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Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner, Vol. 2) Mass Market Paperback – February 3, 1997
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From the Inside Flap
Seregil's friend and Mentor, the wizard Nysander, has long been the guardian of a deadly secret. In a secret, silver-lined room hidden well beneath the Oreska, he has served for most of his 300 years as the keeper of a nondescript clay cup. But this cup, combined with a crystal crown and some wooden disks, forms the Helm of Seriamaius, and any mortal donning the reconstructed Helm will become the incarnation of the god on earth.
Nysander holds the cup and Mardus the wooden disks--one of which was responsible for Seregil's coma--but the crown must still be located. Threatened under pain of death by Nysander to keep his quest a secret even from his loyal companion, Alec, Seregil is dispatched to find the last missing piece of the Helm so that he and Nysander can destroy it. But this is only the beginning of one of his deadliest journeys ever, for the prophecy also holds that four will come together in a time of darkness, and gradually all that Seregil values is placed at risk as he, Alec, Nysander and Micum are drawn into a deadly web of terror and intrigue.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
1 star--wretched, don't bother;
2 stars-somebody will like it, flawed;
3 stars-pretty darn good with some flaws;
4 stars-great, I'll re-read it;
5 stars-flawless, a classic of the genre.
This is the second novel in the Nightrunner series, continuing the story begun in *Luck in the Shadows*.
At the edge of the Gathwayd Ocean lie four lands: Plenimar, Mycena, Skala, and Aurenen. The first three are home to humans, the last to the Aurenfaie, a long-lived, magic-using race. Since the Great War eight hundred years ago, there has been a tenuous peace between the human countries, but Aurenen (which had to intervene to end the war), is all but closed to outsiders. When Aurenfaie and humans interbreed, the offspring are also magic users. The Great War killed many of the sorcerers, so there is now a shortage of magicians. Technology in this society is magic-based, not machine-based: horses are still the primary mode of transportation; swords and archery are the primary weapons. There are two opposing types of magic: Oreska magic, which is wholesome and life-enghancing, that of the Aurenfaie and Skalan sorcerers; and the dark magic of Plenimar, the necromancy of the Sanctum. During the Great War, Plenimarian necromancers awoke the god Seriamauis, the Eater of Death. Tales of his powers to raise the dead are now regarded as fables.
From what the author reveals of Skala, we can say that it is an egalitarian society ruled by a Queen. Of some importance to the novel's development, Skalan social mores are accepting of sexual variation and sexual behavior. There seems to be no societal bias towards any given form of sexual orientation. There are public houses of prostitution for men and women both heterosexual and homosexual.Read more ›
It may seem strange that I chose to review the second book in the series. I do so because this installment resonated with me more deeply than the other two (I just barely restrained myself from reading it a third time). The first book is really mostly an introduction to Seregil and Alec, the world of Skala, streets of Rhiminee, characters of wizardry, thievery, royal lines, gods, etc. Though strong in its own right, it delves a little too deeply in historical and religious set-ups. The third book, on the other hand, develops the world of Aurenfaie and makes for a complex read of clans and interrelations, each with lengthy names and extensive personal networks that requires quite a bit of concentration.
In contrast, this second book focuses mainly on the relationship between Seregil and Alec, and how their friendship grows into a much deeper love in the face of tremendous odds. This book focuses on growth. Alec becomes a confident spy. Seregil a marvelous teacher. While Alec comes of age, learning the ins and outs of intrigues among high society, he gains a mature understanding of love (in the 21st century, thank you Ms. Flewelling!), Seregil also grows, by learning that everything in life has its price. Needless to say, it's the awkward growth of the keen, pristine love between Alec and Seregil that is most preciously exquisite.Read more ›
Another facet of Flewelling's plot that deserves credit is that it never slows down. She never needs to pause and spend fifty pages having characters chat with each other, or waste time on anything that's not relevant to the plot. In fact, almost every chapter in the book contains some new surprise or development. I particularly enjoyed the fact that she doesn't always take the most obvious approach to writing a particular scene, but instead uses betrayals and other plot intrigues to keep the reader on their toes.
Lastly, I'll agree with other reviewers who applauded the author's handling of the relationship between Seregil and Alec in "Stalking Darkness". I'm willing to read about any couple in a fantasy novel; to me, it doesn't matter whether the characters involved are gay or straight.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ok, so, that's a touch hyperbolic. But it wrapped up the angst and the drama and the impending invasion! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Melody Jones
I really can't get enough of this series. It has been a long time since I have tore through books this fast. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mark Arndt
Brings the plot of the first book to an exciting close and clarifies the MM relationship between the two main characters as well as their backstory link. Thoroughly enjoyable. Read morePublished 11 months ago by OBM
Loved it! It's good to finally read fantasy books that embrace diversity. I will tell my friends about this one.Published 12 months ago by Michael
Look, these are not great works of literature. At one point she writes 'sawed' when she means 'soared' and she doesn't understand the phases of the moon: neither a waxing nor a... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mabinogi
My favourite of the first 3 in the series. This is much darker - enough to disturb my dreams over the three nights I was reading the book! Read morePublished 17 months ago by ScottyK