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review 2017-01-30 00:00
The Winter Prince
The Winter Prince - Elizabeth Wein

Amazingly well-written, intense book about a terribly conflicted Mordred, shattered by abuse from his mother, yet still trying to hold himself together.

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text 2014-12-14 23:32
The Winter Prince (The Lion Hunters, #1) by Elizabeth Wein
The Winter Prince - Elizabeth Wein

I'm DNF at 33%.  I'm having a hard time staying focused and I just got a review arc that I really want to read which is making it harder.  I might revisit at some point.

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review 2014-01-07 17:06
Short Story- "No Human Hands To Touch"- Elizabeth Wein
Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers: Magical Tales of Love and Seduction - Ellen Datlow;Terri Windling

'Medraut,' I murmured, 'Do not call me Jocasta, or I will let you borrow my brooches...'

 

Have this story (published in "Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers," available as an ebook) on hand immediately after reading The Winter Prince (which I highly recommend you do!). Told from the point of view of the antagonist Morgause, it fills in some of the protagonist Medraut's backstory, which is darkly hinted at in the book. It shares an amazing atmosphere with the book which isn't apparent in the sequels: It's full of tension, self-destructive pride, defiance, messed-up family relationships, cruelty, and loneliness.

 

His lips curled back, barely, and he croaked at me, 'I do not need your brooches.'

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review 2014-01-02 02:00
The Winter Prince- Elizabeth E. Wein
The Winter Prince - Elizabeth Wein

"'Can you even love?'

'Yes. Yes. All the wrong things. The hunt, and darkness, and winter, and you, Godmother.'"


This is a book I wish I had written.

 

It is a first novel, and cool and sharp and glittering, like a heavy, hanging icicle. It is very dark, with just enough hints of the backstory to let you fill the rest in for yourself.

 

It is an Arthurian retelling, focused on Mordred, in a version in which Arthur has legitimate heirs.

 

The narrator, Medraut, is complicated and brave and oh-so-fallible, like his siblings and father, the other central characters. He addresses his narration to his mother-and-aunt Morgause, who is terrifying- sadistic and false and capable of cutting to the bone.

 

The ending departed slightly from the subtlety of the rest of the book, spelling out the epiphany, but that's a minor complaint. The voice is intense, deliberate, engrossing.

 

The Winter Prince is a short read, just over 200 pages, and a brilliant one. There are sequels, but they branch out further from the Arthurian setting and don't seem as good. This one stands alone, and is a masterpiece.

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quote 2013-12-29 09:32
"'...Have you ever loved anything?'
Yes. Yes. All the wrong things. The hunt, and darkness, and winter, and you, Godmother."
The Winter Prince - Elizabeth Wein

Elizabeth Wein, The Winter Prince

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