The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett
Publisher: Little Brown
Publishing Date: March 20th, 2020
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.
Quick Star Rating 4/5 stars
The first remark I want to make about this book is it’s tag line for being a sleeping beauty/Anastasia retelling. The only sleeping beauty part is her siblings and parents are cursed to sleep and slowly dying. and Anastasia is that she has a lot of siblings to me that’s where the similarities ended to me.
I will say though that this book doesn’t need those tag lines because it was such a different idea and I really liked it! Ekata is our science nerd stuck in a family that holds the control over magic in her world (brought up from the people below them kinda like mermaids) Her siblings fight and try to kill one another because they want to take over the throne when it’s time except Ekata she wants to go away to a university and study. So when shes forced to have to fight to keep the throne and attempt to find a way to cure her family before ruining everything, almost starting a war and pick someone to marry. shes completely awful at it all.
Ekata picks a wife to help keep her from marrying an awful man, but their romance blooms is such an amazing way. The wife was absolutely my favorite character she has so much sass and fire that she transfers to Ekata! I loved how the author made the representation so natural to the world.
The mystery and answer to the cure was done really well. It’s not a book that I thought you figured out who was the ultimate one until near the end and the whole full circle of everything was perfectly foreshadowed to give you that full ah ha moment.
I highly recommend this to lovers of fantasy with political intrigue, a dash of romance and the underdog wins it all.
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