Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner Series is a wonderful addition to the high fantasy/sword and sorcery genre. Though I came to the books late, I’ve found that it was in actuality an opportune time to meet Seregil and Alec as their adventures will continue this June with the fourth book in the series, Shadows Return, which comes to loyal readers after a nine year hiatus.
Luck in the Shadows, Book 1:
When young Alec of Kerry is taken prisoner for a crime he didn’t commit, he is certain that his life is at an end. But one thing he never expected was his cellmate. Spy, rogue, thief, and noble, Seregil of Rhiminee is many things–none of them predictable. And when he offers to take on Alec as his apprentice, things may never be the same for either of them. Soon Alec is traveling roads he never knew existed, toward a war he never suspected was brewing. Before long he and Seregil are embroiled in a sinister plot that runs deeper than either can imagine, and that may cost them far more than their lives if they fail. But fortune is as unpredictable as Alec’s new mentor, and this time there just might be…Luck in the Shadows.
A compelling introduction to all the important players, Luck in the Shadows draws on many tried and true traits of high fantasy while maintaining a fresh voice. Similar to Tolkien’s masterpiece, we find a fellowship forming in this first book, a group of four that will eventually be instrumental in stopping a great evil that would bring forth havoc and destruction if let loose.
There is plenty of action and intrigue in this installment to keep you reading into the night, and it’s ending, which finds no true resolution, will leave you wanting to pick up the next book as soon as possible.
Stalking Darkness, Book 2:
Seregil’s friend and Mentor, the wizard Nysander, has long been the guardian of a deadly secret. In a secret, silver-lined room hidden well beneath the Oreska, he has served for most of his 300 years as the keeper of a nondescript clay cup. But this cup, combined with a crystal crown and some wooden disks, forms the Helm of Seriamaius, and any mortal donning the reconstructed Helm will become the incarnation of the god on earth. Threatened under pain of death by Nysander to keep his quest a secret even from his loyal companion, Alec, Seregil is dispatched to find the last missing piece of the Helm so that he and Nysander can destroy it. But this is only the beginning of one of his deadliest journeys ever, for the prophecy also holds that four will come together in a time of darkness, and gradually all that Seregil values is placed at risk as he, Alec, Nysander and Micum are drawn into a deadly web of terror and intrigue.
Stalking Darkness further delves into the relationships that fortifies the depth of this series, enriching the reading experience, while forging an emotional connection to the characters that populate Flewelling’s fictitious world. While the books maintain a strong historical atmosphere, there is a definitive modern perspective that is at once rewarding and refreshing.
I’ve been holding off on the third book, Traitor’s Moon, so that I can read the fourth book on its heels, but I hope that Flewelling has plans to continue on with these characters. Weighing in at close to or over five hundred pages apiece, they provide hours of magic and action that you won’t soon forget.