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This was my first time reading Lynn Flewelling s books and I was quickly drawn into the story The mix of sword and sorcery with classic fantasy troupes means that this feels like coming home for me and the characters instantly felt like I could connect with then and as if I was able to sympathise with their struggles I also love the fact that this book hints at and even explicitly states that there are homosexual and bisexual characters within the plot, and as the book and series goes on I am This was my first time reading Lynn Flewelling s books and I was quickly drawn into the story The mix of sword and sorcery with classic fantasy troupes means that this feels like coming home for me and the characters instantly felt like I could connect with then and as if I was able to sympathise with their struggles I also love the fact that this book hints at and even explicitly states that there are homosexual and bisexual characters within the plot, and as the book and series goes on I am sure this will grow It doesn t overpower the plot or feel forced, it s natural and wonderful and I am really enjoying seeing the characters come together over timeWhat is this all about though In terms of plot we are following two major characters and a couple ofminor ones Our first character is Alec who is a young man who lost his father earlier in the year and has been living off the land foraging Alec starts the story trapped in a cell and accused of being a spy, but he s not the spy they are looking for and he knows that he needs to escape becuase the other prisoner with him looks pretty close to death from all the tortureThe second character is Seregil who is, indeed, a spy and thief He s the one that Alec s captors are actually looking for and when he s caught too he meets Alec and quickly frees him from the cell This all happens very fast in the start of the book so it s not a spoiler, but from that point onwards Seregil is drawn to Alec and wants him as a travelling companion and the two of them set off on some pretty big adventuresCharacter Development I genuinely think that these characters felt real at times and particularly I found them relatable when discussing love and heartache and sexuality This is something I don t often see in epic or classic fantasy, and I think these characters are just true to themselves throughout and they made me super exited to keep reading on.Worldbuilding I think the world within this made sense in my head and there is a map to help keep it straight We get mention of various places and we follow our companions as they journey through some of these places too which makes it feelrealistic I also liked that we saw political and territorial divisions of people which meant that the world feltexpansive and it gave good reasons for war and the like.Writing Style The writing style of this book is to the point and gives you just a little bitdetail than an average book might I don t think that this is one of those series which spends too long going over descriptions of places, but the internal thoughts are sometimes very beautiful and holdinsight into our character s minds Emotional Connection I really found myself excited by the plot and the characters and I have to say that both in written and audio format I found myself tearing through the pages minutes and wanting to know what came next I didn t get truly attached to the characters until book 2 which I ve already finished as I am enjoying it so much but I really really liked them in this book and there were moments I felt for them.Overall This is a really solid sword and sorcery style fantasy which plays on some troupes you probably already know and love but keeps a few tricks up its sleeve to really keep you reading I found it to be very enjoyable throughout and I instantly wanted to read the entire series which I am working on now I would definitely recommend both the book and audiobook if you like the sound of it 4 s An excellent tale with an unconventional hero. Rating 3.5 of fiveWINKING THERE IS WINKING When did the w verb infect our literary landscape When did this cheesy, arch, absurd act best done to prove to children that adults are condescending idiots become acceptablenay, de rigueurin otherwise sensible genre literature MUCH LATER Now that I ve got that off my chest, I ll attempt a review This series is billed as LGBT fiction by several sources It s clear from the get go that Seregil, our main man, isgay than bi it s obv Rating 3.5 of fiveWINKING THERE IS WINKING When did the w verb infect our literary landscape When did this cheesy, arch, absurd act best done to prove to children that adults are condescending idiots become acceptablenay, de rigueurin otherwise sensible genre literature MUCH LATER Now that I ve got that off my chest, I ll attempt a review This series is billed as LGBT fiction by several sources It s clear from the get go that Seregil, our main man, isgay than bi it s obvious that Alec, his new young apprentice and the first such he s ever taken on, is in love with him and that Seregil returns the feelings with interest Like carnal interest There is no sex between them for the whole 400 plus pages of the book, and Alec has a memorable scene with a young woman who assumes he is already Seregil s lover He denies it hotly, but makes no demur that such a thing is impossible In fact, shortly thereafter he and Seregil dash off to doaction adventure stuff and Alec says nothing, does nothing differently, and