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Les maîtres de l'ombre (Nightrunner #1)

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,781 Ratings  ·  655 Reviews
Lorsque le jeune Alec de Kerry est emprisonné pour un crime qu'il n'a pas commis, il croit sa vie ruinée. C'est sans compter sur son étrange compagnon de cellule. Espion, voleur et noble à la fois, Seregil de Rhiminee est bien plus qu'il ne paraît. Lorsqu'il propose à Alec de devenir son apprenti, leurs vies changent à jamais. Mais la fortune est aussi imprévisible que le ...more
Paperback, 552 pages
Published January 21st 2011 by Bragelonne (first published September 1996)
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Amber None in the first book, although they do have a very strong friendship. There is some in following books, but the main focus of the story is on their…moreNone in the first book, although they do have a very strong friendship. There is some in following books, but the main focus of the story is on their adventures rather than their romance.(less)
Barry Stiller It's always a bit difficult to just recommend a book without knowing WHO I am supposed to recommend it to, isn't it ;)
I really enjoyed this book a…more
It's always a bit difficult to just recommend a book without knowing WHO I am supposed to recommend it to, isn't it ;)
I really enjoyed this book a lot when I read it quite some years ago, mostly because it featues a lot of elements rather rare in the "standard" fantasy novels that I know. The world is refreshingly complex, yet Flewelling resists the (frequent) urge to offer you all the information she obviously has. Insetad you are left to figure out a lot of things by yourself, or just over time - meaning you don't know even half of anything after the first book in this series ;)
Another thing I enjoyed was the character interaction which is often unexpected and realistic in an everyday sense.
To be fair, there were some minor instances where I saw room for improvement with regard to narration, but since this is, as far as I know, Flewelling's very first novel...
I enjoy re-reading the series occasionally to this day, so if your reading tastes are anything like mine, that might be reason enough for me to recommend, and for you to read, the Nightrunner Series.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 04, 2013 Jenre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why I Bought the Book: Lynn Flewelling was a key invited speaker at Yaoicon last year. I have to admit, I'd never heard of her before, but the seminar she led with Ginn Hale, Astrid Amara and Marie Sexton made me interested in buying at least this book, the first in the Nightrunner series to see whether I liked her style of writing.

Plot: Sixteen year old Alec of Kerry is a bit of a bad situation. He was stalking a wild cat for its fur when he wandered onto private land and was caught. As well as
Mar 22, 2009 Felicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
LOve LOVE this book! It's a great adventure fantasy book in the old tradition of escaping baddies and looming dark magic. I love the relationships as well. There's a connection between 2 male characters that I believe may turn romantic in the subsequent books, but honestly, it's so great and subtle and TRUE to them that wherever it goes I will be into it, and I wouldn't label it "Gay" persay, like say Melisure (which I love as well).

Definitely picking up books 2 and 3 in the trilogy, damn Kindl
Mar 24, 2008 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Mike (the Paladin)
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...
2.5 Stars

Alec of Kerry is taken prisoner for a crime he didn’t commit. While incarcerated, he meets Seregil of Rhiminee. Together, the two escape and Alec soon becomes Seregil's apprentice spy, rogue, thief, and Watcher. Soon, Alec and Seregil are embroiled in political intrigue and mystery in a land poised on the brink of war with only their wits, skills, and friends to keep them alive.

This one was meh. I am a fan of the fantasy genre and there was a lot of great world-building here but I had a
Feb 13, 2010 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Luck in the Shadows is about sixteen-year-old Alec of Kerry, who at the beginning of the book is taken prisoner for a crime he didn't commit. Fate brings him his cellmate Seregil, a spy, thief, and rogue. Together they escape the prison and Seregil takes Alec under his wing as his apprentice. For a while Alec enjoys experiencing things he's never done and traveling to places he's never gone. However, things take a turn for the worse when Alec and Seregil find themselves caught in a nefarious dec ...more
Robin Hobb
Jan 29, 2014 Robin Hobb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent tale with an unconventional hero.
Jun 19, 2012 Simsala rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, fantasy, series
Just the fifth time (and the first time in English language) in my history as a reader I will tackle the second book of a high fantasy series.
Even for that alone Luck in the Shadows would deserve five stars!
⊱ Irena ⊰
You don't get into this story slowly. There isn't an introduction. The very first scene is in the prison followed by Seregil and Alec's escape.
The blurb doesn't say much and the genre labels on Goodreads don't help either. None of it tells you how well this book is written.

