War is coming and the necromancers of Plenimar are gaining in power. An unlikely group of characters is assembled by prophecy to fight for the kingdom of Skala. If they fail then the world and everybody in it will fall prey to ultimate evil, evil in the form of blood magic, torture and sacrifice. This is a world of sword and sorcery, spies and thieves, long lived Aurenens and evil necromancers. It is also a world where loyalty is often unquestioning and secret societies work for queens and wizards. There is even a bit of romance thrown in for good measure!
Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
Seregil is a talented spy, a cat burglar, a sometimes bard and an exile beset with inner demons. Alec is an orphaned boy who Seregil rescues from a prison cell where Alec has been tortured and is destined to be sold to slavers. Truly innocent, Alec has had a sheltered life up to this point but Seregil sees something in him that has potential, so takes him on as his apprentice. Nysander is a kindly but very powerful old wizard who is also the head of a secret society who works for the queen but he also keeps an eye out for emerging elements of the prophecy. Micum is all soldier and is Seregil's childhood friend and often his fellow adventurer.
The characters are unique and lovable, the worldbuilding is not too unwieldy and the pace for the most part is smooth. For a debut series it is pretty impressive. It has quite a few classic fantasy elements. There is a coming of age story in Alec, Seregil is an atypical hero who thinks nothing of burglary and is a master of disguises, Nysander reminds me of a mix between Gandalf and Merlin and Micum is everything you might hope for in the martial, loyal companion. The evil element is in the form of dark sorcery, blood magic and necromancy. As far as the world goes, its basically medievil but there is the addition of an elf like race that lives for 100s of years, embraces magic, basically keeps to itself and reveres dragons. You won't really encounter them much though until you read book 3.
As is typical for sword and sorcery fantasy there is plenty of violence, some colorful language and open minded views on sex. There is also a solid thread of same sex relationships so if that type of thing bothers you, you might not enjoy this series. I personally did not find any of the content objectionable and I feel comfortable saying that this series will be fine for older teens and up.
This series is not on the same caliper as the Tamir Trilogy which was written later after Lynn Flewelling had improved her writing skills. This series does however take place years after the events in Tamir so it is up to you to decide which you want to read first. I found reading this second to be alot of fun. I enjoyed finding the references to Queen Tamir and I liked comparing the skill in writing. There is also the fact that Lynn Flewelling has returned to this world recently with Shadows Return (Nightrunner) and is in the process of writing a new series about the adventures of Alec and Seregil so a revisit to this series might prove beneficial. There is alot more detail in the individual reviews and you might enjoy checking them out if this series sounds like something you might enjoy. I know I did!
I do have a treat in store for this review. On Monday 9/14/08 Lynn Flewelling did a guest blog post on self promotion, I'll link it at the bottom for you Flewelling lovers to read and enjoy.
|Author: Lynn Flewelling
Genre: Sword and Sorcery
Content: Wizards, Heroes
Publisher: Random House
Source: Personal Copies
|Cover Art: Gary Ruddell|
Lynn Flewelling on Self Promotion
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More Great Sword and Sorcery Fantasy
Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Series Review of Nightrunner by Lynn Flewelling - Reviewed by Mulluane - on September 16 2008 - Rating: of 5 Stars