Published by Tor on March 27, 2018
Genres: adult, Fantasy & Magic
Source: Finished Copy from Publisher
A kingdom at risk, a crown divided, a family drenched in blood.
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.
The Queens of Innis Lear is an adult fantasy by Tessa Gratton. I really, really enjoyed this novel. It had a slow and kind of confusing start, but in the end that makes a lot of sense, because this is an epic story that requires a lot of world and character building. This is Tessa Gratton’s first foray into adult fantasy, and I think the Queen of Innis Lear was a rich and detailed world. Overall, the story was well executed and a great read. The Queens of Innis Lear does work well as a standalone, but I am kind of hoping that we see more from this world.
In The Queens of Innis Lear we are introduced to the island of Innis Lear, and we meet the three princesses of Lear. Each of the princesses have such a unique personality and they each have their own story, which was great. I really enjoyed getting to know each of the sisters. But it was also an initial frustration for me. The Queens of Innis Lear is told in multiple POV- at least 5, so it is hard to keep everything straight for a good portion of the story. But I eventually fell into the world and I started to build the map of who everyone was in my mind. Then the story started picking up for me.
My favorite part of the story was the youngest’s daughter’s storyline. Elia was by far my favorite. (as I think she was meant to be) Her older sisters are ruthless and obsessed with power, and Tessa Gratton is not afraid to be a little ruthless in her story telling either. That was a real treat for me. This was a gritty and dark fantasy and I totally dug that about The Queens of Innis Lear. People die…often. I won’t go into more detail than that but this is not a story that has a happy ending for all of the characters. I was really interested in one couple in particular and I was really rooting for something to happen there. (If you have read the book, please let me know because I am dying to discuss it with someone.)
The Magic of Innis Lear is that it does not follow a formulaic storyline. Tessa Gratton was not afraid to think big with this epic fantasy. The world is huge and the characters are so complex on their own. When you add everything up together with all of the various points of views and different plotlines happening concurrently, and all of the various schemeing, this story is a lot to take in. It is definitely a story that grew on me. It took me about a 110 pages or so before I became fully invested. But once I hit that point, the story really picked up and I read the rest of it in one sitting (which is huge because this book is almost 600 pages.)
Bottom line: If you are a fan of dark fantasies told in multiple perspectives, The Queens of Innis Lear might be a excellent book for you. I loved the chaos of the story and even though it started off a little slow, overall I really enjoyed this novel.
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