Title: Barbarian’s Redemption [Ice Planet Barbarians 13]
Author: Ruby Dixon
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
For seasons, I have waited for her – my perfect mate.
In a tribe full of happy couples, I am alone. But I am not content to remain this way. There are no eligible unmated females left, so I will do whatever it takes to bring females back to our tribe…even if it means doing something wrong. Even if it means I must purchase my mate on the intergalactic black market. I will do anything to possess her, to claim her as my own.
But will my ruthless move turn my female against me before we ever meet? Can she ever forgive a male that bought her freedom?
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I had some reservations going into this book – Bek has always been one of the surliest characters in this series, and given that he ended the last book in the series asking slaves to be brought to Not-Hoth, I knew this was going to be a rather contentious storyline. It’s very hard for an author to work slavery into a plotline without making their readers loathe the characters involved… but I can’t loathe Bek. Despite what he did, and how terribly wrong it was, the author did a good job of making it very clear that Bek had no understanding of what he was truly asking – because Slavery and the miss-treatment of others isn’t a concept that Bek and the other Sa-Khui understand on a fundamental level. It is so alien to everything they believe and have experienced, that Bek was completely naïve to the situation – and that made it easier to forgive him because he was utterly destroyed once he did understand.
I really liked Bek as a character in this story, because despite his poor choices, he went through a lot of character development to become a better person, I think in part because he was paired with Elly. Elly’s characterization was a bit more wishy-washy. She was presented as being very clever and cautious, which then morphed to incredibly shy and broken, and then very determined and enthusiastic. She gave me a bit of whiplash with the way she was all over the place – and I’m not saying she can’t be all of those things, but I wish there had been a common thread to her character to be a constant to her ever-changing personality.
Outside of the characters, there wasn’t a lot going on in this story – most of it was spent in a single cave, and there weren’t a lot of outside forces or personal choices being made that lead to any sort of tension or furtherance of the plot. This was a very insular, romance-driven storyline, and other than introducing a few more characters, it didn’t do a lot for the overall plot of the series.
In the end, I liked the book. I really enjoyed how Bek was portrayed in this installment, but I do think the author could have done more with this one other than using it as a vehicle to add more women to the series.