A STRANGE AND STUBBORN ENDURANCE
REPRESENTATION: Gay MCs, gay romance, queer-normal society
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: Fantasy, arranged marriage
Trigger warning: sexual assault, self-harm
Utterly delightful. Vivid and immersive.
I always say that I find my favourite books the hardest to review and A STRANGE AND STUBBORN ENDURANCE is no difference. What I will say, is that I bought myself a hard copy of the book before I’d actually reached the end of the eARC, because I absolutely know this is one I’m going to want to reread again and again.
Without giving too much away, A STRANGE AND STUBBORN ENDURANCE has two utterly charming protagonists with delicious chemistry, (enjoyed through a dual-POV narrative), which showcase both a fascinating political world and a compelling mystery.
It has a couple of dark elements, and I recommend checking out the trigger warnings, but it didn’t feel like a dark book to me.
I love court fantasy full of political intrigue, and arranged marriages are one of my favourite tropes, so I had high hopes when I requested this ARC, but A STRANGE AND STUBBORN ENDURANCE surpassed all my expectations. At the moment, it appears to be a standalone novel — which it does completely work as, with no pesky loose threads — but if the author ever chooses to give up a follow-up on Vel and Cae’s lives, I’ll be first in line to grab a copy.
“Stolen me? As soon to say a caged bird can be stolen by the sky.”
Velasin vin Aaro never planned to marry at all, let alone a girl from neighboring Tithena. When an ugly confrontation reveals his preference for men, Vel fears he’s ruined the diplomatic union before it can even begin. But while his family is ready to disown him, the Tithenai envoy has a different solution: for Vel to marry his former intended’s brother instead.
Caethari Aeduria always knew he might end up in a political marriage, but his sudden betrothal to a man from Ralia, where such relationships are forbidden, comes as a shock.
With an unknown faction willing to kill to end their new alliance, Vel and Cae have no choice but to trust each other. Survival is one thing, but love—as both will learn—is quite another.
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.