Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £19.99

Buy Now for £19.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

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.

Everina Maxwell's debut is a space opera with high-stakes multi-world politics and irresistibly engaging characters, perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

©2021 Everina Maxwell (P)2021 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"A chilling account of a dark past wrapped in the warm blanket of a promising future. A pleasure to read." (Ann Leckie)

"A stunning new space opera debut." (K. B. Wagers)

"'Dazzling. Its characters stayed with me long after I raced through the last chapters." (Aliette de Boddard) 

What listeners say about Winter's Orbit

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    23
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect in every way

The story and characters were an absolute delight, and it was truly wonderfully read. It was exactly the book I needed right now.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Stylish and intruiging

The love story element of this book is convincing; several emotional misunderstandings keep our leads distant for a frustrating length of time, and once the penny drops there are still hurdles to overcome before a final resolution. Gender and sexuality are dealt with fantastically well. The future queer society described is both satisfying and believable. I particularly liked that titles (emperor, prince etc) aren't indicative of gender. Even better, the writer doesn't rely on smut to bring about a sense of heated expectation - the scene in the mountains is wonderfully well done, delicate and passionate in equal measure.

If there was any disappointing aspect it was that the scifi, though brilliantly cued up, wasn't fulfilled. Tantalising glimpses of technology, space travel and a wider galactic community were hinted at then seemingly forgotten. Remnants of something highly prized were sought and disputed but never really explained. Negotiations surrounding a treaty of galactic importance were confused, then chaotic, then, when critically important, seemingly resolved merely by our two leads facing up to their feelings for each other. Often the drama defaulted to curiously non-scifi norms: the tabloid journalism seemed weirdly twentieth century to me, as was the nagging inconsitency that despite living in the imperial palace of a futuristic terraforming civilisation, one of our leads slept on a fold-out camp bed. Whatever, I still really liked the book. I feel like there is lots more to explore in this society, and having done the world-building it would be strange if the writer didn't revisit this corner of the galaxy in a future project. I certainly hope so.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!

I was sold this book on the concept of gay space princes.

I got interplanetary courtly politics and secrets, an amazing queer love story, brilliant gender inclusivity and characters that I still can't get over.
Absolutely wonderful.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing political scifi with lots of lgbt rep

I enjoyed this book entirely. Loved the story, the main characters and the overall intrigue