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The Winter Prince (The Lion Hunters series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Wein
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Strong, brave, and daring, Medraut would be a fitting heir to the throne—but he can never be king

Medraut is the eldest son of High King Artos, and would-be heir to the British throne—if not for an unfortunate circumstance of birth. Instead, his weak and unskilled half-brother, Lleu, is chosen as successor. Medraut cannot bear the thought of being ruled by the boy who has taken what he believes is rightfully his.
 
Consumed by jealousy, he turns to Morgause, the high king’s treacherous sister, who exploits Medraut’s shame and plots to take over the throne. But when Medraut discovers Lleu’s inner strength and goodness, he finds his battle is not just with the kingdom, but with the demons inside himself. Now he must choose where his allegiances truly lie.
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Elizabeth Wein including rare images from the author’s personal collection.


Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up-Absorbing reading for those who enjoy Arthurian legends. As the story opens, Medraut, the High King's eldest son, is returning to Artos's court, Camlan, after a six-year absence. There he finds Lleu, his frail, sickly half-brother, dying of an illness, and devotes himself to healing him. Born of incest between Artos and his sister Morgause, Medraut can never be High King, although he is outwardly more capable than Lleu. His intense love for his brother is mixed with extreme envy. When the evil Morgause comes to Camlan with her four younger sons, she brings with her a desire to control Lleu. Exploiting Medraut's envy, insecurity, and shame, and using her enchantress's power, she enlists his help. A journey of betrayal, masked as a hunting trip, becomes a time of cruelty, fear, and passion for the half brothers, ending in an intense battle of wills between them. Medraut admits his love for Lleu, who has found the inner strength he needs, and realizes that he can choose not to be bound to his mother's will. The tension of this last section is strongly involving and convincing. The characterizations are complex and finely drawn, as are the familial relationships. Written as if Medraut is telling the story to Morgause, his love-hate feelings for her are powerfully conveyed. A strong debut for a new novelist, and a story well worth reading.
Jane Gardner Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-12. Fantasy lovers and devotees of Arthurian legends will enjoy Wein's challenging but engrossing novel, which probes the soul of Mordred (or Medraut as Wein names him), the illegitimate son of Artos (presumably Arthur) and Artos' half-sister Morgause. In Wein's sympathetic hands, Medraut is a skillful, well-traveled healer who loves his half-brother Lleu, the legitimate heir to Artos' kingdom. She also portrays Medraut as conflicted enough to succumb to the wiles of Morgause (knowing full well of her cruelty) and as capable of sacrificing Lleu for revenge. Medraut is jealous of Lleu's blameless birthright and the power Lleu wields so thoughtlessly, and he yearns not only for Artos' approval, but also for recognition that he is not responsible for the shame of his parentage. In a gripping climax, both Lleu and Medraut face the demons that haunt them and emerge knowing they will never fear each other again. Chris Sherman

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Arthurian retelling November 6, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is an amazing, gorgeous little gem of a book, with surprisingly complex characters and shades of moral ambiguity for a YA book (or a lot of adult novels, for that matter) -- which is not to say I don't think YA books can be complicated, but they rarely are in this way.

It's a quick read, and compelling. Medraut, the illegitimate son of Artos the king, returns from his travels in Africa and elsewhere to watch over his younger half-brother, Lleu. Medraut doesn't know if he loves or hates Lleu, and matters are complicated by his relationship with his mother/aunt Morgause. Morgause here is...more of a piece of work than usual, even, possibly the most disturbing literary representation of her that I've ever read -- it's a testament to Wein's writing skills that I even sympathized a little with her at one point.

Goewin, Lleu's twin sister, also warrants a mention -- her interaction with Medraut in particular is fascinating.

In fact, one of the things I liked the most was how even when he was managing to be loyal and good, Medraut's darker qualities weren't magically gone, merely held at bay. I also found Medraut's refusal to lie, ever, interesting.

