The Queens of Innis Lear

The Queens of Innis Lear

by Tessa Gratton

Hardcover

$24.29 $26.99 Save 10% Current price is $24.29, Original price is $26.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, November 15

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765392466
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 03/27/2018
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 117,870
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

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.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

THE FOX

IN A QUIET, cool grove of chestnut trees, heart-leafed lindens, and straight-backed Aremore oaks, a fox knelt at the edge of a shallow spring.

Scars and fresh scratches marred the rich tan of his back and arms and thighs. He had already removed his uniform, weapons, and boots, piling them on a wide oak root. The Fox — who was also a man — poured clear water over himself, bathing and whispering a cleansing song that married well with the babble of spring water. He'd traced this source at the first light of dawn, glad for a forest heart from which to ask his questions.

A breeze came, tightening his skin with cold breath, and the canopy of leaves chattered welcome. Ban the Fox replied, That's encouraging, in their tongue, shifting his vowels to match the cadence of this Aremore forest. The trees spoke wider and more graciously here than on the rocky island where he'd been born. On Innis Lear the trees tended toward hard and hearty, shaped by ocean winds and the challenge of growing against the bedrock; not green and radiant so much as gray and blue with the coolest brown barks, lush moss creeping around in hollows, and thin leaves and needles. They spoke softly, the spreading low mother oaks and thorned hedges, weaving their words into the wind so their king could not hear.

But in Aremoria there was room and soil, enough for loud trees more concerned with bearing fruit than surviving winter storms or heartless kings. They conversed with each other, sighing and singing to please themselves, to taunt colorful birds, to toy with the people's dreams. It had taken Ban months to win the trust of the Aremore trees, for he'd arrived angry and corded over by bitter flavors, far too spicy at such a young age. They'd not welcomed an invading thistle, but eventually he charmed them, grew to be as familiar as if he'd been rooted here.

Slipping deeper into the spring now, Ban untied the tiny braids patched through his thick, dark hair. His toes sank into silt as water curled about his ankles; he kept up his idle banter with the nearby linden trees, who had a vibrant sense of humor. Finally, with his hair loose and falling stiffly at his ears and neck, Ban ducked himself entirely into the spring water.

All conversation dulled. Ban held his breath, waiting to hear the pulse of this forest heart. A deep well might serve better, but the spring was natural, built only of the earth. He needed the rhythm under his skin to properly connect, to find the paths of magic he could use to track the loathsome Burgun army and certify their retreat.

Peace and cold solitude surrounded Ban. He parted his lips to allow in a mouthful of water and swallowed it, drinking in the tranquility. He slowly stood up.

Water streamed off his rising form. A small man, with not a strip of comfortable fat, Ban was all tawny muscles and sharp edges. Dark hair blackened by water hung heavy around large eyes, the brown and dark shadow green of forests. He blinked and droplets of water like tiny crystals clung to his spiky lashes. Had anyone witnessed his emergence, it would've been easy to think Ban a thorn of magic, grown straight from the spring.

Refreshed and blessed, he crouched at the shore to dig his hands into the mud. He spread it up his wrists like gauntlets, smoothing the gray-brown mud into a second skin over his own. With it he painted streaks across his chest, down his stomach, around his genitals, and in spirals down his thighs. He slapped handprints over his shoulders, splattering them down his back as far as he could reach.

Now, fully a creature of this specific earth, adopted child of these balmy trees, Ban the Fox picked his way back into the forest. Every footstep brought him words whispered up his legs: starwise, starwise, forward, this way, turn here, this way, starwise again, and nightwise now! The trees directed him toward the goal he'd requested, and finally Ban reached the tallest of them, at the edge of the forest, where he might best catch hold of a wind willing to report on Burgun.

A spreading, ropey old chestnut waited, roots buried several horse lengths off the line of trees. Ban glanced all around, at the churned earth of the valley, where days ago the Burgun army had camped. No grass still lived except in scattered clusters, the rest trampled and flattened and gone dry. Abandoned fire pits were scorched scars, and he could see the heaped dirt of covered privy lines.

No men or women remained, and so Ban dashed across the narrow strip of open land, using the speed to launch himself up the trunk of the chestnut. He caught the lowest branch with a grunt, swung up, and climbed high. The tree was sturdy enough that it never shivered with his weight, merely chuckled at his tickling grip.

Three small birds burst away from his intrusion, and the chestnut warned him to mind the eastern circle of limbs, where he'd already angered some brown squirrels.

