The General and the Horse-Lord

GeneralandtheHorse-LordThe.093310Title:  The General and the Horse-Lord
Author:  Sarah Black
Publisher:  Dreamspinner April 2013
Rating:  A List: Marilyn  marilyn a

Blurb:  General John Mitchel and his favorite pilot, Gabriel Sanchez, served together as comrades and brothers-in-arms for more than twenty-five years. They followed the warrior’s path: honor first, and service, and the safety of the tribe. Their own needs for love and companionship were secondary to the mission. Retirement from the army, however, proves challenging in ways neither expected.

When old warriors retire, their armor starts falling away, and the noise of the world crowds in. That changing world sets up longings in both men for the life they might have had. After years of loving on the down-low, the idea of living together in the light seems like pure sweet oxygen to men who have been underwater a little too long. But what will it cost them to turn their dreams into truth?

Review:  I’m warning you now that there will be tears. The very best kind, the ones that fill your eyes when you read beautiful poetry, the kind that slowly slip down your cheek when another’s pain resonates in your heart. You will mourn what was lost and will rejoice at what love and devotion and honor create.
I love this book. There are some passages that are simply beautiful. The relationship between these two men spans twenty-five years and their careers in the Army. They manage to survive Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and Gabriel’s marriage and finally, finally are getting to live their lives and love in the bright, clear open. No secrets, no hiding, no fear, no living without your heart until you can be together again.
I love these men and their families and their complicated and honor bound lives. The General always thinking and strategizing, such a brilliant mind that filters through such a huge heart. And always watching his back is the Horse-Lord, so fierce in his loyalty and devotion. Unable to continue to live a lie and unwilling to be separated from his General any longer.
We are living through John’s perspective and his thoughts, feelings and viewpoint are so clear and often poetic. A true warrior-poet. His relationship with his nephew-son Kim is incredibly special.
Gabriel is a warrior-pilot and so brave and true. There is no question of his loyalty and desire for John. His love for his family is clear. I love that everything isn’t simple and easily fixed, these are complicated and painful issues, and they are treated with respect and honesty.
The supporting cast is amazing. This is a love story but it’s also a story of how they finally get to join their lives together. The family that these men create is wonderful. I am in love with Kim and Billy. I want to know when I get to read their stories, and see into the future a little with the uncles.
For those of you familiar with Sarah Black’s work I think you’ll find that in many ways this book is a tribute to the many military service people who lived through the dark and seemingly hopeless years of DADT and a life in the military. The military mindset is done to perfection in this story.
My warning for sensitive souls and people with strong triggers. There are references to domestic violence. It’s only referenced but it is an important aspect of the storyline. I feel it is dealt with well and is not gratuitous.
Our rule for getting the A List: Marilyn rating is that the story has to be incredible. That it has to stay with you. That it has to be nearly flawless. I haven’t ever given an A here before. I asked my partner to read this so she could agree or disagree, since it was our first. She sent me a message a while later telling me that she was 22% in and hadn’t been able to breathe the entire time. So this is an unanimous Marilyn. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Reviewed by Nina

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Posted on April 11, 2013, in Nina and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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