Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

I requested this book as soon as I saw it because:

1. The blurb makes it sound similar to Three Dark Crowns which was something I really loved

2. I studied King Lear in IB and heard that this was a retelling.

Anyway, this retelling of King Lear is infused with magic of both the stars and sky. King Lear is obsessed by what the stars say to him, leading him to require his daughters to publicly declare their love for him (among other things). His two older daughters, Gaelan and Reagan are one in mind, but his favourite, Elia surprises him with his answer. If you've watched or studied King Lear, you know how it goes.

Because this is a series, we don't get as far as say, the Storm Scene. Well, this book is really a set-up for the world, so it ends a little after the public declaration contest, which you may recognise as the start of the play. But I can see why this world and the new characters require so much word-space, so I don't mind waiting to see my favourite parts of this play retold.

As for characters, the three daughters of Lear definitely steal the show. Elia is my favourite because she's the kindest, but both Gaela and Reagan were very well-written and true to their inspiration. The book also introduces new characters, such as Ban the Fox and the Fool's daughter (who's also Elia's lady-in-waiting).

The only thing I wasn't too crazy about was the language. It's very deliberately lyrical, sometimes to its detriment because it distracted me from the story. Then again, if you know me, you know I put story first and feel that language should be used to enhance the story rather than placed in the limelight for its own sake.

Overall, though, this is definitely a book for fans of King Lear and those that like darker retellings. Even though I know the ending (or at least, I hope I know the ending), I cannot wait to see how the later books will interpret the rest of the play.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

No comments :

Post a Comment

I really do appreciate all comments, and I'll try my best to reply within 24 hours!