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Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling
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Shadows Return (edition 2008)

by Lynn Flewelling

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6692414,333 (3.84)44
Member:SpicyCat
Title:Shadows Return
Authors:Lynn Flewelling
Info:Spectra (2008), Edition: Reissue, Mass Market Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:2013 reads (Jan)

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Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling

Recently added byAltairia, pndrgn99, private library, -sunny-
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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Plot: 3 stars
Characters: 5 stars
Style: 4 stars
Pace: 4 stars


The poor, poor guys. I wanted to wrap them up and cuddle them for everything that happens in this story. No punches were pulled at all. It did take me a while to get into this one, though I blame that on it being nearly 10 years since I read the first 3 in this series. I don't think rereading the first 3 would improve my enjoyment of this one, though, it just took me a bit to remember who all the players were. I love the worldbuilding she does, it's so rich and detailed.
( )
  Jami_Leigh | Mar 31, 2013 |
Not enjoying this book was painful for me. I've read, and enjoyed, all of Lynn's other published work. My copies of the first two novels in the Nightrunner series are dog-eared and well-loved. I was so excited to finally have a new Nightrunner novel to read after so many years, to check in with my friends Alec and Seregil at last.

But I didn't want to see them like this, in bondage, separated from each other, angsty. I suspect the homunculus-child was supposed to be kind of spooky but I just found it corny and laughable. The language is spare and lacks the polish and depth of her previous work (not her fault -- apparently the publisher demanded a fairly limited word-count).

Unfortunately, the whole thing reads like fair-to-middling fanfiction, and I was ultimately so put off by this book that I won't be reading any more entries in the series. I'd rather remember Alec and Seregil as brave and dashing adventurers, not a couple of helpless prisoners mired in psychosexual melodrama.

But hey, at least the cover art is fantastic, for a change! ( )
1 vote rose.cooke | Mar 29, 2013 |
Like a number of others I wary of getting this book due to the poor reviews, and I only did because the reviews for book 5 are much better (as I am about to read that I do hope it is better).

I have to agree that it is much darker. It definitely drags in the middle - how many times do we need to told that Seregil would fake being a good slave until he can find Alec and escape. How many times do we need to be told that the other slaves are mistreated and abused and fearful (I get it, I get it). Then all of a sudden there is a fight or two and the end (what just happened????). After the beautifully crafted Traitor's Moon I couldn't help but wonder if this needed a good editor to refine it.

The thing that bugged me the most was the sudden dropping of the secondary characters - one of the delights of Flewelling's previous books has been the cast of secondary characters. In this one they appear, are given some rounding out and then are suddenly killed or run away. Particularly in the case of the run away - why does no one seem to have noticed?

