The Queens of Innis Lear

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

Entertaining and well-written. It was a book that I couldn’t put down. Pretty awesome summer read. I read it in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I have no words to describe the emotions it invoked. Definitely placed in my to be read again pile Would recommended it to my book club once for my friends to read too.
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I'm giving this a one star rating for now, because there is no way the copy I received from Netgalley (for review) is a finished copy. According to Goodreads this book is to be a stand alone, but the copy provided from Netgalley ends literally mid-sentence with in a scene where there is absolutely no resolution to anything that had occurred plot wise and no cliff hanger for a sequel??? 

Otherwise I was much enjoying this King Lear retelling, givin' that I am aware King Lear is one of Shakespeare's foremost tragedies I'm not really expecting a change in the ending, or a happy ending for any of the characters I find myself most attached to. 

I'm going to be finding another copy of the book, so I can actually finish it all the way through before posting a full review on Goodreads.   Once I've finished it, I'll provide an update there.
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The Queens of Innis Lear

by Tessa Gratton

Rating: ♥♥♥

Pages: 567

Publisher: Tor

Publishing Date: March 27tht 2018


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.

Mini - Review:

I have to say I expected a completely different plot after reading the synopsis, but I was really surprised by how complex and word ridden this book was. The prose was phenomenal, but made the story a bit too slow pacing for my taste. We have about 5 different "speakers" in this book and a million time jumps within, which made it sometimes difficult to read. In my opinion maybe it would have been a better fit with less jumping and more insight in a few characters feelings and life. I first thought it would remind me of Kandare Blakes "Three dark crowns", but it did not in any way.

I liked how completely different and explizit the characters were written, how difficult it was to dig deeper into the feelings of the characters, so you would never know what happens next and how colorful everything was described. Some were dark, some were delightful and others just naiv. my favorite Character must have been Ban, though I think he will follow a dark and bloody path in the next book. I loved how feminist and strong the three queens were and especially Gaela was a bomb. In this book the women are the kings and all the man can only hope for a place in their life. That was sooo great. Badass, fighting queens are my favorite. Also we need more books that talk about womanhood problems like the burning period or being unable to bear a child. To deal with this topics in this book was an absolutely amazing solution of it!

The world building in this book was so on point with all the detailed descriptions and the importancethe nature and the star constellations, it made my heart bloom. This book felt as old as a fairytale but was also absolutely innovative, with the kingdom made by stars.

In the end I found the book a bit to slow and not deep enough, but I couldn't put it down either, so its a solid good book and against all odds I can't even wait for the second book!

(23. August 2018)
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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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This book was so good. I initially read the excerpt through Net galley and was hooked. I didn't realize how hooked I would have gotten to it. It is definitely a must-read.
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DNF: I attempted to read this book upon first downloading and then every few weeks following and simply could not get immersed. While the writing style is appealing, the book failed to suck me in after the first few chapters.
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So I honestly don't remember what drew me in besides the cover and sometimes that works for me, unfortunately this time it didn't. I can't give you a full review of reasons either it was simply that the story did not excite me enough to get past one chapter.
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Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into the storyline so I only ended up reading about 50 pages. I will definitely pick this book up at my own expense to give it another chance, in the near future.
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At first, I was very excited to read this book, then I found out that it wasn't the full book and it was only about 100 pages... not the best start.

I decided to forget about that and only read and review the few pages I had been given. I tried reading it 3 times and just couldn't get into it. 

Fine. I let that go and got the full hardcover version of it. Tried to read it 5 more times and it didn't work at all. 

From what I read, the writing style was annoying and overly complicated, I did not care for the characters or the story or the world. Simply put this book was not for me at all.
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This book was an amazing epic high fantasy novel. The plot was amazing. I loved the characters development and complexity and the writing was great.
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This book was definitely not for me. I thought it sounded interesting, but the writing style didn't hook me.
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I didn't realize this was not the full book when I requested it (should have looked better, totaly my own fault) however, I did enjoy what I read so far, Really want to finish reading this!
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A low-key feminist fantasy novel with diverse and grown characters (most in their twenties), oh yes please. I felt life being given to me... Beautiful prose and very strong character development, which is to be expected since this is a retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear. It’s not an easy read but it is definitely well-crafted and well worth the coins to buy and time to read.
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This was a great sneak peek that left me needing to read this book asap! I loved the characters and fascinating world. The world-building was well done and never confusing. There was never any info-dumping yet at the same time I understood what was going on and how this world works.
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I am not particularly familiar with Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear. I missed out on taking AP English Literature and Composition in school, where some of my friends read King Lear. So at most, I'm vaguely familiar with the story from Akira Kurosawa's film Ran (乱).

