Series: Nightrunner #1
Published by Random House Publishing Group on November 3rd 2010
Number of Pages: 496
Purchase: At Amazon
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.
I love this series as far as I’ve read it (which at this point is only to book 3). But commenting only on this first book, everything introduced in the book is relevant. There is no throwing in of random elements just to move the plot along. If it is mentioned once, you can be sure that the person/history/guild/whatever it is, is going to pop up again later in the book, and most likely later in the series as well. There is also not a huge amount of info-dumping. The history you need to know about Skala is wonderfully laid out through Seregil ‘teaching’ it to Alec throughout the book. Little bits here, little bits there, it’s laid out well and you don’t suffer from information over-load. The characters are well-rounded, they all have strengths and flaws that are easy to see, and make themselves memorable.
Seregil is smart and cunning, but also playful and likes poking fun. He can be serious and deadly when the occasion warrants, and transitioning between his many sides is done fluidly. Alec starts out as a shy and naive teenager, who we get to watch grow up in some ways as the story unfolds. He is smart and learns quickly, stubborn and loyal.
It isn’t a central plot line, but for those who prefer to stay away from that kind of thing, the main characters Alec and Seregil, do end up falling in love in the 2nd book in this series. There is none of the angst about it being ‘wrong’, as in this world it isn’t as big a deal. It just kind of happens to them naturally in the course of their friendship. And there is no dwelling on it, it is just one of those things that ‘is’. I would highly recommend this book to those who like a little intrigue and twists in their fantasy.