Today’s post is a review for The Winter Duke as part of the blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. This book has such a gorgeous cover and I cannot wait to share my thoughts with you!
by Claire Eliza Bartlett// 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.
Published: March 3rd 2020
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 (3.5 stars)
Confessions of a YA Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes
I was pretty intrigued as soon as I read the blurb for this book! I mean, badass girls taking on monarchies single-handedly? WE STAN. As soon as I started reading, I was so hooked by Bartlett’s truly magnificent worldbuilding!
I loved how clearly we were introduced to this magical world! Claire created and explained the politics and magic of this book so artfully! I managed to get the hang of how everything worked within the first couple of chapters which is brilliant as
I have the attention span of plankton I got into the story without getting lost!
I really enjoyed the banter between Ekata and Inkar! Seeing them getting closer and begin to like each other was so?! fun? But even though their relationship was somewhat interesting, I just found it really hard to connect to Ekata and I just couldn’t understand some of her actions. However, Inkar made up for it! She was such a firey, sly, charming character and I really loved reading about her!
While this book was really good, it was pretty basic?? There were SO. MANY. TROPES. (honestly the one thing i despise) The main character is the chosen one (yippee) and she never wanted to be in charge but here she is anyway. *sigh* I found none of the plot twists shocking and this just didn’t make my heart race. This is why reviewing can be difficult because while this isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, objectively, it had all the elements to make it a good.
One of my favourite things about this book was how sexuality just isn’t questioned! Like Ekata ditches a male suitor for a wife and the only thing people care about is the political advantage?! yes. yes. YES. It’s great how normal it is! also, there are non-binary characters whose identity doesn’t get a special mention but the just exist?! (i know mind-blowing right?) I’m so glad the tropes in this book don’t extend to sexuality and identity because it was pretty awesome to see LGBT characters just… exist.
This is a Young Adult fantasy retelling with LGBT and magic!
There is also a giveaway for a copy of The Winter Duke hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! One lucky person will have the chance to win a physical copy of Bartlett’s book. Sadly this is US only for now 😦 Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!
Have you read The Winter Duke? Is this book on your TBRs? Any other upcoming fantasy books I need to read soon? Cadbury or Galaxy (there’s only one right answer!) Divulge your secrets…