Genevieve's Reviews > The Winter Prince

The Winter Prince by Elizabeth Wein
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Dec 30, 08

bookshelves: fiction, comfort-reads, ya-childrens, semi-historical, arthuriana, favorites
Read in January, 1995

I don't just love this book; I am imprinted on it. I first read it, far too young to understand anything, when I was in about second grade, which must have been around the time it was originally published. And while I didn't understand it at all then, the image from the prologue, of the boy sitting with his back to the fire, face in shadows, stuck in my mind. When I finally reread it at about 13, it blew me away and became immediately ensconced in my personal pantheon of Favorite Books; along with The Once and Future King (and, slant-wise, Rosemary Sutcliff's The Lantern Bearers), it is one of my favorite Arthurian retellings, and I think holds up very well for an adult reader.

Of course, none of that is very helpful to people who are not me. What might be: this book is full of honest-to-God characters, fierce and prickly and human. It has language that is lyrical yet clear and cutting as ice; it is brilliantly visual. It has a wonderful, almost theatrical, sense of space and timing in speech. I love the way that the emotional and psychological battles of the characters are played out against and within the landscape and the seasons--how the human realm is intertwined with this other, physical-natural space and its forces. (The last line is one of my favorite things ever.)

Pardon my gushing; I am really not rational about this book.
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