Sep 4, 2018 - Book Reviews    No Comments

Book Review: THE QUEENS OF INNIS LEAR by Tessa Gratton

The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes.

The king’s three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted.

Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided.

I quite enjoy Shakespeare and even though King Lear isn’t one of the plays I’m familiar with, I was really looking forward to such an intriguing sounding retelling.

The writing and world building throughout the book was just beautiful. The descriptions were wonderfully evocative and gave a really great sense of the world. There were a few times where it did seem to drag on for a little longer than my attention span could cope with, and the plot did suffer for it, but it was a relatively minor issue. On the flip side, the dialogue is brilliant the whole way through and really showed the emotional range of the characters.

The characters were all well-developed, and the various POV gave a great sense of each person’s perspective. Obviously not having read the play, I can’t say how closely they resemble each other. The depth of the relationships was outstanding. That said, I did not like all characters equally. Elia and Ban were probably my favourites, as they were the ones I related to the most. Gaela and Regan were interesting to begin with, but soon turned into two trick ponies and repeatedly rehashing their various issues did get a little old.

The good parts were really good, but the parts that I didn’t like as much make me a little hesitant to recommend this book. If you don’t mind long, slow burning, descriptive fantasies, this is the book for you. Otherwise, maybe look for something else.

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