After the escape, Seregil and Alec become partners in whatever Seregil is into. He is a lot of things: from a noble to a thief and anything you can think of in between. It is wonderful to see Alec's growth and the glimpses of
Sep 26, 2011 Mandapanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! An epic Swords and Sorcery tale about Alec, an innocent young woodsman and Seregil, the spy and thief who rescues him then takes him as an apprentice. We slowly learn about this entrancing fantasy world during their perilous journey to the capital Rhiminee, as Alec teases tales from his roguish mentor. Noble and ignoble secondary characters are introduced and intrigue and secrets abound.

This is a classic in the m/m fantasy genre. There is no romance in this first volume. Alec is only
At long last I have finished this audiobook. It is NOT an m/m romance, it is a young adult fantasy with two male lead characters. Possibly it heats up in subsequent books of the series but there is NO SEX in this book, not even a kiss!

I did like the characters of Seregil and Alec but I completely lost the complicated plot, possibly because it was audio, sadly one cannot skim in audio either.. Funny how 'cockerel' and 'quay' are pronounced by the American narrator!

I will NOT be completing the s
Ivie ✩Born to Magic-Forced to Muggle✩
There is a lot to be said for a fantasy that has an m-m cast. There isn't many around (or more likely I haven't read many), and it was refreshingly lacking the typical hero cliché that usually accompanies such novels, and that would be a young girl at the cusp of adulthood with the classic first kiss complex.

Don't get me wrong I still enjoy my fantasies and their heroes regardless the sex or age, but it seems that the subtle nuances of male attraction did the trick for this one. Not overly inte
Abigail Hilton
I wanted to like this book. It's an action/adventure fantasy that contains gay and bi-sexual characters. The book is not a romance and contains plenty of plot and action that have nothing to do with sex. We need more books like this - books with a range of sexual orientation and expression, books that contain gay men in a story that can still be enjoyed by anyone who is not a bigot. Like many straight women, I enjoy stories with gay characters, but I prefer books that have an engaging plot that ...more
Feb 26, 2015 Anja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt, buddy-reads
I really liked it, but it was a little slow. It wasn't always gripping, sometimes even quite predictable, but still enjoyable and amusing enough to keep me entertained.
From time to time it lost me with all the strange names and places. The world-building, however, was well done. As well as the writing and characters, esp., of course, the MCs, esp., of course, Seregil. In fell in love with bim the first time he openend his mouth :D In a way he reminds me very much of Jack Harkness... *coughs*

Heidi Cullinan
May 10, 2009 Heidi Cullinan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
This book is good on its own, but I love it all the more because I've been so desperate for a new, good book, and the fact that it's a series only makes it more delicious.

Adventure. Fantastical worlds, but very accessible. Very "male adventure," but Flewelling makes some nice gender switches, particularly in the country of Skala. Absolutely adore the gay/bi hero, though there's no consummation of who I hope is his love interest in this book. That almost makes it better: here's a strong, allurin
Emma Sea
Well, I didn't love it. I do appreciate how well the characters are drawn. They are all believable, with backstories and motivations. I think the MCs will be the most amazing couple, once they get together. I may keep reading the rest of the series just for the ship.

I think I've just read too many fantasy books, so this constantly reminded me of other works (like the very opening; seemed exactly like the opening of Otherland vol 1: neither is copying, they were both released in 1996).

Had I read
Patrick Lacey
Mar 30, 2007 Patrick Lacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yes
This book, the first in a series, is a recent discovery. A fantasy world, where gay and lesbian people are unnoteworthy, and many people seem to be casually bisexual. The world is richly imagined, and I quickly became attached to the characters. All three are worth the read. I just read her three prequel books, starting with The Bone Doll's Twin, and found them enjoyable too, if not as insistently page turning as Luck in the Shadows and Stalking Darkness. She's someone I'm going to keep my eye o ...more
Jan 14, 2009 Miriam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I hadn't picked this one up because I thought I had already read it, but this description doesn't sound familiar, especially not being set in the same world as Bone Doll's Twin. Now I think I had it mixed up with Shadowrun. I'll have to see if I can find it again.
The first book with main characters in a gay relationship I've ever read. It was a revelation and it still is.

One of my most dearest books. The story is awesome (as long as you like fantasy), the dialogues are fun, Alec and Seregil are perfect and I'm incredibly fond of them.

I'm really a fan of m/m stories, where there's actually a story, or more precisely, where the relationship isn't more important than it would have been if the couple had been straight. The kind of story where the couples rel
Re-read in July 2013.

I love everything about this book (and the entire series). EVERYTHING. High fantasy is one of my favourite genres and Luck in the Shadows is a perfect fantasy novel. It’s gripping, beautifully written and the world building is just extraordinary. It is a story of a young boy named Alec who recently lost his father, the only important person in his life. But when he is taken prisoner he meets Seregil, a mysterious and unpredictable spy. Seregil rescues Alec, Alec is very grat
Nov 30, 2010 Trix rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was an amazing read. I enjoyed the feel of the story, the characters, the wonders of the world and the adventures they embarked on. I was a little put off by the somewhat long descriptions (at least until I realised this was actually one of 5 - if not more - books and thus the careful detailing served to set in place the background of the story). I was expecting a gay romance set in a similar reality, with more focus on the main characters than anything else. But I was pleasantly surprised by ...more
The Adventure Is Just Beginning!

