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Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling

Luck in the Shadows (1996)

by Lynn Flewelling

Other authors: Virginia Norey (Map maker)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Nightrunner (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,755384,022 (4.14)88
  1. 80
    The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Emidawg)
    Emidawg: These books share a "Gentleman Thief" Theme and some of the schemes plotted reminded me of Seregil's antics.
  2. 50
    Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (FallenEldar)
    FallenEldar: Book had a similar feel as well as a character that made me think of Seregil.
  3. 40
    Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks (FallenEldar)
    FallenEldar: A darker world than in Nightrunner following an assassin rather than a thief. Still has intrigue and double lives.
  4. 30
    The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks (Kaelkivial)
    Kaelkivial: Master apprentice relationship between assassins and saboteurs. Heavy political ramifications, intrigue and deception/disguises, magic is present but not all encompassing. Note: Way of Shadows much darker than Luck in the Shadows.
  5. 20
    Prisoner by Megan Derr (themephi)
  6. 20
    Scarlet and the White Wolf by Kirby Crow (Isan)
  7. 10
    A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R. W. Day (Isan)
  8. 00
    Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner (pwaites)
  9. 00
    Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr (ligature)
  10. 00
    A Business of Ferrets by Beth Hilgartner (puddleshark)
  11. 00
    Brethren: Raised By Wolves, Volume One by W. A. Hoffman (infiniteletters)

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» See also 88 mentions

English (36)  Dutch (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
You don't get into this story slowly. There isn't an introduction. The very first scene is in the prison followed by Seregil and Alec's escape.
The blurb doesn't say much and the genre labels on Goodreads don't help either. None of it tells you how well this book is written.

After the escape, Seregil and Alec become partners in whatever Seregil is into. He is a lot of things: from a noble to a thief and anything you can think of in between. It is wonderful to see Alec's growth and the glimpses of a relationship these two will have.
It is a shame that some might read romance and skip this book. You only get a promise of a very deep connection between the two main characters. Nothing more. And I can hardly wait for it even though I enjoyed every moment of this book.

Part of the book is their journey south to Rhíminee. Nothing smooth about that. It is followed by a part in the city itself and that could be a bit overwhelming. Through Alec's education you learn a lot about the history of the world, the society and economy, religion and magic. And most of it has its place in the plot. The problem is that you find that out later. What didn't touch this plot was left for future stories. Again, a fact you realize only after you finish this story, so that might be an issue with some readers.

The characters are fleshed out really well. Each has their own distinct voice whether it is a servant, a thief, a member of the Scavenger Guild, a captain, a sailor or any other. Of course, the most prominent are Seregil and Alec, Nysander and Micum.

Some of Seregil and Alec's future troubles have already started in this book.

Anyway, even with a bit of telling, a couple of too convenient and easy escapes and only a promise of romance, this is still a great first book in a series. ( )
  Irena. | Nov 3, 2015 |
There is a lot to be said for a fantasy that has an m-m cast. There isn't many around (or more likely I haven't read many), and it was refreshingly lacking the typical hero cliché that usually accompanies such novels, and that would be a young girl at the cusp of adulthood with the classic first kiss complex.

Don't get me wrong I still enjoy my fantasies and their heroes regardless the sex or age, but it seems that the subtle nuances of male attraction did the trick for this one. Not overly intense or sexual. The relationship developed completely naturally witch made it believable and relaxed.

The plot as such was one of the classic fantasy ideas – a small group of people, in this case two on their way to save the world by navigating treacherous waters of scheming royalty.

The world building was sound, and there was enough action, but I found that the only thing standing in my way of completely enjoying the work was the writing. It was as if you could identify the parts in witch the author was struggling and she had to come back and revise. Sometimes I would read a paragraph and have the feeling that it started in one direction but ended in another. It was every time that I stumbled on those paragraphs that they have taken away from the entire reading experience.

Pet peeves I guess.

All in all it was a good read. ( )
  IvieHill | Aug 6, 2015 |
I fail to understand why this book has been rated as "m/m romance", because really, there is nothing explicit in this book and there is not much that can lead to a direct shameless hot and passionate m/m relationship.

My thoughts about this book... well, first of all, I feel like I should be complimenting the universe that the author has created. I always get the impression that it is very difficult to create a consistent, coherent universe for a book, complete with its own history, conflicts and several different races. I think Flewelling did a pretty good job here, creating a world that was rich enough to have an atmosphere of somewhere magic, yet not getting lost in an excessive amount of descriptions. I do have to say that occasionally the way the worlds' story is told is slightly tiring, but even so, if you remove them from the book, very little will actually make any sense.
The characters are... okay. I feel like they could have been more deeply developed. Most of them have a lot of potential, and even though there are lots of them (and by the middle of the book I forgot more than half of them), you know that they do have their importance throughout the story. Still, they are those kind of characters whom I just imagine the way I want rather than in the way they are described in the book.

