Dark Heart by Thom Lane

Loose Id

BDSM LGBT Fantasy

ISBN 978-1-59632-782-5

Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

As a house slave for the powerful Wayfarerís Guild, Tam has many duties.  His most important duty, however, is to tend to the guests of the guildhouse.  Heís intrigued when a mage, Lucan, arrives without warning.  The Guildmistress takes Lucanís arrival for fate and asks him to investigate recent attacks on guild-protected businesses.  The dark, mysterious Lucan agrees to investigate, taking Tam along.  Will Tam be able to help Lucan when things donít go as planned?

I had a hard time deciding how to feel about Dark Heart.  Thereís a lot to like in Thom Laneís book, from the interesting world he created to the vivid characters.  Tamís first-person narration drew me into his life.  I felt bad for him when he was punished, and when he was sad.  I wanted him to find some sort of happiness, because he had worked so hard for so long.  The interaction between Tam and the other slaves was interesting, and shed a lot of light on his behavior and attitudes.  The storyline itself is compelling, with action, magic, and hot sex scenes.  My problem with Dark Heart involved two intertwined issues.  First of all, I was bothered by Tamís complete lack of choices through most of the storyóor at least, lack of viable choices.  As a slave, he had little say in anything.  When he did make choices, he was punished for them, even when I didnít believe he should be, in part because of Lucan.  Lucan, while he is a fascinating character, isnít exactly the hero I would have picked for Tam.  He can be kind, and he sometimes shows Tam consideration, but he never lets Tam forget heís the Master.  Even when Tam helps him, he rewards Tam with both pleasure and punishment.  Their relationship isnít like the usual BDSM because Tam is a slave in truth rather than by choice.  I guess thatís really what bothered me a bit about Dark Heart.  I enjoyed the story a great deal, but I could never forget Tam wasnít Lucanís equal in any way, and while he may have been in love Lucan didnít seem to have the same depth of feeling for Tam.  Even so, for readers who enjoy BDSM and fantasy, Dark Heart is a hot and enjoyable read.  

     

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