Medraut is the eldest son of Artos, high king of Britain and, but for an accident of birth, would be heir to the throne. Instead, his younger half-brother, Lleu, fragile and inexperienced, is chosen. Medraut cannot bear to be commanded and contradicted by this weakling brother who he feels has usurped both his birthright and his father's favor. Torn and bitter, he joins Morgause, the high king's treacherous sister, in a plot to force Artos to forfeit his power and kingdom in exchange for Lleu's life. But this plot soon proves to be much more-a battlefield on which Medraut is forced to decide, for good or evil, where his own allegiance truly lies.
When I started reading The Winter Prince, I was prepared to be emotionally devastated because I’d read Memory’s review which mentioned the possibility. But I didn’t know HOW emotionally devastated I’d actually be– approximately somewhere on the same level after I read The Queen of Attolia. I’m also not entirely sure how to review it!
There’s so much stuff to unpack! Not just my own emotional turmoil during and after the book, but also everything the characters go through. Lots and lots of terrible things happen, and the whole book has this gloomy aura. The biggest, most terrible thing is that Medraut is sexually and emotionally abused by his mother for most of his childhood, and this informs a lot of his choices throughout the course of the book.
The whole plot of the book is actually about Medraut breaking away from his mother/his past and figuring out his own path, while also having to deal with an annoying younger half-brother and a father who needs to give out more hugs. He’s noble, but tormented, and it’s terrible/wonderful.
I spent a lot of time agonizing about Medraut, who is VERY compelling to read about but who makes some bad choices, yelling at Lleu to be more gracious, for Pete’s sake, and wishing Goewin could just be queen already because she’s amazing. The characters sucked me into their world of betrayal and power struggles and INAPPROPRIATE FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS and I really really liked it.
I also wanted to cower beneath some blankets, however, because of all the emotional turmoil. The emotions in this are so raw it’s painful! But in an enjoyable kind of way.
Definitely recommend reading The Winter Prince if you like stories about survivors and royalty and also Arthurian things. Maybe read it while stroking something fluffy, like a cat, just to balance out the sadness.
Read: December 14, 2014
I have read a review for the next book and apparently it’s depressing, too! But Goewin is the protagonist, which interests me.