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Lady Hotspur

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Inspired by Shakespeare's Henry IV, Lady Hotspur continues the saga of Innis Lear, centuries later, as revolution, love, and a betrayal corrupt the descendants of two warring kingdoms.

Hal was once a knight, carefree and joyous, sworn to protect her future queen Banna Mora. But after a rebellion led by her own mother, Caleda, Hal is now the prince of Lionis, heir to the
Hardcover, 592 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.31  · 
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 ·  65 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Jul 18, 2018 marked it as to-read
Holy shit.
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

DNF at 15%

I was attracted to the idea of a feminist epic fantasy. However, the reality fell WAY short of my expectation. I was turned off almost from the beginning and just kept thinking 'when is it acceptable for me to throw this out?'


Incoherent: Perhaps this is because I have never read another of Gratton's books, but I found the beginning so confusing and incoherent with way too many people and places being strewn around that I couldn't get
Jemima jamir aka Sentranced Jem
It really won't be fair of me to write a review when I didn't even make it half way to the book.
I've tried reading this book so many times but honestly, I made it till 43% and then I gave up.
So yes I DNF-ed Lady Hotspur at 43%
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marta Cox
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I am truly sad to say I read approximately fifty percent of this book and stopped. Perhaps if I'd read books before this about Innis Lear but honestly I'm really not sure. I can say the three females who dominate this story are interesting but i just sadly didn't feel pulled in or engaged enough to continue at this time. I absolutely hate stopping a book before the completion so perhaps will revisit when time is not so pressured. Its well written and has a unique slant so definitely very ...more
Judy Lesley
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Two stars from me because this was a struggle all the way through for me. I struggled to read the whole book when what I really wanted to do was put it down for good. I struggled to like any of the characters. I struggled to see how the story had advanced much when I finally finished it. Yes, gender bending, I got that and I was fine with it as something new or different or both but that Shakespeare play isn't a favorite of mine anyway. Yes, a lesbian love story, but that's not exactly earth ...more
Eva B.
Nov 04, 2019 marked it as to-read
Oh my God.
A genderbent Henriad fantasy? With lesbians??
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
I need to upload the reviews for these but right now I'm just rating the last few books I read this year so my total is accurate happy reading year ...more
laurel [suspected bibliophile]
DNF at 4%

The weird thing is that I was enjoying it, but not enough to invest 15 hours. I'm in a weird reading mood—I need light and fluffy, not something that will make me think and untangle.
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
Thank you Tor Books and Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

DNF at 51%

The long and the short of this book is that it felt like a poor Henry IV retelling.

The characters are all genderbent and most are queer. But it's a queer story that's full of angst about not being allowed to be who they are. Important story and themes to look at, but it felt tiring for me because that's how a lot of queer stories are. That kept annoying me and pulling me out of the story. I prefer reading
May 20, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: upcoming, fantasy
Honestly I added this just because of the title.

But it doesn't hurt that it's referencing Shakespeare.

I don't really have to go back and read The Queens of Innis Lear do I?
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Slow, deliberate, deeply character-driven, and definitively queer, Lady Hotspur is a follow-up to The Queens of Innis Lear, with events occurring a few generations later. I would definitely recommend reading Queens of Innis Lear first, as I think this would be very confusing without that context. While I personally connected more to the characters in Queens (an all-time favorite for me), I think Lady Hotspur will be an important book for some readers. I especially
Sep 14, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: arcs
DNF at 32%

This is a really dense fantasy novel. The writing is lyrical and gives Lady Hotspur a very other-worldly feeling to it.

It’s worth mentioning that I have no experience with Shakespeare’s Henry VI so I can’t speak to how well this adapts that source material.

Lady Hotspur uses numerous POVs, which felt like it was slowing down the pace of the story. There are tons of characters with very similar names and I had a hard time keeping track of who held what position and why we should care
Jan 14, 2020 added it
DNF @ about 50% (I do not give star ratings to books that I DNF)

I love Shakespeare retellings, and I really wanted to love this so much. The pacing on this novel didn't work for me. Some parts were rushed, and others were absolutely torturous. The audiobook helped me not feel cofused in the beginning, as I feel you are literally just dropped into the story in the middle of a battle.

All in all, I'm just sad this didn't work for me. The whole concept of the novel was great, but the execution
Fernanda Granzotto
Jan 05, 2020 marked it as dnf
*arc provide by Netgalley and the publisher for a honest review*

I found the writing quite difficult, I know it's a fantasy but I think the author could have written and explained better.
The beginning of the book is very complicated,we are thrown into the story and the information is being thrown around, which made me very confused.
This book has A LOT of characters, which I honestly didn't like, because it makes everything more confusing and it just seems like names are being thrown around
Mrs. Salgy
Sep 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
In full disclosure, I did not finish this book. I was immediately turned off by the dialogue and clunky exposition; while the concept is good, the gender swapping was not done well and resulted in characters that were at once unbelievable and uninteresting.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this is a spectacular sequel to The Queens of Innis Lear, which I adored, with similarly gorgeous language and imagery. think A Song of Ice and Fire but with less characters/convolution and more of an opportunity to get close to the characters emotionally (although I was more immediately drawn to the Innis Lear characters and it took me a bit to warm up to the ones in LH). brutal, beautiful, and compelling.
Lauren Chamberlin
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"If I take a true thing, and dance pretty words around it, the prettiness doesn't ruin the truth. A good story isn't a lie."
For starters, my recommendation for Lady Hotspur would be to read The Queens of Innis Lear first because then you can truly enjoy the foreshadowing and references to past characters/ relationships. It’s a whole different experience with that background, and I can’t recommend it enough. Plus, you then have this background on the world, lore, and politics, so you’re
Alexandra Santos
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Unfortunately DNF this one at 22%. While I loved the immediate tension at the beginning, I found it was constantly interrupted by too many irrelevant name drops and seemingly irrelevant details about the world. I’m not against front-loading exposition and world-building in a long fantasy novel like this, but it just seemed to get in the way of the storytelling and was mostly not of interest. Perhaps I was not the intended audience (since I haven’t read the referenced Shakespeare plays in a very ...more
Marija (Inside My Library Mind)
More reviews up on my blog Inside My Library Mind

