Friday, May 11, 2018

Audiobook Review: The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

Pub. Date: March 27, 2018
Publisher:Macmillan Audio
Narrators::Kate Reading
Length:26 hrs 21 min

Plot, plot, where is the plot? I've given The Queens of Innis Lear more than 11 hours of my life. Unfortunately, I don't think I can give it more. This audiobook is a monster at nearly 26.5 hours long, and I made it to just about 43%. I kept sallying forth waiting for something to happen... but I have grown too impatient to continue.

I really wanted to like this story. The story is a retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear supposedly told in a Game of Thrones style drama and battle. Sounds interesting, right? It could have been, but nothing ever happens and it became tiresome and boring.

Gaela Lear is the eldest daughter of King Lear and seemingly rightful heir to the throne. Gaele is battle thirsty, cold and cruel. She wishes to be a man so she can be king, and she will run right over anyone who gets in the way of her goals. Regan is her middle sister, pretty and vain, but with the persona of a mean girl, and yet devoted to Gaela and her future plans. Elia is the youngest daughter, devoted to her father, but a weakling that needed a backbone. Our three POC heroines stood out in a land of pale islanders, all exotic and beautiful in their own right. 

Overall, there were an abundance of descriptions. While the words coming off the page were not bad, there were just too many of them. I wanted some action, some drama, something to draw me into the story. Instead I felt like I was just meandering down a path without aim and would never make it anywhere with this story. There was no hook - at least not by the 43% mark which seems like an advanced point in the book to not have a somewhat developed plot.

As for the characters - I didn't like any of them. They just weren't likable, and seemed to be more automatons than engaging characters. We got a tiny bit of emotion from Elia, but nothing to write home about. But the other two sisters were cold and calculating. I didn't even feel anything for Regan despite her repeated miscarriages, something that should have been tragic and heartrending... but instead we get her talking about her child's brains upon her thighs. Uh, what? I thought there was some potential with Ban - like he would be the moral focus of the story - the Jon Snow if you will. But then he shows he is willing to hurt someone innocent to make a point and I lost faith in him. Maybe he redeems himself, maybe not. I really can't say what his role was. So by the time I gave up on the story, the only character I really cared about at all was King Morimaros. Unfortunately, his role in the story is limited and he wasn't enough to keep me listening.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this audiobook that I received from the publisher, Macmillan Audio.

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