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‘The Queens of Innis Lear’: Dense, in a Good Way

★★★★☆

I’ve never read a Shakespeare play other than Romeo and Juliet — and I wouldn’t really even count that, since it was one of those high school group readings where we basically ran lines together.

I picked up The Queens of Innis Lear because it sounded intriguing and had crossover potential (it’s an adult high fantasy book, but it got attention from those who read YA as well). I kept reading because it was intriguing. The writing style threw me off a bit at first, but it ended up drawing me in. It’s descriptive, a little wordy, but still interesting and not hard to read.

The Queens of Innis Lear follows King Lear’s daughters, whose mother passed away. They aren’t necessarily friends, as they each believe their father will name them the next King of Innis Lear — I would guess that the use of ‘King’ no matter the gender of the monarch is a Shakespeare thing, but I’m not sure. The book follows these sisters as they follow each of their paths to the throne.

This book wasn’t a can’t-put-it-down experience for me, probably because of the writing style and the slow nature of the plot, but it was definitely an enjoyable experience. Though I have no knowledge of the source material, it was a refreshing departure from my usual YA fantasy, and I will be looking for more from Tessa Gratton in the future.

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