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#6- Shadow’s Return by Lynn Flewelling

The beginning of Shadow’s Return finds Alec and Seregil back in Rhiminee and back to nightrunning, but they won’t be able to stick around for too long. Queen Phoria has a mission for them. They are to return to Seregil’s homeland, Aurenen, and retrieve the Princess Kila, whose skills as a general are needed on the battlefield. Before they can even reach Kila, they are attacked by dark magic and captured by slavers. The two men are immediately separated, and then sold as slaves in Plenimar. Alec is sold to Yhakobin, a strange alchemist whose unfamiliar and dark magic require Alec’s very blood. Drugged and sick, Seregil doesn’t know where he is, or how to find Alec. Things are further complicated when Seregil discovers that one of his jailers is someone from his past, someone he’d never though he’d see again.

The aptly titled Shadow’s Return, brings us back to the world of Lynn Flewelling’s first series, the Nightrunner books. Although the book is different in tone to its predecessors, it’s a welcome edition to the series. I didn’t like it as much as Stalking Darkness, my favorite book in the series, but I would put it on par with the third book, Traitor’s Moon. Shadow’s Return is much less action packed that the first three books, as a lot of the time is focused on both Alec and Seregil trying to figure out how to escape. This wasn’t a problem for me, as there’s enough mystery in this story that kept me curious about what was going to happen next. The pacing picks up by the end of the book. I completely flew past the last fifty pages or so. This book also has its dark moments where Alec and Seregil are abused by their “masters.” I personally found some of these passages rather difficult to read, especially the ones that involved Alec, but I think that was part of the point.

Another difference Shadow’s Return has form the other books is it’s much more of a “series book,” meaning it’s less of a stand alone novel. Since I don’t want to give anything away, let’s just say that although the main plotline is resolved by the end of the book, there are other aspects that remain unresolved. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger as a result. I was happy to see an advertisement in the back of the book for a fifth Nightrunner book, The White Road, which is set to be coming out this summer. That way, I won’t have to wait that long to see what happens next!

Rating: four and a half out of five stars
Length: 522 pages
Source: paperbackswap
TBR Pile: 156 books
Similar Books: Lynn Flewelling’s Tamir Trilogy, Robin Hobb’s Farseer books
Other books I've read by this author: Luck in the Shadows, Stalking Darkness, Traitor’s Moon, The Bone Doll’s Twin, Hidden Warrior, The Oracle’s Queen

I just finished this tonight, so I haven't started anything yet, but I think I'll be picking up His Majesty's Dragon next.

xposted to bookish  and temporaryworlds 
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