As some people have said in reviews, this is not a typical m/m romance.
Amaranth is a place where there are only 2 kinds of people - slaves and the free. Slaves seem to be valued, in as much as they do vital work, but easily replaced if they die, and pretty much on a social level with domesticated animals.
Tam is a Slave in a guildhouse, and luckily for him he has a very submissive mentality, and so it seems to work out for him. He lives very much in the moment, which I liked about him. He thinks very positively about the little things, an extra bit of food, or an extra moment of sleep seems to make him content. And he never thinks of forming an attatchment, or looking to the future, until Master Lucan comes along.
Master Lucan is a fairly well drawn character (considering its not his POV). He's he's a well respected and feared mage, but with a little bit of a rebelious streak in him. He seems to have a fondness for Tam, but shows it not much more than you would show preference for a favourite pet or horse, and he does beat him for disobedience. But I love how you can see the affection underneath things. He is not cruel, it is simply a product of the culture of Amaranth, where slaves and free men can never be equal.
I really liked this storry, and my main disappointment, was the ending. It was a great ending in its own way, but I really wanted to see more of Tam and Lucan, and I found the next in the series is about another couple entirely. But I'll read that one soon anyhow, as the world is fascinating, and the writing is very good :)See my other reviews of the Tales of Amaranth series: #2 Healing Heart