continues to act like Seregil s young lover, just without losing his culture and religion specific modesty.Honestly, that might put some m m readers off, but I found it refreshing Seregil s relationship with his long term partner in crime is presented plainly as a long standing love affair, but Micum party of the second part is married and has teenaged daughters and Seregil is accepted by Kari Mrs Micum as part of the family Alec, the interloper and a lad raised without any sense of belonging, is unquestioningly accepted into the fold on Seregil s behalf and treated to the enfolding warmth of acceptance for himself.So this isn t sexy romantic timesit simportant than that It s not flashy because it s real The sex one chooses to have isn t considered very important in this society Flewelling creates for us Skala, Seregil s adopted homeland, just couldn t care less about a person s sex life, they accept all shades of the spectrum as normal, judging a person by their character Yet Seregil s homeland, Aur nen, doesn t appear to be so enlightened nor is Alec s Northern homeland apparently very open, given the physical modesty instilled in him there His social awkwardness seems to be an artifact of his lonely upbringing as the son of a nomadic hunter As soon as he s afforded opportunities to learn new and exciting things, he eagerly soaks them up Alec is, in other words, the perfect mate for a man of Seregil s spying trade, semi noble birth, and insatiable intellectual curiosity What happens in the bedroom will have to wait for another book, and I for one am okay with that It islike real life this way, the discovery of a kindred soul deepening into an irreplaceable friendship, and the ship of life heading into the deepwater port of loving couplehood.I ll go along.I m ill equipped to comment on the secondary world s genre credibility I m not a regular fantasy reader In fact, absent the m m love story at the heart of the series, I d never have given the books a second glance I like Flewelling s fantasy world for its unusual aspects, including Skala s matrilineal royal family and gender blindness of their social contract General Phoria is also the Princess Royal She is a soldier to her bones Her young half sister Klia is a respected and admired military commander Their roles in society are of their own making, as are everyone else s, according to social station of course This being a pet peeve of mine, the ongoing inability of fiction to present women as agents of their own fortunes and possessors of power in their own right, the Skalan world went down my throat like whipped cream.The humor and sly side eye commentary on our own world are fun to read, and it s a little bit sad this series is still able to break ground despite being 20 years old In a world where Game of Thrones can dominate TV ratings and prestige, why hasn t this series gotten its movie or TV deal The cost of filming fantasy worlds can t be the only reason I just wonder Luck in the shadows you don t question it, you just give thanks and pray it doesn t run out Luck in the Shadows fits perfectly into the classic fantasy shelf Sadly, it does not have any added value It has plenty of removed value, though.Enter Seregil, a noble, a spy, a lover of luxury, and a representative of a mysterious people with a tragic past Meet Alec, apparently a simple boy, slowly pulled by Seregil into a world where nothing is as it seems and the knowledge can only attract troublLuck in the shadows you don t question it, you just give thanks and pray it doesn t run out Luck in the Shadows fits perfectly into the classic fantasy shelf Sadly, it does not have any added value It has plenty of removed value, though.Enter Seregil, a noble, a spy, a lover of luxury, and a representative of a mysterious people with a tragic past Meet Alec, apparently a simple boy, slowly pulled by Seregil into a world where nothing is as it seems and the knowledge can only attract trouble I was bored after the initial five chapters Theoretically, quite a lot is happening Unfortunately, the adventures are hardly original, and the terribly dispassionate writing style, full of descriptions, info dumps usually in the form of dialogues even if it doesn t make sense in a situation when both interlocutors know discussed things and go over them only for the benefit of the reader and internal monologues enabled by the omniscient narration corrupt the reading experience even further The same applies to main protagonists, on the surface both figures have loads of potential, but the way they are developed made it impossible for me to form the slightest bond with either of them Maybe it is because of the unrefined introduction on the one hand we have an experienced and world weary man, on the other an innocent adolescent who grew up in the wilderness almost unaware of life outside the backwaters he occasionally visited, And so, the sponsor needs to introduce this naive white lily to the complexities of the world this goes on for many pages and ends up with awful poetry, also far too long There is also a motif of M M romance and a figure of a gay son spurned by his father, but really, this was done by whole leagues better in Tigana The plot of this novel is painfully predictable And if it is that easy to anticipate the course of events on the outset of the journey, how muchsurprising can the rest of the series be Not too much, I expect And if it was a trilogy, I d perhaps persevere, but there are 6books to come Don t get me wrong, I