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Luck In The Shadows (1996)

Luck in the Shadows (1996)

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4.09 of 5 Votes: 3
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0553575422 (ISBN13: 9780553575422)
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About book Luck In The Shadows (1996)

Fantasy Gold! This is going to be one of those slow developing series’ that keeps you hooked with every little reveal. I almost feel there are more questions than answers right now, dropped innuendo, and things hinted at yet never explained. Hello peaked curiosity! Yet, I still felt I got a complete read. Alec is the son of a hunter/trapper. He’s spent his life on the move throughout the Northlands. After the death of his father he continues, as it’s the only life he’s ever known. At 15 he’s on his own and unwittingly stumbles right into trouble. Accused of spying while on one of the nobles land he’s arrested and tortured. He’s barely on his own and already Alec’s in a huge heap of trouble. Unaware of why he’s still alive the arrival of a new prisoner reveals his own potential future at the hands of slave traders.Seregil knows how to play his cards right and arrest is nothing new to him. Loudly proclaiming his innocence and his bard status until the guards leave Seregil’s mind is already searching for a way out. Sizing up his new cell companion Seregil decides it’s worth the shot and makes quick work of his restraints. For he is much more than the bard he appears, thief, spy, and all around adventurer extraordinaire. Seeing something in the boy across from him, Seregil frees Alec as well and together they make their escape. What Alec doesn’t know is that potential Seregil sees is about to lead him on the biggest adventure of his life.First of all, if you’re discovering this book because it shows up on a lot of M/M romance lists, fair warning, there’s not a ton of romance in this first book. It’s hinted at, but nothing develops yet. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a fantastic fantasy novel…READ THIS BOOK!I love the idea of the Watchers. It’s such a fantastic concept, part spy, part thief, all around adventure, and loyal patriot to the core. I adored Seregil and his passion for his cause. Not being human, instead being one of the fae, and being so much longer lived he could easily become bitter when dealing with the humans he has befriended knowing he will outlive them all. Instead he’s just more loyal. His relationship with Micum is so sad in some ways because even if Micum didn’t die on the job, his life will be over long before Seregil’s. Yet Seregil lets him into his life fully and adores him all the more. I hurt for him knowing what’s to come in his life especially knowing he’s still very young by his race’s standards, no matter the wise mentor he appears. His carefree joy and fun with the world is entertaining and his quick wit even more so. Alec is very much the naïve wide-eyed boy on the brink of manhood, such potential in such a young package. His curiosity and slight moral quandaries about the new life he’s been thrust into was right on and helped bring me along in the story. I wish only that we’d gotten to see a little more of his development as a Watcher in training. It was oft times skimmed over in order to tell the story. Dang those authors. ;) Ms. Flewelling does a wonderful job those of keeping you interested in the story and making sure you understand Alec’s growth. The secondary characters here were all a ton of fun. And I include each of Seregil’s new guises in this as well. ;) Micum’s family, Nysander, even Nysander’s assistant all grow on you as you read. Everyone of the characters, major or minor, were well fleshed out and clearly presented to you. The fit within the world that has been created and as a reader you’re left with a very clear picture and understanding of that world.While the passing in the middle did slow a little I was still thoroughly enchanted throughout the book. My only slight hesitation came with the bad guy we’re first introduced to. His abrupt departure from the book after a rather startling discovery was very strange. I’m sure this will come back around in later books, but as far as the storytelling here went it felt like the bad guy we were tracking suddenly was swapped out for another. It’s a loose thread that I didn’t feel was tied in as well as it could have been.Still this book is such a tease! So many hints dropped and unanswered questions. I must admit I’m jonesing to read the next book. What exactly is Nysander hiding? Clearly Seregil knows something more about Alec that we don’t. (Though I do have a guess.) Where exactly did our Mr. Evil run off to? And how exactly does he relate to what’s been going on in Rhiminee in the first place? What is going on in these dreams? What exactly is this token thing Seregil stole in the first place? I’m sure there are more and more questions I could come up with, but you get the picture. The more I know the more I question, and the more I want to know. I can’t wait to see how the relationship develops between Alec and Seregil and what’s to become of them and all their friends.In the end…FANTASY MUST…romance well, jury’s out still up for debate.