Ban climbed along the ladder of boughs, up and out, toward the highest northwestern branch. There, a line of charred lightning strike allowed him a perch with a view of the valley for miles ahead of him, and of the rolling green forest canopy behind. He pushed aside long, serrated leaves and gripped a branch at his shoulder, only as wide as his wrist, to steady himself.

Ban stood, balanced carefully.

Wind caught his hair, pulling it out of his face. He asked the tree to warn him if anything approached, animal or person, then opened his mouth to taste the flavors of the air.

Smoke, old death, and the dusty musk of crows.

Ban lifted onto his toes to reach into the air. He caught a feather, black and smooth. In the inky color he saw shifting waves of men and horses; he saw a cliffside and clouds of reddish smoke, sparkling rocks, rotten flowers, and an empty white hand.

He slid the edge of the feather along his tongue, spat onto the back of his hand, and rubbed it against the chestnut bark hard enough to score the skin bloody. The language of birds was full of dreams, and impossible for men to interpret, it was said. But Ban had learned otherwise, these six years in Aremoria, at least if he could use pain, or blood, to facilitate the translation.

His hand throbbed now, and Ban closed his eyes to recall the pulse of the tranquil spring water. Slowing his breath, he brought his heart into alignment with the forest heart, through this focus of tender skin.

The crow's many images became one: an army dressed in maroon limped far from here, a full day and night's ride, backs to him and Aremoria, facing the north cliffs of Burgun.

Thank you, Ban said in the language of trees, and tucked the feather into the crook of leaves where it became a gift for the chestnut. He offered to trim the dead branch, but the chestnut was pleased with its storm-gifted scar. Ban rather liked his own scars, too, for how they proved his experiences and belonged to none but him, and he told the tree as much as he returned to the ground.

Ban landed in a crouch, cold suddenly in the shade. The sun sank over the far mountains bordering the edge of Burgun lands, and Ban wished his clothes were nearer. He'd return to camp, report to Morimaros, and theneat, drink, sleep the short summer night away, not once looking up at the glinting stars.

The evening forest whistled and hummed. The trees observed the usual yawning transition to twilight: they watched animals wake for the hunt, wondered if the king of deer would drive off a lone wolf trapped here, apart from her pack, by the armies, or if that most gentle rabbit would neglect to avoid the oak full of owls. Hungry himself, Ban considered joining the fray, stalking that wolf to try his own hand at her. He smelled like the mud of the forest now, and just a slight trail of his dried blood. It would keep their advantages even.

But if he did not return to camp before darkness set in full, the king would worry, though Ban had tried for years to teach him that there was no need to be concerned with the Fox's safety in a forest.

It made his lips curl in a small, involuntary smile to think on: a man as good and bold as Morimaros of Aremoria concerned for a bastard like Ban.

So distracted was Ban, it took a scream from three young linden trees to alert him to the man who had invaded the heart spring grove.

Immediately alert, Ban crouched low to make his way around from the south, where the canopy was thickest and more shadows would hide him. Listening to the gentle prodding of trees, Ban crawled along, only his eyes gleaming.

At the edge of the grove, he lowered himself onto his stomach and slipped under a rose vine, enjoying the delicate perfume even as the hooked thorns brushed the dry mud on his shoulders.

Seated on the very root where Ban had left his belongings was none other than King Morimaros. A midsize, handsome man with short, practical dark hair and a matching beard, in the regular uniform of the army except for the long orange leather coat and the royal ring on his forefinger. Ban looked about everywhere, confirming with the trees that Morimaros was alone. Casually reading a letter.

Exasperation and a shot of fear made Ban grit his teeth and creep backward. He'd show Morimaros how stupid it was to be alone, even with the war over, even with Burgun fled.

He climbed up an oak, whispering a request that the tree hold still, and then the next, too, as he stepped across to it, so that they would not shake their leaves and reveal to the king his location. Thus, Ban walked gently from tree to tree, like an earth saint, and sank finally into the embrace of the oak under which Morimaros sat. Ban climbed down, and even when the king looked suddenly out at a cracked branch in the west, Ban was invisible to him, directly above.

In one swift motion, Ban dropped onto the king's back, threw an arm around his neck, and pulled. But Morimaros grasped his arm and bent, flinging Ban heels over head, hard onto the muddy shore of the spring. Ban rolled onto his hands and the balls of his feet, and glared at the king, eyes and teeth bright in his muddy, wild face.

