Thumbs down for A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows. Fantasy romance.
I enjoy high-fantasy romance and, particularly, political fantasy, and I was pleased to see that Tor was coming out with one. So I had such high hopes! And I did immediately enjoy the prose; the author has a way with words. However. It didn’t take long before I started wondering if I should quit (despite how easily the pages flowed by), because I noticed that one of the main characters was just Decent Guy and the other one was just Traumatized Guy, and neither of those things is an actual personality. (To be honest, I find it offensive to have someone’s entire personality be “rape victim.”) So I didn’t believe in them or their love story. Nevertheless, I continued because I was interested in the mystery/political plot; I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Well. After the heroes (who weren’t the ones who should have been investigating this anyway! they would have professionals for this!) stumbled literally by accident across the villain, who then monologues their plan for pages, and that plan makes no sense but exists only to create events for the plot, I started hate-reading the book just so I could write this review and warn you off. And, unbelievably, it got worse from there: one of the “twists” made me want to kick the book across the room. There’s nothing more irritating than watching a writer with obvious skill in one area (prose) make a bunch of bad decisions in every other area. There are so many good books out there; read one of them instead.
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