Fantasy: Wizards, Magic, Fae, Spies, Journey, Intrigue, Adventure, Series
From Amazon: "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 things–none of them predictable. And when he offers to take on Alec as his apprentice, things may never be the same for either of them. Soon Alec is traveling roads he never knew existed, toward a war he never suspected was brewing. Before long he and Seregil are embroiled in a sinister plot that runs deeper than either can imagine, and that may cost them far more than their lives if they fail. But fortune is as unpredictable as Alec’s new mentor, and this time there just might be…Luck in the Shadows."
I enjoyed this book immensely. Alec and Seregil are great characters. They aren't alike as far as temperaments go but they are two wonderful heroes and I'd be hard pressed to choose between them. The secondary characters are all well thought out. I never felt like anyone was thrown in without being really needed. One of my favorites of these would be the great wizard Nysander.
The world that Flewelling builds is very interesting. She goes into great detail without boring you and, pretty soon, you feel you are in the book experiencing everything along with the characters. A lot of intrigue and suspense that neatly sets the stage for the rest of the books yet gives you enough to be satisfied when you are done with this one. There's wizards and magic and even a centaur or two but, for all the fantasy aspects, this world feels like an alternate universe with some similarities to England in the Middle Ages or the 1800's. I couldn't decide which since it tended to shift from the time in the cities to the time running around the countryside.
The suspense and the action were both very entertaining. A lot of times I tend to skip these scenes with women writers but I couldn't get enough and was sucked in desperately wanting to know how or if our heroes, both, would make it through to the end.
A word of caution, this book does contain homosexual undertones. This doesn't bother me in the least since I read and watch m/m romances all the time, especially in anime and manga. However, some people may be put off by this. I will say that it is not, at least in this first book, anything major. One of the characters is bisexual and he happens to be attracted to another character. Nothing happens and, as the love is unrequited, the man in love doesn't try anything. They have a wonderful friendship and, it seems to me, this was setting up the stage for an actual romance for the, so far, heterosexual character.
I loved this book and I can't wait to read the rest in the series! Far as I know it's a trilogy but I'm not sure. I will let you all know. I think this is a good read for anyone looking for a little adventure, suspense, and fantasy with some wonderful characters. A solid 4.5 out of 5.
After reading Mailyn's review, I decided that I had to give this book a try, so I actually have had it for a while, but it was just not my sort of fantasy. I actually started it a while ago, and this month decided I should finish it up so I could clear it off the nightstand. It's that problem of wanting to love the book, but just not being able to. I found that the book really dragged, even when there was action going on I could not get into the book and found myself bored and skimming.
I will say that the homosexual overtones did not bother me, so that was not why I did not like the book. I am pretty easy-going with that, so it appearing in novels does not bother me. So, after being so disappointed in this book, I was at the store the other day and one of my friends was working. She suggested I read Flewellings other trilogy because she liked it, but I am not sure if I am ready to embark on that yet. I think I might keep this book around and see if I can get into it in the future. Otherwise, it is either a book you love or you hate.