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The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton (ARC) - Review

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The kingdom of Innis Lear has been drained of it's magic and vitality due to the decisions of an old king obsessed with prophecies. Enemies know the country is weak and are willing to do what it takes to wrest some control into their own hands. The king's three daughters, Gaela (ready to do anything for war), Reagan (cunning and manipulative), and Elia (almost a perfect Disney-esque princess) know that a new monarch needs to be crowned to bring the kingdom back to its old power and defend itself, but their father won't select an heir until the longest night of the year when prophesies will align. The three sisters are unwilling to wait and let such an important decision be left to chance so they must prepare for war while their island kingdom must brace itself for the fallout of a house divided.

Firstly, I want to mention that the ARC I received from NetGalley was only a "Preview Excerpt", which means that instead of getting the complete 576 page long ARC we get give or take 200 pages. It just seems to randomly stop at that point rather than coming to a end at a decent point. Regardless, my review is of the first ~35% of the novel that I had access to - and unfortunately, I'm not all that interested in coming back for the rest of the story. The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton is one of those novels where I preferred the concept behind the story to the actual execution of it - I mean, as soon as I heard King Lear retelling I was there. The author writes beautifully and the story is full of potential, but the pacing just barely creeps by. Not much of anything actually happens in the pages I did have access to read. There are about six P.O.V. characters, by the way, and I was expecting to really be fascinated by three complex sisters, but I didn't find myself interested in them. I preferred the characters of Ban the Fox and Aefa, but they don't get nearly enough page time during their P.O.V. chapters. In the end, everything comes across as far too flat and distant for me to really get attached to Gratton's story.

Overall. I had high hopes for what I got to read of The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton, but unfortunately it just wasn't my cup of tea. I was too disconnected throughout, didn't find myself interested in following any of the main cast, and the pace was crawling. While Gratton's writing style is certainly beautiful, if the first 35% from my preview excerpt is anything to go by I highly doubt I'll be back for the final section. Too many books, too little time.

Thanks again for the opportunity, NetGalley!

I read this ARC preview excerpt from March 22 - 25, 2018 and my review is also on GoodreadsThe Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton will be available on March 27, 2018.


  1. I downloaded the excerpt as well and didn't realize it wasn't the full book so I ignored it. 200 pages is a random number too, I think this is a good test to see if I'd want to read the actual book. Thanks for reviewing what you've read so far!

    1. 200ish anyway... Maybe you'll end up liking it more if you do end up reading it.

  2. Hmm, I usually like slow-burning plots so I might like this one... I've had my eyes on it for a while, we'll see if I'll give it a try or not. It's a shame you didn't like it :( Maybe the next one...

    Ronnie @ Paradise Found


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