That being said, I was still very interested in reading this book when I learned of it. An adult fantasy novel, with three women vying for the crown is appealing to me. The magical system—the practice of wormwork versus the religion of star prophecy—also appealed to me. This dichotomy between the earth and the sky feels very mystical, very rooted in Paganism and Western astrology, things I'm interested in.

Still, in the end, the writing style is what has gotten me stuck with this book. If I had only read the prologue—which I honestly skipped in the end, because it was very confusing—and the first chapter alone, I would have put this book down. Gratton is clearly a talented writer, but at times her writing is too flowery for me. Luckily, I continued reading, past the first chapter, which is told from the POV of Ban the Fox, who corresponds to Edmund, the illegitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester in King Lear. While Ban is one of my favorite characters so far, this chapter, again, spent much too much time describing the forest and the exterior world for my taste. And I was about to give up reading this book at that point when I finally reached chapter three.

Chapter three is told from the point of view of Lear's youngest daughter, Elia, and it helped me to finally start getting into the story. The chapters told from Elia, Reagan, and Gaela's POVs are the most interesting. Each daughter has a different voice, a completely different perspective, each equally intriguing. It's because of them that I think I can keep going through this book.

I'm on the waiting list at the library, so hopefully I can finish it soon, since, as I said at the beginning, I received only an excerpt of this from NetGalley.

I think this is the kind of book that you definitely have to be in the mood for. It's beautiful and haunting, but also plodding and dense. I've heard it compared to Game of Thrones, which is ridiculous. Just because it's about a throne and has multiple POVs doesn't make it so. I'd compare it to Robin McKinley or perhaps Patricia A. McKillip instead, due to the writing style and the retelling.

So, if you like a deeply infused natural magical system, breathtaking descriptions (which, at times, don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore) that make the world feel both gritty and beautiful, and three fully developed women of color at the fore, then this book is for you.
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Absolutely LOVE this book. If you haven’t read up on Kind Lear, I recommend reading a synopsis before starting this book. 

Beautiful prose, although a little dense. I feel as though it could have said more, with less at times. 

Gratton wrote very strong female characters, and I loved each of the three sisters. This is the feminist Queendom you want to be immersed in. I found myself rereading passages quite often because of how powerful they were. I don’t want to say too much about this story, as I believe it’s best to be discovered as you turn the pages. 

Highly recommend this book! I’m off to order the beautiful UK edition to sit alongside the US hardcover! Happy reading!
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Didn't realize this was a sampler, but I still enjoyed what I read so far and I am intrigued to see what happens next and I hope it is as bloody as people say it is!
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I honestly had a really hard time getting into this book, I tried multiple times, I think it may have been the multiple perspectives.
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There wasn't anything that I disliked while reading, although it did get a little slow in places. Gratton's writing style is very...verbose. Not like purple prose, but she includes a lot of details in a way that I find is more characteristic to adult fantasy (such as The Night Circus and A Darker Shade of Magic) more so than young adult fantasy. There's lots of description and history interwoven into what's happening, and the paragraphs are a lot chunkier than what you might see in YA, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. 

But this did take a little bit of getting used to for me, a young adult reader, especially because the review copy didn't let me change the formatting and shoved an entire page in one phone screen, making me squint to see the extraordinarily tiny text. 

Oh yes, that definitely could have contributed to part of why I wasn't as into this book as I wanted to be--the digital copy had tiny text that was very bothersome. *sigh*

I did enjoy where the story was going though. I'm not too familiar with the King of Innis Lear fable, but I can definitely spot where Gratton wove parts of this in her own story. I think the sisterly (and family in general) dynamics were portrayed very well and there was a strong something bubbling up between them.
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With gorgeous writing and an intriguing retelling, Gratton made me a fan of Shakespeare—it totally counts.

I know the very basics of the original, so I don't know if that helps at all. But somehow, this tragedy was enjoyable. Everything is complex: from the plot down to the characters. The diversity of the characters. Just, everything is positive. 

I think I held back from rating it 5 stars simply because at times the writing kept the pacing slow.
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