When Lander gets fed up with constant bullying, he accepts a dare to go into the forest. The forest that no one dares enter. Lander has grown up hearing the stories of people being lost in the forest, but all he has to do is walk in and walk out. But the trees have other ideas and Lander finds himself with a shifting landscape and no way out.
Yban went into the forest for a little quiet and he’s been there for a long time, so long he has no way to track it anymore. He provides Lander with shelter, but Yban disappears every day and won’t tell Lander where he goes. But during the night, Lander and Yban spend all their time together, and respect and friendship grow to mean a little more, maybe even a lot more. But Yban cannot escape the forest and now, neither can Lander. The two men will have to amend Yban’s past mistakes to be able to step once more through the trees.
Waking up the Sun is based on Basque myths and reads as a fairy tale. The author explained some of the myths on a post here on the blog and gives some insight if you are not familiar with the myths and the creatures that are encountered in the story.
Lander never seemed to fit in with the other boys in his village, was bullied for years, and even his own parents see him as a disappointment. He suffers from anxiety and has no support. He’s intrigued by Yban, first because Yban can keep him safe, but he’s also attracted to Yban and has genuine feelings for him. The men develop a bond being out in the forest and slowly grow their relationship to include intimacy.
It is also slowly revealed why Yban can’t leave the forest and where he disappears to every day and how Lander will ultimately fit into his story. The book is filled with touches of magic and mystical creatures, some of which are explained well, while others are kept a little out of focus as I do not have a background in this mythology. The book also had an old world feel to it with Lander being from a small village and making his own medicine from plants, but then he was texting, so it was harder to place when the story was taking place.
The men are sweet together and work as a team to overcome their circumstances to find their way to a future together. It is a shorter read and if you like touches of magic with the addition of mythological creatures, you may want to check this one out.