cover image A Strange and Stubborn Endurance

A Strange and Stubborn Endurance

Foz Meadows. Tor, $27.99 (544p) ISBN 978-1-250-82913-9

This lushly drawn fantasy romance from Meadows (A Tyranny of Queens) offers a delicate meditation on trauma, loyalty, and trust. Ralian aristocrat Velasin vin Aaro is forced into a diplomatic marriage to a young woman from the neighboring kingdom of Tithena, his family’s historic enemies. But before the marriage can take places, Velasin’s male former lover brutally rapes him. The attack brings to light Velasin’s preference for men and his family’s plans unravel—until they learn his intended has an eligible brother, and unlike conservative Ralia, Tithena has no taboos around same-sex relationships. Exiled by his homophobic father and with nowhere else to go, Velasin accepts the altered marriage offer, crossing the mountains, carrying the shame and trauma of his assault, to marry a stranger. But Caethari Aeduria is not what he expected, and a series of attacks within the Aeduria compound mean the men must find a way to trust each other if they want to survive. Meadows skillfully integrates gripping mystery and satisfying slow-burn romance. The result is sure to delight fans of CL Polk’s Kingston Cycle series and Everina Maxwell’s Winter’s Orbit. (July)