The Iskat Empire rules its vassal planets through a system of treaties – so when Prince Taam, key figure in a political alliance, is killed, a replacement must be found. His widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with the disreputable aristocrat Kiem, in a bid to keep rising hostilities between two worlds under control. But Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and when Jainan himself is a suspect, he and Kiem must navigate the perils of the Iskat court, solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war . . .
Winter’s Orbit has some truly imaginative world building that sets the scene beautifully for the love story at the heart it, a slow burn of a story that is utterly gripping from the moment you start reading it.
An arranged political marriage, a set of worlds on the brink of a confirmed treaty, a possible murder and a whole pile of political intrigue makes for a highly engaging, brilliantly immersive novel that is evocative and intelligent. I genuinely loved every minute of this, my heart firmly with the hapless Kiem and the closed off Jainan, rooting for them all the way.
I don’t think I’ve read an author who manages quite so well to make the prejudices we live with,of any kind, obsolete. In the world of Winter’s Orbit gender is immaterial and that isnt even something that is described or explained, it simply is. The plotting is taut and emotive, theres a classically embedded mystery element and overall there is nothing not to love about this. One of my favourite reads in ages.