Title: The Queens of Innis Lear
Author: Tessa Gratton
Date: March 27th 2018
I was accepted for an eARC of The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton on Netgalley a long time ago. However, for personal reasons, I never started it until last week and for this I’m ashamed. It’s a retelling of the tragedy King Lear by William Shakespeare (I didn’t know because my knowledge of English literature is small) and it tells different point-of-views of the story.
I was disappointed while reading the novel and I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Not only because it has over 600 hundred pages, but also because of some things of the story that I will further explain in the next paragraphs.
Be aware that I’ve read until around a third of the novel, so my review is based on what I’ve read so far and this isn’t a fully detailed opinion of the story. THERE ARE ALSO SPOILERS IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPHS!
First of all, I found it confusing since there were so many characters to keep track of and the story shifted from a person’s POV to another, making some chapters – in my opinion – unnecessary. The descriptions were also long and it veered off the my attention from the book.
Then I was a little taken aback by Lear’s behaviour towards her favourite daughter: Elia. It’s probably because he was at the brink of madness since his wife’s death, but I found it unacceptable.
Regarding this last thing, Dalat was half the age of the king of Innis Lear when she married him. And even though it was natural (especially during the Middle Ages), I thought it was gross. Further explaining the situation, she was from another kingdom and as soon as she had stepped on Innis Lear, she found its king in front of her asking for her hand because of a prophecy.
A harmful aspect of the book is Gaela’s desire to become a “man” through a hysterectomy. For instance, she thought that, if you don’t have a uterus or you stop having your period, you automatically are a man. And this is so not true! Don’t let this prejudices prevent you from being who you are.
A thing I appreciated about the book was the sibling dynamics. Elia was too young to decided whether to stick with her sisters or to stay with her father. This is why Gaela and Regan left her alone and even despised her at times. The author carefully studied their relationship and weaved through political intrigue and familiar conflict.
Another thing I quite enjoyed about it was the infinite love Elia had for the stars. It was interesting to read about the sky, constellations and star charts.
Have you read The Queens of Innis Lear? If yes, what did you thought about it?