sunnuntai 10. tammikuuta 2010

Lynn Flewelling: Shadows Return

Seregil balanced precariously atop the shard-lined wall, impatiently scanning the shadowy garden below for his misplaced partner. Alec has been right behind him when he'd shimmied out the library window, or so he thought.
Everything about this job had taken too long...

Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series is one of the vices from my younger and more vulnerable years. :) The first three books of the series (which - I was sure at the time - was meant to be a trilogy) gripped and fascinated me, so much so that I read them multiple times. It wasn't quite Harry Potter, but it was close... Besides, Seregil and Alec had a far more dangerous and alluring air about them with their electric relationship full of sexual tension and constant near-death-experiences. Teenage fangirl material at its best! ;)

Now, almost 10 years after the publication of the third book of the "trilogy", Flewelling has decided to extend the series into what is now a pentalogy. The fifth book, The White Road, is scheduled to be published in May this year. According to Wikipedia, we can expect two (!) more books after this.

Returning to the city of Rhímínee with Alec and Seregil is like having a reunion with old, familiar friends that you haven't seen or heard of in years. Flewelling, however, ignores the years that have passed between the publication of the trilogy and continues Shadows Return pretty much from where Traitor's Moon (book 3) ended. So for those who really want to appreciate the story, it might be a good idea to read the first three books first or at least revise them a bit.

I keep on thinking that I've grown past the age when this kind of fantasy can seduce me, but Flewelling proves me wrong again. I don't know how she does it, but once she gets the wheels of the story rolling, there's no stopping them. She's a brilliant story-teller and reading this book, I didn't really feel that I was simply reading as in turning the pages, but rather devouring the story in the most positive sense of the word. Few books are so successful in making me forget the passing of the time and embrace total escapism. :)

Perhaps it's not such a good idea to write a review immediately after finishing the book, because I seem to be incapable of considering it objectively enough to find anything to criticize about it. Well, yes, it is predictable. Yes, there are strange discrepancies in the plot. Yes, Seregil and Alec occasionally talk exactly like American teenagers, complete with contemporary swear words. But so what when it's all so entertaining and enjoyable? :P

Finally, a spoiler: when I first read the Nightrunner trilogy years ago, I remember hoping and wishing - without any reason to believe that my hopes would ever come true - that Flewelling would continue the series with a book that has Ilar in it. Somehow this came true...

Lynn Flewelling: Shadows Return. Bantam Spectra. 2008.

Lynn Flewelling's website
Wikipedia: Shadows Return
Wikipedia: Lynn Flewelling

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