Book: Luck in the Shadows (Book 1 of The Nightrunner Series)
Author: Lynn Flewelling
Publisher: Random House
I found this an enjoyable read. It’s basically in the genre of thieves (my favorite in this category is Robin Hobb) and it takes a little bit to start to get a good world view. There’s a lot of politics going on and I didn’t feel a solid grasp of things, but one gets the sense of the humans only vs. more open-minded factions. The adventure carried me along well, and I particularly liked Alec, the young apprentice thief/spy. Nysander is also interesting as the wise old wizard mentor.
The magic system seems interesting, mostly in that each person has an animal form innate to them. The shape-shifting provided some amusing moments in the book, as well as some insights. There’s a large theme of changing appearances–almost every main character undergoes a change in appearance at least once in the book. This goes along with the whole spy thing, but it makes me wonder if there is a deeper meaning.
There are also some interesting foreshadowing elements, particularly concerning the master thief, Seregil, and his apprentice Alec. Father, brother, lover–it will be interesting to see how they move through the different types of relationships that are not blood but more roles. (Back to that roles/appearance thing again.)
I’m curious to see where this goes next–I read it thanks to a ton of recommendations. It didn’t wow me, but I couldn’t really find any fault with the plot. As I said, I think I’m still getting to know the characters. I give this a basic 4 out of 5 for that.