This review is about “Luck in the Shadows” by Lynn Flewelling.
When young woodsman/hunter Alec, who has recently lost his father, is imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, he doesn’t expect his cellmate Seregil to get them out and make an offer to take him on as an apprentice. Travelling together from then on, Alec and Seregil are headed straight into adventure, danger and war – and perhaps even love.
It’s a good book, with excellent world-building. The descriptions were good and it was easy to get lost in the cities and the fields and the forests, and the same with the characters. They come alive on the page. Alec’s learning curve is very good, and he is actually surprisingly good at winging it. Seregil and his friend are both equally as good and even better – although Seregil spends a surprising amount of the start and journeying unconscious. The slowly romantically developing relationship between Alec and Seregil – actually more like a slow realisation of the attraction – is well done and believable.
The one thing that I didn’t like about this book is the sudden remarks that Seregil occasionally has about whatever it is that Alec is wearing. Or about his blond hair. It simply doesn’t fit with Seregil’s character the way he is built up throughout the rest of the book, and it throws one out of the rhythm of reading. I have also looked ahead at what will happen in the future books (thanks, Wikipedia!), and it seems to slide more and more into cliché fanfic plot. Perhaps not obviously and perhaps it would have been a well-written story, but what I know about the future books it doesn’t give me much incentive to read further.
So, all in all, good book but I won’t read the rest.