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Luck in the Shadows (Nightrunner #1)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  13,839 Ratings  ·  744 Reviews
"A new star is rising in the fantasy firmament...teems with magic and spine-chilling amounts of skullduggery."–Dave Duncan, author of The Great Game

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 thin
ebook, 476 pages
Published November 3rd 2010 by Spectra (first published September 1996)
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Popular Answered Questions

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)
Gavin Patterson Yes. Finding a new fantasy book with fresh and interesting characters who engage so well with each other is rare. Engaging dialogue and character…moreYes. Finding a new fantasy book with fresh and interesting characters who engage so well with each other is rare. Engaging dialogue and character evolution fills a vacuum much needed in fantasy.
I was delighted when I found this book and gorged on as much of the series I could find at the time.
I found the book light and encouraging. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
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
Jun 02, 2011 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
Mar 21, 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 20, 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...
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
Oct 12, 2016 Kaitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Aug 17, 2009 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.
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
Dec 15, 2016 Gergana marked it as zzz-books-not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
DNF: 44%
I....just...couldn't go on. It was just too boring for me...

Read in December, 2016
May 15, 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!
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
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Jul 14, 2014 ᴥ Irena ᴥ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 09, 2014 Anja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia, 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*

Jul 06, 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
Heidi Cullinan
May 08, 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
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.
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
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
Jan 24, 2017 Caravaggion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, fantasy
liSTEn i HATE slowburn ok you all promised me ROMANCE and its tAKING SO LONG
ill be reading book two asap
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
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
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 17, 2011 Marc rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.” 58 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.”
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