
The story starts as many fantasy books do. Kelsea is the heir to the throne of Tearling and has been raised in secret following the death of her mother 18 years ago. The Queens Guard shows up to escort her back to the castle and the journey is plagued with people trying to assassinate her before she can be crowned. She doesn't know very much about her mother, her father's identity is unknown, nor about the recent history of her kingdom.
I did really like the book. I think comparing it to ASOIAF is unfair and not correct. There are a few issues I had with it, but the protagonist is really interesting and fun to see how she deals with different situations. There are a lot of good secondary characters who I look forward to seeing more from. While there is a bit of a love/crush situation I think it was handled fine and did not overtake the story.
Moreover, the storyline did not end in a cliffhanger. I definitely plan to pick up the next one, but non-cliffhanger endings are becoming more rare and I always appreciate the lack of one.