Today on the blog Claire Bartlett is guest posting and sharing one of my favorite kind of blog posts, a character ABCs. Claire’s new book The Winter Dukewas released on March 3, 2020 and today is she showing lucky ABC readers the accessory, book and clothing item that her character Ekata would pick. Let’s give Claire a warm welcome!
Ekata’s accessories are all jewelry – that’s the fun of writing about someone royal! While I wrote a lot of diamonds and pearls and fancy necklaces into THE WINTER DUKE, the sapphire ring has a particular significance – it’s the ring Ekata gives to her warrior bride when she gets married in a fit of desperation. That sapphire ring turns heads and brings trouble, all while trying to be the biggest rock in the room. Sapphires and diamonds also reflect the color scheme of the novel – blue and white, the royal colors of Ekata’s family and the color of deep water, which is significant because Ekata’s ice kingdom sits atop a magical lake! I love the leaf pattern around this ring, as Ekata’s ring has a rose motif around her sapphire, and roses play a thematic part in the novel.
Book: The Resurrectionist
Ekata would absolutely devour The Resurrectionist, even if it is slightly out of her time and world. Ekata is fascinated by the underwater kingdom, called the duchy Below, that thrives beneath her own icebound duchy. Peopled by fishmen, the duchy Below has had a long and secretive relationship with her father, and one of the things she wants most is to know everything she can about the duchy Below and its inhabitants. The Resurrectionists is the biography of Stephen Black, the man who hypothesized that the imaginary beasts in our mythologies are in fact evolutionary predecessors to humans. Black made painstaking medical drawings of his creatures, which are included in the book in fabulous detail. If Ekata had a copy of The Resurrectionist on hand, she would copy out every single one of his anatomical drawings as practice for eventually studying medicine at university.
Clothes: Red coat and costume
Ekata would wear this while swanning around her palace, which is a tad chilly – it’s made from ice, after all. The wool coat would fit well over her dress and keep her warm, while looking stylish and ornate. And, of course, she’d add bracelets, necklaces, rings – all the things your usual ruling despot wants in fashion. This coat is from ArmStreet, which does beautiful wool work and specializes in clothing for Live Action Role Playing – but I’ll be honest, I kind of just want the coat because it’s so cool (no pun intended!). The coat’s not quite warm enough to protect Ekata when she ventures outside, so it’s an indoors coat for her, and an above-5c-coat for us.
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: March 3, 2020
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An enchanted tale of intrigue where a duke's daughter is the only survivor of a magical curse.
When Ekata's brother is finally named heir, there will be nothing to keep her at home in Kylma Above with her murderous family. Not her books or science experiments, not her family's icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness.
In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother's warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her own ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love...or for a crown she has never wanted. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family's power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield it.
Part Sleeping Beauty, part Anastasia, with a thrilling political mystery, The Winter Duke is a spellbinding story about choosing what's right in the face of danger.