The Winter Duke
by Claire Eliza Bartlett
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 3rd 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT, Queer, Magic, Retellings, Romance
An enchanted tale of intrigue where a duke’s daughter is the only survivor of a magical curse.
When Ekata’s brother is finally named heir, there will be nothing to keep her at home in Kylma Above with her murderous family. Not her books or science experiments, not her family’s icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness.
In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her own ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love…or for a crown she has never wanted. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family’s power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield it.
Part Sleeping Beauty, part Anastasia, with a thrilling political mystery, The Winter Duke is a spellbinding story about choosing what’s right in the face of danger.
I have only read Claire’s first book before and I will admit that while it wasn’t my favorite, I was incredibly intrigued to see what she came up with next. Enter The Winter Duke: a story about a girl who gains an insurmountable amount of power while wielding magic at the same time.
I thought the world building in this book was the best part of it. I love being drawn into worlds and I am always amazed when authors are able to create their own like Claire does in this book. This is a unique blend of two classic fairy tales that I really enjoyed. I love retellings as they are, and this was a unique way to present it.
I am usually not a fan of political intrigue or relations, but that is what this book is, and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it! I think that goes to show that even if you are on the edge about a book, you should go for it, because sometimes we find we like the most unexpected of stories. We fall in love with the writing and the character and how we can relate to them.
The magic and wonder of this book is a sure hit to anyone looking for a little magic, a little strength, and a lot of beautiful worldbuilding. Hats off to Claire, who is truly one of the top queens of worldbuilding! I would recommend this book to fans of retellings as well as someone looking for a unique standalone.
I am a writer and tour guide in Copenhagen, Denmark. Though I originally come from Colorado, I left the US when I was eighteen and I haven’t lived there since.
More permanent stops on my travels have included Switzerland, Wales and Denmark. The arrival of a Danish husband has somewhat cemented my living situation, but I get my travel in smaller doses these days.
I like to write fantasy, mostly, though I dabble in soft sci-fi. My short stories are more adult, my novels more YA.
I’ve studied history, archaeology, and writing. I like to take my inspiration from historical events, and the more unknown and inspiring the event, the better.
I am represented by Kurestin Armada of P.S. Literary.
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