Morimaros had his sword free, knees bent, ready to defend himself again. "Ban?" he said after a slow moment.

Ban stood. "You were very vulnerable, Your Majesty."

"Not so, it seems." The king smiled. He sheathed his sword and picked up the fallen letter.

"Why come out alone? I was on my way to returning." Ban crossed his arms over his bare chest, suddenly too aware he was naked but for mud-scrawled magic.

"I'm not allowed much solitude, and this evening is perfect for it," Morimaros said. He ran a hand over his close-cropped hair, a sign of slight embarrassment. "And I would speak with you privately on a certain matter, ah, pertaining to this letter." He brandished it, and Ban could see the deep blue wax of Lear still clinging to one edge.

All his skin went cold with dread, but Ban nodded because he had to: this was his king, his commander, no matter what else they might be to each other.

The Fox strode into the water and ducked down fully into it, allowing his entire body to be enveloped. It was not peace and cool calm he felt as the water brushed away mud, tickled his spine and the backs of his knees. No, it was a roar of suppressed memories: clenched fists and dismissive words; sheer peaks, crashing waves, and a howling, powerful wind; haunting sweet laughter and black eyes with short, curled lashes; tiny iridescent beetles.

Ban, the bastard of Errigal, scrubbed his skin clean and turned over in the spring, spinning once, twice, and a third time. Rising, he wiped his face, spat water, shook his head like a dog.

When he emerged, he desperately thought of his Aremore name, the one he'd earned, trying to will himself back to center.

The Fox. Ban the Fox.

His eyes opened to see that Morimaros offered him trousers. Ban muttered thanks and dragged them on, tied the waist up and used the plain wool shirt to wipe drips of water from his face and neck, chest and arms.

"Now," Morimaros said, clasping his shoulder, "I have wine in the crook of that root. Read this letter."

Ban followed the king, reminding himself he was trusted here, he washonored by the grand crown of Aremoria. Whatever Lear wanted, Ban would attack it from Morimaros's side. Together, the men sat.

Morimaros gave over the letter and uncorked the brown glass bottle of wine with his teeth. The writing was roughly scratched into the parchment. Ban read:

To the honored King Morimaros of Aremoria,

We of Innis Lear invite you to join us at our Summer Seat for a rare celestial occasion. The Zenith Court will commence some two weeks from the writing of this note, on the full moon after the Throne rises completely to mark the ascent of the Queens of Autumn. The greatest of our island shall attend, and we look forward to introducing you to our youngest, with whom you have corresponded these last months, with hope I am certain in your heart. We are eager to set our daughters onto their star paths, and know your attendance will aid us in that desire.

With the blessings of the stars in our words, Lear

Ban managed to remain calm, despite the implications involving Elia Lear. He read through the letter again, and Morimaros swung the bottle of wine toward him.

Trading his thirst for the burn of memory, Ban took a long drink. It was sweet and crisp, very easy to swallow. Not like the wine and ale of Innis Lear. Not like the hard yearning that tugged at him even now to go back. To touch the iron magic of Errigal again. To set things right and show his father and that king what he'd become. A confidant of this king, a renowned soldier and spy. Important. Necessary. Honored.

Wanted.

"Did you know her?" Morimaros asked, interrupting Ban's sputtering thoughts.

"The youngest princess?" Ban lightly avoided her name.

But the king did not.

"Elia," he said simply, and then easily continued. "She is the star priest, we hear, preferring this to her title. Though I met her as such, once, a long while ago. When her mother died, I traveled to Innis Lear for the year ceremony. Princess Elia was only nine. It was my first time in another country, acting as Aremoria. Though my father lived still, of course. He didn't die until I was twenty." Morimaros took back the wine and sipped at it. Ban studied the king, trying not to imagine him speaking with Elia, touching her fingers. Morimaros was gilded and handsome, a strong man, and one of the only good ones Ban had ever known. Elia deserved such a husband, and yet, he could not imagine her living here, in Aremoria, away from the twisted island trees, the harsh moors, the skies overwhelmed with stars.

Ban shook his head before he could stop himself. He'd thought of her, though he'd tried to forget those years before he'd been the Fox. Thought of the smooth brown planes of her cheeks, her black as well-water eyes, the streaks of improbable copper in her cloud of dark brown spiral curls. Her warm mouth and eager young hands, her giggle, the wonder with which she dug into tree hollows with him, whispering to the heart oaks, to the roots, to the sparrows and worms and butterflies. He'd thought of her most when he was alone in enemy camps, or washing blood off his knife, or cramped and stinking for days in the hiding holes the roots made for him. She saved him, kept him quiet, kept him sane. His memories of her made him remember to stay alive.

