But now, as their adopted country prepares for war, Seregil is called away by the ancient wizard Nysander to face the ultimate challenge of loyalties and entrusted with a deadly knowledge that, if breached, could cost both Seregil and the unwitting Alec their lives. And as Alec learns the shocking truth of his own shadowed heritage, he, Seregil, and a handful of loyal companions are catapulted into a tumultuous conflict with the ultimate evil, in which magic alone may no longer shield them from harm.
Don't miss the other volumes in Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series.
©1997 Lynn Flewelling; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
Darker than the first book, "Luck in the Shadows" - which you should definitely read before starting this one! - this was quite an immersing read.
With Skala preparing for war with Plenimar - a war that continues into the next book in this series - "Stalking Darkness" illustrates just how evil the enemy truly is. While it's not especially graphic, I found a couple of parts a bit too much for my imagination and had to (briefly) skip forward.
I started the series with some hesitation after some reviewers of the first book complained about the "sex scenes"; assuming you've read the first book, you'll know what an exaggeration THAT was! There's a bit more "nookie" going on in this book, but I don't think it amounts to more than what one would see in a PG movie. Or prime time TV, for that matter.
I've had a growing pet peeve with the last several books I've read, so I also need to add that this book does not suffer that same annoying fate; thank you, Ms. Flewelling, for writing a decent ending! If you've ever invested 25+ hours to read through a series only to have the ending last a disapointing 30 minutes or less, fear not! Although I definitely plan to get the next book (Traitor's Moon), Stalking Darkness wraps up the first two books with an ending that makes you think "Oh, well that's alright then."
Audible.com doesn't have "Traitor's Moon" yet, but with both the first two books just coming out this year, I'm hoping the third book is not far behind!!!
Runs with scissors.
I was wary of this series because of some comments by other reviews specifically regarding the "gay" theme of the novels, however, it was very tastefully done, and you actually find yourself wanting the relationship to succeed. The story itself is engaging and truly entertaining, you find yourself liking the characters and there are more than a few laugh out loud moments. I myself appreciate long stories because I get attached to the characters and the story and I don't mind the stretch over several books. While not as good as George RR Martin's series, it is an enjoyable, uncomplicated read. I also liked the reader, despite his limited voices. I think him perfect for the story. To me, the simplicity of the story verses Martin's does not warrant a complex variety of voices. Hope this helps!!
What a magnificent read! This was yet another amazing story told by one of the best authors I have ever known. I feel so lucky to have come across this series. Its a wonderful adventure and escape into a layered story of love, gender, sexuality, and faith.
I thoroughly enjoyed this second book in the series. The story clearly is going to continue, but as another reviewer said, you get to the end and go, "oh, well, that's all right then." It's interesting to see how all the pieces fit, even though there aren't really many startling twists or big surprises, it's nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable tale. The characters feel like friends after 2 books now, and I like that feeling.
I also liked the reader's voice - this is a series that I think I would have enjoyed far less were I reading it to myself.
For those who are more "traditionally minded" it is worth noting that this is a universe where sexuality in all it's various forms of expression is considered perfectly acceptable - it's not graphic, but it is 'normal', so if that bothers you, you'd best avoid.
This book has an amateurish feel like the first in this series. The first half is rather dull, with little happening, except for the syrupy love story growing between the two male leads (yes male, and considering the pages and pages spent carefully setting it up, the author must be making a statement here). There are brief bursts of action but the protagonists quickly resolve them. The book at this point feels more like a showcase for the characters and setting.
Once the main threat comes in and the real adventure gets going (about the halfway point) the book clips along well. I found the second half of the book hard to put down. The ending is somewhat predictable but satisfying nonetheless, however the denouement goes on far too long with the resolution of the syrupy love story.
The prose is good overall, but the author uses many fantasy cliches. Not much original in the dialogue either. The characters on the "good" side are excellent and well drawn, but the characters on the "bad" side are simply evil with no redeeming qualities. This is not an issue in fantasy but some authors (e.g. George RR Martin) have been making their villains more three dimensional, which makes the conflicts more interesting. The setting itself is terrific, with a rich background and history, and there are less infodumping problems than in the previous book. I kept thinking this book was rushed through editing. Spice up the beginning and shorten up the ending, cut some of the cliches out of the prose and dialogue, and this book would have been much better.
The narration is adequate. The narrator's voice is clear but he only has two real voices for the characters. This is not a problem, I'm just rating him against some of the excellent narrators I've heard recently who have a unique and convincing voice for every character.
Great listen. I really ejoyed the characters, hero's that don't see themselves as perfect. The adventures were filled with the tension of doubts and fear and the excitement of success. This is one of those stories that I was anxious to find out what happens at the end, yet reluctant to finish because my adventure would be over and the next book is not available yet. I REALLY hate not wanting to finish a book because it was so good!! I'll take this kind all the time...
I felt just the opposite of another reviewer, in that I enjoyed the story and characters greatly but feel that the story deserved a much better reader. The reader often gave me the feeling that he was reading a children's story. I kept hearing "Once upon a time..." I particulary noticed it during dialog. I got the feeling that he didn't understand the depth of some situations and can't relate to the characters or their feelings. That said, it didn't ruin the book, just pulled you back to reality occasionally.
Lynn Flewelling continues to take us on a highly enjoyable ride with this second installment of the Nightrunner Series. Many things that were set up in ways large and small in the first book come to exciting conclusions and many more are set up for future action and intrigue.
Again, Raymond Todd is an acceptable reader for the series, but in no way a great one. His efforts are classically appreciable, but don't quite feel right for the series and setting.
Repeating from my review of the first book: Up front many reviewers have spent time on the fact that this series features a romantic relationship between two men. This is true, but it is far from the focus of the series. These books are accessible to anyone. Despite what other reviewers have alluded to, there is absolutely no explicit sex in this entire series. A range of human experience is presented, include love and desire, but always in a tasteful and very easy to relate to fashion.
Truthfully, there is not all that much hot man-on-man action going on until the second book, and even then there is not a great deal of it. I mean, this is not like a P.L. Nunn novel (not that I read that kind of stuff *awkward cough*). All in all, I enjoyed the second book much more than the first one. A nice spooky plot, not as much lecturing speeches by characters as there was in the first book, a good deal of action...yeah, it was pretty okay.
I would give Raymond Todd, the narrator, a five and the book a three but went with the three. Todd gives a clunky bit of prose a truly heroic effort. The book isn't horrible but it's a first effort and the writing shows it. Every conversation in this book ends up being a lecture.
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