Melting Queen, The
Every year since 1904, when the ice breaks up on the North Saskatchewan River, Edmonton has crowned a Melting Queen—a woman who presides over the Melting Day spring carnival and who must keep the city’s spirits up over the following winter. But this year, a genderfluid ex–frat brother called River Runson is named as Melting Queen. As River’s reign upends the city’s century-old traditions, Edmonton tears itself in two, and River must learn the tradition’s hidden secret to survive.
- Short-listed, Sixth Annual Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize - Literary Fiction Category 2020
- Runner-up, Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada - Prose Category 2019
- Nominated, Best Speculative Fiction at the Alberta Book Publishing Awards! 2020
Praise for The Melting Queen:
"Heartfelt, flawed, and beautiful, The Melting Queen is a modern fairy tale. Cinnamon creates a lost history, writing a legacy for River Runson that honors missing ancestors and gives Edmonton a second chance to confront the truth of its hypocrisy around oppression and expression."
~ Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers, Foreword Reviews
"... a worthy, interesting read based on the essential idea that now is the time to unmask history and change what no longer serves us."
"The novel, much like its protagonist and, I suspect, many of Edmonton's inhabitants, has an ambivalent relationship to the city it imagines: calling out its failings ... yet insisting on finding and, if necessary, inventing stories that reveal the extraordinary."
~ Jason Wiens, Alberta Views
Combining history and satire, this debut aims to lay a foundational mythology for Edmonton.
~ Becky Toyne, The Globe and Mail
"Bruce Cinnamon doesn't put a foot wrong in The Melting Queen, his fantastical debut novel. In addition to providing humour and a surreal plot, the author examines some serious themes: identity, friendship, betrayal, and politicians creating alternative histories."
~ Margaret Goldik, Prairie Books NOW
"... a captivating coming-of-age story with a clear hero who learns from the wisdom of their predecessors; intriguing villains who turn on the hero; and a surprising mishmash of once underdogs-turned-sidekicks."
~ Rebecca Geleyn, The Fiddlehead
"The Melting Queengives Edmonton the mythological retelling it deserves."
~ Edmonton Journal
"In The Melting Queen, satire works both to poke fun at the boosterism of civic officials and to expose ways in which punitive insistence on the rigidity of gendered, raced, and classed hierarchies is bolstered in the present by a view that sees the past as inherently innocent, as a time of wholesomeness and goodness at odds with the confusing complexity of the present."
~ Alison Calder, Canadian Literature