Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Winter Prince by Elizabeth E. Wein

Let's be frank. I really didn't care for this book. The only reason I am reviewing it is because it was supposedly one of my reads for the Once Upon a Time III challenge. It also means that I hardly remember it, so not sure how this review will go!
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.
Title and author of book: The Winter Prince by Elizabeth E. Wein

Fiction or non-fiction? Genre? Young Adult Fiction. Fantasy; Arthurian Retelling.

What led you to pick up this book? I saw it on a blog. I can't remember which blog now, but the fact that it was an Arthurian retelling drew me to it. I think I had too high of an expectation.

Summarize the plot, but don’t give away the ending! See above...

What did you like most about the book? The fact that it was an Arthurian retelling that was a bit different than the regular ones. I liked that it was a fresh take on an old story.

What did you like least? Everything. I couldn't get wrapped up in this story. It took me a few days to read it and it is a really short book! I don't like Wein's writing style. I found myself skimming a lot of the time because I just didn't care to read everything that she had written. I also didn't really feel a connection with the characters. When you write such a short book you need to include things that catch the readers attention very quickly, but really I wanted to stop reading every step of the way. I just stuck with it because I thought it was just me and that if I kept at it she might start to grow on me, but that never happened.

Have you read any other books by this author? What did you think of those books? Nope! I had the sequel out from the library, but I brought it back unread. I find there are lots of other books that are calling to me more than trying to figure out what happens next in this series.

What did you think of the main character? The characters were not memorable. If I really like a book, I will remember the characters even if I cannot remember their names. With this book, I only have vague memories about who the characters were and what their purpose to the story was. Wein did not write characters that stuck with me at all.

What about the ending? I was happy to get to the ending and be finished with it! You know there is going to be a sequel, but I do not find myself rushing out to read it. It just ended and I moved on to the next and better book.


  1. It's sad when the only reason you enjoy the ending of a book is because you are glad it's finally over. :-) I am sorry you didn't care for this one, Kelly. Hopefully you read many more books for the challenge that you did like!

  2. I read the first in Weins' Solomon series and couldn't get into it at all. Sad because the premise sounded really good.

  3. I appreciate your honesty and candor!! This helps me eliminate books that would be a waste of time for me to read!! :)

  4. Oh, no! Sounds like a stinker. I hate finding a book disappointing. Cough, Twilight, Cough.

  5. I admire the fact that you still review books that don't quite make the cut for you. I don't even care to review them...

  6. Literary Feline: I know, huh? Normally if it is that bad I don't bother finishing it, but I did for this one... It didn't get any better!

    Joanne: Yeah, I just really don't like her writing style. I wouldn't read anything else by her, that's for sure.

    Staci: This is a waste of time, so happy to be of service!

    Aarti: lol, I agree! On both points...

    Alice: Well, it was for a reading challenge, so I figured I should.

  7. this is my favorite book, please dont be discouraed from reading it by the above review, which is the only one i have ever found for it that is negative. i read it for the first time five years ago, but every time i read it i discover something new. the entire book is hauntingly beautiful, and tells how medraut breaks free from the ties of his mother, morgause who is both mentally and physically abusive. however i'm not really sure if its the same exact book cause my copy is from the 80s and looks nothing like the new edition so maybe all of the disturbing parts were edited out to turn it into a young adults book (which is what it is now classified as)

  8. and you were right, the sequels sucked

  9. I'm so glad this one didn't put you off Wein and that you got to try Code Name Verity, even if that was by mistake :)

    I read this one *because* of Verity, and although I don't think it was as good as Verity I really liked The Winter Prince. It wasn't at all what I expected, quite dark, but I found it quite beautiful in many places.


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