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Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling
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Luck in the Shadows (1996)

by Lynn Flewelling

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1,692344,219 (4.15)82
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  1. 90
    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. 30
    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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English (33)  Dutch (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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 |
Luck in the Shadows is an intriguing introduction to a complex and well-created world. However, it is also the first book in the series, and aggrivatingly, it ends with the words "to be continued". So, be warned that you'll probably want to buy the first two or even three books when you start reading.

http://allbookedup-elena.blogspot.ca/2013/04/luck-in-shadows-lynn-flewelling.htm... ( )
  ElenaGwynne | Dec 3, 2013 |
I almost finished this book, but than it turned out to be a standard mediocre fantasy book. I just want to read really good books and this one just isn't good enough. Still, 3 stars, because it wasn't terrible. ( )
  lente | Sep 6, 2013 |
The writing is mediocre, but I liked it anyway. ( )
  rdyornot | Jul 18, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:19 -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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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