relish long fantasy series provided that there is enough to justify that many pages Malazan, anyone I cannot see enough complexity here And because I have hundreds of interesting books waiting on the shelves, my most heroic feat of 2018 is abandoning this series right now and not after seven one star reviews Please acknowledge One thing I want to say before I launch into a summary review the main characters are not gay they re bisexual Both of them express interest in and have relationships with women It s a silly thing to get nitpicky about, but I do On with business.Alec is a young man, just turned sixteen and recently orphaned, who earns a living trapping and trading furs He s lived his entire life in the wilderness, learning how to survive and navigate seemingly featureless plains and endless forests His so One thing I want to say before I launch into a summary review the main characters are not gay they re bisexual Both of them express interest in and have relationships with women It s a silly thing to get nitpicky about, but I do On with business.Alec is a young man, just turned sixteen and recently orphaned, who earns a living trapping and trading furs He s lived his entire life in the wilderness, learning how to survive and navigate seemingly featureless plains and endless forests His solitary existence is disrupted when he is arrested by the local lord accused of being a spy Alec is thrown into the dungeon, where he is tortured for several days Then the guards bring a new prisoner and throw him in with Alec Before Alec knows it, he and the strange man have escaped the dungeon and are camped in the woods outside the castle The man introduces himself as Seregil, a wandering bard who, like Alec, was in the wrong place at the wrong time Seregil needs to get to Wolde, a large trading center, in three days, but the only way to get there in time is to take a shortcut that only Alec knows, so Seregil hires Alec as his guide, and the pair make their way to Wolde Along the way, Seregil confesses to Alec that he actually is the spy the lord was looking for, and offers Alec a partnership of sorts Alec is hesitant, but Seregil convinces him with tales of magic, dragons, adventures and riches When they reach the city they meet up with Seregil s partner, Micum The trio heads south for Skala, which is one of the Three Lands Plenimar and Mycena are the other two , but soon after Micum leaves the party to investigate some suspicious activity back in the North, and Alec and Seregil continue on It seems there s about to be yet another war between Skala and Plenimar, and Plenimar is seeking allies in the North, which is why Seregil and Micum, agents of the Skalan government, were up there The two have lots of adventures, and kick lots of butt, and all the other usual things that happen in fantasy action adventure novels The review It has a standard Medieval Europe type setting, complete with wizards, elves she can call them whatever she wants, they re ELVES, okay, only without pointy ears , and various other mythical creatures When I first read it, I had a very lukewarm response to it It was definately an okay book in my opinion The beginning just didn t grab me Also, being first in a series and the first novel Lynn wrote , there is a lot of exposition and world building, which I wanted to skim but didn t since I needed to know this stuff Most of it is in dialogue form, with Alec acting as our conduit, while Seregil explains the customs and history of the Three Lands It got tedious, and I found some of the passages just a tad awkward.But the charactersespecially Seregiljust grabbed hold of my heartstrings and made me care about them And the dialogue Lord, Seregil has a wit that could shred the wind I love his irreverent sense of humor, too And the chemistry between him and Micum just works I can t think of any other way to put it After I read the sequels, and then reread this one, I found myself falling in love with it 3.75 This was harder than normal to read I read this pretty slowly I finally got faster at reading this at around page 400 Two main characters Seregil and Alec It s not duo perspective Different characters can also be the main voice at any point in the story, but Seregil and Alec are the most commonly used ones There are 4 gods There are wizards Also there are these mysterious discs It ended on a cliffhanger the 1st two books are linked I think so I ll probably read the next one bec 3.75 This was harder than normal to read I read this pretty slowly I finally got faster at reading this at around page 400 Two main characters Seregil and Alec It s not duo perspective Different characters can also be the main voice at any point in the story, but Seregil and Alec are the most commonly used ones There are 4 gods There are wizards Also there are these mysterious discs It ended on a cliffhanger the 1st two books are linked I think so I ll probably read the next one because I m invested in the characters and I like the action scenes.It s one of those books that I m glad I read for the experience, but I don t love it and it took me 6 days not reading at all for 1 day to finish which really pissed me off Too much setting description for me The worldbuilding is very good, but I can t remember a lot of it because I had such a hard time with the description for the longest time I think some of the less important scenes could have been skimmed overand replaced byaction.I heard about this because it was written in the 90s, but has a gay romance This