Genre: Fantasy / Retelling
I honestly did not know this was a retelling and I have never read King Lear so I will not be commentating about it. But I will say that I’m now curious about King Lear because this book was wonderful!
“The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes.
The king’s three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted.
Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided.”Goodreads Synopsis
Much like any cold northern coastland, but quietly magical. It does not jump up and punch you in the face. The magic is there, whispering, interacting, protecting and with a will of its own. The stars can show someones path in life, the trees and other plants talk to people in their own language and much more!
There are witches and the magic-wielding humans, but they are not all-powerful and still dependent on the balance and will of the world in a way. And I found it beautiful and calming in some obscure way. I can’t really find the words to satisfactory describe it. But I enjoyed the world immensely!
Here we have a wonderful tangled mess. Love and hate between family members, who did what and why, impossible love because of prophecies and rank and much more!
I did not expect to relate as much to the relationship between Elia and the king as I did. But her struggle with watching her father losing his mind and many thinking he’s not going to live that long really struck a cord with me. I know from first hand experience what that can feel like since my grandfather got dementia and slowly forgot who I was, and now my father has terminal cancer.
I love how flawed and sometimes unlovable the characters are! It makes them more real. Here are some keywords and traits that I think define some of our major players:
Elia: Youngest and most loved by the king. And that is her whole persona in the beginning of the book, daddys little girl.
Reagan: Middle-child, wife, witch and strategist. Her spirit animal is probably Cersei Lannister..
Gaela: Oldest princess, warrior and prepared to do anything to make her plans reality. Except for being nice to people.
Ban: ”The Fox”, bastard born, angry and don’t really think ahead. Never sees what he has but is obsessed with what he’s ”owed”.
Mars: Or ”Morimaros”, who names a kid that btw? King of a neighbouring country, ambitious, smart, and always puts his country first. He’s King first and forever and only act for himself if his country benefits.
I got really immersed in the book, wanted to jump in there to slap, hug, talk sense with, laugh with and join the characters on their journey! And that is the one thing that separates a good book from a great one.
We go back and forth sometimes to get more background story and details that can make you think about current events in a new light. And it bothers me a bit.
I’m not a big fan of it when it occurs in the middle of the book and is not experienced by the people we follow in the now. It jumbles my mind a bit and keeps me from fully immerse myself in the story. But on the whole, not a big deal. I just happen to prefer when the backstory is woven in and revealed in the ”now” a bit more.
It was everything I thought it would be and a bit more. I took a long time reading it because of the extra I did not expect to feel. But I always like to have a personal connection to a storyline, hard on the soul as it may be sometimes.
The writing is beautiful, the story exciting and heartbreaking and the world is enchanting. It really did deliver on everything, so a big, bright strong 5 for The Queens of Innis Lear!!