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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 book was…lovely.
Though a historical, it reads a bit like a fairy tale. And what I’m finding in the books that Kim Fielding writes that I’ve read (Brute, The Tin Box), her writing combines something gentle and kind with something harsh and sharp.
In The Pillar, Faris is the town herbalist. He lives a very simple life that suits him. He’s had enough action in his past. In his role, he comes across Boro, a man in need of medical attention and care. The relationship that forms between them is heartwarming. I felt…FULL OF LOVE…as the two of them grew to care for each other.
Being fairy tale’esque, the connection is quick and the love grew in very little time. But, it was believable…or something you WANT to believe in. And the commitment and dedication between the two of them was so fierce and emotional. I loved thier care and their joy they found in one another.
There are some parts of the book that I found hard to read simply because of the unfairness and the sadness of it all. But, Fielding counters those moments with healing-through-love bits and it made it worth it.
The townspeople of Zidar were a joy to get to know as well…in all their idiosyncracies. Their interactions with Faris and Boro were some of my favorite parts of the story.
Really enjoyed this one…highly recommended.