A Strange and Stubborn Endurance – Review

Hi everyone! Today is the release day for A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows, and what better way to celebrate than to share my review? I ended up REALLY enjoying this one, although it does have some scenes that can be very triggering to some, and were actually pretty tough to read.

A Strange and Stubborn Endurance
by Foz Meadows
Series: Standalone
Release date: July 26th 2022

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

“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.

First things first – the content warnings, since this book has a lot of them and some are pretty graphic, so content warnings for: sexual assault, suicidal thoughts, trauma, self-harm, animal death, homophobia, and ableism. I also haven’t seen many people mention this, but sexual assault does happen VERY early on in the book (like, within the first few chapters so it isn’t a spoiler) and the rest of the book deals a lot with how the character heals from that trauma.

Despite how hard that particular scene was to read, I did appreciate how the healing process was handled. While this book does also revolve around a mystery, I would definitely say the book is more about healing, finding one’s self worth, and challenging gender stereotypes, although it doesn’t shy away from the darker aspects of dealing with trauma.

This book also has a ton of representation, with many of the characters being queer, a prominent side character is mute and uses sign language with the main characters, nonbinary rep (they use “thir” pronouns), as well as trans rep. I’m sure that there are other things that I’m missing, because this book has so many and they all felt so natural and fit in with the story so well!

I loved meeting Velasin and Caethari, and their slow burn romance was so heartwarming, especially as you start to see how deeply they care about each other. I loved how open and honest they were with each other, and I loved how Velasin finally got to be who he really is without needing to hide a part of himself. I love the arranged marriage trope, and the political intrigue was fascinating as well.

I did enjoy the setting, although I do wish we had gotten to see more of it. I also wish we had seen more at the end of the book, because while it is a satisfying ending, I still had questions and it definitely leaves room for a sequel, although it seems that this is just a standalone at the moment. I definitely wouldn’t say no to seeing another book with these characters and expanding on their story!

Overall, this is a great romance story in a fantasy setting. A lot of popular romance these days tends to lean towards one (or both) characters being abusive or mean, so having two characters who were just purely kind to each other was so refreshing. I highly enjoyed this one, and I think that a lot of other people will enjoy it too, if you are able to get through those first few chapters!

4 Comments on “A Strange and Stubborn Endurance – Review

    • Yeah, it was tough to read but the way the aftermath is handled was well done, and you can easily just skim over the actual assault itself if it’s too much without missing too much of the plot!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: July 2022 Wrap Up – Melting Pages

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