Title: Wanderer’s Heart (Tales of Amaranth: Book Seven)
Author: Thom Lane
Publisher: Loose Id
Length: 97 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy, BDSM
At a Glance: A short but excellent addition to the Amaranth series.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: Norton is a wanderer, rejected by family and community, headed for the great city of Amaranth because he can think of nowhere else to go. He encounters a pretty slave boy struggling with a log too heavy to lift, and stops to help him. This earns him a welcome from the boy Kim’s nomad clan and an invitation to a funeral feast, for the log is destined for the pyre of Kim’s late master. Kim is given to Norton in an act of casual generosity, and a night of passion bonds the two more strongly than a collar and chains–but Norton’s eyes are still on the far horizons, and leaving the clan will break his slave boy’s heart. There seems to be no answer that can leave them both happy. And then raiders from another clan steal Kim away…
Review: Although this is the seventh book in a series, having read them all, I can say that you do not need to read the books in order to understand and enjoy this one. There are no characters from previous books in this one, and while the story is short, the world-building is well done and understandable for those who are new to Amaranth.
Thom Lane crafts a great series. In this world, slavery is common. It is also common for men to be stolen into slavery for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is not the case in this story, however. What made this story stand out from the others was the addition of the nomadic tribes and their culture and customs. Norton is drawn into their world for helping Kim, a slave who has just lost his master. After he receives Kim as a gift in an intricate ceremony to disperse the property of the deceased man, it is apparent that Kim and Norton are attracted to each other. But with Norton wanting to reach Amaranth, and Kim having to leave everything he knows and loves behind to go with Norton, it leaves Norton wondering exactly what the right choice is. Of course, it wouldn’t be an Amaranth book without more at stake, and when Kim is kidnapped by another clan, Norton realizes just how much he cares about his slave.
There are many new characters in this story for it being so short, but I loved it. Each character is written well and stands apart from the others. Norton and Kim, though technically the seventh couple the series focuses on, are written differently than all the others before them. I truly enjoyed seeing their love for each other blossom.
Also interesting was the culture of the nomads. The ceremony for the dead was fascinating to read because each person says something about the man who has died, chooses one of his possessions, and gifts it to someone else in the clan, usually with a witty comment. It was actually a beautiful thing to watch, even if readers only get to see a small part of it. It showed not only Lane’s world-building, but the depth of the characters as well.
Fans of the Amaranth series will enjoy this seventh installment. I know I did! I had feared the series was over with the sixth, but I was glad to have another. New readers will be drawn to this world. I will warn that it does depict slavery and some BDSM elements, though not as much as the other novels in the series.
Thankfully, it appears there is at least one more book in the series! I cannot wait to read it!
You can buy Wanderer’s Heart here: