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I was almost used to an Andrew Grey’s novel, setting in a pretty small town or in an old fashioned ranch, that this new series caught me by surprise. The Fight Within is almost entirely developed in a Native American reservation, and this alone gained major points from me since I have always been interested in those reservations and the today life. You have a lot of historic essays and even some novels, but current life is often overlooked in favor of old notions.

Bryce is a recent widower (actually his partner died days before their marriage but the ceremony was only something formal to make it legal what they already consider a status quo); even if still mourning, Bryce knows that his late partner wouldn’t have wanted for him to do that forever, and so when Bryce meets Paytah, he knows it’s time to look ahead to another future. The trouble is that Paytah is coming out from an abusive past and he is scared to love again (or better to love for the first time, since what he went through before is as much as far from love you can imagine).

Another difference I noticed from previous experiences with the same author is that the sex part of the novel is not so much on center stage; sure, the two main characters will arrive to share also the physical aspect of their relationship, but maybe due to the sensitive matter the novel is dealing with (child abuse), the author decided to let it being late into the novel and not so explicit. I quite appreciate this soft touch, it was right for the context.

I liked that here the strength of the men lied not in their physical body, but more in their upbringing and self-consciousness: while Bryce is hurting, he comes from a supporting family and circle of friends, and so he is strong enough to overcome his loss; on the other side, while Paytah is apparently the stronger man, big and sturdy, he is actually the one who needs help because his hurting is deep and still bleeding inside.


Amazon: The Fight Within
Amazon Kindle: The Fight Within
Paperback: 206 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623804000
ISBN-13: 978-1623804008

Series: The Good Fight
1) The Good Fight: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3755233.html
2) The Fight Within

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Anne Cain

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2013 11:34 pm (UTC)
I love Andrew Grey books and bought this when it was released, adding it to my large collection of his writings. Since I have Lakota family and am very familiar with that area of the country I enjoyed "The Good Fight" and was looking forward to "The Fight Within".

As he so often does, his main character was one who had been introduced in the prior book as a secondary character. Thus, Bryce, who was introduced in TGF became one of two main characters in TFW. The previous main characters are now relegated to secondary status.

The theme is contemporary and unfortunately all too common. I won't go into it here because it would be a spoiler, but it provides a realistic reaction to events that had occurred in Paytah's childhood. The love that Paytah and Bryce find for each other give them the courage to face Paytah's past and change the future on the Reservation to a more positive one for those children still in similar situations. It is the combination that brings their strength, either one is weak, it is only as a team that they have strength.

The sex is mild in this book, as is often the case in Andrew Grey books. It is there, but as a natural offspring of a relationship, not the cause or driving force.

There were a few cultural things that really bothered me as a Lakota person. I wish I had a way of getting in touch with Mr Grey so that I could point these out to him and eliminate them from any future stories he may be thinking about writing based among the Lakota people. These were total cringe-worthy issues for me and stopped me from reading while I ranted, not minor things that I could just skip over and shake my head at white ignorance. If you have a way of contacting him, ask him to message me. I am an LJ friend of his...

My rating - 3 stars, but it would be higher without the cultural errors, so perhaps others might add another 1/2 to 1 star.

- Erulisse (one L)
Mar. 13th, 2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
Did you try to contact him through his website? I met Andrew more than once at various convention and he has always been very kind and friendly. I think he would appreciate your insight.

In any case, I'm sure he will read this comment, and if not I can point it to him ;-)
Mar. 14th, 2013 02:15 am (UTC)
I did on an earlier editing issue a few months ago, but not on this particular one. Perhaps he will contact me. I would enjoy discussing this with him.

- Erulisse (one L)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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