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The Winter Knight

by (author) Jes Battis

ECW Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2023
Urban Life, Arthurian, General, General
LGBTQ2S characters , Author lives in Saskatchewan

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EPUB Accessibility Specification 1.0 AA

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  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price

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Arthurian legends are reborn in this upbeat queer urban fantasy with a mystery at its heart

The knights of the round table are alive in Vancouver, but when one winds up dead, it’s clear the familiar stories have taken a left turn. Hildie, a Valkyrie and the investigator assigned to the case, wants to find the killer — and maybe figure her life out while she’s at it. On her short list of suspects is Wayne, an autistic college student and the reincarnation of Sir Gawain, who these days is just trying to survive in a world that wasn’t made for him. After finding himself at the scene of the crime, Wayne is pulled deeper into his medieval family history while trying to navigate a new relationship with the dean’s charming assistant, Bert — who also happens to be a prime murder suspect. To figure out the truth, Wayne and Hildie have to connect with dangerous forces: fallen knights, tricky runesmiths, the Wyrd Sisters of Gastown. And a hungry beast that stalks Wayne’s dreams.

The Winter Knight is a propulsive urban fairy tale and detective story with queer and trans heroes that asks what it means to be a myth, who gets to star in these tales, and ultimately, how we make our stories our own.

About the author

Jes Battis (they/them) teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Regina. They’ve published poems in The Ex-Puritan, The Malahat Review, The Capilano Review and Poetry Is Dead, among other literary magazines. They’ve also published creative nonfiction in The Los Angeles Review of Books and Strange Horizons. They are the author of the Occult Special Investigator series (shortlisted for the Sunburst Award), the Parallel Parks series and, most recently, The Winter Knight with ECW.

Jes Battis' profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Authentic portrayals of queer, trans, and disabled characters along with a delightful mash-up of modern Vancouver, college life, and Arthurian legends become an immersive story of trying to be in control of your own path, no matter your past. VERDICT Battis (Bleeding Out) gives Arthurian retellings a new twist with this queer urban fantasy.” — Library Journal Starred Review

“Battis handles the psychology of the reincarnated characters well, balancing their awareness of past lives with their present-day agendas. Weaving endearing queer coming-of-age threads throughout the mythically grounded mystery, this satisfying reimagining delivers.” — Publishers Weekly

“Much of this novel will be most resonant for readers familiar with the relationships between characters in Arthurian legends. However, readers in search of queer and autistic representation in fantasy will gladly skim over the confusing parts to savor the heart of the tale: people defying expectations—including, at times, their own—to rewrite their stories and forge their own happy endings.” — Booklist

“This inventive take on the Arthurian myth is a testament to story — the wisdom inherent in old stories, and the power that lies in reimagining what they could be. The possibilities for a combination like this? Endless, as Jes Battis will show you!” — Amanda Leduc, author of The Centaur's Wife

“A charming story of mythological figures in the modern day. Battis’s prose breathes new life into ancient folklore.” — Zabé Ellor, author of Silk Fire