I've been trying to read this book for a month now and I just cannot get into it at all. I've tried, gave it a hundred pages, and nothing about the story is gripping me or keeping me interested. Maybe it's because I haven't read the first book (although they are companions, centuries apart and aren't even categorized as the same series), but this just was not for me. I think Gratton's writing style is great, I enjoyed Strange Grace by her, but
Aug 06, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Book: *is 600 pages*
Me: Excuse me? Did Stephen King write this?
Dec 06, 2019 rated it liked it
**Review will be posted on my blog on December 7, 2019**

**2.5 Stars**

Thank you to Tor Books and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.

Did I request this book based on the cover? Uh, definite yes. I love the cover and the book blurb caught my interest too. Now, this is a companion novel to Tessa Gratton’s book, The Queens of Innis Lear which I never read. The book summary also says this is a loose retelling of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, which I never read
S.J. Higbee
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
The plot is essentially about three young women who were once firm friends, as their relationships change into a more complex dynamic that has consequences not just for them, but for two kingdoms. This long book (600+ pages) is very ambitious, given it claims to be a retelling of one of the Shakespeare history plays. While there are echoes of that dynamic, I wouldn’t get too hung up on that thread, as there are also important differences that occur very quickly.

It took me a bit of time to really
AButifulNightmar (It’sNERdySanchez)
I received this e-arc from Netfalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I’m giving this book a 3.5 star rating. I didn’t hate it, and I know others will really enjoy it. It just wasn’t for me.

Lady Hotspur is a gender bent retelling of Shakespeare's Henry IV. It revolves mostly around Hotspur, Hal and Bana Mora.

Told from multiple perspectives, the story is intriguing but at times becomes muddled by the switching of perspective. Just as I feel myself finally enjoying parts of
Em Jay
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Wow, ok, I'm a little emotionally whiplashed right now. LADY HOTSPUR was fantastic, complex, beautiful, fierce, tense, and really just everything I've craved in a fantasy novel.

It's a very loose retelling of the Shakespeare play, and a similarly loose sequel to QUEENS OF INNIS LEAR (which I hadn't read). Although there a multiple POVs, we mostly focus on Prince Hal, the charismatic, riotous heir to a usurper queen; Banna Mora, the steel-hearted royal displaced by Hal; and Hotspur, a knight torn
Becca Mee
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lady Hotspur is a remake of Henry IV that breathes new life into the classic play. It is also an extension of Tessa Gratton's previous adult fantasy, The Queens of Innis Lear, a book that I just adored.
Lady Hotspur is a story of love and friendship between three women: two princes (or princesses) and one knight. It is an epic feminist fantasy filled to the brim with fierce warrior women kicking butt and taking names. It has lots of court intrigue and nature magic to keep you intrigued. I found
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A powerful, lovely, and thought-provoking retelling of Henry IV Part I, in a completely entrancing magical world. Recommend to Shakespeare fans and fantasy fans alike.
Melissa Mitchell
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
(2/5) Coming January 7, 2020.

I was let down by the telling-not-showing writing. DNF at 15%

Lady Hotspur is a retelling of King Henry IV, a classic Shakespeare play. I’m always a sucker for these types of retellings. “Strike fast, love hard, live forever.” The motto of the Lady Knights, a league of knights sworn to serve the ruler of Aremoria. The story largely follows three women: Prince Hal, Mora of the March, and Lady Hotspur.

When a deep betrayal shakes the kingdom of Aremoria, Mora of the
Liz (Quirky Cat)
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
I received a copy of Lady Hotspur through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tessa Gratton’s latest novel, Lady Hotspur is an imaginative novel, one that is heavily inspired by Shakespeare's Henry IV. As you can imagine, that means that there will be plenty of politics and war. Oh, and did I mention that the novel has a very strong female focus?
There are those meant to fight, and those meant to lead. Hal was a fighter, born and raised as a knight. Only to be stuffed into the
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

I guess you don't have to come into this having already read Tessa Gratton's The Queens Of Innis Lear, but I'm betting it would be super helpful. And I say that as someone who spent a lot of time looking up both that novel as well as the Shakespearean plays that inspired them (Henry IV Part I for this one, King Lear for its predecessor) in the course of reading this. Which research, along with historical asides, reminded me of all the reasons Shakespeare's plays annoy me. Massaging the
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You Are Never Too...: Lady Hotspur - January 7, 2020 1 3 Jan 01, 2020 04:31PM  

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Tessa Gratton has wanted to be a paleontologist or a wizard since she was seven. Alas, she turned out too impatient to hunt dinosaurs, but is still searching for a someone to teach her magic. After traveling the world with her military family, she acquired a BA (and the important parts of an MA) in Gender Studies, then settled down in Kansas with her partner, her cats, and her mutant dog. She now ...more
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