Cover image for The winter duke
Title:
The winter duke
ISBN:
9780316417341

9780316417334
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
426 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
When Ekata's brother is finally named heir, there will be nothing to keep her at home in Kylma Above. 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 sleeping sickness. Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother's warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without-- and within. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family's magic and power-- and decide how she will wield them. --
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Summary

Summary

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 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, and no one can find a cure.

In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother's captivating warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without--and within--her 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 magic and power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield them both.

The Winter Duke is an enchanted tale of intrigue by Claire Eliza Bartlett, author of the acclaimed feminist fantasy We Rule the Night .


Author Notes

Claire Eliza Bartlett grew up in Colorado. She studied history and archaeology and spent time in Switzerland and Wales before settling in Denmark for good. She is the author of We Rule the Night and The Winter Duke . When not at her computer telling mostly fictional stories, she works as a tour guide in Copenhagen, telling stories that are (mostly) true. Claire invites you to visit her online at authorclaire.com.


Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up--Ekata is the daughter of a powerful duke, and the only one of her 13 siblings with no desire to inherit the throne. Instead, her ambition is to leave her father's magical kingdom and study science at university. Although she is fascinated by Kylma Below, the underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic, it is not enough to keep her in an ice palace full of fratricidal siblings and distant parents. But all of Ekata's plans change overnight when the rest of her family falls into a cursed sleep and she is forced to take on her father's throne, her brother's prospective bride, and a maze of intrigue she is vastly unprepared for. Unlike many fantasy heroes, Ekata shows no innate talent for ruling, for magic, or for romance. Her new role as duke does not suit her, and her failures make her a much more relatable character. Although she is smart and tenacious, she has no hidden talents to save the day and fails as often as she succeeds. Her struggles will resonate with teens who are unsure in their growing responsibilities and changing lives. At the same time, the twist-filled mystery and compelling characters will keep readers guessing and the unexpected but satisfying conclusion will delight those who long for emotional realism within a fantastical story. VERDICT Refreshing and unique story elements abound in this magic-filled political mystery. Highly recommended for any collection that serves teens.--Heather Waddell, Abbot Public Library, Marblehead, MA


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this queer fairy tale reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty, Ekaterina Avenko, 16, would rather move south and study medicine than remain in her family's ice palace and compete with her 12 murderous siblings for Kylma Above's throne. After much begging, she persuades her father, the Grand Duke, to let her leave; his only stipulation is that she wait until after her oldest brother, heir-elect Lyosha, chooses a consort. Eligible royals assemble, but before Lyosha can select one, every Avenko excepting Ekata falls into an unawakenable sleep. To maintain stability and forestall unwanted advances from her power-hungry foster brother, Ekata ascends as Grand Duke and picks a bride--fierce, outspoken Inkar Erlyfsson--from those assembled. She hopes to help create a cure for her family's illness, then discovers that they've been cursed using magic. Bartlett (We Rule the Night) delivers a feminist fantasy fraught with tension and political intrigue. Sketchy worldbuilding occasionally confuses, and not every plot twist rings true, but escalating stakes and an adrenaline-fueled pace keep the pages turning, while sharply drawn characters illustrate that there's more than one way to lead. Ages 14--up. Agent: Kurestin Armada, P.S. Literary. (Mar.)


Kirkus Review

When a magical curse leaves Ekata's family as good as dead, she is forced to take up the mantle of Grand Duke of Kylma Above.Ekata is days from leaving her violent, scheming family for university when disaster strikes. Someone has put the grand duke and all his heirs, except for her, into a deathlike sleep. The intrigue begins unfolding immediately and draws readers through to the last page, as they and Ekata both try to figure out who can be trusted. Ekata begins her reign as a puppet of the prime minister but shocks everyone by marrying the foreign princess Inkar instead of the arrogant king Sigis. In response, Sigis decides to take the duchy by force, adding yet another headache for Ekata as she confronts internal and external threats to the duchy. The story of the princess who would rather read books than marry a prince is standard fare by now, yet Bartlett (We Rule the Night, 2019) makes her version feel largely fresh and filled with magic and personality as Ekata learns to be a strong leader by doing what must be done. She and Inkar begin to fall in love after their abrupt marriage, yet their romance is gentle and believable. All the principal characters in this pseudo-Nordic ice kingdom are white, with one secondary character, Ekata's supportive teacher Farhod, having dark skin.An enchanting queer fairy tale. (Fantasy. 14-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.