However, as generations went by, the male heirs to the throne became intensely resentful of the prophecy that emasculated their claim to power. Finally Queen Agnalain took the throne and the people of Skala suffered under her erratic and selfish command. Prompted by the people's outcry over this mad queen, her son Prince Erius claimed primogeniture, and seized the throne. Erius's ascent may have pleased the people of Skala, but a faction of the population, one who had not forgotten the prophecy, were worried. Plague, drought and famine spread throughout the kingdom weakening it's defences and offering easy pickings to Skala's old enemy and neighbour, Plenimar.
As people start to recall the Oracle's prophecy, Erius begins to quietly kill off his female relatives who pose the only threat to his monarchy. Constantly in fear for her life, Princess Ariani the King's sister, gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. But Ariani is married to Lord Rhius, the patron of the powerful wizard Iya, and Iya has sinister plans for the babes.
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and recorded by author Lynn Flewelling.
©2001 Lynn Flewelling; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
To fully understand the source of the intrigues and society in the Nightrunner series, this is a must read. As always her characters are well developed and the plot is full of surprises.
Mostly use audio books in planes these days. Know I really like a book when I find myself with earphones still on from home to hotel
I've found this first book to be very good - more in the Anne Rice vein than typical fantasy, however. Because this series jumps into a unique universe already fully realized, there's not a lot of background explanation of terminology/geography - it assumes you know the world the author has created. I'd highly recommend the first 3 books in the Nightrunner series before starting this trilogy.
I disagree that the book is unrelentingly depressive. It does begin with the murder of a child, but that's the crux of everything that follows and realistically casts the main characters in that plot setting. Also disagree with the comments of plot holes simply because it ignores the fact that even by the end of the book, there's no proof or certainty that the king was actually having female heirs killed - you believe that has happened but complaining that he didn't kill his half-sister ignores the repeated lines that the king did love this half-sister dearly. For me, having a character be completely, 100% evil is silly and the author avoids those kind of black and white depictions for all of the characters.
I think this first book is a great start.
An incredible work of fantasy fiction! It is so rare to find an author who can master plot and go deep in character. She describes this world so well and in such detail while masterfully moving the plot forward so as to not bog the reader down.
The Narrator, Victor Bevine, has the ability to bring forth several different voices for each character, intimately knowing each character and matching tone and intention perfectly.
I feel like I lived inside this world! Bravo!
I enjoyed the story but there are some caviats to my rating. The author definitely wants you to feel the emotions and growth of the character, Tobin, but I feel there is some lack of development on some of the larger political backgrounds that would make this more believable for some readers.
I'm not sure I toally agree with other reviewers that a major plot hole is to be found with Tobin's mother avoiding the king's assassins all of his other female relatives fall down dead. Some vague allusions are made about the politics and love protecting Tobin's mother, but I didn't really feel convinced. Perhaps if the politics were more clearly explained in this book beyond just vague prophecy, the plot hole would be shored up . Obviously the book has factions in its politics, and they play a very important role in Tobin's life, so I myself would have enjoyed learning more about them.
That said I feel there are some interesting characters in this book that warrant 4 vs 3 stars. It definitely is not a book that is cookie cutter and I'm interested to see some of the other hard decisions that the author forces her characters into.
This book is more focused on the emerging sexuality of Tobin and allowing all other explanations to fall to magic. There are a lot of dark consequences to the decisions made for Tobin at an early age by his guardians that are out of his control and greatly shape who he will become when the magic is removed. This book is not a political drama in a fantasy setting. If you're looking for that, this is probably not the book for you.
This story wasn't a "perfect happy story", but something about the way the events move feels so, right. This book is satisfying to me in a way I can't explain.
The setting is internally consistent in a way that others are not. In many stories I find myself talking to the auther, explaining why what they just stated doesn't fit their own setting:
(i.e. the sexism that is ever present in A Song of Fire and Ice. Where does it come from? The main kingdom was formed by three drgon riding warriors two of which were women. Half their gods are women including their goddess of wisdom. And before that kingdom the people were more like the wildlings, having spesr wives. And many of the people accross the sea supposedly view things differently. And yet everywere you go in those books has men spewing sexist comments like it's all they know.)
I'm a big fan of game of thrones. This book, just the first one, made me feel like I wasted my time listening to game of thrones. I am definitely going to finnish this series, and then I'm going to look for more written by Flewellling. You should do the same.
There are so many...
