Queens, kings, a large dose of magic, and all the stars in the heavens make up The Queens of Innis Lear, an epic fantasy by Tessa Gratton. From births to marriages, every action on the island of Innis Lear has been foretold by the star charts, most especially the succession of the throne.
At the opening, King Lear sends notes to his three daughters telling them he will soon announce the next ruler. Military-minded Galea, family-schemer Reagan, and apple-of-her-father’s-eye Elia have been pained by the loss of their mother many years ago, and now see their father as losing his once strong hold on the kingdom. Has Lear fallen into senility or is he manipulating his children to some ultimate goal? What follows is an excellent homage to Shakespeare’s original tale of Lear and his own machinations.
Gratton’s writing is a blend of ernest plot-driving narrative and contemplative flashbacks. It can be slow at times if only to fill in political and/ or familial background and provide the character depth that is really the author’s strength. As opposed to many books with multiple point of views, all of the characters are balanced and have many strengths.
Overall, this is an enjoyable story that I would recommend to fans of epic fantasies. As stated before, the plot can be slow, but maybe the world needs more books like this one. Slow down and spend some time in Innis Lear.
4 out of 5 stars
Thank you to NetGalley, Macmillion – Tor/ Forge, and the author for the opportunity to review.
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