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Shadows Return (Nightrunner #4)

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3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  5,244 Ratings  ·  248 Reviews
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. Hop
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Mass Market Paperback, 522 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Spectra (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nancy
Jun 08, 2015 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy, lgbt
It really bothered me to give Shadows Return only three stars. I was really looking forward to spending more time with Alec and Seregil in this fourth installment in the Nightrunner series.

(view spoiler)
...more
Kelly
Only the last hundred pages earned this one the third star. This book fell into the trap that many sequels to even good series (which the first Nightrunner books were) do, especially ones that take place after the main characters have fallen in love. For some reason the author doesn't feel the need to give either of the parties much of a personality characteristic, other than being in love with each other. Its like since they don't have to woo each other, or unwittingly fall in love, therefore t ...more
Kathryn
Jun 23, 2008 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I mananged to skip the currently reading altogether with this one! Only took me six hours, too, which I'm sure must be a personal record.

The much anticipated fourth installment of the Nightrunners series, Shadows Return is absolutely awesome. It picks up a year and a half after the end of Traitor's Moon. Alec and Seregil have reestablished their personas as Lord Seregil and Sir Alec, and have rebuilt their inn, appropriately named The Stag and Otter. Of course, they've also reestablished themsel
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Devildoll
Aug 19, 2008 Devildoll rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stewart
Mar 20, 2009 Stewart rated it liked it
An overly grim and somewhat myopic fourth installment to Flewelling's Nightrunner series, in which our intrepid duo are kidnapped, enslaved, poisoned, tortured, humiliated and molested . . . and that's just the first half.

Throughout the series Flewelling has solidified such a fine fantasy realm, with such likeable characters, that even sub-par installments such as this one are still sufficiently entertaining. That said, this book needed more air and a lighter touch.

The enslavement would have w
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Trix
Jan 18, 2011 Trix rated it it was amazing
For some reason, I found the third novel to be less exciting than the first two. However, the fourth novel seems to have made up for any lacking in 3.

[spoiler ahead] There wasn't that much action, really, if you think about it. They head off to Aurenen only to be kidnapped, dragged through a slave market then imprisoned by a Plenimaran lord. Much of the plot of the book develops within those walls. But it was the despair encompassed with the main characters in that villa that pulls at the attent
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Charlotte
May 01, 2010 Charlotte rated it it was ok
While the first three volumes of the Nightrunner Series are possibly the best books I ever read in the genre, Shadows Return doesn't live up to it's predecessors at all and left me more than disappointed.

Where he first three novels shone with a great and credible world full of detail and characters that never drifted into clichee, with a plot full of twists and turns that drew the reader into the world, Shadows Return lacks all of these factors.
Sold into slavery, the protagonists suddenly lack
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Rose
May 29, 2010 Rose rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracey
Feb 20, 2015 Tracey rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 4-star
First of all, what a gorgeous cover. But I was a little disappointed in the book. Not horribly so, but … still. The previous book, Traitor's Moon, was so very good, and wrapped the series up so tidily, that I was surprised when I found out about the new book(s).

Seregil and Alec are wonderful characters, and what they do best is the Nightrunning – hence the name of the series. And this starts promisingly with a mission successfully completed and another begun … and then suddenly en route to Aurë
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Katerina
La cosa più importante che ho imparato da questo libro è che non dovrà mai essere permesso a Lynn Flewelling e George R.R. Martin di incontrarsi.

Questo è un libro che, alla fine, mi ha lasciato con un sacco di dubbi: da un lato è scritto benisimo, ha una trama durissima, nonostante l'ambientazione sia limitata c'è un sacco di espansione del mondo. Vediamo Plenimar, vediamo l'alchimia, vediamo il conflitto da un'altro punto di vista. Non so quanto la Flewelling riesca ad essere realistica sulla s
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Jesse
Aug 05, 2016 Jesse rated it it was amazing
Seregil and Alec are back in Rhíminee, but reminders are everywhere that the times have changed. Phoria is a much different queen than her mother Idrilain was, and almost everyone else has been affected by the unfolding events of the past three books...times are getting darker, and most of the characters are getting more serious and sober. Reading this installment, I really miss Nysander. Alec and Seregil are tough and can make it on their own, but there isn't quite as much levity.

