Published by Tor Books on March 27th 2018
A kingdom at risk, a crown divided, a family drenched in blood.
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.
Praise for THE QUEENS OF INNIS LEAR
“I adore this—rich, epic, blood-soaked—a glorious and grand sweeping fantasy.” —Kate Elliott, author of The Poisoned Blade
“A gloriously symphonic, thematically rich variation on the story of the daughters of Lear. The danger of seeking certainty makes this a tale for our time; the power of truth and mercy makes it a tale for all times. Prepare to devour every word, for Innis Lear will consume you.” —Karen Lord, author of Redemption in Indigo
“Messy, beautiful, and dark, darker than Shakespeare could have dreamed.” —E. K. Johnston, author of Star Wars: Ahsoka
Tessa Gratton is the Associate Director of Madcap Retreats and the author of the Blood Journals Series and Gods of New Asgard Series, co-author of YA writing books The Curiosities and The Anatomy of Curiosity, as well as dozens of short stories available in anthologies and on merryfates.com. Though she’s lived all over the world, she’s finally returned to her prairie roots in Kansas with her wife. Her current projects include Tremontaineat Serial Box Publishing, YA Fantasy Strange Grace coming in 2018, and her adult fantasy debut, The Queens of Innis Lear, from Tor March 27, 2018. Visit her at tessagratton.com
- The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord. I’ve read this three times in the past 2 years, because it’s so well crafted. A quiet story about huge things—the aftermath of the destruction of an entire planet—this book weaves a story about homelands, memory, diaspora, language, and creating new families.
- Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta. This is the second book in Marchetta’s Lumatere trilogy, and while I love the whole thing, I chose the second one because it is one of the most successful second-books-in-a-trilogy I’ve ever read. Froi is the heart of a trilogy about refugees, magic, and curses, and how trauma both breaks people and brings them together. It’s a deep exploration of group-trauma as well as love, and changing the world for the better.
- The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin, another favorite second-book, and for similar reasons. Like Froi, this book reveals more about the world and characters from The Fifth Season, raises the stakes, and absolutely gutted me with daring choices and devastating characterization. It’s a perfect middle book because while it’s entirely it’s own experience, it never quite stands alone—you need books one and three for the story to be complete.)
- The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice. Listen, it’s a classic, and I’ll never apologize for my twenty-five year love affair with this book. Luscious, terrible, and occasionally ecstatically gorgeous, this biography of one of the messiest, sexiest, worst/best vampires ever created ranges from modern times back into the France of hundreds of years ago.
- Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzladua. This is a book of poetry and essays in which Anzaldua explores her identity as a chicana poet and feminist. The borderlands is both a real location, and a metaphorical one, a spirituality and an identity. Liminal space is created with the language and drifting lines between poetry and prose. It’s filled with magic and dangerous desire.
- The Shadowed Sun by N. K. Jemisin. (Honestly, I could put all her books and novellas on this list.) Part of a duology, this book has everything I want: huge, careful world building, fraught relationships, religious assassins, international politics, and kissing. My favorite thing about this book is that all the conflict comes from inter-cultural differences and world-building based motivations. It demonstrates how characters can be fully integrated into their secondary, complicated world, and also totally relatable and empathetic.
- Beauty by Robin McKinley. I love all McKinley’s work, so I’m picking the first I loved. This is an elegant, meandering retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and I loved it so much that I made my own audio-edition when I was about 12 years old by recording myself reading it into a tape recorder.
- The Changeling Sea by Patricial McKillip. This slender fairy tale about a prince who is turned into a sea monster, small magic, and family is a comfort read for me, and I return to it again and again.
- The Things We Carried by Tim O’Brien. A collection of tied-together short stories about surviving the Vietnam War, this book taught me more about narrative and the nature of story-telling, lies, and lies we tell ourselves than any other single book.
- Beloved by Toni Morrison. This book was a revelation to me when I read it the first time. I can always recall the opening lines, and how I felt reading them, just as I can recall the inexorable path toward thinking and feeling about things I did not want to think and feel about—but had to, if I wanted to survive. It sounds dramatic, but that’s the intensity of this book. Haunting (ha ha) and beautiful, this is one of the only books I’ve reread immediately upon finishing.
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