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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
2,498636,117 (4.07)101
Fantasy. Fiction. Romance. Thriller. HTML:"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 didnt 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 thingsnone 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 Alecs new mentor, and this time there just might beLuck in the Shadows.… (more)
Recently added byDelaney612, Alicja_, heath0133, isaboe, private library, chipcabot
  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. 61
    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 (3-in-1) 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
    Scarlet & the White Wolf by Kirby Crow (Isan)
  6. 20
    Prisoner by Megan Derr (themephi)
  7. 20
    Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner (pwaites)
  8. 10
    A Business of Ferrets by Beth Hilgartner (puddleshark)
  9. 10
    A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R. W. Day (Isan)
  10. 00
    Brethren: Raised By Wolves, Volume One by W. A. Hoffman (infiniteletters)
  11. 00
    Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr (ligature)
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» See also 101 mentions

English (61)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (63)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
A lot of my friends rave about this series, so I decided to give it a try. It was not bad and it got better as the book progressed, but in all honesty, this felt a bit clumsy to me at times. Particularly in the first half to three quarters, all background was given by one of the characters, mostly Seregil, explaining things to Alec, so I felt like I was reading a history lesson.

It does have some good things as well, e.g. diversity, no romance (yet) and some interesting observations that made me think. For instance, I really liked the part where two of the characters exchange bodies. One of them feels things and even thinks things that are originating in the body, which I have never seen before, at least not when the body is human.

From what I understand, the books get better, so I will continue with this series. ( )
  zjakkelien | Jan 2, 2024 |
I was a little nervous to go back and read Flewelling's first novel after reading and loving her most recent stuff so much, but this didn't even remotely disappoint. Amazing character and world building, as always and a pace that makes this book hard to put down!

I'd absolutely recommend! ( )
  BreePye | Oct 6, 2023 |
*3.5

I don’t read fantasy. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and A Song of Ice and Fire are it, and they’re probably the most popular books of that genre. But I wanted to really give fantasy a try, so I bought Luck in the Shadows... a fantasy book I’ve never heard of, from a series I’ve never heard of, with a corny, Fabio-lookalike on the cover, and a cheesy summary on the back cover.

The book sat on my shelf for years, forgotten and collecting dust. Until I randomly picked it up to read on my commute, because I was frustrated with every other book I started and stopped recently, so what the hell, why not give this one a go?

I was so engrossed, I missed my subway stop.

The good: The book starts off with a bang. Alec, our main protagonist, is in a dungeon, tortured, awaiting his death. He’s innocent, naive, spirited, and likable. He meets Seregil in the dungeon, who helps him break out. Seregil is a charming badass. The charismatic rogue. The thief with a heart of gold. Of course he’s someone we want to follow.

These characters are likable, the world is so rich in detail, and when the action happens, it’s fast-paced, clever, and gripping. I really enjoyed the ride.

The bad: The information dumps start right as the action starts to wane. Right after Alec and Seregil escape from the dungeon, we pause to catch or breath, excited about what just happened and what’s gonna come next, and then we get a history lesson. It really stalled the momentum of the narrative. There are so many strange names we’re given all at once, with no reason to care about them. Pages 24-26 are filled with strange, very fantasy-esque names that nearly made me sigh and close the book. Another example is after Seregil has fallen into a cursed coma, and he & Alec finally arrive at the one place he can be cured, rather than racing to heal him, Alec spends nearly five entire pages observing his surroundings in a way that really does not indicate urgency or distress. It’s boring, compared to the dire situation one of our main character faces.

I understand and appreciate that the author has this massive world, soaked in rich detail, but there also begs the question...how much information does the reader really need? Are these details crucial to the plot? And if so, they need to be revealed in a way that won’t slow the plot. I found myself skimming much of the world-building at first, because I didn’t care about it...I wanted to get back to the characters.

At the end of the book, the world-building elements became a bit more interesting, and I might go back and reread some parts I skimmed before. If I didn’t enjoy this book, I wouldn’t bother. But I DID like this book, and I plan to read the next in the series! But only because I like the characters. I hope that the more familiar I become with the world, the smoother the reading experience will become. I can easily see how some might give up after a few chapters, because of the load of information we’re given, that we have no reason to care about right away. The names are unfamiliar and numerous.

The world-building information was my only real criticism. Otherwise, the book is fun! I’m attached to the characters and can’t wait to go on more adventures with them.

Would I recommend? Yes. Despite how the info-dumps were presented, their detail made me trust the author. So I knew we’d eventually get back to what I wanted to see, and that more exciting adventures and funny moments were ahead. Give the book a chance, and have a good time! ( )
  Frances333 | Aug 30, 2023 |
I really like this book. Been having a hard time finishing books, but this one made me want to read again. So I already started in book 2. ( )
  weaver-of-dreams | Aug 1, 2023 |
5 stars.

Well, I see why a lot of people love this series, and why it is considered a classic. Such memorable characters and an interesting story line. I am anxious to see where it goes. ( )
  mamawerewolf | Jun 26, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
added by gsc55 | editRainbow Gold Reviews (Nov 4, 2014)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lynn Flewellingprimary authorall editionscalculated
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.
First words
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Fantasy. Fiction. Romance. Thriller. HTML:"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 didnt 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 thingsnone 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 Alecs new mentor, and this time there just might beLuck in the Shadows.

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