I sighed, a bi
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Wealhtheow
Aug 13, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it it was ok
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 e ...more
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru
Synopsis:

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
...more
Meg
Aug 17, 2012 Meg rated it liked it
Shadows Return
OR
Alchemy! It's a Small Step Up From Necromancy

I enjoyed this one in the series more than the last two for a couple of reasons. One, it was less political. The book mostly takes place outside of Skala or Aurenen, so we're not playing the same collection of spy games. Two, without an entire cast of a couple of armies and all the politics of three nations to worry about, the book had a lot more time to focus on Alec and Seregil and their relationship. The two are the central axis on
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J'aime
Aug 08, 2011 J'aime rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I admit I was wary of reading this installment of the Nightrunner series as it has many more negative reviews than the previous books. After finishing it, I understand why – it’s very different in tone than those and mostly depressing. Alec and Seregil are captured early on by slavers, and spend nearly the entire book as prisoners, and separated. There is no humor (as there was in the first three books) because the two men are never together and always surrounded by enemies. The dialog is also l ...more
Ayanna
Sep 05, 2013 Ayanna rated it really liked it
OMG THE CHILD HE'S SO ADORABLE WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN.

The irony of the all caps is I'm not even that worked up about it.

I quite like this Sebrahn. I don't want him to die. For some reason, I get the feeling he's going to die and I keep reading it with bated breath, half-bracing myself for his death. I don't even know if he's actually going to die. It's just...something about him and the way he's constructed (I mean this in the meta-author way, not the in-world way) seems to suggest the type o
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Kati
Jul 31, 2008 Kati rated it it was amazing
It's been so many years since I read the first Nightrunner trilogy and I missed Seregil and Alec so much. This book wasn't as action filled as the first three, nor were there many intrigues there but it was still so much fun. But then, I would probably give five stars to any Nightrunner book, I'm biased.

I'm rather intrigued by the new direction this book took and by the new characters that were added. I think that they enrich the whole world nicely and allow for more development in future books
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Sineala
Jun 12, 2012 Sineala rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul
Nov 30, 2015 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 STARS
I found this book slower and more frustrating than the others but the end gave it 4.5 stars instead of 4.
Emma Grace
Jan 06, 2017 Emma Grace rated it it was ok
Okay, the only reason this isn't getting one star is because there was a plot twist I didn't expect, even reading reviews with spoilers in them, regarding the identity of a character. But this was an incredibly disgusting horror story instead of BA, war-fighting, faie. Like, the torture was more gruesome than Game of Thrones. I guess there was some interesting stuff regarding the world building, but a lot of it was very WTF did I just read?! *shudders* I'm glad I stuck it out to the end, but I r ...more
Anka
3/5

Although my two favorites of the Nightrunner series are still Luck in the Shadows and Stalking Darkness, I enjoyed Shadows Return. I'd been told that it might be a little iffy because it was written so many years after Traitor's Moon, and I did see some issues, in that regard.

A couple plot-holes that made me scratch my head straight away: I thought they had named their inn The Owl and Dragon, not The Stag and Otter; also, in the last book, Magyana was banished by the queen, but in this one,
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Aimee ~is busy sleeping~
*3.5*
I guess it goes to show that sometimes I -shouldn't- listen to reviews on here. This has remained my favorite lgbt fantasy series, and I soared through the first three books. However, I took a long break because all of the reviews on Amazon and then most on here were very discouraging about book 4, written a decade later.

I can understand some of the disappointments, but I didn't think it was quite all that bad at all. Maybe I was just in a very patient mood. The writing did seem more YA-is
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Scribblemoose
Sep 24, 2008 Scribblemoose rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the previous Shadows books, for all their flaws. They were good stories and the characters were very engaging. I love Alec and Seregil.

