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Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling

Shadows Return (edition 2008)

by Lynn Flewelling

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7432512,684 (3.83)44
Title:Shadows Return
Authors:Lynn Flewelling
Info:Spectra (2008), Edition: Reissue, Mass Market Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2013 reads (Jan)

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Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling



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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
The two roguish heroes of Flewelling's "Nightrunner" series return, almost ten years since their last appearance. Only a few years have passed in their world, but they've still experienced some serious changes: not least, there is a new queen of Skala, and she has little use or trust for the Watchers. Alec, Seregil, and the remnants of their merry band are left to raise families, build inns, or play at being dissolute nobles. When the queen commands Alec and Seregil to deliver a message to her exiled sister Klia, they leap at the chance for another adventure.

But instead of the swashbuckling excitement and intrigue they (and the reader) expect, they are quickly kidnapped and sold in the slave markets of Plenimar. (The slavers in this fantasy world are dark-skinned, keep harems, and have curly beards. OH FLEWELLING NO.) There, Alec's unique half-blood heritage is both a blessing and a curse--instead of warming someone's bed or working in a field, he is bought by an alchemist, who first "refines" Alec's blood and then uses it to create otherworldly monsters. The alchemy and the creatures are chilling and interesting; the rest of the book is less so. Alec and Seregil spend hundreds of pages just sitting around their slave quarters, and the B plot (Thero and Micum, their fellow Watchers, try to rescue them) seems tacked on. All this could have been forgiven had the interpersonal relationships been interesting, or the inner monologues been insightful, but alas, that too was not to be. Instead, I had a hard time remembering who many of the characters were. Several horrific scenes were rendered significantly less horrific due to A)Flewelling's unexpectedly euphamistic style and B)not having any emotional connection to the characters involved.

This is a mediocre beginning to another trilogy in the Nightrunners series. I like Seregil and Alec as a couple (refreshingly little angst!) and Flewelling has written good court intrigue and adventure in the past. I hope she returns to her strengths. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
3 and a quarter stars. it only got interesting near the end, with the rhekaro. but that was interesting enough to give the next in the series a try. ( )
  macha | May 25, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
added by gsc55 | editRainbow Gold Reviews (Nov 13, 2014)
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.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lynn Flewellingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Komarck, Michael J.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norey, VirginiaMap makersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinclair, JamesMap makersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, Jamie S. WarrenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:13 -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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