This second installment in the Tales of Amaranth was a different duo of main characters from the first. Centering around young healer mage, Coryn. And slave boy Raff (formerly Raffle). Coryn is a very young mage with the extremely rare magical gift of healing, in all regards. He's a little naive in some aspects of slave treatments, and has never owned a slave before in his life. Until...young Raffle literally runs straight into his arms, dying of a plague and about to be murdered by some thugs. Coryn cleanses Raffle (now Raff) and claims the gorgeous young man as his own personal slave.Through the adventures of the second book, they must find the source of the plague destroying the city of Eldimgton (something like that) and stop it. Through the struggles, Raff has proven to be a boisterous and firy slave that has to be put in his place several times.I found this has the potential to be great characterization, but in truth...I personally felt it was somewhat weak. Not that I didn't enjoy his relationship with Cory. But almost the last 1/3 of the story Raff was silent and not himself after a very severe punishment by his master. Coryn didn't show too much true regret for the punishment (though he remarked his shame many times) it didn't feel like it was true for him. Coryn seemed like someone who would have broken, after a few days of silence with his slave. But didn't. In the end I loved this book, but didn't feel as close to the main characters as in the first story. "Dark Heart".