The Breaker's Concubine - Ann Mayburn This isn't my first Ann Mayburn read, but this one was so very different from the other one I read. This one was really good as well. So imaginative. The author said there will be more from this world, so I look forward to them. I don't read much sci-fi, or interplanetary love, or whatever you want to call this. It was a group read, which is why I read it, but it was really a good story.

It's always interesting to me to read stories where men are attracted to men and women, gender doesn't matter. Obviously, they can only have children with women, but it's not unusual for men to be attracted to men and to act on that attraction, with no fear of negative consequences. Such is the case in this story. Part of that is necessity. On Devnar's home planet, women are scarce, so it's common for a woman to bond with multiple men. If the men can be kept busy with each other at the same time, that works out for everyone. :-)

I was surprised at the reason Devnar was kidnapped. And I was surprised at the ruthlessness of the Kyrimian people. Imperfection meant you could never be anything and you likely would never bear a child. It was a testament to Melania's strength that she rose to her position of breaker. By all accounts, she was nothing like the Kyrimian ideal. She had mismatched eyes, small breasts, short stature, very few curves. The fact that she was given up by her parents so they could try for another child was heartbreaking. I realize that's what life was like on her planet, but it's still so sad that life was diregarded and perfection controlled who had what.

The whole "trainer" and "breaker" concept was interesting as well...the idea that being chosen to be trained to be a concubine was one of the greatest things that could happen to someone in another class. It's also interesting that a concubine was often more loved and cherished than a spouse. But that's probably due to my Western upbringing and ignorance of concubines here on Earth.

I was glad that the plan failed, but on one point it succeeded: Devnar bonded to Melania. I didn't like that he did it without her consent, but I understand why he had to do it. She never would have consented, no matter how much her heart truly wanted it. I was also glad that Khilam got to be an ambassador to Devnar's planet,a so he got to go with them. I think Devnar and Melania would have been fine on their own, but Khilam added an additional bit of fun. And some hot man loving. :-)

And it was fun to see Devnar turn the dominance tables on Melania.

Overall, a great story, some hot sex, and some great characters. Like I said, I look forward to more from this world.