Title: Winter’s Orbit
Author: Everina Maxwell
Genre: Science Fiction, LGBTQ+
Page Count: 432
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Publisher: Tor Books
Themes: Political Marriage, M/M Romance, Queernorm world, Murder Mystery, Space Politics,
Content Warning: Discussion of Previous Abuse
Ancillary Justice meets Red, White & Royal Blue in Everina Maxwell’s exciting debut.
While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances, several planets, including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat’s rule. When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with Taam’s cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control.
But when it comes to light that Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war… all while dealing with their growing feelings for each other.
Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Books for an eARC of this title.
Alright, this is everything I want in a SciFi novel. First and foremost I adore the fact that the world is queernorm and gender neutral. I mean, space travel is normal and people from different planets is normal, so why wouldn’t gender neutrality and queerness be normal? It should! And I loved it!
Now, onto the other aspects. I loved the characters Kiem and Jainan are incredible characters. They are both complicated and sweet and also big dumb-dumbs. This was really a “they-just-need-to-talk” scenario, but it was so dang good. I loved how our characters grew over the book and learned more about themselves and each other. I also loved the consent discussion. Without spoilers, I will just say that it is everything I want in books and more books should treat consent this way.
The plot, oh man. I loved the plot. I will say that it is a slow beginning, BUT I loved that the set up was slow and made me desperate to know more about the world and what was happening. The whole murder mystery plot I thought was incredible. I did not guess the culprit or the reasoning so, that’s a win for me. Overall, I thought this book was incredible and I highly recommend it. The relationships are amazing, the characters are so sweet and so fun, and the plot just made me want more. I still want more!
Rating: 5/5 stars.