This is just a quick review of Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling. This book was recommended to me by a few people, although I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I picked it up. A lot of the fantasy I read is fairly modern, I haven't read much older fantasy, and this book definitely had an older and more traditional feel to it. However I actually ended up really enjoying it. The books starts with Alec, a young man who has been falsely imprisoned and tortured, getting rescued from the lord's dungeon by Seregil. Seregil is a spy of sorts, and after rescuing Alec he offers to take him on as an apprentice and train him in the skills of thieving and spying. After the two of them steal a magical object from some suspicious nobles, Seregil falls ill, and Alec must take him south to his home of Rhiminee, where Seregil's friend the wizard Nysander can cure him. Back in Rhiminee, Alec and Seregil are tasked with helping Nysander investigate a conspiracy against the royal family. To be honest, the plot of this book is a fairly standard fantasy adventure. Nonetheless I really enjoyed it, I was utterly caught up in the story and following Alec and Seregil's adventures. I also really liked the world the book is set in, with the different races and countries and types of magic. Again, none of it was particularly ground breaking, it felt like a fairly standard fantasy world most of the time, but I still really enjoyed it. One interesting thing about this world is that homosexuality and bisexuality are perfectly acceptable, something which is rare in a fantasy setting. The country of Skala also has an interesting matriarchal society where they are ruled by queens rather than kings and again that was nice to see. As for the characters, I really loved Seregil and Alec. These are two very different characters, Seregil the dashing noble rogue, and Alec the adventurous but still slightly naive young man, and I found I really enjoyed reading about them and really cared about them. I also really liked the friendship between them, and I understand that the later books in the series include a romantic relationship between the two characters. I can see that working well because they do have great chemistry together and I really like the way that the two characters are written. Nysander is another great character too, as the eccentric wizard, I also really enjoyed reading about him.Overall, I really enjoyed this book, perhaps more than I was expecting to like it. I thought the book felt very much like a standard traditional fantasy book in terms of the plot, but with some interesting twists in the setting and characters, for example with the approach the book takes to issues of sexuality. It was a book that really captured my attention and really won me over, I loved reading it and it just made me really happy to read. The book ends with the story incomplete and the words 'to be continued', so I have already ordered the next book in the series and I am really looking forward to that book and continuing with this series and reading more about these wonderful characters. I will do a more in depth review when I have read more of the series, but in the meantime I will reiterate that I really loved this book.