When Arkoniel tells his teacher about Lehl's offer and despite their wizardly chastity she basically tells him: Meh, give her a poke or two, see what happens.
That one made me laugh for a while. There were so many good dramatic scenes though.
No this is the first and I want more.
Yes and I almost did.
Listen to it, do it, do it now!
While I enjoyed Luck in the Shadows and company, I classify those books as light reading, as we used to call it "a good read." I was somewhat surprised when about halfway through this trilogy I realized that I was thinking of it as a major, substantive work. More than just a good read, but a story that stayed with you and made you think about it long after the last page was turned, the last word spoken.
This trilogy has more gravitas and also more sense of suspense. That Ms. Flewelling is able to maintain the sense of suspense throughout the book is even more impressive because if you have already read the previous/future Nightrunner series, you broadly know how things turn out. But the artistry is in the details.
This is ultimately a story of love, romantic and familial, duty and redemption. If the Nightrunner series was more to the young mature audience side of the scale, this is more to the fully mature audience side of the scale, although both series obviously cross over to both types of audience. I especially loved the short epilogue, which I cannot discuss because I do not want to give anything away. Suffice it to say that it will resonate for anyone who has lived long enough to see the superimposed images of those you love both as they are now, and as they were when everyone was young and beginning their journey.
Victor Bevine did a wonderful job narrating the story. An interesting characterization given the problem facing the main character.
I highly recommend this series.
Divorced mom of 2 in college. I have a day job which I want 2 trade 4 online work,I love books, print is small I turned 2 audible.love it!
I like this book it was dark, but it keep me on the edge. Hoping that the character would not be discovered, and that her true nature would not put her in hot water with her feelings growing for another and that ghost brother of hers. and finally seeing her true self for who she really is. I don’t like giving the whole story away, However if you have read all the reviews you get the gist of the story anyway.
But you don’t get the in depth details, or real knowledge of the other characters that play into the whole story at large.
As a whole I liked the story but not the end. It just leaves you hanging; so knowing that key point about this book when you buy it. You know that you must purchase the other two books in order to get the full story and the final outcome. I do also like long books you get so much more detail and character development and it is so much more enjoyable if the book is good.
The narration is pretty good by Victor Bevine too so that makes the story flow nicely. I read a lot of books but don’t do many reviews. This being only my second review out of more than two hundred books read on audible.
Yes, I would definitely listen to it again. It is a haunting and wonderful tale that I very much enjoyed.
There are too many.... I think I liked Layl (spelling?) the best. She was constantly trying to convince the other wizards that her magic wasn't dark, just misunderstood. Also, she was mysterious and had some pretty cool powers at her disposal. And she loves both Tobin and Brother, making sure that the two come to no harm (or cause no harm).
When Tobin and Ki are out looking for Layl, and a giant mountain cat attacks. Brother stops it, Ki nearly sacrifices himself to it to save Tobin, and Layl kills it. A lot happens in a short period of time, and it breaks any mistrust there may have been before.
(spoiler) The moment when Tobin runs out to meet Therin and the others coming in on horseback, but then realizes that his father is not among them. I nearly cried for Tobin I was so sad...
I am a 40ish woman with more interests than time but some of my favorite things are books, audio books and e-books. I have over 325 audio titles and have already listened to about 2/3rds of them. I drive over 25000 miles a year and my listening keeps me sane on the road.
I loved the unique twists on the traditional Fantasy format. The book had several aspects that separated it from the flock. First, it combined genres. All the fantasy elements we expect were present like; Swords and sorcery, feudal systems, usurpers to the crown, hidden heirs and complex world building. However there were two deviations from the norm. One, was the creepy and dark, emotionally complex ghostly characters that continue to play roles throughout the tale. The other was the gender twist on the main protagonist Since the boy prince was actually a girl hidden in her brother's skin through some horrible magic. These aspects made this far more than a simple tale and led me to love the whole series.
Since it crosses so many genres I would have to say it is a mix of Raymond Feist's Riftwar saga (at least in feel and tone) and Anne Rice with dashes of Poe mixed in.
Ki and Lehl were my two favorite characters though Arkonio grew on me as well.
YES! I could not sleep. I had to keep reading and figure out what happened. This author does not spare characters and kills them off occasionally so you never know what will happen. I really enjoyed the relationships between many of the characters. I found them heartwarming and genuine.
The narration was excellent. An all around wonderful read. This is a trilogy and this is the first book. Due to the nature of the story they must be read in order.
Report Inappropriate Content