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Shadows Return

(Nightrunner #4)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  6,918 ratings  ·  353 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
Mass Market Paperback, 522 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Spectra (first published January 1st 2008)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,918 ratings  ·  353 reviews

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Apr 14, 2008 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)
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Okay, this book was GREAT. Especially considering the fact that this gets a whole lot darker and more creepy in paces too. Once again, we're following Alec and Seregil as they are commissioned by the Queen to go and bring back her sister, Klia. Unfortunately, on their journey the two of them are captured and taken in as slaves, and the rest of the story focuses on their attempts to learn who captured them, trying to find one another, and of course, trying to escape...

What I liked about this book
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
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 13, 2008 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
Jun 10, 2008 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
May 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
☙ nemo ❧
this book is very polarising but to me it was my FAVOURITE of the whole series

can't wait to get the fifth book and read about how alec and seregil can literally never catch a goddamn break

and ALSO!! (view spoiler) i fucking SWEAR i will KNOCK ON LYNN'S DOOR MYSELF TO COMPLAIN
Oct 16, 2011 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
I almost gave this one star but pretty much all my complaints about this book are personal preferences so like's not her fault that she took almost every single trope that I hate and attached them to characters that I like. Also for some reason I kept thinking of the last Queen's Thief book [#5] while reading this and going 'well at least it's not as bad at that'. If there was a 1.5 star option I probably would have taken it though.

There's really no way to do this without spoilers so here
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Notwithstanding that Lynn Flewelling created with Seregil and Alec the best fictional romantic partnership ever, this novel was a let-down for me.

The story felt unbalanced, the characters uneven. The first three quarters read more like a re-narration of events from the first three books followed by a let’s-let-them-suffer trope, of which I’m SO tired, that I can’t even … I’m alright with reading about abuse and suffering if it serves a plot purpose, but for most of the part this wasn’t the feeli
Jul 18, 2008 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
Jan 15, 2011 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
Feb 15, 2010 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
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Fewer storylines to follow and a fair amount of repetition, but still, a few surprises and some important character development, considering the overall series.
Megan Daws
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This seems to be the least popular book in this series and I kind of get why but, at the same time, I don't think this is the worst book in the series. I think Lynn Flewelling's writing improved with every book, it was just a few other little things that made this one not quite as good as it could have been.
Since this is the fourth book, there's not too much I can say without spoilers, so I'll keep it brief:

Good things:
-Of all the books so far, I thought this one showed some great character deve
May 20, 2011 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
˗ˏˋ eg ˎˊ˗
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
that sure was a WILD RIDE oh my god!!!!!

not going to lie, I was really worried going into this book. and honestly I did end up being stressed to the highest degree for the majority of it. However, I still loved it?? The big reveals were shocking and truly threw me for a loop. and I mean.. how could I not love the book that gave me this? (view spoiler)

I guess, one of my biggest complaints about this book was the
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
Rep: gay mc, bi mc

is it going to be a theme, that the even books are better than the odd ones in this series?
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
*muttering softly to myself* what the fuck
Review to come...
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded up

My least favorite of the series so far, but I enjoyed more than I was expecting given the very mixed reviews! The vibe and plot points in this one do have a different feel to them than the first three books, but I appreciated getting to see bits of Thero and Miccum, and that there was definitely movement forward on some plot points that had come up in previous books - (view spoiler) Though Seregil and Alec do spend a si
Well, what can I say? I love these books and I wanna adopt Alec and Seregil. This series is different from the typical M/M romance fantasy we can usually find, we don't have many sex scenes, but the author is able with little gestures, touches and loving words, to make us feel the love btw our MCs and the friendship, and make all credible. Maybe this books was a bit darker than the previous ones, but was still really good and in the end our heroes always find a way to get back to each other.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru

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
Aug 03, 2011 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
Aug 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shadows Return
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
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it

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
Jul 24, 2008 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
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Born Lynn Elizabeth Beaulieu.

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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4 likes · 2 comments
“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.”
“Whatever role you play, play it to the hilt.” 27 likes
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