"Did you know her?" Morimaros asked again.

"Barely, sir." And yet more entirely than Ban had known anyone in his life. She once was the person who'd known him best, but Ban wondered what her reply would be, if asked the same question today. In five lonely, bloody years, she'd not written to him, and so Ban had never sent word to her on the wings of these Aremore birds. Why would she want to hear from a bastard now, if she hadn't before? And now they were grown.

The king said, "I'll leave next week. Sail around the south cape to the Summer Seat."

Ban nodded absently, staring down at the dirt beside his toes.

"Return to Innis Lear with me, my Fox."

His head snapped up. Yes, he thought, so viciously he surprised himself.

King Morimaros watched Ban with clear blue eyes. His mouth was relaxed, revealing nothing — a special skill of this king's, to present a plain mask to the world, holding his true opinions and heart close.

Home.

"I ... I would not be a good man at your side, Majesty."

"Ban, here and now call me Mars. Novanos would."

"When we discuss Lear it reminds me too keenly of my place, sir."

Morimaros grimaced. "Your place is at my side, Ban, or wherever I put you. But I know how that old king thinks of you. Is his daughter cut of same cloth?" "As a girl, Elia was kind," Ban said. "But I do not know how I can serve you there."

The king of Aremoria drank another portion of wine and then set the bottle firmly in Ban's hand. The Fox recognized the low ambition in Morimaros's voice when he said, "Ban Errigal, Fox of Aremoria, I have a game for you to play."

