Book Review: Winterbourne's Daughter by Stephanie Rabig
Winterbourne's Daughter is a fantasy novel, and like many fantasy novels it has a truly enormous cast of characters.
What makes this one so different and intriguing is how diverse those characters are. Of the four primary protagonists, there are two bisexual men, a trans woman (who is unable to physically transition because there is no medical or magical means for her to do so) and an asexual (but not aromantic) woman.
Polyamory is a norm, there is a nonbinary side character, and a neighboring kingdom is thought to be 'stifling' because at adulthood people have to choose to be either homosexual or heterosexual; bi or polysexuality is frowned upon. Even the 'bad guys' respect people's chosen gender pronouns almost all the time, though there is one distressing scene where Lisette's hair is cut off and she is forced back into boy's clothing.
That's not to say that there is no discrimination in this book; indeed, the conflict arises primarily from a huge class divide between a caste of aristocrats and Everyone Else. There are some dark parts as well, including a fair bit of torture and death, so it may not be for everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed it, however, and I'd highly recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy and would like to read a book with some gender diversity as a central theme. Five stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through ReadingAlley.