Cat Spearey's Reviews > The Winter Duke

The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett
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really liked it
bookshelves: review-copy, kindle

In all honesty, when I first started this YA book, the opening chapter completely overwhelmed me - so much happened and Bartlett introduces such a rich world that I completely thought I wouldnt be continuing with the book … but I pushed myself to not judge by an opening and trust that the author would fill me in on all the details - and she did.

I really enjoyed the characters in The Winter Duke, Ekata was a great protagonist who I did root for - her decisions were human - sometimes reckless and other times calculated which really built her as a solid character. I enjoyed her choosing of a wife although felt the relationship part of the marriage was timid and more hinted at than actions - understandable given their age (sixteen I believe). Bartlett also includes a non-binary character who is quite important to the plot at one point so it was great to see some solid diversity in that respect.

The world was fantastic - I loved the idea of an underwater community living below an ice palace. The relationship between the two worlds is one of agreement - an exchange for the magic that the underwater dwellers can grow - I just found this totally unique and it took me by surprise!

Goodreads has this down as ‘part Sleeping Beauty, part Anastasia’ but I’m not completely on board with that - I think The Winter Duke was much more original. Bartlett uses Russian style names and she has a very in-depth political plot running throughout the novel which although I found a little confusing, it did make sense and I really appreciated the detail involved.

Also - that cover! The US cover is a little different - I much prefer the UK choice - it reminds me of fairytales and folklore which is perfect!
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Reading Progress

October 8, 2020 – Started Reading
October 8, 2020 – Shelved
October 13, 2020 – Finished Reading
October 21, 2020 – Shelved as: review-copy
October 21, 2020 – Shelved as: kindle

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