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The Winter Duke

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  32 reviews
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne.

All Ekata wants is to stay alive--and the chance to prove herself as a scholar. Once Ekata's brother is finally named heir to the dukedom of Kylma Above, there will be nothing to keep her at home with her murderous family. Not her books or her experiments, not her family's icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  41 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

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Ever since I finished Holly Black's The Folk of the Air series, I've been dying to get my hands on other mature YA fantasy books that capture that same breathless atmosphere of sensuality, back-stabbing, and court intrigue. So many authors try for this vibe, but miss-- hard-- because they either aren't good enough writers to fully sell the worlds they're building, or because they try to dumb everything down to be inoffensive and
Jul 23, 2019 marked it as anticipated-2020  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-march
"lesbian political fantasy on ice" sure is a combination of words that I never knew I needed!!!
Sherwood Smith
I actually finished this a while back, but my desk time bottlenecked. Catching up with reviewing now, I can think back and recollect so many stunning images from this book, which I devoured over a few days. It has stayed with me all this time.

That cover really conveys a sense of the broody, cold beauty of the story. Bartlett's worldbuilding is trenchantly magnificent (oh those frozen roses!), and strong characterization contrasts the complexity of the world.

Teenage Ekata is the only one awake
♡ Dakota ♡ (Sarcasm is my middle name)
Excuse Me?!? Who said you could be so gorgeous?!? And have the audacity to have an amazing premise too! You truly have it all, don’t you? How dare you. ... Also please take my money in 2020 ... and be good.
Dark Lordette Jennymort ♔
um ... mothafuckin yes pls?!
She inherits her brother's warrior bride, you say?
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Okay, at its heart, this is kind of basic YA. Our main character is THE ONE and she switches from boring to bold at the drop of a hat. I didn’t really get the geography of our world. (No spoilers but the identity of the folks from Below was…a strange choice) and didn’t understand how the kingdoms (dukedoms?) worked in this world or why…well, why anything at all.

I loved, loved, loved our main character’s wife. In fact, I found myself thinking that the book would be kind of amazing written
Kal ★ Reader Voracious
"My siblings tried to murder one another.

But not this night. Tonight we had a strict no-murder policy."
The excerpt has me so hyped for this book! You can read the first chapter here on the NOVL's cover reveal!
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Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Look. We've established I'll buy anything related--even vaguely--to Anastasia
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
4 1/2 stars

RTC for blog tour. Thank you to the publisher for sending me an earc.
Sophie Elaina
Dec 18, 2019 marked it as on-my-radar  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-releases
Oooo this sounds sooo good! And that cover is...
Dec 20, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-releases
- compared to Girls of Paper and Fire and The Priory of the Orange Tree
- feminist female MC
- queer love interest
Amber (The Book Bratz)
Holy shit I need this book right now ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I was completely absorbed by The Winter Duke. From the beginning, Bartlett makes sure we know that the world Ekata grows up in is one of murder, betrayal, and suspicion. Ekata trusts practically no one, and can you blame her? Her family, and their kingdom, is built on murder, barely concealed treason, and days where you are lucky to be alive. Described as part Sleeping Beauty, Ekata
Catherine Heloise
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Winter Duke is a fantasy novel set in an icy land in a state of uneasy truce with the magic-using water folk who dwell beneath the ice. Ekata is more interested in medicine than politics, and has spent most of her life trying to survive the plots of her various siblings, so when her entire family is cursed with a mysterious illness and she is the only one left standing, she is very much unprepared to be Grand Duke. The story is both coming-of-age story and twisty political fantasy, with a ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rep-wlw, rep-lesbian
review on my blog

"I didn't want to survive. I wanted to thrive."

The Winter Duke was one of my most anticipated 2020 releases and another I expected to give 5 stars, but I was ultimately disappointed in. Don’t ever have expectations, they’re a lie. Though, I want to preface this review by saying my complaints are 100% personal and I’m aware others love these tropes/plotting methods. So, if you read anything in this review and like what I’m complaining about, take that as something enticing
I was not expecting this book. Listen, you read the cover copy and you're like, "I'm pretty sure this will be gay, but will it actually be gay?" Friends, this book is So Gay.

