Book Review: Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

What’s the story? (from Goodreads):

While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances, several planets, including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat’s rule. When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with Taam’s cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control.

But when it comes to light that Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war… all while dealing with their growing feelings for each other.


Science fiction is not my usual choice but I could not pass up the chance to read and experience Winter’s Orbit. The book was all over Tiktok, yes I am on booktok. The cover is also so beautiful. How could I resist? Also, who doesn’t want to read a space opera?

One of the things I loved about this book was the world building. I felt completely immersed in the world and Maxwell did a great job of setting the stage for plot points and political things. There are a lot of moving parts to this book and I definitely took my time. I wanted get get clear on the characters and what was really going on because I didn’t want to miss something important.

There was so much action and I truly appreciated that, because it kept the book moving. There was not a lot of just “filler” content either. The characters developed in their own time and it wasn’t rushed. There was no insta-love. Jainan and Kiem both had their own individual traumas they had to work through, and as an arranged marriage it took time to know one another.

Are there powerful moments in this book that made me cry? Yes. Will you get invested in this world and our two main characters? Yes. Will you also fall in love with some of the side characters and want to see them kick some ass? Yes, yes you will.

I really wish that there would be another book or books in this world. I didn’t want to leave it once this book ended. I cannot wait to see what more Maxwell is able to do.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Leave a Reply