One of the most unique, beautiful, and compelling takes on the Arthurian legends I've read in a long time. I wholeheartedly recommend it. It's unfortunate that it's going out of print again. I would suggest snapping up a copy for yourself and at least one copy to loan out.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommended February 15, 2004
By Shati
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Winter Prince" is a beautiful, haunting, vivid book. I could go on at length with complimentary adjectives, but instead, a few things that make it stand out:
The relationships. I read the last few chapter with my heart actually pounding; the book has enough tension that it would need an army of masseuses (or a fascinating climactic scene) to smooth out the wrinkles.
The main character. Every once in a while I come across a character who seems startlingly, refreshingly unique. Sulien of Jo Walton's THE KING'S PEACE and THE KING'S NAME was one, and Medraut is another.
The voice. THE WINTER PRINCE is beautifully written, but more interesting, to me, is the thread of second person that runs through it, from Medraut to Morgause. I'm a sucker for interesting uses of second person, and this one fits the story perfectly.
This book made me care about its characters, and then it made me glad I cared. I can't think of any higher recommendation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book makes you feel. April 13, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
As soon as I read this book I fell in love with it. The characters were powerfully written, especially Merdraut. I hope Elizabeth Wein writes a sequel because I can't believe this is the end.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Library Binding
One of the most amazing books I have ever read is The Winter Prince by Elizabeth Wein. The characters in this book are so real that it almost makes the reader feel like he or she could just reach out and touch them. I found myself inside the plot- being Medraut and feeling his utter confusion. He was torn repeatedly between his affection for his father and brother and his strange, rebellious devotion to his mother. The author had a very compelling way of expressing the envy and love of Medraut for his half brother Lleu, a way that seemed almost to justify both sides and bring the reader even further into the story. I had a sort of breathless awe when I put the book down several months ago. I haven't read it since then but often I am reminded of its subtle power that I am sure would make a blockbuster movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another view of the Arthurian Legend July 11, 2006
By DanaW
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love this book and can't believe it's actually out of print. The author's spin on Medraut/Mordred-I wouldn't say it's original, because turning the bad guy into a sympathetic character has been done before, but it's probably the most successful attempt I've ever seen. Especially given the fact that the character base is so firmly established as bad. I actually found it very difficult to even like Lieu, since he was highly privileged and Medraut was so damaged by his parents(yes, by his father, too. How could he possibly leave his son with a woman like that?). He tries to go against the bent his life has put into him, only to be constantly rebuffed. Frivolous pop culture reference: Medraut reminds me very much of Lex Luthor from Smallville. Raised by a sadistic parent, treated with incessant suspicion, finally gives in and behaves the way everyone expects him to. Anyway, great, great book. Sequels aren't quite as engaging(and I'd love another book from Medraut's perspective), but they are definitely worth your time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shines like gold July 6, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the only book I have ever read that made me cry. It is so beautiful, so splendid, and so so human. Medraut is a young man who is torn in three directions- his loyalties for Artos or Morgause, and to himself. He is a young man whose entire life has been one of mental and physical abuse, inflicted by Morgause and even by himself. He is torn by jealousy of his new half-brother Lleu, who is heir to the throne and who has a clean birthright- something which Medraut has yearned for all his life. The book is spellbinding, it shines like gold. This is a book I have reread dozens of times, and it never fails to make me wonder how it is possible to write in such a way.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars dark and weird
I did not like this book, I don't think it's appropriate as a Children's book.

There are very dark themes, sexual inuendos that hint at incest (between mother/son,... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Katarina Ortmann
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
It's weird and hard to follow. Billed as a "teen novel" but has VERY adult themes. I'm not sure if I will read the others.
Published 9 months ago by M. Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction at its best
Atros, the son of the King of the British Isles after the time of the Roman's invasion, returns to his father's palace after years in Africa and Brittany only to find his... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Marsha E. Lytle
2.0 out of 5 stars A review from Bookworm1858
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

After adoring Wein's Code Name Verity (my favorite 2012 release and still highly recommended),... Read more
Published 10 months ago by bookworm1858
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Winter Prince
I love King Arthur legends. Love, love, love them. I took a class the beginning of 2013 that completely revolved around the legend and where we read everything from The History... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Lydia
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare perfect book.
There is nothing about The Winter Prince I would change. My only complaint is that there aren't a dozen more like it on my shelf equally perfect. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Tiffany Reisz
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific Arthurian tale
This is a little bit of a Retro Review for me, although not entirely. I just about burst with glee when I saw that THE WINTER PRINCE and A COALITION OF LIONS were back in print. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Liviania
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful first book of a favorite series
I originally was going to give this book four stars. But I had to go with five for two reasons - one I could not forget the characters of Medraut and Lleu and thought about their... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Terry J. Martin
4.0 out of 5 stars The Arthurian Cycle and Ancient Ethiopia
This is the first book in Wein's Arthurian cycle. I have read later books by Wein; this novel is written by Medraut, as if he were entering his thoughts in a journal. Read more
Published on June 20, 2012 by Stephania D. Byrd
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, mesmerizing, beautiful
I read this all in one go. The book is written in a very simple, elegant manner. It's also pretty short. Perhaps this is why it's thought of as a children's book? Read more
Published on May 20, 2011 by S. E. LaPan
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More About the Author

I was born in New York City in 1964, and moved to England when I was 3. I started school there. We lived practically in the shadow of Alderley Edge, the setting for several of Alan Garner's books and for my own first book The Winter Prince; that landscape, and Garner's books, have been a lifelong influence on me.

My father, who worked for the New York City Board of Education for most of his life, was sent to England to do teacher training at what is now Manchester Metropolitan University. He helped organize the Headstart program there. When I was six he was sent to the University of the West Indies in Jamaica for three years to do the same thing in Kingston. I loved Jamaica and became fluent in Jamaican patois (I can't really speak it any more, but I can still understand it); but in 1973 my parents separated, and we ended up back in the USA living with my mother in Harrisburg, PA, where her parents were. When she died in a car accident in 1978, her wonderful parents took us in and raised us.

I went to Yale University, spent a work-study year back in England, and then spent seven years getting a PhD in Folklore at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. While I was there I learned to ring church bells in the English style known as "change ringing", and in 1991 I met my future husband there at a bell ringers' dinner-dance. He is English, and in 1995 I moved to England with him, and then to Scotland in 2000.

We share another unusual interest--flying in small planes. My husband got his private pilot's license in 1993 and I got mine ten years later. Together we have flown in the States from Kalamazoo to New Hampshire; in Kenya we've flown from Nairobi to Malindi, on the coast, and also all over southern England. Alone, most of my flying has been in eastern Scotland.

We have two children.

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