Political intrigue in YA can sometimes be a bit tame for me, but this book dug in: there were assassination attempts, public arrests, cabinet meeting shouting matches, wheeling and dealing, at least three separate coups, fancy dinners were people sniped at each other verbally while eating regional delicacies, marriage
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 11, 2019 marked it as gave-up  ·  review of another edition
(DNF 43%, though with a lot of good things to say; the pacing just wasn't my taste and I'm swamped with things to get through.)

The setting was a fantastic surprise. It's a frozen castle knee-deep in snow, sitting atop a lake full of mermaid-like creatures with their own royal court and politics - I've never seen ANYTHING like that before and it is so beautiful!

This book is also brimming with fun personality from the main character. It's pretty heavily political and filled with lots of talking,
An addictive story about a fratricidal family who all but one fall under a strange sleeping curse, but the only person allowed to use magic is: The Winter Duke.

Ekata, one of the 12 children of the Duke is forced to protect her family’s duchy and take the throne even though she doesn’t want it. Ill-equipped, she must navigate an arranged marriage, figure out who hurt her family, and convince everyone she is worthy to be The Winter Duke of Kylma Above—A world of ice that sits atop a world of water
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An elaborate fantasy world is the backdrop of this female-powered YA political thriller.
Thanks to Little, Brown Books for Young readers and KidLitExchange for the ARC.
Ekata’s family rules Kylma Above, but she wants nothing to do with the complicated and boring world of politics—she prefers the scholarly life, with a focus on biology. But when her family is cursed by the very magic they control, Ekata’s life changes course dramatically, leaving her the Grand Duke in place of her late father.
Hannah (Ink & Myths)

The Winter Duke is a wonderful fantasy stand-alone and I couldn’t recommend it more! It’s fast-paced from the very first sentence on, with complicated family dynamics, court intrigues, lots and lots of betrayals and a murder or two

The world-building is fascinating: a kingdom made of ice, a second kingdom below the water—and in its hands, it holds the secret to magic.

I really enjoyed the characters, too, especially Ekata, the protagonist. She’s a flawed character for sure, but I
Lovely Loveday
The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett is a captivating young adult fantasy set in an icy land in a state of uneasy truce. The characters are intriguing and full of mystery. They will keep you second-guessing their every move never knowing what they will do next.The Winter Duke is a coming of age story full ofpolitical fantasy, loyal friendships, and a budding romance. A fast-paced read that will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you wanting more. ...more
Raena Pellichet
Feb 05, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, 2020-releases
DNF @ page 135.
The writing didn't really connect with me on this one unfortunately. I just never cared that much about the characters or what was happening so I decided not to force myself to push through.
2020 is the year of letting myself DNF books if I'm not enjoying them.
rachel ☾

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Enchanting Literature
The Winter Duke is part Sleeping Beauty and part Anastasia. Mixed with intrigue, mystery, and a lush world you're bound to fall in love. We get to follow Ekata on her journey to learn why everyone has succumbed to a sleeping sickness, how to balance loyalty and love, and how to rule when she was never meant to. Beautifully written and devastatingly haunting this book will leave you questioning everything......and rooting for a forbidden love.

The Winter Duke hits shelfs this March.

An enchanted
Kristi Wright
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exquisite world building; "twisty-turn-y" political intrigue; a thoughtful and steadfast main character; an adorable and kick-ass love interest...

I'm so delighted to get an early opportunity to read Bartlett's latest novel, THE WINTER DUKE. I adored the juxtaposition of the elegant and chilling ice country above and the magical and mysterious water world below. Both were absolutely gorgeous and different from any worlds I'd read about before. The way that the two worlds depended on and were in
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks Eidelweiss for letting me read this e-ARC!

This book was really good! The description says it's like Sleeping Beauty or Anastasia, but this is much more like Game of Thrones (without the incest and rape).

Ekata was a great main character, and I connected to her as the novel went on. I felt her frustration, as it seemed like EVERYTHING she did was wrong, and her sense of isolation and exhaustion.

Inkar was awesome. Get yourself a wife that supports you and also knows how to throw down with an
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The thing that grabbed my attention about this book was first the cover, and second, the fact that it was going to be gay Anastasia, and boy did it meet every expectation. Ekata suddenly inherits her family's dukedom and her elder brother's bride and she just does not know how to handle any of this. Most especially how to be her own person while still being a successful duke, and she definitely doesn't know how to flirt. After a series of mishaps and a tempestuous reign, Ekata finally finds her ...more
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Claire Bartlett lives in an enchanted forest apartment in Copenhagen with too many board games and too few cats.

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