The city-state Sirapirat once knew only warmth and monsoon. When the Winter Queen conquered it, she remade the land in her image, turning Sirapirat into a country of snow and unending frost. But an empire is not her only goal. In secret, she seeks the fragments of a mirror whose power will grant her deepest desire.
At her right hand is General Lussadh, who bears a mirror shard in her heart, as loyal to winter as she is plagued by her past as a traitor to her country. Tasked with locating other glass-bearers, she finds one in Nuawa, an insurgent who’s forged herself into a weapon that will strike down the queen.
To earn her place in the queen’s army, Nuawa must enter a deadly tournament where the losers’ souls are given in service to winter. To free Sirapirat, she is prepared to make sacrifices: those she loves, herself, and the complicated bond slowly forming between her and Lussadh.
If the splinter of glass in Nuawa’s heart doesn’t destroy her first.
Winterglass (Apex Publications) is a lesbian epic/weird fantasy loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Snow Queen’, set in a secondary-world Southeast Asia analogue.
A fairy tale, beautiful like an ice crystal, and razor sharp. – Silvia Moreno-Garcia, World Fantasy Award-winning editor of She Walks in Shadows and author of Locus-nominated, Sunburst-nominated Certain Dark Things
Winterglass is rich with diamondine prose, a scintillant retelling of the Ice Queen that challenges Occidental aesthetics, colonial mentality, and personal identity. – Cassandra Khaw, author of Hammers on Bone, British Fantasy Association and Locus Award nominee
An exquisite gem of a novella. Politics, relationships, and combat presented as a matryoshka, the beauty of which is there’s no easy way of telling which shells are within which. Sriduangkaew’s sensuous metaphors and elegant imagery are never less than a pleasure to read. Thoroughly recommended. – Jonathan L. Howard, author of Johannes Cabal the Necromancer
- Childhood trauma and parental death. The novella begins with one of the protagonists as a small child walking to her execution; one of her mothers dies. (Execution is non-graphic and involves bloodless removal of soul from body.)
- Graphic sex. Fully consensual; no instance of sexual assault occurs in this book.
- References to homophobia. No primary character experiences homophobia or transphobia. However, there is a reference to nameless characters who fled their homophobic society to come live in the country in which the book takes place.
With her mother’s blood fresh on her hands, Nuawa has learned that to overthrow the tyrant Winter Queen she must be as exact as a bullet… and as pitiless.
In the greatest city of winter, a revolt has broken out and General Lussadh has arrived to suppress it. She’s no stranger to treason, for this city is her home where she slaughtered her own family for the Winter Queen.
Accompanying the general to prove her loyalty, Nuawa confronts a rebel who once worked to end the queen’s reign and who now holds secrets that will cement the queen’s rule. But this is not Nuawa’s only predicament. A relentless killer has emerged and he means to hunt down anyone who holds in their heart a shard of the queen’s mirror. Like the general. Like Nuawa herself.
On these fields of tumult and shattered history, the queen’s purposes will at last be revealed, and both Lussadh and Nuawa tested to their limits.
One to wake. Two to bind. These are the laws that govern those of the glass.
- Graphic sex. Fully consensual; no instance of sexual assault occurs in this book. One instance of light, comprehensively negotiated BDSM that involves one partner’s wrists being bound with a belt.
- Parental death. As consequences from Winterglass.