Farewell from the Bookshelf!

Please note that GLBT Bookshelf -- the community wiki which was the parent to this fiction blog -- went offline on May 31, 2016, after seven years' service to members.

All Gay Romance will remain online till the end of 2016 in order to give contributors every opportunity to recover materials uploaded here.

Many thanks to all who contributed over the years, and good luck to everyone in your future works!


THE PILLAR by Kim Fielding


Kim Fielding

Dreamspinner Press, August 2014


BLURB: During his youth, orphaned thief Faris was flogged at the pillar in the town square and left to die. But a kind old man saved him, gave him a home, and taught him a profession. Now Faris is the herbalist for the town of Zidar, taking care of the injured and ill. He remains lonely, haunted by his past, and insecure about how his community views him. One night, despite his reluctance, he saves a dying slave from the pillar.

A former soldier, Boro has spent the last decade as a brutalized slave. Herbs and ointment can heal his physical wounds, but both men carry scars that run deep. Bound by the constraints of law and social class in 15th century Bosnia, Faris and Boro must overcome powerful enemies to protect the fragile happiness they’ve found.

This novella is just about perfect.  The story is heart-breakingly sweet.  Its characters, both main and secondary, are crafted for the role they take in a historical piece, the history accurate without being pedantic.  The dialogue is personal and real and fills the need for sincerity and poignancy.  What's more, the story is organized just right to offer the elements of a fable precisely.  Everything happens in the story just when it should.  If you are waiting for the "but", there is none.  Kim Fielding's story is just right, a sort of It's a Wonderful Life where every element is supplied exactly when and how it should.

The Bosnian setting is realized without beating anyone over the head with it.  The time period is, to this medievalist's eye, well-executed.  The pace is steady and comes to a head just when it should.  The sex is compelling and sweet.  There just isn't one damn thing wrong with this adorable story.

I don't give stars, as you know, but if I could I would give this one six our of five.

My critical hat is off to you, Kim.

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