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 Aurnen, Alec and Seregil have returned home to Rhminee. 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 Seregils homeland. En route, however, they are ambushed and separated, and both are sold into slavery. Clinging to life, Seregil is sustained only by the hope that Alec is alive.
But it is not Alecs life his strange master wants - it is his blood. For his unique lineage is capable of producing a rare treasure, but only through a harrowing process that will test him body and soul and unwittingly entangle him and Seregil in the realm of alchemists and madmen and an enigmatic creature that may hold their very destiny in its inhuman hands. But will it prove to be savior or monster?
A Note From Author Lynn Flewelling
It's been brought to my attention that there is some confusion over the noticeable difference in some of the pronunciations between the first three books of this series, and the last two. The reason for this is quite simple. For Shadows Return and The White Road, I had the pleasure of talking in considerable detail with narrator Adam Danoff. So the differences from the first three books may be a bit jarring at first, but what you will hear in Shadows Return and The White Road are the proper pronunciations of names and things, as the author intended. I'm delighted with these new interpretations, and I hope you will be, too. Happy listening!
Don't miss the other volumes in Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series.
©2008 Lynn Flewelling; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
Like all of Lynn's books, this one was a phenomenal adventure! Its amazing how she brings you into a world so real you would think she had actually been there. The adventure continues and I was on the edge of every word for this entire story. If your looking to dive into an intense and memorable experience I suggest you open your ears to this adventure!
On a side note to those of you who have listened to the other Nightrunner books: This is Narrated by Adam Danoff who isn't the original narrator of the other 3 books. It takes a bit of getting used to in the beginning. His pronunciation of many of the commonly used words and names are different. Overlook these and just be as grateful as I was to see Audible adding another one of Lynn's Books to the collection.
Like some others, I had originally written a review basing my opinion of the first 2 books of this new series criticizing the dramatic changes introduced by a new narrator. Changes so jarring that it was sometimes hard to grasp exactly who the characters were and where they had found themselves. I also received an email from Audible indicating a wish for me to re-write my review with the knowledge the author had consulted with the new narrator on pronunciations. Imagine my surprise to discover my previous review had mysteriously disappeared; so, I will repeat, regardless of the author's opinion, my review.
In a series that picks up at book 4 and 5 with a new narrator, consistency, in my opinion, should outweigh how something was originally intended to be pronounced - after all, we all pronounce these made up names and places in our heads differently, but consistently for ourselves. Book 4 and 5 provides little to no background to existing characters, mythology or previous plots. It ASSUMES you've previously listened to the previous 3 novels. To ignore the personalities, pronunciations and performance of that first series seems a very odd direction. My opinion of the narrator isn't solely based on his simply pronouncing people and places differently, it's that in choosing to completely ignore what was done before (very well), he gave the characters very different personalities. Character voices often sound so similar, you're not sure who is speaking. Solid, direct characters like Alec seem more like whiny teenagers as book 4 starts simple because of the performance.
Regardless of which pronunciations are correct, if the initial narration of the first 3 novels had used the same narrator as the last 2, I don't think I would have made it past the first book.
The first time I read this book I finished in it a day. I've read it several times since then, so when Lynn announced on her LJ that there was an audiobook I was excited. Her books were so good that I caught myself trying to read them in traffic, so this was a safer way to enjoy it.
The story holds up being an audiobook. It keeps the listener's attention even while doing something else. Sometimes with audiobooks I find that I get lost in the task that I'm doing along with listening. I didn't find that with this book at all, in fact I was coming up with reasons to drive just a little bit more so I could listen a little longer. I did notice some editing problems, several times two takes of the same sentence were included in the finished product. It took me out of the moment, but Lynn's wonderful world brought me back in quickly enough.
If you haven't read any of the Nightrunner books, you should get these. They are an addicting series and listening them is much safer than trying to read in the car.
I can't wait for White Road. I'm going to be getting the paper book and the audiobook, just in case I can't put it down.
There needs to be a rule that new narrators have to listen to the previous narrator and pronounce the names and places in the same way. Every time I hear this guy pronounce a name differently, I want to correct him.
A narrator and writing that seems targeted at teenagers. These books don't have the best - most sophisticated writing style, but this one really is juvenile. A good story line - a better editor was called for and certainly a more mature sounding narrator.
The story moved too slow and too much time was spent on the love triangle emotions and accompany immature dialog.
The few spots where the overall story moved forward.
I think a woman narrator would have been best for this particular book.
She needs to get a better editor.
After the stresses of the previous 2 books, our heroes return in service to Queen and Country. Much is learned of Seregil's past as he confronts the forces that have placed him in his new life.
The previous narrator Raymond Todd. When there is a change of narrator in a series I think it behooves the new narrator to listen to his/her predecessor not to try to imitate their interpretation but at least to try for some consistency. In Danoff's case he seems to go out of his way to pronounce every one of Flewelling's ficititious names differently than Raymond Todd. This strikes me as egotism unchecked unless after conferring with the author he found that she felt the the names of places and characters were given pronunciations that she felt were incorrect.
The story was fine, but the new narrator can't compare to the previous guy, this really killed the series for me.
It is disconcerting that there are so many poor reviews of this audiobook, and it is particularly unfair that these are due to the differences between the first three Blackstone produced readings, and audible.com's Shadows Return.
Just for clarity's sake, it is true that this book (and the sequel, the White Road) is read by a different narrator than the first three, HOWEVER, the pronunciation of words and names by Adam Danoff is actually the correct, or author approved, pronunciation. According to the author, Blackstone Audio did not consult her regarding the pronunciation, and had produced and released these audiobooks before she was the wiser.
Adam Danoff did consult the author, and therefore, though it is undeniably a shock to listen to these books with the correct pronunciation after listening to the first three novels, his reading is accurate and more in line with what Flewelling intended.
All this aside, Danoff does a fantastic job with this reading. The "climax" of this novel is stunningly beautiful, dramatic and heart wrenching, and the reading definitely does the writing perfect justice.
If you are on-the-fence about purchasing this version, all I can say is that you don't want to miss out on this fantastic performance.
The first 3 books in the series were enthralling with the narration by Raymond Todd. The change in narrators for this volume was EXTREMELY disappointing. If I hadn't been sucked into the series by the first 3 volumes narrated by Todd, I probably would not have even finished listening to this one. If Todd had narrated this volume, I probably would have rated this book as 5 stars. The story was a good jumping board to what I hope is a revival of an excellent fantasy series. I really hope that Raymond Todd performs the narration for the next volume - not sure if I will listen if performed by Danoff again.
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