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
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.