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Why I Bought the Book: Lynn Flewelling was a key invited speaker at Yaoicon last year. I have to admit, I'd never heard of her before, but the seminar she led with Ginn Hale, Astrid Amara and Marie Sexton made me interested in buying at least this book, the first in the Nightrunner series to see whether I liked her style of writing.Plot: Sixteen year old Alec of Kerry is a bit of a bad situation.  He was stalking a wild cat for its fur when he wandered onto private land and was caught.  As well as being tortured for information he doesn't have, there's talk of selling him to the slavers.  Fortunately for Alec, one of the men in the cell with him turns out to be Seregil, a spy and con man who rescues Alec and invites Alec to join him on his journeys.  Alec readily agrees and it isn't long before the two are thrown into danger and excitement.One thing to say about the plot is that it grips you and never lets go through the entire book.  The pace is swift as the two men, plus assorted comrades and friends, move from one exciting situation to another.  Along the way the author provides information and background on the places that Alec and Seregil visit, deftly combining religion, history, social and economic details to create a wholly realistic and vivid setting for the reader.Characters: Alec is a complete sweetheart.  Innocent and naive at the beginning but with a willingness to learn from Seregil and a strength and determination to succeed.  Next to Seregil, he comes across as a little slow witted, but that's not actually the case and as the book progresses so does the reader's understanding of his intelligence.  He's very much a boy on the cusp of manhood: Old enough to understand the ribald jokes but still young enough to blush.  He's very attractive but not yet self-aware enough to understand that or use it to his advantage.  His feelings for Seregil are that of towards a mentor - he respects and admires him and longs for his approval.  When that is witheld, or when he's shut out for any reason, the young boy comes out in Alec in fits of surly anger and sulking.  It was all rather endearing.  Seregil is both a contrast and a complement to Alec.  He's much older with a wealth of experience to call on but this can sometime lead to over-confidence on his part.  He's charming and handsome with a bit of a silver tongue, and yet finds dealing with Alec sometimes baffling as he often cannot read Alec's moods and as a result says the wrong thing.  As a pair they work well together and although there is no sexual attraction or feeling between them at the moment, I can see how it may come to grow as Alec gets older.  The other characters are all fully fleshed out and I found myself liking characters such as Micum, Seregil's good friend, and Nysander, Seregil's wizard mentor and friend as much as I did Seregil and Alec.  Even the most minor characters, such as the captain of the boat taking them to Skala, were three dimensional.Overall:  I greatly enjoyed this book which managed to combine an intriguing and arresting plot with fabulous world building and very sympathetic characterisation.  I was immersed in the story and rather displeased that I had to make so many breaks in reading due to other commitments.  Some more squeamish readers may not be fond of some of the more macabre elements to the story but these didn't bother me - in fact they rather enhanced the story.  For fantasy fans this really is a must read, especially those who like high fantasy.  Romance fans are going to have to be patient as that aspect of the series doesn't begin until well into the next book.  I'm happy to wait for that - and what a wait it will be if the next book continues along the same vein as this one.  I highly recommend Luck in the Shadows with a grade of 'Excellent'. I've already ordered the next two books in the series and can't wait for them to arrive through my letterbox

It was an amazing read. I enjoyed the feel of the story, the characters, the wonders of the world and the adventures they embarked on. I was a little put off by the somewhat long descriptions (at least until I realised this was actually one of 5 - if not more - books and thus the careful detailing served to set in place the background of the story). I was expecting a gay romance set in a similar reality, with more focus on the main characters than anything else. But I was pleasantly surprised by the slow progress of the book in that regard (maybe a tad too slow?), the delightful way in which Seregil and Alec were gradually portrayed and the natural feel of the relations between all the characters.I enjoyed the author's style as it kept me reading on and on, curious as to what would happen next. And she did such a great job at interlacing one adventure with the next, that I found myself at the end of the volume, breathing a sigh of relief that both Alec and Seregil made it out alive while at the same time eager to see read on.

The Adventure Is Just Beginning! I dare you to come with me!! Why I’m saying I dare you? Because it’s not an easy book to read, but I certainly recommend it to all! Teen or adults, it’s a fantasy book that MUST be read.Let me start saying it’s not a gay book. Yes, it’s in my MM (male-male) shelf just because there is a nuanced romance between two men, BUTit’s not a romance! At all… it’s an adventure, of a thief (Seregil) and his new apprentice (Alec).Alec, Seregil, and all the secondary characters will conquer your heart, and if you start it, you will not stop… to eat, sleep or anything. And yes, it’s true… the adventure, all the strange creatures and magic beings are so fascinating you may even forget about the time, the real world and everything surrounding you.That’s why I love this story so much. It’s rare, to read a great story.. a saga that can transport me to their world, to run with them, to fight with them… It’s a story about loyalty, but also loneliness… both main characters have just each other, so yes, maybe they will be a couple in the next books of the saga, but I really don’t care… and I could care less about it… what I want I had… a fantasy, with a perfect writing, and an original plot.I refuse to write a review talking about the main characters. I can’t do it! Seriously! You will discover about Seregil nature (it’s obvious from the start he is not a normal human) and also about Alec chapter by chapter. While both or a secondary character will be narrating the story you will, piece by piece solve this puzzle. It’s a very complex story, don’t miss any hint, eve the smallest one can be very important to the plot. Not to say I’m arrogant but I read with care my books and more than one little quick apparently insignificant detail I missed after where crucial to some part of the book.5 stars and obviously I’ll read more. It’s just the begin.. of an adventure... an unforgettable adventure!

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