Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Me on The Queens of Innis Lear

Title: The Queens of Innis Lear
Author: Tessa Gratton
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Publisher: Tor Books

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 Regan, 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.

The Queens of Innis Lear is an epic tale of daughters, of kings and stars, of an island crying out for peace. It's a battle between choice and destiny, between the choices we make and the paths set out before us.

They are not the only narrators, the only characters with plots and visions of the future, but the three daughters of Lear are the most important. Gaela, power-hungry and determined. Focused. Harsh and hard, trained as a warrior. She is ready to rule the island of Innis Lear after her father, ready to stand as king. Regan, manipulative and thoughtful. Plotting and planning. Full of passion and love for her husband. Most of her goals align with Gaela, and she is ready to stand alongside her sister as queen, her children as their legacy. Elia the youngest, sweet and kind. Blessed by the stars, devoted to their aging father. Content to just be Elia, but sometimes that's not enough. Sometimes princesses must act and move forward, take steps toward a destiny they never expected.

This is layers upon layers upon layers of motivation, chance, fate, and determination written in magical, lyrical prose. This is an island of people who want what they want. People who follow the stars and people who work hard to carve out places for themselves. There are so many different plots and plans afoot, so many hoping that they will be the one to win, to rule, to love. To survive. This is an epic retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear with haunting magic, realistic and flawed characters, and women going after what they want. I would definitely recommend this to epic fantasy fans searching for something new but also familiar.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Tor Books.)

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