A Free Dreamer Review: Traitor’s Moon (Nightrunner #3) by Lynn Flewelling


Rating: 5 stars out of 5     ★★★★★

Traitor's MoonSeregil and Alec have spent the last two years in self-imposed exile, far from their adopted homeland, Skala, and the bitter memories there. But their time of peace is shattered by a desperate summons from Queen Idrilain, asking them to aid her daughter on a mission to Aurenen, the very land from which Seregil was exiled in his youth.

Just like the rest of the series, “Traitor’s Moon” was absolutely amazing.

We start about two years after the end of part two. Seregil and Alec are now officially talimenos, an Aurenfaie term that means something like “lovers”. They’ve spent these past two years wandering the country, while Skala was fighting a brutal war against the Plenimar and its necromancers. Alec and Seregil are needed for a diplomatic mission to Aurenen.

I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but there’s even more in-depth world building happening in this book. I loved all the details and customs we learned about Aurenen. It’s such an intriguing place.

And there are dragons! Oh my god, there are cute little baby dragons! They’r called Fingerlings, because they’re about the size of a finger. I love dragons and I love this concept of dragons. They aren’t born as sentient beings. It takes a long time for them to become sentient animals, capable of speech and thought. They can get absolutely huge. But the huge ones aren’t the ones you need to fear. It’s the middle sized ones. The teenies, not yet self-aware, but very strong and poisonous. I really, really hope we’ll get to read more about those dragons in the future. They’re awesome.

Even though Alec and Seregil are now a couple, the romance is kept way low-key. In fact, when they don’t refer to each other as “tali” (“beloved” or something like that – can be used between friends and family as well), they still call each other “friend”. There’s absolutely no on-page sex. It’s mostly just holding hands and the rest is implied. Personally, I absolutely love the very low-key romance and it’s one of the things that keeps me hooked on the entire series. Lynn Flewelling doesn’t need to make her romance explicit for me to feel the love between Seregil and Alec. It’s obvious how much they love each other and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Once again, there’s lots of intrigue going on. There are secrets to uncover, murderers to find, allies to win, and past secrets that keep surfacing at the most inconvenient moments. We finally learn more of Seregil’s past and why he was exiled. I loved the sheer amount of politics in this book. I felt like I was really getting into the heart of the scheming. It was intriguing.

It’s hard to believe, but I think “Traitor’s Moon” might be even better than the first two parts. I’m starting to feel as if this series just keeps getting better and better with every book. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book. I might even read “Glimpses”, a collection of short stories set in the Nightrunner universe, even though I’m usually not very fond of short stories.

Cover: Once again, I really like the 90s charm of this cover. It fits perfectly with the other covers.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Series: Part 3 of the Nightrunner series

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 561 pages
Published December 23rd 2009 by Spectra (first published July 6th 1999)
Original TitleTraitor’s Moon
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesNightrunner #3
CharactersAlec í Amasa of Kerry, Seregil í Korit Solun Meringil Bôkthersa
Literary AwardsGaylactic Spectrum Award Nominee for Best Novel (2000

Series: Nightrunner (books 1,2 and 3 are linked to Free Dreamer’s reviews)

A Free Dreamer Review: Luck in the Shadows (Nightrunner #1) by Lynn Flewelling


Rating: 5 stars out of 5  ★★★★★

Luck in the Shadows cover“A new star is rising in the fantasy firmament…teems with magic and spine-chilling amounts of skullduggery.”–Dave Duncan, author of The Great Game

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 absolutely loved this. I’m always looking for great fantasy novels with very low key romance and this had the added bonus of Seregil enjoying the company of men as well as women.

The romance was as good as non-existent, really, but there’s definitely hope for Alec and Seregil. I loved both of them. Seregil the ever mysterious spy/thief who won’t talk about his past and Alec, who starts out so naive and then turns out to be so very clever.

The world building was excellent. Religion, language, history, culture, politics – it was all there. The map could have been a little more detailed, though. There were a lot of places I couldn’t find that were mentioned in the book. Or maybe I just seriously suck at map reading.

The plot had me hooked from page one, with lots of unexpected twists and turns. Very addicting and definitely not boring!

There was always some new intrigue to uncover or some new mystery to solve, while still having an underlying ultimate goal.

Usually, I read my m/m romance on my Kindle, but I decided to go with the paperback version for “Luck in the Shadows”. And I’m glad I did. I’m of the very firm opinion that any halfway decent fantasy novel deserves to be read in paperback and I just love my old, battered copy that I got off the internet for very little money. I’m old fashioned like that. And skipping back and forth between map and story is definitely easier with a paperback than with the Kindle.

If you’re looking for a great love story with decent fantasy, then you’d better keep looking. There is no love story here. If, however, you find yourself craving amazing fantasy with a hint of romance, then this is just the book for you.

The cover by Gary Ruddell looks like so many other 90s fantasy covers. Nothing mind-blowing, but definitely fitting.

Sales Link:  Amazon Paperback   | Amazon Kindle

Book Details:

ebook, paperback, both versions available in both languages

ebook, 476 pages
Published November 3rd 2010 by Spectra (first published September 1996)
Original TitleLuck in the Shadows
ISBN 0307774996 (ISBN13: 9780307774996)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesNightrunner #1
CharactersAlec í Amasa of Kerry, Seregil í Korit Solun Meringil Bôkthersa