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Here’s another R-rated, adult type book. This one is billed as a “m/m romance.”

There’s been a war between humanity and the Witches, and humanity has lost. Human worlds are thrown into hard times. The girls are protected, but the homesteaders sell their boys as slaves. Taine is a Lowman who looks like a red-skinned “devil” and has spiritual powers. He feeds on life-force and he’s looking for boys suitable to be returned to his temple for training. Taine can sense the quality of life-force. He buys an unlikely slave that feels like Sunshine, but the woman prevails on him to take her son Tanner, as well, to train as an apprentice. Taine starts to take the boys back to the city of Longknife, but encounters problems in the journey—enough so that he starts to wonder if there’s not something else going on. Eventually his horse wanders away, carrying all his supplies and documents in the saddlebags. They find the horse has been captured by a Witch, who also captures the boys, and then Taine when he goes after them. Once captured and in the power of the Witches, Taine finds there are other things he needs to take care of.

This is mostly an adventure tale, set against a broader background of intrigue. The culture on this remote outback is clear, and Taine’s ongoing references to his home world, the temple and his mentor Shilandra are all suggestive, but I didn’t get a good feel for the Witches and the culture outside the local environment. This is definitely an adult novel, running to BDSM because of the slavery. Taine’s mysticism and taste for life-force lend a little strain of the occult. Although there’s a lot of sex, none of it is explicit. This is definitely written for a male audience. Three stars.

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