Crossing my fingers then next instalment is better. ( )
  SpicyCat | Jan 27, 2013 |
First of all, what a gorgeous cover. But I was a little disappointed in the book. Not horribly so, but … still. The previous book, Traitor's Moon, was so very good, and wrapped the series up so tidily, that I was surprised when I found out about the new book(s). Seregil and Alec are wonderful characters, and what they do best is the Nightrunning – hence the name of the series. And it starts promisingly with a mission successfully completed and another begun … and then suddenly en route to Aurënen they are ambushed, and next thing you know both of them are on ships as slaves. Well, Seregil is a slave – Alec is destined for other, even darker things, and it isn't pretty, any of it. (Except the cover.) I've read reviews commenting that they spend far too long imprisoned; I agree, mostly, but not entirely: it's not like they didn't both try. Repeatedly. It was a serious illustration of what slavery means: you may be an intelligent and resourceful and motivated young man, but if you are enslaved, you're still a possession. All the traits that make you a wonderful Nightrunner, lover, friend, person make you a lousy slave – and lousy slaves end up dead. Unless your owner has an ulterior motive in keeping you alive, in which case they make you a spectacularly bruised and miserable slave. The identity of the owner was startling, and inevitable in its way - and explained a lot. And his fate, not at all what one would expect, great for the plot. The white child … fascinating idea. I wonder if she had that in mind when she revealed Alec's parentage. It was almost as tortuous to read about its creation as it was for poor Alec to go through it (all right, not quite: hyperbole for effect); much of the book was like that. Once the lot of them are free and on the run, the fight for Alec and Seregil to regain their status quo is almost as painful; I missed them. I haven't read the next book yet; here's hoping that whatever harrowing adventures come their way the two of them will be together, and will not fall prey to the "You don't understand me!" trap. Which is even harder to read than the "good lord, they're beating him up again" situation… at least in the latter I can have sympathy for the character if the writing is good and the situation is plausible. Although it is always a little hard to swallow that with all that abuse a character emerges in the end without any permanent damage. In the former, I just want to slap everyone involved. ( )
1 vote Stewartry | Jul 11, 2011 |
I admit I was wary of reading this installment of the Nightrunner series as it has many more negative reviews than the previous books. After finishing it, I understand why – it’s very different in tone than those and mostly depressing. Alec and Seregil are captured early on by slavers, and spend nearly the entire book as prisoners, and separated. There is no humor (as there was in the first three books) because the two men are never together and always surrounded by enemies. The dialog is also lacking for the same reason. Our heroes are unable to take any action, they simply endure. And so must readers. I admit I skimmed more than once. Also, this book is more like book one in that it sets the stage and introduces the plot for the next book, but does not have much of a story itself. In book one that was fine as we were introduced to the characters, world-building, etc. Here we get page after page of heroes we’ve come to love suffering the indignities of slavery and the agony of doubt and separation. It was very sad.

Despite all this, I gave the book 3 stars because the world and characters are so compelling. And, the “child of no woman” is an intriguing story with a lot of potential for the next book. Lastly, the ending when they finally escaped was tense and exciting and brought back the magic found in the first three novels. Overall, though I didn’t enjoy reading this, it left me anxious to begin book five. I only hope our heroes don’t have to sink to such depths again. Recommended for fans of the series as the plot threads introduced will be vital for the next book. ( )
1 vote jshillingford | Feb 16, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
I've got a file full of complaints, but they're all just a reflection of my disappointment. I wanted another rip-roaring adventure and got what amounts to 522 pages of fan fiction.
 
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Epigraph
You are the wanderer who carries his home in his heart. You are the bird who makes its nest on the waves. You will father a child of no woman.
-words of the Dragon Oracle at Sarikali, to Alec i Amasa of Kerry
Dedication
This book is dedicated to
Doug, Matt, and Tim, with love, for everything.
And to Nancy Jeffers, my friend, guide, head
cheerleader, and all-around goddess. Long overdue,
babe! Thanks for all your enthusiasm for this
project, and all the others.
First words
Seregil balanced precariously atop the shard-lined wall, impatiently scanning the shadowy garden below for his misplaced partner.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553590081, Mass Market Paperback)

With their most treacherous mission yet behind them, heroes Seregil and Alec resume their double life as dissolute nobles and master spies. But in a world of rivals and charmers, fate has a different plan.…

After their victory in Aurënen, Alec and Seregil have returned home to Rhíminee. But with most of their allies dead or exiled, it is difficult for them to settle in. Hoping for diversion, they accept an assignment that will take them back to Seregil’s homeland. En route, however, they are ambushed and separated, and both are sold into slavery. Clinging to life, Seregil is sustained only by the hope that Alec is alive.

But it is not Alec’s life his strange master wants—it is his blood. For his unique lineage is capable of producing a rare treasure, but only through a harrowing process that will test him body and soul and unwittingly entangle him and Seregil in the realm of alchemists and madmen—and an enigmatic creature that may hold their very destiny in its inhuman hands…. But will it prove to be savior or monster?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:33 -0400)

Alec and Seregil accept a new assignment, only to be ambushed and sold into slavery, where Alec's heritage entangles them in a realm of alchemists, madmen, and an inhuman creature that may be either a monster or their only hope.

(summary from another edition)

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