Books in Temporary: The Black Good friend: On Being a Higher White Particular person by Frederick Joseph, Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore | Books

The young Queen Bitterblue has ruled the kingdom of Monsea for five years and tries to repair the damage of her psychopathic father, King Leak, even when advice from her allies tries to contain the worst impulses from neighboring monarchs. After her two envoys drown in a shipwreck, the Queen sails with her friend Giddon and her spy Hava to Winterkeep to investigate. But fate intervenes in a shocking way, and the stakes have never been so high when Cashore draws the reader into her elaborate story with its fascinating political intrigue, twists and turns and exciting tension.

Brave young Lovisa Cavenda, who made a habit of spying on her powerful parents Ferla (President of Winterkeep) and Benni (Industrialist), is a wonderful addition to Cashore’s gallery of strong female characters. The novel alternates between five perspectives: Lovisa, Bitterblue, Giddon, a telepathic fox and a massive tentacle creature that lives in the depths of the sea and resembles a giant squid.

The telepathic creatures add a fascinating dimension to the environmental theme of this book as a debate rages in the bitterly divided Winterkeep Parliament over whether the use of a by-product from silver mining called zilfium should be allowed as fuel despite its environmentally harmful effects. The toxic parenting shown in “Winterkeep” competes with the toxic parenting Bitterblue suffered from her father, who murdered her mother and whose “grace” was the ability to make others believe his lies.

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