Published by Tor on July 26, 2022
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About A Strange and Stubborn Endurance
This is a richly detailed queer romance, court intrigue mystery, fantasy. Very diverse with different genders, sexualities, religious beliefs, cultural norms, skin colors/ethnicities represented.
Velasin’s family expects him to enter into an arranged marriage. When his original bride isn’t available, he’s offered a groom – something that meets with his preferences but is shocking in his country. Vel insists on fulfilling the contract and travels to meet, Caethari, his betrothed.
An attack on Vel’s entourage is just the beginning of violence though as not everyone seems pleased with the upcoming marriage. Vel and Caethari need to find who’s behind the attacks and why before it’s too late.
My thoughts about A Strange and Stubborn Endurance
This is a gorgeous mash-up of fantasy, political intrigue, mystery, and queer romance.
The author uses the stranger in a strange land trope via an arranged marriage/alliance to great effect to explain the cultures. There’s fantastically detailed world-building with multiple countries, races, religions, politics, and mores on display.
And while the contrast of one country’s repressed, patriarchal, homophobic ways with the other country’s acceptance of women in power and acknowledgment of nonbinary and gender fluidity, is a bit on the nose. The positive representation delighted me.
I need more books set in this world because I feel like we got the smallest of tastes of its magnificence.
There’s great romantic tension between the two leads by turns sweet and spicy. Very much a “will they just talk already” vibe that I loved. And of course, close proximity and there’s only one-bed tropes.
Intricate yet skillful plotting with a fantastic reveal of whodunit at the end.
A Strange and Stubborn Endurance gave me Winter’s Orbit and A Marvellous Light vibes in the very best ways.
Thank you Tor Books for the ARC!