Queens of Innis Lear
by Gratton, Tessa






A fantasy inspired by Shakespeare's "King Lear" depicts a once-bountiful isle decimated by a prophecy-obsessed king's erratic decisions, where three rival princesses prepare for a war that will determine their realm's leadership and survival.





TESSA GRATTON is the author of the Blood Journals duology, Gods of New Asgard series, and books on writing fantasy for teen writers. She currently works for Serial Box Publishing as a lead writer on Tremontaine. She's lived all over the world before returning to her prairie roots in Kansas with her wife. The Queens of Innis Lear is her debut adult fantasy novel.





*Starred Review* On the island nation of Innis Lear, magic falters under the rule of a half-mad king obsessed with star prophecy. Neighboring kingdoms eye the island and its weak ruler. But the three daughters of King Lear have plans of their own. The eldest, warlike Gaela, means to be sovereign, and she allies herself with her manipulative sister Regan, who remembers the island's forgotten earth magic. Elia, the youngest, a star-priest and their father's favorite, has no interest in ruling, but she resists her sisters' harmful ambition and hatred for their father. Meanwhile, the enigmatic Ban, a bastard and Elia's childhood love, vows to show Elia how little a father's love is worth. A storm is coming to Innis Lear, and those who survive will be unalterably changed. Gratton's first novel for adults is a force to be reckoned with: she expands the world of Shakespeare's King Lear and crafts a narrative that, despite its scope, never loses control. The basic plot remains, but the true accomplishment here is the characterization: Lear and his men slip quietly into the backdrop, more catalyst than character, while the women-the difficult, complex, astoundingly realized women-claim center stage. A darkly rendered epic of old magic, hard hearts, and complicated choices. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





Three very different sisters vie for their father's crown in this fantasy inspired by King Lear.It's a setup familiar to anyone who knows their Shakespeare: An aging king gathers his three daughters and asks them each to describe their love for him and prove they are deserving of inheriting his crown. The two eldest, here called Gaela and Regan, are happy to comply. The youngest, and his favorite—here called Elia—refuses and is disinherited. As the king descends into madness, Gaela and Regan, along with their respective husbands, scheme to ensure that the crown passes to the person they've agreed should have it: Gaela, with Regan beside her. But Elia, who lacks her sisters' bloodthirsty ambition, fears she may have to take a stand to save her home before her sisters tear it apart. Gratton, making her adult debut, stays true to much of the play while building past it to create an inventive universe full of ancient magic and prophetic stars. Her writing is atmospher ic, staying just shy of florid. The racial diversity is a welcome sight in the genre, as is an epic tale full of such dynamic women. And yet, as the page count pushes past 500, it's hard not to feel that the action drags. Scenes of political intrigue become repetitious, and the final plot points feel mired in lyrical imagery by the time they finally arrive. Gratton achieves the rare feat of a Shakespeare adaptation that earns the right to exist, but it's possible to have too much of a good thing. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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