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    Title : The Wolf and The Sparrow Author: Isabelle Adler Genre:LGTBQIA romance Rating: 3 Derek never wished to inherit his title as a result of a bloody battle. With the old count dead and the truce dependent on his marriage to the rival duke’s son, Derek has no choice but to agree to the victor’s terms in order to bring peace to his homeland. When he learns of the sinister rumors surrounding his intended groom, Derek begins to have doubts—but there can be no turning back from saying I do. After the death of his wife, Callan of Mulberny never expected to be forced into another political marriage—especially not to someone like the new Count of Camria. Seemingly soft and meek, it’s only fitting that Derek’s family crest is a flighty sparrow, worthy of nothing but contempt. Another war with the seafaring people of the Outer Isles looms on the horizon, and the reluctant newlyweds must team together to protect those caught in the circle of violence. Derek and Callan slowly learn to let go of their prejudices, but as they find themselves enmeshed in intrigue fueled by dark secrets and revenge, their tentative bond is all that keeps their world—and their lives—from plunging into chaos. My thoughts Would I recommend it ? Yes, but only to ones that read same sex romance. Would I read anything else by this author? Maybe This was my first time reading this author and I can see why some people like her stuff, she has away of bring her fantasy stories to life and the way she describes her world's are amazing ,so much so that it doesn't take anything from the rest of her story. As for the romance its self it was slow going but in some way it was just what this story need, and it helped make the story more enjoyable as well because it showed the characters had a chance to get to know one other better. With that said I want to say thank you to NetGalley as well as to the publisher for letting me read and review it exchange for my honest opinion.

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  • Queer Genre Fiction

    This is a darling MM romance, set on a backdrop of political intrigue and light magic. Derek and Callan are joined together in a political marriage that neither man wants or understands; in fact Derek's father was just killed in a war against Callan's realm. They expect this to be a marriage in name only, but they're drawn closer and closer together. I loved how sexuality and gender were treated in the book (or how they weren't). There is no to-do about gay vs straight marriage; both are treated as common arrangements, both for love and for political alliance. Sexual orientation does exist in this story, insofar as one of the men comments that he's lucky that his arranged marriage is in line with his attraction; essentially men are his "type." Though it's not stated explicitly, there's both bi and gay rep in the story. I also appreciated the non-binary gender rep, with a side-character casually pronouned as They. While there are strong women in the story, it is a Bechdel-Wallace fail, both on and off the page. Often female characters are treated as collateral damage, and overall they are too few and far between to show agency as a community. Likewise, I didn't get a strong sense of racial representation; I'd love to hear if other readers mentally cast the characters with more diversity. I've never been all that into political machinations, and can't tell a duke from a countess. So some of the the matters of kingdoms and conflicts breezed right past me. The book also contains elements of magic and witchcraft, explored so lightly as to be perhaps a D plot. From a world-building standpoint, this is a light, accessible book, and could make a great read to folks who aren't acclimated to detailed historicals or high fantasy. I would have loved to see a little more development of side-characters, as well as the magic and witch-craft. But even without more in these areas, this is a strong, sweet book that manages to queer genre fiction in a way that normalizes all love stories. There is some explicit on-page sex, but the author has a very poetic approach to these scenes, and manages to write metaphors through their physicality, which I hope can be beautiful even to readers who are typically less comfortable with sex scenes. The standout element in this book is how loving and supportive Derek and Callan are, and how quietly kind their relationship becomes. They have each other's backs at all times, and I adored this. Because this is a small press book, it may struggle to find a large audience, and to me that's a shame. It's well written, crisply edited, and I adored the romantic arc.

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