book has very very little romance so if your looking for that it s probably in the 2nd book Maybe 2% and it s just hints at a future romance I was obsessed with it though I love extremely subtle romance friends to lovers It s as if this book was written just for me It s the perfect swashbuckling, mystery solving, roguish adventure, wherein the main characters are bisexual Although that is, for Alecs part, not revealed until later Thank you, Lynn, for this revelation of a book It s the story of Alec, who is saved from prison and certain death by dashing Seregil, who takes him on as an apprentice What exactly it is Seregil does is a little unclear to Alec It s safest to say he does a little bit of everything It s as if this book was written just for me It s the perfect swashbuckling, mystery solving, roguish adventure, wherein the main characters are bisexual Although that is, for Alecs part, not revealed until later Thank you, Lynn, for this revelation of a book It s the story of Alec, who is saved from prison and certain death by dashing Seregil, who takes him on as an apprentice What exactly it is Seregil does is a little unclear to Alec It s safest to say he does a little bit of everything and soon Alec will too Soon the world is no longer the woods he s known all his life It s court intrigues, it s murder and conspiracies, it s parties and thieving, it s a world of magic, possibility and impossible heroics In its simplest form it s Alecs coming of age story But it s also a brilliant, heartbursting adventure with magic, corruption, betrayal and dark secrets waiting to end the world as they know it And I loved every goddamn word I loved the unassuming, simple depiction of very complex relationships If there s one thing in this world I truly appreciate, it s loyalty And not loyalty that is bought with money, but loyality bought with love Loyality that grows out of shared pain, shared experience, and endless, eternal love Loyalty born of friendship, a loyalty that cannot be broken, however much the world conspires Alec is thrown into a group of people who trust each other completely And instead of treating him with distrust or apprehension, they greet him as a friend They trust him, too Alec has proven his worth after Seregil unwittingly puts his life in his hands, and having carried the fragile lifeblood of another person safely into healing arms, having saved him from death, Alec becomes one of them It was both a book that hinted at so much , at dark hungry gods, plotting to end the world, and a book that had a self contained story of a plot against the queen Both were supported by incredibly steady, excellent worldbuilding In this Lynn Flewelling doesn t hesitate With sure, deft hands she crafts a world with history, pantheon and society I completely and utterly believed Most of the details were relayed through stories told from Seregil to Alec, which was a clever way to do it, and left no weird, awkward interruptions from the author.Most of all I applauded and relished in a world of such diversity It could use a littleracial diversity, but in terms of sexuality and gender it was fucking fantastical Women had power, they were never confined to the kitchens, nor to get married or sleep with only men Alec is from a place with a less tolerant society, but in the bigger cities andfree thinking regions you can be who you are Which is so refreshing To read a book where these things are not gingerly approached and kept on the sidelines, but thrown directly in there, and done so expertly, without making the story about it The characters simply are that way, while adventure happens to them This is just a perfect book Whenever I wasn t reading it, I was thinking about it Now that I m no longer reading it, I m still thinking about it And I can t wait to continue with the series That there are seven books in all should probably overwhelm me, but it just makes me excited So much of this world to see, so many adventures to have Sometimes you get so stupidly, unbelievably lucky With this book I did I ve noted before about some books that they can be very hard to rate This is another It opens up and catches the interest drawing you in The story is well constructed and pretty obviously setting up a long saga The thing is that there are times that the story grinds down to almost a halt If you ve read any of my other reviews you know that I m not fond of personal stories, interpersonal relationships and romance when it takes over a narrative In this book that doesn t actually happen I ve noted before about some books that they can be very hard to rate This is another It opens up and catches the interest drawing you in The story is well constructed and pretty obviously setting up a long saga The thing is that there are times that the story grinds down to almost a halt If you ve read any of my other reviews you know that I m not fond of personal stories, interpersonal relationships and romance when it takes over a narrative In this book that doesn t actually happenbut it happens in spurts There are places where the book turned into a real yawner We skip from plot point to plot point but have longstops, interludes in between When we reach the big city Rhiminee and we start filling in the Alec character story there are so many slow scenes as to drive one to bed As I went along the magic portions of the story tie in well and we get the picture of our anti hero, co protagonist, Seregi s story He s got a past and a secret at least from Alec and a lot of friends