- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 523.0 KB
- Print Length: 97 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Brasyer Press; 2 edition (9 May 2016)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01E1INIJG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #869,059 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Hector and Anatolius (Trojan Men Book 1) Kindle Edition
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One day while on a tour of outlying villages, Hector meets Anatolius, a beautiful young man who instantly steals his heart. The inexperienced Anatolius returns Hector’s feelings, but the path to a relationship is not an easy one for these two lovers.
“Hector and Anatolius” is quite an unusual tale. Although it follows a relatively familiar romance formula, it does manage to spring quite a few surprises along the way. The choice of Hector as a leading character is the first and most obvious sign that this book is going to be a little different. Most historical fiction writers focus on the Greeks and just use Troy as a backdrop. This book puts Troy right in the center, and doesn’t even mention the Greeks.
A standard fixture of most romance plots is some twist, such as a revelation or act by one of the main characters that threatens to pull the two protagonists apart. This story pushes that device to extremes that you wouldn’t think to see in most books. Of course, testing boundaries is easy when you have the Gods of Olympus to set things right, and if there’s a complaint to make about the story line, it’s that divine intervention is a little too convenient.
Paying a visit to the archaeological site of Troy has always been on my bucket list, and quite close to the top at that. Homer’s Iliad, an account of how a young couple’s inability to keep their clothes on led to the destruction of a civilisation, has to class as the first ever historical novel. It’s got everything – passion, lust, revenge and humour – including an ensemble cast of heroes that has rarely been bettered. I’ve mentioned my competence kink before so it’s probably a given that my favourite should be Hector – oldest, most sensible and most sympathetic of the sons of Priam. I suspect that Vanessa Mulberry has a soft spot for him as well because he comes over very well in her novella Hector and Anatolius, the first part of a new series entitled Trojan Men.
The premise is a familiar one – son and heir is under pressure to choose a wife but really prefers the company of men – but factor in the historical fantasy setting and add a sprinkling of Greek pantheon interference and the story can take quite a different path to the norm. Hector has given his word to make a choice from the pool of suitable spouses despite preferring to take big hairy manly soldiers to bed. Out on patrol he and his men are almost attacked by a mixed group of goat herds and artisans then Hector sets eyes on the leader of the attackers, a beautiful youth called Anatolius, and he is lost. Anatolius has been blessed, or cursed, by the gods [who seem to have all the emotional maturity of toddlers] with the fate that he will marry a prince of Troy and has been kept carefully virginal by his hopeful father. Now 21, and probably desperate for some action, Anatolius is absolutely fine with the arrangement Hector offers – to come back to Troy and be his live in lover while he looks for an apprenticeship in some manly trade and for as long after as they can swing it.
But things are never that simple where the gods are involved. Family on both sides interferes – I adored the little cameos from poor Cassandra, speaking her cryptic truths and being ignored, and doting old Priam – and soon the lovers are separated with a good deal of hurt on both sides.
On the whole this was a fun story – about the right length to read between waking up and having to get up to go to work – and there was a lot about it that I enjoyed. The author had done her research on Ancient Greek domestic life, though the settings felt more to me like Troy the film that what I’d imagine might be in the genuine Bronze Age site, and I also enjoyed the depiction of familiar characters. It’s by no means a simple romance either – boy meets boy but they have to weather a lot of storms and separations before they can achieve bliss.There is a Big Misunderstanding but it’s not contrived, being rather the natural product of the characters, human and divine, involved.
I did have a few moments when I wanted to give them a smack, particularly Anatolius, and others where I was having to suspend my disbelief really HARD, but that’s probably more to do with me reading as an ancient crumbly reviewer and not being in tune with the anguish and passion of the youths depicted in this novella. And for that matter depicted in the Iliad where even great military leaders behave like thwarted teenagers. So it’s a good call actually.
It’s a fun story with a nicely drawn setting, sympathetic characters and a plot that’s far more complex than the page count might suggest. I enjoyed it very much and have made a note of the author to follow future releases.
I did think the encounter that first brought Anatolius to Hector's attention was a bit odd, and the explanation Anatolius offered was strange, but other than that the rest of the story settles in to become a tale that could easily be found alongside any other Greek myth that we already know.
The oddness of their first meeting aside, the relationship between Hector and Anatolius is careful yet has passion until the point when Hector's brother Paris breaks into the picture. Now, ordinarily I'd be incensed at how things played out once Paris was involved, but with the magic of the gods being thrown about, it gives explanation to these things--even if it's one that is not quite satisfying.
The resolution to their issues is a long time coming, and it's good to see that even with the passage of time Anatolius and Hector's feelings never really disappear. The solution to the issue of the two of them being men when Hector must marry to fulfill his duties is a bit convoluted, especially with Paris still around muddling things up, but in the end things work out and I was satisfied with the way things finally turned out.
This was a 3.5-star read for me, and a solid entry by Vanessa Mulberry for her debut. I look forward to seeing what else she comes up with in the future. I'd recommend Hector and Anatolius to M/M historical romance fans who like a bit of mythology in their reading, and would limit this to those 18+ for M/M sexual content.