Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Stalking Darkness

by Lynn Flewelling


Seregil of Rhíminee is one of fantasy's most memorable characters. He's one of the Aurenfaie, or fairy, people and unashamedly out, yet brave and good with a sword. A quick-witted and cunning thief and spy, he combines the traditional qualities of a fantasy hero with a talent for the unexpected. In Stalking Darkness he has to contend with the approach of war and the evil of certain necromancers who are searching for him. He's also struggling to keep a lid on his feelings for Alec of Kerry, his bashful young apprentice nightrunner.

The wizard Nysander sends Seregil off to retrieve an object of great magical power. But he swears Seregil to secrecy on pain of death, both his and other people's, refusing to give an explanation for his actions. Meanwhile Alec and Seregil find themselves being followed through the streets and alleys of Rhíminee, and there's evidence of sabotage of the city defences whilst the people of the city prepare it for war.Thieving, running around on roofs and in sewers, horses and swords: it's that sort of fantasy. There's plenty of action and a high bodycount, and sometimes it can be gory. We also see a lot more of Beka Cavish, as Micum's feisty daughter becomes a lieutenant in the Horse Guard.

There's a certain amount of intrigue and a good helping of magical omens and visions presaging doom. We are left wondering where the loyalties of Thero, Nysander's apprentice, lie, and what big secret Nysander is keeping from everyone. Yet the story takes a fairly straightforward direction and it doesn't take a genius to work out where it's headed.

Lynn Flewelling's characterisation is very effective, so even when characters have stock roles to play you find yourself believing in them and caring about what happens to them. This is an entertaining and emotionally involving story against a fairly standard backdrop of magic, intrigue, and whacking people with swords. It crackles with gay sexual tension, but although that may be a niche taste the descriptions of sex are never too graphic. There's also a coming-of-age aspect to the tale as Alec learns more about himself and his heritage.

Although this is the second book in the Nightrunner series it isn't a middle-of-the-trilogy book in which very little happens. It ties up the events in Luck in the Shadows very neatly and reaches a satisfying finale. This is enjoyable escapist fantasy, absorbing fun that's not too dense or pretentious. Whilst it's not vastly off-the-wall or weird, it is just a little different. Stalking Darkness is a well-written story with characters who draw the reader into their intense world. Recommended.

Book Details

Decade: 1990s

Categories: Books

  Male Protagonist  

If you like this, try:

The Still cover    

The Still by David Feintuch
Rodrigo is a young prince fighting to claim his kingdom in this fantasy of war and betrayal.

4 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
More about Lynn Flewelling


anonymous     1st April, 2006 21:21pm

This was a great book. It left you wanting to read more

Add your thoughts

All comments are pre-moderated. Please do not post spoilers or abusive language.

Name :

Your comments :

Please prove you are human.

Which is the furthest south of Australia and Norway?