My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was truly shocked to read the other reviews and realize that many perceived this as the-queer-book-that-didn’t. I write gay fiction myself, and read tons of it. It never even occurred to me in reading this that they might be gay, or should be, for that matter.
I think what makes this one of The. Best. Character/Relationship books I’ve ever read is that it doesn’t muddle the issue with lust and sex. Bravo to Ms. Berg for accomplishing it because it’s harder to pen such a poignant relationship when you don’t have the catalyst and commonality of physical desire. That these two men could come from such different realities and the worst kind of power imbalance and forge such a deep, meaningful friendship is what I find so moving about them and the book.
I had no complaints about the plot or worldbuilding. They could be better, I don’t doubt, more impressive. Honestly, I’m glad they weren’t. When I need a dose of sheer emotional connection, I come back to this book and read only the parts that show their developing relationship. I’d be sorry if that weren’t so well developed, if there was less of it to enjoy. I think a physical relationship would have cheapened it. And removed some of the character depth that came from their relationships with others, specifically Aleksander’s with the woman his father picked for him.
This book is so very satisfying, both as a fantasy, and as a picture of what matters so much in life.
What about you? Have you read this book? Or another you’re dying to share?