He s part of a much bigger story He s also a weirdly conscience stricken anti hero at times doing the moral thing usually when he s called on something By the way there is a sister series, Tam r Triad This book is the first in the Nightrunner Series So, I realize this is one of those murky reviewsthe problem is the book is the same way Very well written and interesting parts interspersed with dull slow parts And I know that different people will find different parts interesting The book is however very well written and even the parts that lost me my interest will probably pull other readers in.I can t bring myself to give this bookor less than 3 starswill I follow the series I m not sure, maybe I can say that the idea here is a good one and the book gives me hope that I might like the next betterthe problem is I also might not like it as well We are the Fearless MacHalos and we don t Only Read UF Crap we Read Fantasy Crap Too Buddy Read WatFMawdORUCwRFCTBR DNF at 50% Because zzz Serial DNFing Mode SDM engaged Crap damn bloody shrimping hell I have not one but three, as in one, two, three Freaking DNF Non Reviews FDNR to write This is it This is the end I know most of you out there somewhat love to watch me suffer through crappy books and take perverse pleasure in reading my DNF reviews, but I can t do this anym We are the Fearless MacHalos and we don t Only Read UF Crap we Read Fantasy Crap Too Buddy Read WatFMawdORUCwRFCTBR DNF at 50% Because zzz Serial DNFing Mode SDM engaged Crap damn bloody shrimping hell I have not one but three, as in one, two, three Freaking DNF Non Reviews FDNR to write This is it This is the end I know most of you out there somewhat love to watch me suffer through crappy books and take perverse pleasure in reading my DNF reviews, but I can t do this any I m not getting any younger even though you d never think it if you saw me in the lovely, juvenile flesh , and I can t loseprecious time writing never ending reviews for PoC view spoiler please tell me you remember what this one stands for You don t How sad hide spoiler I didn t read in their entire entirety SO I m going to do this the express way which you could have foreseen, given the short length of this brief yet fascinating introduction.Here goes.I had high expectations for this one I mean, it s Fantasy and stuff, and Fantasy usually rates much lower on the Official Crap Scale OCS than its Urban Fantasy cousin that s actually second cousin, twice removed In case you were wondering But I must admit the main reason why I was looking forward to reading this book is because it has been shelved as M M Romance by 226 supposedly astute Goodreads users You know me, I just cannot resist anything labelled as Romance The masochistic in me can t help it I see Romance, and I think oh cool, I haven t had the opportunity to check all that apply eyeroll rage rant bang my head against the nearest hard surface kill my Kindle in a while Let s read this Yeah, a pi ata is me.But I digress So As I was saying, the only reason I chose to read this lovely book and that s the disgustingly honest truth, cross the little heart that I don t have, hope to die, and all that crap is because of the M M thing I mean, come on, guys are, you know, GUYS So a romance between two, you know, GUYS, can t be as silly and stupid and mushy and ridiculous as a romance between a female nitwit and a male bonehead, right Right don t ask me where this harebrained idea came from, I have no idea I never said any of this I am innocent Yeah, that too.But anyway.What I am so brilliantly trying to say is I figured that even though this was a Romance of Doom and Destruction RoDaD , at least it was M M, which would probably prove refreshing compared to the RoDaD crap I never read Besides, one of the two Ms was supposed to be a spy, a rogue, and a thief, which in murderous crustacean speak loosely translates to mean YUM YUM YUM And YUM Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I said I d cut the crap Guess what I lied.You know what the irony of it all is This book killed me dead before the freaking romance stuff even begun The nerve, Lynn Flewelling, the nerve I got to the 50% mark and nothing even remotely, disgustingly romantic had happened No creepy sweet words exchanged, no touching, no kissing, no sexual innuendo, a big fat NOTHING This is outrageous What a total rip off To make things worse, one of the male leads is a freaking 16 year old dies a little You have got to be kidding me Making one of your leads a teenager was a really low blow, Lynn Flewelling I m tough and stuff, but this was as horribly painful as it was unexpected That is just not done, Lynn Flewelling, that is just not done.Oh, did you want to know what this book was about Well, after reading 250 delightfully entertaining pages of this story, I can tell you that much it s not about exciting stuff It s nothing but a Bloody Hell this is so Bloody Boring I might Die Coming of Age Story BHtisBBimDCoAS And an unoriginal one at that And one that feels like it was written 30 years ago at that Yeah, I know, I m harsh and nasty and cruel and unkind and blah blah blah and stuff What can I say It s a gift And the moral of this Should Have Been Short but Ha You ve Been Had It Wasn t Crappy Non Review SHBSbHYBHIWCNR is can t sleep Read this book QED and stuff Oh, and you re very welcome And Stuff ^DOWNLOAD EBOOK ↝ Luck in the Shadows ✑ 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 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