A Strange and Stubborn Endurance

Tor. Jul. 2022. 544p. ISBN 9781250829139. $27.99. FANTASY
In Meadows’s (“Manifold Worlds” series) new fantasy, Velasin “Vel” vin Aaro discovers that his father has arranged his marriage to a woman in the neighboring Tithena, hoping to repair country relations. When an abusive ex reveals Vel’s preference for men, his father tries to disown him but is foiled by a Tithenai envoy. Now Vel must marry Caethari “Cae” Aeduria, the brother of his former betrothed. Cae is taken by surprise with the news that he is to marry a man whose country forbids same-sex relationships. However, when unknown forces try to end the political marriage through violence, Vel and Cae must learn to trust, to heal, and possibly to love in hopes that their tenuous bond, along with their countries, will survive. The author notes that the book contains some scenes of sexual abuse and self-harm, but the pervasive plot of magic and action, family, and a growing relationship are the core of the story.
VERDICT An emotionally gripping, delightful queer fantasy filled with political intrigue, family dynamics, and tender moments that will grab readers’ hearts and minds.
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