Despite having an advanced copy of Winter’s Orbit thanks to the publisher and Netgalley, I mostly listened to Winter’s Orbit on audio via the Hoopla app and I would definitely recommend if you’re anything like me and your brain has a hard time with complex world-building. Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell came out on February 2nd and is a fascinating blend of sci-fi, mystery, and romance. I loved it. The world-building is very intense and I don’t think I have a full grasp on this link situation or the treaties or the world, but I had enough of a grasp to know what was happening in the actual story and that’s really all I needed. But when it comes to describing this book to you? Well, I’ll give it a shot.
Jainan and Kiem have to get married for political reasons and they find out literally two days before their wedding. Kiem is a Prince, but he has historically not had a lot of responsibilities because he’s known for essentially being drunk and a playboy. He’s turned a new leaf prior to this bombshell so we see him still being clueless about politics and intergalactic relations, but he commits right away to this marriage once it is sort of forced on him. Jainan just lost his bonded partner of five years, Prince Taam, to a… mining accident, I think. Also maybe it was murder? So anyway, the two of them get married and discover that there’s a lot happening under the surface of “get married to save the treaty” and so we follow Jainan and Kiem (and their assistant Bel, whom I adore) around this world as they investigate.
I really, really enjoyed this one because of the characters. Jainan has some trauma responses to things and it’s so interesting to watch the way these two strangers continually misunderstand one another or apply their own insecurities as an explanation for the other’s behavior in a way that doesn’t work because you can’t actually do that. Kiem is so outgoing and vivacious and flirtatious in a lot of ways so Jainan doesn’t realize that he’s special to Kiem. Their romance is SO slow to build and I thought it was exceptionally well done once we finally got to it. I did start wishing they would communicate better at various points because I was impatient. But overall, this book is exceptional! I really, really hope we’ll get more set in this world because there’s so much more to explore. Also, Bel is amazing and needs an HEA.
I’m so grateful for the prompting to read this book when I did because of my ARC because otherwise who knows how long it may have taken me? I adored this though and definitely recommend!