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| Genre: Sword and Sorcery
| Content: Wizards, Heroes
| ISBN-10: 0553577255
| ISBN-13: 9780553577259
| Publisher: Spectra (July 6, 1999)
| Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
| Cover Artist: Gary Ruddell
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars
Seregil never thought he'd ever go home to Aurenen, the land of his birth and to his sorrow, the land he was exiled from at a young age. Dying from wounds received in battle, Queen Idrilain has requested his assistance on a mission that may save Skala from annihilation by Plenimar's armies and necromancers. Princess Klia is being sent to the land of Aurenen to request that they rescind the Ban of Separation and come to Skala's aid in the war. Allowances have been made and Seregil is to go as her adviser, and she'll need one, Aurenen is a land of magic and honor, rival clans and dragons, mystics and seers. In this complex land of long lived people, Klia will find that she needs all the help she can get in accomplishing her goals.
Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
Alec wants to go along for his own reasons. Maybe here, in the land of his people's ancestors, he can finally discover who he is and where he comes from. Thero will go as Klia's official field wizard and Beka will lead Klia's honor guard. Together they will journey into the heart of Aurenen, to a place none of the Tir (the short lived) has been in generations, to meet with the divided clans and try to win hope for their beleaguered nation.
Sadly, at least in my opinion, this book goes the way of many third novels, downhill. Its still a good book, and your opinion might differ but I'm one of those readers who hate long complicated names and while I love lots of political intrigue, I don't enjoy it in the form of too many factions to count. Aurenen is a country of clans with no central leadership. As a result each clan has its own agenda and there are 11 major clans to keep track of. That isn't counting the mystics, seers, ghosts and minor clans. Since Lynn Flewelling is moving the setting to a new country, we have to deal with all the info dumps involved and although I'm usually pretty good at following complicated world building, I often found myself confused here, maybe it was all the long complicated, hyphenated, accented, words used.
OK, ranting aside, I had wondered where she would go with this third story and I wasn't disappointed. I wanted to know what Seregil had done to be exiled and to a lesser extent what Alec's background was. I got both questions answered. I was actually surprised that the war had continued after the showdown portrayed in the second book, but I guess it needed to to perpetuate the series. All of the characters remain believable, Alec has definitely matured and yet still retains a degree of that charming innocence he is so known for. Thero has also come out of the trials he suffered in book two with a greater sense of maturity and compassion, though he too remains true to his innate character by being a bit standoffish. Seregil shows incrediable depths of honor and patience as he faces both his inner demons, and people he once loved who now wish to see him dead. Lynn Flewelling does a wonderful job of characterization as usual.
There is also a delightful who done it element here. Once you get past the first part of the book, the pace picks up and the drama and suspense kick in. She does mystery almost as well as she does characters and I enjoyed wondering right up to the last who the true bad guy or girl was. Unlike the first two books, she doesn't give away a thing. The seers are cryptic, the clues are misleading and there are multiple possible suspects who all could have been involved. She cleverly distracts Seregil, who was easily the best qualified to figure things out, with so many challenges and fights with his inner demons that he struggles to put together the clues. I loved every minute of it. Add in the suspense of Klia trying to gain the Aurenen's help in time to save Skala, a task that is almost impossible, and you end up with a fun read.
Yes I contradicted myself a bit. There are elements of this book I really disliked, but there are elements I throughly enjoyed which atleast in part canceled out the stuff I didn't like. All in all, I think it was worth reading because of the characters and the who done it. This might be the type of book you'd benefit from reading twice, once to get the world building down, then a second time to relax and enjoy the story.
The romance between Alec and Seregil sorta heats up, and by sorta I mean its more intense, but there is also less of it. They either don't have the privacy needed, or Seregil is too busy dealing with one crisis after another, both internal and external. Alec proves to be very understanding in either case. Beka has a romance of her own going that ends up being very enjoyable as she wonders right up until the end if her lover is a traitor, or a friend. There is also less violence, some, but since this is set in a place where violence is taboo, the only violence that takes place is necessary to the plot.
By the way, its been years but Lynn Flewelling has returned to this world and its characters to write more books in the series. I haven't read them yet but I'm looking forward to it. Seregil and Alec have charmed me and I'll enjoy reading about more of their adventures. Complicated review for a complicated story but after all is said and done, I have to admit Seregil and Alec remain two of my favorite fantasy characters and I don't regret sticking this book out until the end.
Librarything Rating 4.08/5
Amazon Rating 4.4 out of 5 stars (85 customer reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
|Kindle: Traitor's Moon: The Nightrunner Series, Book 3|
Buy Book: AbeBooks ~ BAM
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Sword and Sorcery Book Review of Traitor's Moon (Nightrunners Series: Book 3) by Lynn Flewelling - Reviewed by Mulluane - on September 09 2008 - Rating: of 5 Stars