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Queens of Innis Lear"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Tessa Gratton.
Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
Dedication,
Part One,
The Fox,
Elia,
Regan,
Gaela,
The Fox,
Elia,
Aefa,
Gaela,
Mars,
Elia,
Regan,
Elia,
The Fox,
Aefa,
Elia,
The Fox,
Elia,
The Fox,
Part Two,
Elia,
Gaela,
The Fox,
Elia,
Aefa,
Morimaros,
Gaela,
The Fox,
Elia,
Regan,
The Fox,
Gaela,
Elia,
Part Three,
The Fox,
Morimaros,
The Fox,
Elia,
Gaela,
Regan,
Elia,
The Fox,
Part Four,
Elia,
The Fox,
Elia,
Regan,
The Fox,
Elia,
The Fox,
Regan,
Elia,
The Fox,
Gaela,
Aefa,
The Fox,
Elia,
Part Five,
Rory,
The Fox,
Elia,
Aefa,
Morimaros,
Gaela,
Elia,
The Fox,
Morimaros,
Aefa,
Regan,
Gaela,
Elia,
The Fox,
Regan,
Elia,
Acknowledgments,
About the Author,
Copyright,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Queens of Innis Lear 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
JLAustin 7 months ago
Admittedly, I don't read a lot of Adult books any more. I enjoy the fast pace of YA and the economy of words. So it was a bit of a struggle to commit to such a long book. Still, Gratton's prose is magic, her story is phenomenal, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I love the suspense of not expecting an HEA and Gratton delivers with gusto. If you are a fan of fantasy and court intrigue, this is definitely a great book for you.
taramichelle 12 months ago
The Queens Of Innis Lear was one of my favorite books of 2018. This is an adult fantasy retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear, which made me a bit wary at first. However, I soon fell head over heels for the stunning writing, the brilliant characters, and the epic plot. The sisters were all such incredible characters. Each was strong in her own unique way and so incredibly complex. (Plus they were POC characters!) In general, the characters were absolutely brilliant. They were nuanced, flawed, and incredibly realistic. While I didn’t always like all of them, I always understood why they made the decisions they did and where they were coming from. I absolutely loved both Elia and Ban’s journeys. Elia gained such an incredible amount of agency throughout the book while Ban was the sort of morally gray character I always love. It took me a while to read this one because I wanted to savor the book. It was beautifully atmospheric and I found I enjoyed it the most when I had the time to truly immerse myself in the world. Even if you aren’t familiar with King Lear, you’ll still be able to enjoy this book! The plot is incredibly large in scope and, similar to Game of Thrones, follows all of the major characters in this time of upheaval. It works so well and I loved that Gratton provides equal space to both the internal and external struggles of the characters. I highly recommend The Queens Of Innis Lear if you’re looking for an immerse adult fantasy book with brilliant characters (or if you’re looking for an excellent Shakespeare retelling!). *Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
taramichelle 12 months ago
The Queens Of Innis Lear was one of my favorite books of 2018. This is an adult fantasy retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear, which made me a bit wary at first. However, I soon fell head over heels for the stunning writing, the brilliant characters, and the epic plot. The sisters were all such incredible characters. Each was strong in her own unique way and so incredibly complex. (Plus they were POC characters!) In general, the characters were absolutely brilliant. They were nuanced, flawed, and incredibly realistic. While I didn’t always like all of them, I always understood why they made the decisions they did and where they were coming from. I absolutely loved both Elia and Ban’s journeys. Elia gained such an incredible amount of agency throughout the book while Ban was the sort of morally gray character I always love. It took me a while to read this one because I wanted to savor the book. It was beautifully atmospheric and I found I enjoyed it the most when I had the time to truly immerse myself in the world. Even if you aren’t familiar with King Lear, you’ll still be able to enjoy this book! The plot is incredibly large in scope and, similar to Game of Thrones, follows all of the major characters in this time of upheaval. It works so well and I loved that Gratton provides equal space to both the internal and external struggles of the characters. I highly recommend The Queens Of Innis Lear if you’re looking for an immerse adult fantasy book with brilliant characters (or if you’re looking for an excellent Shakespeare retelling!). *Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
fcasano More than 1 year ago
THE QUEENS OF INNIS LEAR has some of the most beautiful writing I've seen in fantasy. As a reader who hasn't read LEAR, I found the book to be very accessible with a relatively easy to understand plot for newcomers, which I don't always find true of adaptations. Highly recommended, especially for those who love classics but find them a little lacking where the female characters are concerned.
PaulAllard More than 1 year ago
Fantasy version of King Lear - a bit long but quite readable This fantasy novel is basically a take on King Lear with all the main characters, often with similar names, the fantasy element coming through the magic of the land as manipulated by key characters. Quite engaging, especially if you're not familiar with the original play (as in my case) but too long at 560+ pages. I don't need as much repetition nor a description of what each character is wearing in most scenes. Characters are well- developed and the descriptions are lush and vivid. If you know the play, I am sure that the ending is different so no spoilers here! I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
readers_retreat More than 1 year ago
I had high hopes for THE QUEENS OF INNIS LEAR and, although I did very much enjoy it, it didn't blow me away. I had added it to my Goodreads TO BE READ pile long before I found it available on NetGalley. I wish to thank the publisher for allowing me to read a copy before its publication. At first, it was desperately slow and I was pretty sure that I was going to DNF it. However, I continued, and i'm glad that I did as after the scene setting it started to pick up pace and I begun to appreciate it a lot more. So, if you are finding it hard getting through the beginning, I urge you to persist as it does get better. You also see that a lot of the details given are what make the rest of the book make sense. I am pleased that this is described as an "epic adult fantasy" as there are some pretty bloody scenes and a rather graphic description of a miscarriage that would not be appropriate for teenagers. As it is based on the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear, the story encompasses a king with a lack of sanity and an obsession with prophecies, and his three daughters - Gaela, Reagan, and Elia who end up having to take matters into their own hands as their kingdom crumbles. I'm a big fan of William Shakespeare, possibly the greatest storyteller who ever lived, this retelling is definitely worth a read. As you would expect with King Lear, there is much blood and brutality. It is basically a story following the King in his gradual descent into madness. I know one complaint in many of the reviews of this title is the writing. People feel that Gratton's style bogged it down but many people also feel this about my favourite author, Haruki Murakami, so this for me worked wonderfully. I felt her writing was brilliant and bold. No complaints from me. I tend to love books that describe things in minute detail so her worldbuilding felt like heaven to me. A masterclass in how to construct a world, in my opinion. Tessa Gratton is such a talent, I know I will be purchasing a copy of this for my bookshelf, and would be interested in reading any future titles she chooses to publish. I would like to thank Tessa Gratton, the publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
