cover image Lady Hotspur

Lady Hotspur

Tessa Gratton. Tor, $29.99 (592p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9249-7

Gratton returns to the expansive world of The Queens of Innis Lear with this intricately layered fantasy, a loose, gender-bent adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV. A prophecy predicts disaster for three closely entwined women in the kingdom of Aremoria. When Hal’s mother overthrows the king, Hal is expected to transition from hard-living Lady Knight to respectable heir to the throne. Hal’s best friend, Banna Mora, daughter of the conquered king, is exiled. Lady Hotspur, Aremoria’s fiercest warrior, is as devoted to her country as she is to her lover, Hal, and dear friend, Banna Mora, but knows that the demands of status will force her and Hal to part eventually. Hal is focused on avoiding responsibility, drinking, and finding ways to be with Hotspur, while jealous Banna Mora schemes to take Aremoria back. Hotspur is forced to choose between her reckless lover and the ruler she thinks would do right by her kingdom. Gratton’s lush world is full of magic, mischievous spirits, and otherworldly rituals. Readers won’t have to be familiar with either the previous book or the source material to appreciate this well-crafted, if over long, fantasy. (Jan.)