Book Reviews

Thick as Thieves by Tali Spencer at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Fantasy / Magic / Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 20-July-2013

Book Blurb

After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.

Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.

Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.


Book Review

I loved this dashing spitfire of a fantasy story which brought to my mind both Steven Brust’s Book of Jhereg series and Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner series. Action packed, and full of charismatic secondary characters, in addition to its fantastic leads, I can only hope that more books using these characters, will follow this remarkable effort. From its opening page I was fully immersed in the author’s ruthless, barbaric world. An archaic, bleak land, where unicorns, witches, and wizards exist; a Cimmerian-like realm where wealthy rulers dabble in dark arts and live high above dank, alley-ridden cities full of thieves and cutthroats, who shake down the innocent.

Entering the story, I found myself inhabiting the character of Vorgall, a brawny barbarian warrior who, far from his homeland of Scur, has been tossed into a dungeon. Vorgall has been imprisoned by the Baron, the local ruler, for the crime of pleasuring himself with a unicorn’s horn. The result of said act leaves him, er, extremely horny. Fortunately for him, or so he thinks, his cell has another occupant, a lovely dark-haired, comely boy whose slender appearance has Vorgall pretty certain he’ll be finding his release soon…maybe not from the dungeon, but surely from his throbbing, swollen appendage.

Unfortunately, despite his companion’s pretty appearance, the lad sports a sharp tongue and a shrewd intelligence and isn’t inclined to be mounted. After pulling the entire unicorn story out of Vorgall, the boy surprisingly offers himself up for a kiss. Vorgall then discovers that the little pretty has sharp teeth. As Vorgell yelps in pain, he is astonished to see his fellow prisoner spit a mouthful of his blood onto the stone wall of the dungeon. The resulting explosion finds both men free of their prison and on the run, but with the guards hot on their trail.

It may seem that I’ve revealed a spoiler but all the above happened in less than four pages and is way more fun to read than I just made it. Which gives you an idea of just how fast paced, smart, and action packed this story is.

The small dark-haired male turns out to be Madd, the second lead of the tale. Madd is a thief and a practitioner of the one thing that Vorgell can’t stand, magic. But Madd is also the Baron’s prized sex slave; he’d been held captive by a collar whose magical attributes caused him to desire the horrific Baron, despite his hatred of the man. Having finally escaped, Madd is on a mission to remove said collar and Vorgall, always game for an adventure that involves fighting, decides to help him.

And so the adventure between the two unlikely companions begins. Vorgall, whose martial skills are matched by both the size of his ripped, muscular body and his unicorn-enhanced sexual appetite, and Madd, the thieving, young witch whose mysterious past leaves him isolated and living by his wits, as even his own kind shun him. So many amazing adventures take place between the pages of this bewitching novel, that I dare not say more, unwilling to spoil the magic of the experience. The romance between the two men unfolds at a realistic pace and the journey to free Madd from his bondage is fraught with both tender and challenging moments as Madd slowly learns to appreciate his unlikely partner. I loved both of the well-fleshed out leads, although I daresay Vorgall has most of my heart; the big lug is simply adorable. Oh, and so is the lovely and endearing Petal, a wonderful surprise character late in the story.

I heartily endorse this book for those looking for a fast, fun, well written escapade into a world reminiscent of both, the Story of Sinbad, and The Chronicles of Conan. Having never before read the work of its author, I immediately went out and purchased several of her books and very much look forward to reading them. Thank you, Tali Spencer, for taking me on this captivating journey into a savage, magical world where brave hearts can find love. In a word… “Enchanting.”





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreasmpinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 200 pages/62645 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 08-July-2013
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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