Kari Gregg's Reviews > Hidden Heart

Hidden Heart by Thom Lane
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's review
Nov 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: bdsm, capture, fantasy, glbt, paranormal
Read in November, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Tiffin is a slave whose memory was wiped clean when he woke up in a training pen as a slave and was later sold to High Hold, a barren and isolated fortress located high on the cliff face of a mountain. There, he meets Sargeant Zander -- the master he craves. Tiffin isn't a normal slave, though. He loses time and finds himself riding along in his own mind as someone else takes over his body, moving him through the castle. When he's caught and taken far away (with Sargeant in the role as caretaker/guard) to the Mages...Oh my.

The 3rd book of the Amaranth series, to me, has a different feel, a different vibe than the previous two books. It was VERY good. But 2 points knocked a star off what would've otherwise been a five star rating.

Tiffin's memory is never restored to him and he is (albeit mildly and affectionately) criticized for hoping that it would be. Yes, I know, it's a function of the storyworld, but as a reader, I needed to see that. I needed to know who he'd been, where he'd come from and how he'd ended up in the slave market. I think the story would've been richer for it. I needed to see Tiffin come to terms with this in his heart and in his own head; that just didn't happen.

The second point is that Sargeant Zanders doesn't become Tiffin's owner. At story's end, Tiffin remains a High Hold slave. He is a slave that Sargeant has laid claim to, yes, and he is, for all intents and purposes, Tiffin's master. But he isn't Tiffin's owner. Zander explains that he has no desire for a body (pleasure) slave and that working in High Hold while Zander is seeing to his own duties would be best for Tiffin. But I see no reason why Tiffin could not be assigned duties by his rightful owner to work in the keep. To me, Zander not owning Tiffin left the relationship too unstable and insecure. He's in the army for pity's sake. What if he's transferred as soliders quite frequently are? What becomes of Tiffin then? To me, in this storyworld, commitment = ownership. A slave is commited to his master, yes, but in owning a slave, the master makes a commitment as well. Buying a slave commits the master to protecting his property and caring for that slave. So while I see Tiffin wholeheartedly committed to Zander, Sargeant Zander has not committed to Tiffin, IMO. I did not like that. At all.

Still, a good addition to the series. An intricate storyworld I love to visit. I'll highly recommend it with the caveat that given the two points above (no returned memory & lack of true ownership), I'd call this one a shaky HFN instead of the HEA I love.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Deanna Great review Kari! But I'm in the minority & liked those 2 points that bothered you ;D

Kari Gregg Eh, different strokes for different folks, aye? ;-)

I do believe both of the elements that made me just-shy-of-giddy at book's end are (as written) more authentic within the framework of that storyworld than what I would have preferred.

Regardless, this really is an awesome story -- I hope readers are gobbling it right up.

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