What I didn't like in the book (and I can't even say I hated it) is that it felt that the adventures and hardships through which Alec and Seregil go could have a better development. I thought that the author was very good at creating scenarios of tension, when you know s*** is about to get real, but when it happens, it wasn't a big deal and the characters were able to go through it very easily. It seemed as if Lynn was afraid to make her characters suffer, but again, maybe that's just me and my sadistic spirit speaking louder.
I also didn't like the way the book ended. It didn't even feel like it was over. It was more like "I wanted to put a bigger thing here in the story, but the page limit didn't allow me to do that". It's not even a cliffhanger, it just feels like the story is incomplete.

Other than that, I really liked the book and the story. I'm looking forward to read the rest of the saga! ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
This book was not quite was I was looking for when I picked it up. I was hoping for something fast-paced, engaging, and at just that right level of brainless to keep me interested and distracted from real-life stressors, but not require too much effort. Flewelling’s Luck in the Shadows met all of these criteria except the last, but I was pulled in enough to keep reading anyway.

Alec of Kerry is rescued from near certain torture and death by a mysterious bard named Seregil. By the time they get safely away, Alec and Seregil seem to have established something of a rapport, and after a brief stint of traveling together they agree to team up. Unknown to Alec, though, the life he has signed up for is one of intrigue, danger, and a certain level of amorality. Luck in the Shadows begins the story of this pair and the dark secret they have unwittingly stumbled onto.

Flewelling is a compelling story-teller, and managed to draw me into her world pretty quickly, even once I had realized that this wasn’t quite the kind of easy read I was looking for. Although the story is linear, frequent perspective changes and a certain level of sophistication to the backstory does require a bit of attention from the reader.

The story-arc of this episode is a little strange; it seems to hit its climax with about 150 pages still left, and then the book kind of drags as it does the work of setting up the larger story-arc to continue into the next. This was probably my biggest complaint about the book: although the major series story-arc is set up at the beginning of the book, once established it is all but forgotten until the last 100 pages or so, with the story-line of this episode seemingly almost entirely divorced from it. This made for a strange disconnect.

On the other hand, Flewelling’s character development is really very impressive. Alec’s constant moral discomfort is well-described and well-portrayed as he both matures into his own moral being, but also is gradually influenced by the moral lives of those by whom he is surrounded. After completing Luck I immediately reached for Stalking Darkness. ( )
  philosojerk | Jan 1, 2014 |
When the young hunter Alec of Kerry is arrested on a mistaken charge of spying, his future seems to hold little except the promise of the slave trade. However, when his new cellmate - a bard named Rolan - orchestrates a daring escape from the prison, he carries Alec along with him and soon the boy finds himself in the middle of a dizzying and thrilling new world. Rolan is not a bard, or in fact called Rolan: he is a thief, trickster, master of disguise and spy named Seregil, who after weighing up Alec's quality makes him a proposition: to become his apprentice. There unfolds a world of unimagined richness: where traitors plot to seize the throne, wizards oversee intelligence networks and, somewhere deep in the darkness, an old and evil magic starts to stir.

Although I'm generally not hugely keen on high fantasy, this felt fresh and lively and full of pizzazz. There's plenty of adventure and swashbuckling and, although the characters aren't as developed as they could have been (with the possible exception of Seregil), I hope that this is something which will progress over the course of the series. This novel seems to be primarily an introduction to Flewelling's characters and her world, and it's an effervescent piece of sheer fun. I was struck several times by the fact that the story feels very similar to Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint, so this would be highly recommended for any Riverside fans. As for me, I'm sufficiently intrigued to have ordered the second book already and I look forward to seeing how the adventure (and characterisation) develops. Good fun, even if it isn't quite as absorbing as some of the other fantasy novels I've read this year.

For a full review, please see my blog:
http://theidlewoman.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/luck-in-shadows-lynn-flewelling.html ( )
1 vote Leander2010 | Dec 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
added by gsc55 | editRainbow Gold Reviews (Nov 4, 2014)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lynn Flewellingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Norey, VirginiaMap makersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alvarez-Santullano, Manuel MataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grixa, SusiÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Todd, RaymondNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This one's for you, Doug, for all the best reasons. LBF.
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Mouldering bone crumbled beneath their boots as Lord Mardus and Vargul Ashnazai lowered themselves into the tiny chamber beneath the earthen mound.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553575422, Mass Market Paperback)

"A new star is rising in the fantasy firmament...teems with magic and spine-chilling amounts of skullduggery."–Dave Duncan, author of The Great Game

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Spy, rogue, thief, and noble, Seregil of Rhiminee is many things - none of them predictable. He takes on Alec as his apparentice, and soon Alec is traveling roads he never knew existed, toward a war he never suspected was brewing. Soon both of them are embroiled in a sinister plot that may cost them far more than their lives if they fail.… (more)

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