BeautyBookCorner More than 1 year ago
This is a retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear so familiarity with the story will be helpful since there are a lot of characters. I didn’t know much about King Lear so I wikied it and that helped me follow the story much easier. Unfortunately, I had to DNF the books. The writing is beautiful - lyrical, poetic, and lush. The way Tessa Gratton describes the land and magic, it makes you feel it. Like you are there, breathing in the soil and hearing the trees. The reason I DNFed was the pacing. It was incredibly slow with so much tension. The prologue was amazing and sucked you right into the story but after that it moved so slow. It pushed me into a horrible reading slump all month as I kept pushing myself to read. I will likely pick this up again in a few months when my schedule is less busy since I do like the premise and writing. (I received a digital galley of the boom from NetGalley and Tor.)
Jax_B More than 1 year ago
I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is good - really good. I want to be clear about that from the start. This book is also dark. It is both, but the second one may be a little problematic for some readers. Those who are combing reviews looking for bits and pieces of information to tell them a little more about the story, I say the following: you will not be sorry that you read this book. But you might need to read it in small chunks if tragedy is not your thing. This book is based on Shakespeare's 'King Lear' which is a brilliant play about people I kind of hate. Never, until I read Game of Thrones, had I so viscerally loathed characters. This book takes all that and adds a fantastical twist to the whole thing which is both genius and so bold that I found myself in awe of the writer at various points for giving it a shot at all, let alone pulling it off. What I really loved about this book was that it brought depth and complexity to characters that can seem flat when reading Shakespeare - this is less of a problem with King Lear (see above re: love to hate) but fundamentally, plays are meant to be SEEN, not read. "Queens of Innislear" is able to overcome that by virtue of being a novel, but there's no resting on laurels here. The characters are put through the wringer in a great way, but I'll admit it's hard to read at times (because what's happening is wrenching and tragic, not because the prose is bad. The prose is excellent). Technically, the book is excellent - well written, well paced and well edited. The characters are diverse, multidimensional and do not mess around. This is a worthy read, and I'm glad I had the chance to experience it.
drakenfyre More than 1 year ago
3.5/5 Queens of Innis Lear is a retelling of Shakespeare play King Lear. The book is spread out in 5 pats, similar to the 5 acts in the play. The names of 2 of the daughters were changed (not sure why). Goneril (Lear’s eldest daughter) is Gaela in the book Regan (Lear’s second daughter) is still Regan in the book Cordelia (Lear’s youngest daughter) is Elia in the book The location for the book is the Island of Lear, not England. The island in itself is an amazing character, with its own language that only those with magic can hear and understand. Seeing the turmoil that the land was going through during the story was in my eyes a story in itself. Lear doesn’t believe in the magic of the land, he rather the follow the magic of the stars, since they never change, ever constant. The stars predicted his wife’s arrival, the birth of 3 daughters and the death of his wife. He chose to let the stars dictate his life and how he should go about handling his people. After the death of his wife, the strain started building between his daughters and himself. Outside of the daughters and Lear, there are a number of characters that play roles in the story, even if they are the outside characters whose impact doesn’t play vital parts. I found I had a soft spot for Ban the Fox, the bastard son of Earl Errigal. He never wavered over the use of his magic. He uses it while being a soldier for the King of Aremoria. Ban I felt was the most to gain or lose in the entire story, and I honestly cannot blame him for the part he had by the end. There is quite a bit of political intrigue, masked motives, secrets, betrayals and magic in this book. I won’t lie this is a very word heavy book, and at times it can drag. I felt that there were parts in the story that didn’t need to be there, it was just there for descriptions sake. The action didn’t show until the last part of the book, so if you are expecting action right away you will be sadly disappointed. There were times I was considering DNFing it, but I just had to see how this book was going to end despite knowing how the play ends. It made for a good fantasy story, even if you don’t know anything about the play, it’s worth picking up. The promise is there. Just make sure you set enough time aside to read all of it, not a quick read.
pooled_ink More than 1 year ago
pooled ink Reviews: This book has a stunning cover, a breath-catching description, plus it was one of my most highly anticipated reads for 2018, and yet unfortunately it ended up being rather too lengthy and far too slow for my taste. It’s strange to describe because it was certainly filled with action, strong characters, political plots, dark twists, and an ancient magic thrumming through it all, but despite all of this the book still felt disappointingly slow. Perhaps it was simply the writing style that made it feel this way and what didn’t click for me. I hope if you choose to read this intriguing story that you will disregard my opinion and find the story utterly satisfactory. As for me, I am glad I read it and I do believe it has several strong qualities but overall it didn’t spark anything in me. THE QUEENS OF INNIS LEAR is an intricate fantasy that takes the Shakespearean play, King Lear, and expands upon it crafting together an intense tale of magic, power, and those willing to shed blood and bonds for a crown that could control everything. Recommended for those who love fantasy, history, politics, and a striking defiance that is indomitable. **Read the full review on Wordpress: Pooled Ink