I dare you to come with me!!

Why I’m saying I dare you? Because it’s not an easy book to read, but I certainly recommend it to all! Teen or adults, it’s a fantasy book that MUST be read.

Let me start saying it’s not a gay book. Yes, it’s in my MM (male-male) shelf just because there is a nuanced romance between two men, BUTit’s not a romance! At all… it’s an adventure, of a thief (Seregil) and his new apprentice (Alec).

Alec, Seregil, and all the secondary charac
Fantasy Gold! This is going to be one of those slow developing series’ that keeps you hooked with every little reveal. I almost feel there are more questions than answers right now, dropped innuendo, and things hinted at yet never explained. Hello peaked curiosity! Yet, I still felt I got a complete read.

Alec is the son of a hunter/trapper. He’s spent his life on the move throughout the Northlands. After the death of his father he continues, as it’s the only life he’s ever known. At 15 he’s on
Jul 28, 2011 Marc rated it it was ok
Recommended to Marc by: Solkeera
Voilà un bouquin assez déroutant. Annoncé comme excellent par certains lecteurs qui ne lisent quasiment pas de fantasy, je m'attendais à quelque chose de vraiment très bon.
Au lieu de ça, on a droit à une histoire qui peine à décoller et qui se perd dans des tours et des détours. L'auteur commence à mettre en place un semblant d'intrigue au début du volume - en lien avec le prologue ? - pour l'abandonner rapidement pour... eh bien, pour rien. On a alors près d'un tiers du livre où il ne se passe
This book was okay - I don't feel angry I wasted my time on it or anything - but I guess I was a little bored by it. I mean, it had a lot of elements that appealed to me, but they just didn't add up into anything particularly compelling. There was all this court intrigue that I hadn't really been given any reason to care about. There were all these dire situations the main characters fell into, but they weren't really emotional enough for me to get swept up into. There were long stretches of eve ...more
Jul 29, 2010 Sophie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
One thing I've got to say up front: I am SO over fantasy as a genre. If anything, this book only proved it to me. I know that not all fantasy books are the same, but most of them are very much alike, and this series has a very... generic setting, to put it mildy. Standard medieval setting, but with a more matriarchic touch (which I admittedly rather liked), some wizards, some elvish-like-people, lots of weird sounding names with umlauts..

Still, the strange thing about this book that I found it
Nov 10, 2011 Snowtulip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Snowtulip by: Nancy
Shelves: m-m, fantasy
This story completely captured my attention from beginning to end. All the characters within this story had a well thought out place within the story and I always felt as though I had just the right amount of depth for the primary, secondary, tertiary, etc. characters. I loved the pacing of the friendship that is forged betweeen Seregil and Alec and the glimpses of maturing that is occuring within Alec. The plot is intriguing and offers enough political and personal machinations to keep the read ...more
Gorgeous. I'm in love with the protagonists. Although there are hints to they being gay/bi, it's not the centre of the plot, but the character development and the adventure.
What's really wonderful is the society: matrilinear monarchy, women in high military ranks, LGBT love integrated into society.
And so many Sherlock Holmes references!

Bechdel Test: passed
Russo Test: passed

Reread 2016: es ist immer noch Liebe. Ich erkannte mehr Andeutungen. Aber hm, mir fiel viel stärker auf, wie männerlastig
Tim (Urges)
Mar 21, 2015 Tim (Urges) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I put off reading this book for a few years thinking it would be a cliche medieval style fantasy, I was wrong. The world and mythology is interesting, with fallible, lovable characters. There is a ton of world building but it was worth it in the end. I have no choice but to read the rest of the series. My only complaint is that my edition of the book had several noticeable editing/typo mistakes that kept sucking me out of a great story.
Feb 24, 2016 Fatima rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
new son to add on "my children list": alec of kerry
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Other Books in the Series

Nightrunner (7 books)
  • Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner, #2)
  • Traitor's Moon (Nightrunner, #3)
  • Shadows Return (Nightrunner, #4)
  • The White Road (Nightrunner, #5)
  • Casket of Souls (Nightrunner, #6)
  • Shards of Time (Nightrunner, #7)

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“Though you thrust a knife at my eyes, I will not flinch.” 54 likes
“You hardly know me. Why do you want me to come with you?"

"Who knows? Perhaps you remind me just a bit of—"

"Someone you used to know?" Alec interjected skeptically.

"Someone I used to be.”
More quotes…