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Casket of Souls by Lynn Flewelling
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Casket of Souls

by Lynn Flewelling

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This book took me much longer to finish than usual because it lagged so much at the beginning. I do not mind political intrigue when it forms the basis of a plot, but, as another reviewer pointed out, the political intrigue here just served as a drawn out distraction from the main antagonist. The two competing “cabals” interested in influencing the royal succession just taper away to nothing once Seregil deduces the real danger. I found that rather unsatisfying. That said, once I reached the midway point, I could not put the book down!

Nearly all the action of Casket of Souls takes places in Rhíminee, making the story fairly self-contained. Occasionally, the narrative jumps to Klia and Beka in the midst of the war with Plenimar, but for the most part the story focuses on Seregil and Alec, and their interaction, manipulation and burglary of the various Skalan nobles. The two engage in a lot of nigthrunning, which spiced up the story while also taking it back to its roots. The boys are as much fun as ever and just as devoted to one another. Alec’s lingering sorrow over Sabrahn makes sense and I hope to see a resolution to that at some point. I’d love to see them take in a scamp to train and raise as their son or daughter.

The second half of the book picked up the pace considerably as our heroes discover the villains and play a game of cat and mouse with them, with the lives of their friends in the balance. I was also glad to see the powers-that-be finally acting in their own best interests in terms of seeing AND admitting the value of Alec and Seregil’s services. Phoria’s attitude toward them was always a bit ridiculous to me and I was happy to see her mostly absent from the story. I’ve read online that the next novel is intended to be the last Nightrunner book (for the time being at least), and the conclusion of this novel certainly sets the stage for that to be the case. All familiar characters are revisited and “resolved” in some way: death, happily ever after, what have you. The ending was very satisfying.

Overall, though this is not the strongest in the series, longtime fans are likely to be satisfied. Highly recommended. ( )
  jshillingford | Feb 16, 2014 |
Back to basics! Original Nightrunner style, the way it should be! LOVED this book, almost as much as I loved number one! Lynn has done it again ( )
  amblack90 | Aug 14, 2013 |
Covers this book but also some of the whole series.

Casket of Souls is the latest in Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner series. This series centers on two characters, Seregil and Alec, and their friends. They are very well developed characters, as are all the supporting characters. I’ll stick to Casket of Souls as it was the one published in 2012. Alec and Seregil have been working together as thieves and ‘information gatherers’ since the first book in the series, when Alec tried to steal Seregil’s coin pouch. Since then, he has taken Alec under his wing and trained him to be an expert thief and housebreaker, and where to look for important documents. When they are at home in Rhiminee, Seregil, who is very widely known for his eccentricities and outrageous behavior, also acts unbeknownst to the people who ask for help from the Rhiminee Cat. They inevitably fall into some sort of danger or plot and return to one of two places, Seregil’s former mentor’s tower where he apprenticed unsuccessfully to be a magician under Nysander’s tutelage. The other place is Seregil’s friend Micum Cavish’s house where he lives with his wife and growing number of children. This series does involve a relationship developing between Seregil and Alec, which they don’t even discuss until the end of the second book, so I was very disappointed to see in some of the reviews on Amazon that people still reading the first book were making comments such as, “Was reading this and enjoying it then realized it was one of those kind of books and threw it away in disgust.” Their relationship is mostly subtle, sometimes made fun of by relatives because they are so in love—they are essentially bound together. There is nothing explicit—Glimpses—a collection of fan art and short stories written by Flewelling elaborate on some of those experiences, Alec and Seregil’s first time together, for example, but those types of scenes don’t come up in the series itself (but if you’re into the series, Glimpses is a really nice companion volume). Anyway, I found it annoying that someone could be genuinely enjoying a story and then realize there’s a m/m relationship in it so out the window it goes. Casket of Souls finds Seregil and Alec running into a group of players (theatre) who are taking audiences by storm, and at the same time find out information that the Queen is plotting against the Princess, who is already engaged in a war. Then a plague starts to spread. I read this so long ago—I wish I remembered the details better. The main player has something to do with it, capturing souls in bottles and using them to keep eternally young. Nysander’s apprentice at the time of his death, Thero, who started out as an arrogant somewhat one sided character novels ago, is now a magician of some repute who Seregil and Alec know they can count on as much as they did Nysander. Thero is still arrogant at times, but he’s also developing a sense of humor and has fallen in love with the princess the Queen is plotting against, supplying her with ways to contact him if she needs help (this mostly happened in the previous installment in the series, when a diplomatic trip was taken to Seregil’s old homeland that he was exiled from thirty years earlier for being caught in a relationship with another man. He’s uncomfortable with the trip, but Alec meets his family, and they all like him. Thero is working with Princess Klia on her mission, spending most of his time with her, and they fall in love. I went backward instead of forward, didn’t I? I think it’s important to mention in here somewhere that Seregil is Aurënen, an almost Elven type race, and Alec is half-hâzadriëlfaie, another clan of elvish type people who are more secretive than Seregil’s clan. Everything is sorted at the end of Casket of Souls (sorry, that has to be one of the worst reviews ever—if I wrote the reviews right after I read the book it would be better—I originally read this in May). Sadly, there is going to be only one more book in this series. I have become quite attached to the characters, so even while I might not always get the plots straight, the writing and development of the characters are so good I do really feel unhappy there is only one more book. Oh well, I can always start them over. ( )
  WendyClements | Apr 21, 2013 |
Plot: 5 stars
Characters: 5 stars
Style: 4 stars
Pace: 4 stars


I really, really liked this one. Even though we knew who the bad guy was fairly early on, it was like watching both sides in a chess game, waiting for them to figure it out. Murder, war, conspiracy, and love, all work together wonderfully. Definitely my favorite of the Nightrunner books so far. ( )
  Jami_Leigh | Mar 31, 2013 |
This book took a while to get through. I believe some of this was due to the fact that the first two books in this sequel trilogy had very different plots with very intense scenes, which this book seemed to lack until the last hundred pages. I started this book at least a year ago and then set it aside. However it’s the last book in the NIghtrunner series, and I really was interested in seeing what happened next. But it has been a while since I’ve read the first three books in this series and I’m sort afraid that I have simply moved on. Perhaps a reread of the other books would have benefited me. Or I’m simply too exhausted to sit back and enjoy it? School has been very time-consuming lately. As it was however, I could only read a chapter or two in bed before getting bored/tired and putting it down again. Or maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit and it really did drag. I had hoped for some Alec and Seregil character development. But the whole book was about everything else going on around them. I did like the other books, the first two being my favorite. I highly recommend those: Luck in the Shadows and Stalking Darkness. If another book comes out for this series I will most likely read it. I do like Alec and Seregil. But this book fell short for me. ( )
  Kassilem | Feb 26, 2013 |
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For my friend Lucienne Diver,
who has given my work legs and wings all these years
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Seregil hadn’t been sure what to expect--or rather, he hadn’t expected much.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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More than the dissolute noblemen they appear to be, Alec and Seregil are skillful spies, dedicated to serving queen and country. But when they stumble across evidence of a plot pitting Queen Phoria against Princess Klia, the two Nightrunners will find their loyalties torn as never before. Even at the best of times, the royal court at Rhiminee is a serpents' nest of intrigue, but with the war against Plenimar going badly, treason simmers just below the surface.… (more)

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