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Winter's orbit
2021
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"Summoned before the Emperor, Prince Kiem-a famously disappointing minor royal and the Emperor's least favorite grandchild-is commanded to renew the empire's bonds with its newest vassal planet. The prince must marry Count Jainan, the recent widower of another royal prince of the empire. But the Jainan suspects his late husband's death was no accident. And Prince Kiem discovers that Jainan is a suspect himself. But broken bonds between the empire and its vassal planets leaves the entire empire vulnerable, so together they must prove that their union is strong while uncovering a possible conspiracy. In the shadows of a secret past and an insecure future, Kiem an Jainan must come together to protect both of their worlds"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

After being forced by his Emperor grandfather into a marriage of convenience to unite their planets, Prince Kiem discovers that his intended, Count Jainan, is a suspect in his late husband’s death despite it being ruled an accident. - (Baker & Taylor)

A Sunday Times Bestseller!

“Sparks fly” (NPR) in Everina Maxwell’s gut-wrenching and romantic space opera debut.

Prince Kiem, a famously disappointing minor royal and the Emperor's least favorite grandchild, has been called upon to be useful for once. He's commanded to fulfill an obligation of marriage to the representative of the Empire's newest and most rebellious vassal planet. His future husband, Count Jainan, is a widower and murder suspect.

Neither wants to be wed, but with a conspiracy unfolding around them and the fate of the empire at stake they will have to navigate the thorns and barbs of court intrigue, the machinations of war, and the long shadows of Jainan's past, and they'll have to do it together.

So begins a legendary love story amid the stars.

Like Ancillary Justice meets Red, White and Royal Blue, Winter’s Orbit is perfect for fans of Lois McMaster Bujold.

“High-pitched noises escaped me; I shouted, more than once, 'Now kiss!' ... in a world so relentlessly uncertain, there’s a powerfully simple pleasure in the experience of a promise kept.” —The New York Times Book Review

- (McMillan Palgrave)

Author Biography

EVERINA MAXWELL is the author of Winter’s Orbit. She lives and works in Yorkshire, where she collects books and kills houseplants. - (McMillan Palgrave)

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Booklist Reviews

Palace intrigue is always tough to manage, especially when you want no part of it. When fun-loving Kiem is summoned to the Emperor's office, the last thing he expects is an arranged marriage to the strait-laced Jainan. Not to mention a conspiracy that threatens the Empire. Oh, and the suspicious death of Jainan's previous partner. Looks like the honeymoon will have to wait. Maxwell's debut combines romance and thrills in a unique package. The narrative swaps between Kiem and Jainan, each with their own strong personalities, and quickly grows in urgency. Romantic tension volleys back and forth between the two leads, proving just as compelling as the political machinations. Winter's Orbit is soft on science fiction but heavy on world building. Other characters wear jewelry to show their gender, keep their identity in a wristband, and exist within a hierarchy that suggests a much larger universe beyond the scope of this novel. Suggest this to fans of Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor (2014) or N. K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010). Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

The intricate royal protocol of The Crown intertwines with the adventure of Louis McMasters Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga series in Maxwell's gorgeously plotted LGBTQ space opera debut. After Prince Taam of icy planet Iskan V dies, his wayward, charismatic cousin Prince Kiem is drafted into a political marriage to Taam's flinchingly self-effacing widower, Thean Count Jainan. Through their marriage, Kiem and Jainan hope to salvage Iskan's imperial treaty with Thea and satisfy a visiting galactic superpower that Iskan is stable enough to continue accessing the faster-than-light link network—and through it the wider universe. But when Taam's death proves suspicious and secrets about his past come to light, Jainan and Kiem must navigate both their budding mutual attraction and the political minefield surrounding the treaties binding worlds. Maxwell's plot elegantly combines clan politics, galactic power struggles, and marriage dynamics, though the delicate handling of abuse and trauma—enabled by Kiem's un-self-conscious sweetness in his relationship with the skittish Jainan—gives way to heavy-handed melodrama in the story's climax. Despite the soapy conclusion, this exciting adventure is sure to win Maxwell many fans. (Feb.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

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