Dynasties battle for the crown in Tessa Gratton's debut adult epic fantasy, The Queens of Innis Lear.
Three Queens. One crown. All out war.
Gaela. Ruthless Commander.
I am the rightful heir of Innis Lear. No more will I wait in the shadows and watch my mother’s murderer bleed my island dry.
The King’s hold on the crown must end—willingly or at the edge of my sword.
Regan. Master Manipulator.
To secure my place on the throne, I must produce an heir. Countless times I have fed the island’s forests my blood. Yet, my ambition is cursed.
No matter what or whom I must destroy, I will wield the magic of Innis Lear.
Elia. Star-blessed Priest.
My sisters hide in the shadows like serpents, waiting to strike our ailing king. I must protect my father, even if it means marrying a stranger.
We all have to make sacrifices. Love and freedom will be mine.
"Amazing. Just Amazing."--Robin McKinley
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Gratton's enthralling debut fantasy novel reinvents King Lear as the tale of a king's three daughters: Gaela, martial and ambitious; Regan, as desperate for a child as she is devoted to her elder sister; and Elia, a star priest and her father's favorite. When Lear declares that he will divide the island of Innis Lear between Regan and Gaela and strips Elia of her title and dowry, the court is thrown into chaos. Elia must contend with her greedy sisters, consider her suitors a nobleman's bastard son, a nearby king who has his own plans for the island and find a way to unite the island and undo her father's disasters before it's too late. Shakespeare aficionados will recognize the spine of the plot, including Lear's terrible choices and the rivalry between the legitimate and illegitimate sons of nobility. Gratton sets her version of this story in an island kingdom where reverence for earth magic has recently been supplanted by star prophecy, which provides yet another thread of tension among the characters. Also, Lear's wife was a dark-skinned princess from a foreign land, and the three daughters take after her in varying degrees. Gratton's emphasis on the voices of the women (including Elia's maidservant, Aefa) and the depth and dimensionality of their stories is what truly reshapes the familiar elements of the Lear tragedy into something fresh, with a suitably tragic yet satisfying ending.)\n