This isn’t quite an Arthurian book in the usual sense. Set in post-Roman Britain, The Winter Prince adapts from the Welsh versions of Arthurian legend, taking the general situation to tell its own story.

The entire story is told by Medraut in first person to his mother Morgause, though exactly when and where is unclear, as she doesn’t seem to be present (and a novel makes for a very long letter); perhaps it is really just an inner monologue of Medraut’s as part of coming to terms with his mother. But the novel centers around Medraut’s relationship with Lleu, the heir of King Artos. Medraut is his older half-brother, and in many ways a better candidate for kingship. Lleu is young, inexperienced, and sickly, and has a certain amount of arrogance, while Medraut is experienced, well-traveled, and competent in a number of fields. But it is not to be, kingship is forbidden to Medraut.

The plot of the novel just kind of wanders about through a number of different incidents. But the real purpose of the book is the complicated relationship between Medraut and Lleu. This is well handled, and comes to a good ending. I generally recommend this as a YA book, though it never got me especially involved.

My Kindle edition has a full page illustration by the author at the start of every chapter, so that is also recommended, even if the cover came straight from the stock-photo department.