Ah, so then, #8 - Hunters of Gor. How on earth did I ever get to book number 8 without going entirely nuts? Anyway, this one sees bosk of Port Kar(as Tarl Cabot calls himself these days) going into the Northern forests to hunt for and supposedly rescue Talena who has been taken as a slave by the Panther girls. On the way he encounters one of his seemingly numerous past ladyfriends, now living out her life as a paga slave in a tavern. She turns out to be Elizabeth Caldwell, someone whom he was quite enamoured with relatively recently. She ended up here because of a particularly stupid mistake she'd made when she turned down Tarl Cabot's offer to send her back to Earth. Why on earth she would ever choose to remain on Gor when she could have gone straight back to Earth is a mystery of epic proportions, but leaving that aside, she of course and quite understandably believes Bosk(as he now is) will buy her and help her in any way he could. Of course, why wouldn't he? He was after all in love with her not so many moons ago. So he helps her out of her slavery as any normal sane person would, right?
Nope and double nope!
He in fact tells her that she had the opportunity to go back to Earth and that because she didn't choose to do so this means that she has in fact chosen slavery(because she got caught by a slaver and enslaved). Now maybe I'm just a sucker for a pretty face or something but doesn't this strike you as the actions of a complete and utter sadist? I mean, he just throws her away like some sort of... well I don't even know what. No. Bosk can call himself what he likes but he'll always be that sadistic bastard as far as I'm concerned.
I've seen peoples reviews of earlier books where they state that book number so-and-so was just too much for them what with it's enslavement of women or it's treating them as nothing more than sex objects or it's treating them as little more than possessions or animals and about how it turned them off the series from that moment on. Well, if anything I've read in these books so far was going to turn me off reading any more of them, it would be Bosk's treatment of Elizabeth Caldwell here in the tavern slaving away as a paga slave. I mean she literally begs him, BEGS HIM, to buy her and take her away, to help her, but no. 'She is Slave', and off he goes.
What a complete bastard!
I had thought I'd read these on and off until I'd read them all, and I may yet do so, but that moment right there more than any other really sticks in my throat. I think it'll be a while before I pick up book #9 now.
2 stars - partly because it was a little tedious chasing through the forest anyway... but mostly because of the entirely unbelievable way Bosk treated poor Elizabeth Caldwell. I'll never forgive him for this.