Elisa Rolle's Reviews > Return of the Sun

Return of the Sun by Connie Bailey
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May 15, 2009

Read in December, 2008

Here again another historical gay romance that proves that it's possible to write a very nice and interesting historical romance in only 37 pages.

First of all the author chose to set the story in a very unusual period, England when it was not yet England, after the Romans left and before the Normans arrives. Norsemen are raiding the villages, and sometime they succeed and sometime they not. Sweyn is one of those Norsemen, even if he joined his uncle's crew not willing; oh, it's not that Sweyn doesn't like the raid, or doesn't approve them, it's only that he doesn't like his uncle's reason, he suspects that his uncle wanted to use him as a pawn, to convince his father, a prince among the Norsemen, to send supplies and men in this far land. And instead now Sweyn is the only survivor and it's alone in the wood without shelter, and he is hungry. When he sees a young man picking up mistletoe, it's clear that the man is a priest, but Sweyn sees also the chance to have food. He is surprise when the young priest reacts and after disarming him, he offers shelter to Sweyn in his isolated cave.

Cathbad is an half Pict half Roman of high born origins. Like Sweyn, he has his reason to have left his father wealthy home and living poor in the forest. But this is the longest night of the year, and having companionship seems a good thing. And then in the shelter of his cave, around the fire, it's easier to talk and compare, and to discover that Sweyn and Cathbad have a lot of things in common.

Despite the story being short, both Sweyn and Cathbad have their background stories, and the setting is enough detailed to prove that the author made her research work before writing down an historical story. Sometime is enough some right words here and there, some right reference on places and people, to help the reader to give up in the story.

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