A Strange and Stubborn Endurance

English language

Published July 6, 2022 by Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom.

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4 stars (7 reviews)

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.

Byzantine politics, lush sexual energy, and a queer love story that is by turns sweet and sultry, Foz Meadows' A Strange and Stubborn Endurance …

2 editions

Gay romance (CW: SA)

5 stars

Content warning Sexual Assault

Not for me

3 stars

This really didn't do it for me! I think part of that is that I'm not wild about romances and this was a romance. A big complaint for me is that the romantic leads behave so constantly and consistently we've-been-to-therapy correctly towards each other that I found their interactions tedious and didactic. It felt moralizing to me ("observe, this is the correct way to handle an emotion"), but I think it was intended to be more of a wish fulfillment love story ("imagine if you dated someone this emotionally mature"). Also everyone is described as being super hot and I did not enjoy that.

The heroes behaved perfectly in every situation and the villains were over-the-top horrible in every situation, and even though the moral stakes were ones I agree with (don't sexually assault people, don't be homophobic, don't murder people), I was put off by the black-and-white-ness of the …

Review of 'Strange and Stubborn Endurance' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

A STRANGE AND STUBBORN ENDURANCE is one of my favorite things I’ve read all year, in a year where I’ve already read more than two hundred books. It might be my favorite arranged/political marriage book, if it’s not the winner it’s at least in good company. It’s instantly achieved the rank of my favorite fantasy book dealing with rape (a strange category to have, but as I make a podcast dealing with fictional depictions of trauma, an almost necessary category to be aware of).  If you’re uncomfortable with that content, please choose another book, with my best wishes, as this deals with the actual event and long aftermath of a (graphic but brief) sexual assault by someone who until very recently was the victim’s romantic partner. 

There are two major countries, one of which is barely shown but heavily felt (Ralia), and the other is where almost all of the …

Review of 'Strange and Stubborn Endurance' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This has a trigger warning that there’s a rape. There is, and quite early in the book (so this isn’t a spoiler).

Oddly enough, despite that, I think this is going on my list of Comfort Reads. The supportive relationships and carefully built trust and growing love are heartwarming.

There’s palace intrigue, done very well — I was anxious to see what happened next, and didn’t get lost.

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rated it

5 stars
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rated it

5 stars