But this volume I found sadly disappointing. Basically about 85% of it is torture. Torture to read and definitely torture for the characters. I understand the need for the writer to demonstrate they were having a tough time, but the extent of the punishment inflicted on them - not just page after page but chapter after chapter - was excessive. Not only
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Mitsuki
Nov 11, 2008 Mitsuki rated it it was amazing
SHADOWS RETURN is the fourth installment of Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series. After finishing the first three books almost nine years ago now, she has returned with a new exciting book about our two favorite nightrunners; Seregil í Rhiminee and Alec of Kerry.

Like her other books, SHADOWS RETURN starts with a small interlude to allow the readers to learn more about the two main characters, obviously meant to refreshen everybody's memories about the previous adventures of our two heroes. But e
...more
Anna Nesterovich
Jun 21, 2016 Anna Nesterovich rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, must-have
There are a lot of reviews here pointing out the lack of intrigues and politics in this volume. This is certainly not an epic, like the second book of Nightrunner, nor even a detective, like the first and the third. The beloved characters, Seregil and Alec, are sent on a questionable errand early in the book and most of the rest happens after its failure. They are caught, enslaved, tortured, and are expected to use all their resourcefulness to get out.

I would say this book is not as brilliant as
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Pamela
Oct 27, 2009 Pamela rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Between the four books, I think this one has been my favorite. Throughout the other books Alec and Seregil have been together, fighting with and against the world. In this, they have to play their separate parts and come out alive (plus one). I eat up romance in a story and The Nightrunner intertwines a fun romance that doesn’t over shadow the actual story because there IS as story filled with intrigue and surprising amounts of violence.

Alec and Seregil find themselves twiddling their thumbs ba
...more
Grey853
Jun 25, 2008 Grey853 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay, fantasy
It's been a long time since the last book in the Nightrunner series, but the wait for number 4 was well worth it. This was a great book, probably the best so far.

Alec and Seregil are partners, lovers, and friends. They've been through many adventures together and have stayed true to one another despite their differences. At the start of SHADOWS RETURN they're a little bored, not quite sure what to do with themselves. They soon have a mission given by the queen to recall her sister to help in th
...more
Erika
Jul 07, 2011 Erika rated it it was amazing
Finally we're back to the main characters! We learn about Seregil and Alec's past, we hear the other side of the stories they've been into from the enemy side. No royal, clan, and military business in this installment. "Traitor's Moon" was too political for my liking, so this book got me hooked again with the series. I see a huge improvement in the portrayal of the villains, they're not just downright mean and cliché, there are more sides to them and I actually felt for some of them. I already h ...more
Tahyun
Dec 24, 2011 Tahyun rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-fiction
AHhhhh, freaking, AHHHHH!

This book was so ridiculously good, it boggles the mind! I was reluctant because the thought of the premise of the book made me squeamish/sad/get the heebeejeebees.


But it was just so good. The insights into both characters' pasts, especially Seregil, and the conflicts, both external and internal that they both go through are just amazing. I loved all the villains, as well. Just really well developed characters. The backdrop was painted well, and I think it blended nicel
...more
Neil McGarry
Oct 13, 2013 Neil McGarry rated it really liked it
You don't expect the fourth book in a series to be the best, but "Shadows Return" is my favorite of the Nightrunner Series. Flewelling, who in my opinion stumbled with "Traitor's Moon", wisely keeps the scope smaller, putting only a half-dozen characters on stage instead of fifteen or so. The storyline is not destroy-the-dreaded-foozle or Defeat King Evil, but instead flows from choices the characters made in previous books, which is far more interesting. Flewelling typically violates gender nor ...more
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Worth Reading? 3 20 Jan 27, 2014 08:42AM  
So Excited!! 3 61 Feb 03, 2012 12:02PM  
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Other Books in the Series

Nightrunner (7 books)
  • Luck in the Shadows (Nightrunner, #1)
  • Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner, #2)
  • Traitor's Moon (Nightrunner, #3)
  • The White Road (Nightrunner, #5)
  • Casket of Souls (Nightrunner, #6)
  • Shards of Time (Nightrunner, #7)

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“A crafty nightrunner died of late,
And found himself at Bilairy’s Gate.
He stood outside and refused to knock
Because he meant to pick the lock.”
30 likes
“Whatever role you play, play it to the hilt.” 17 likes
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