Cover image for The Winter Prince
The Winter Prince
Wein, Elizabeth.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Firebird, 2003.
Physical Description:
202 pages ; 18 cm
Medraut, the bitter, illegitimate son of King Artos, is tempted into joining Morgause, the king's treacherous sister, in a plot against Lleu, the legitimate Prince of Britain.
General Note:
Sequel: Coalition of lions.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.0 9.0 69580.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Y FICTION Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Young Adult

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Medraut is the eldest son of Artos, high king of Britain and, but for an accident of birth, would be heir to the throne. Instead, his younger half-brother, Lleu, fragile and inexperienced, is chosen. Medraut cannot bear to be commanded and contradicted by this weakling brother who he feels has usurped both his birthright and his father's favor. Torn and bitter, he joins Morgause, the high king's treacherous sister, in a plot to force Artos to forfeit his power and kingdom in exchange for Lleu's life. But this plot soon proves to be much more-a battlefield on which Medraut is forced to decide, for good or evil, where his own allegiance truly lies.

Author Notes

Elizabeth Wein was born in New York City in 1964. She went to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where she earned a PhD in Folklore and held a Javits Fellowship.

Elizabeth Wein first five books for young adults are set in Arthurian Britain and sixth century Ethiopia. The Mark of Solomon, was published in two parts as The Lion Hunter (2007) and The Empty Kingdom (2008). The Lion Hunter was short-listed for the Andre Norton Award for Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2008.

Elizabeth's novel for teens, Code Name Verity, published by Egmont UK, Disney-Hyperion and Doubleday Canada in 2012, is a World War II thriller in which two young girls, one a Resistance spy and the other a transport pilot, become unlikely best friends. Code Name Verity has received widespread critical acclaim including being shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, it is a Michael Printz Award Honor Book, a Boston Globe/Horn Book Awards Honor Book, and an SCBWI Golden Kite Honor Book. It is also a New York Times Bestseller in young adult fiction. She is also the author of Black Dove, White Raven.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

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 (presum~ably 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

Publisher's Weekly Review

Wein's debut effort is the latest in the current spate of books and tales that mine Arthurian legends. Told by Medraut, the illegitimate son of Artos and his sister Morgause, this novel chronicles the narrator's love-hate relationship with his father's legitimate son, Lleu, the heir to the British throne. The intensity of Medraut's obsessions, like those of most people, is difficult for an outsider to sympathize with; his long internal musings tend to hamper the narrative's flow. Still, the writing is graceful and steeped in atmosphere, and the story line includes enough sibling rivalry and action to keep the reader going to the end. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.