Marc reviews the audio version of Lynn Flewelling’s ‘Stalking Darkness’ (Nightrunner Book 2) (The book was re-published on November 17th 2010 by Spectra and is 513 pgs long. The audiobook version was released on September 16th, 2004 by Blackstone Audiobooks and is narrated by Raymond Todd, it is 19 hrs and 15 mins long.
Why I read this book: Book one was one of the very first books with LGBT characters I ever read. I discovered there were books with LGBT content (M/M, gay fiction and fiction with gay characters) and looked at the lists Google referred me to. Being a big Fantasy fan, I eventually stumbled upon the Best Fantasy Books with Gay Main Characters list on Goodreads and it was impossible for me not to give this book a try, especially when I realized there were audio versions of the book. So I of course had to buy the audio for book two as well and loved it even more, devoured most of this series back-to-back. Warning: This series may cause a series addiction to this world and these characters 😉
I will post reviews of all the books in this series during this week, so keep on the lookout for them. Please also check out my interview with the author HERE! 😉
CLICK ON THE COVER TO BUY THE BOOK ON AUDIBLE OR AMAZON 🙂
With the Leran threat laid to rest, Alec and Seregil are now able to turn their attention to the ancient evil which threatens their land. The Plenimarans, at war with Skalans, have decided to defeat their ancient enemy by raising up the Dead God, Seriamaius. The early attempts at this reincarnation–masterminded by the sinister Duke Mardus and his sorcerous minion Vargul Ashnazai–once left Seregil in a sorcerous coma. Now, an ancient prophecy points to his continuing role in the quest to stop Mardus in his dread purpose.
Seregil’s friend and Mentor, the wizard Nysander, has long been the guardian of a deadly secret. In a secret, silver-lined room hidden well beneath the Oreska, he has served for most of his 300 years as the keeper of a nondescript clay cup. But this cup, combined with a crystal crown and some wooden disks, forms the Helm of Seriamaius, and any mortal donning the reconstructed Helm will become the incarnation of the god on earth.
Nysander holds the cup and Mardus the wooden disks–one of which was responsible for Seregil’s coma–but the crown must still be located. Threatened under pain of death by Nysander to keep his quest a secret even from his loyal companion, Alec, Seregil is dispatched to find the last missing piece of the Helm so that he and Nysander can destroy it. But this is only the beginning of one of his deadliest journeys ever, for the prophecy also holds that four will come together in a time of darkness, and gradually all that Seregil values is placed at risk as he, Alec, Nysander and Micum are drawn into a deadly web of terror and intrigue.
Buy Book Two of the Nightrunner series:
Again, this cover shows a direct scene from the book and it is beautifully designed. We see Seregil and Alec with his bow and readers will feel like they are part of the scene. It’s one of the most memorable scenes, though as it is such an important key scene, I’m not sure if it doesn’t give too much away…
Stalking Darkness works well as the darkness not only stalks our main protagonists, but they also stalk the darkness. Stakes are higher and the darkness is more vicious and dangerous. Necromancers, demons, a god and real danger!
As with book one, this is fantastic narration and it helps to pull the ‘reader directly into the story. The differentiation of the characters is well done in a way not every narrator is skillful enough to manage and the audio version is well-worth the purchase 😉
So, yesterday I reviewed book one in the series, which is an introduction to the characters and the world with some of the classic nightrunning that this series is named for and a nice mystery. A world filled with great character, a well-developed plot, great chemistry between the main protagonists and wonderfully intricate intrigue.
For me this book raises all the stakes. All the intro stuff is over with and readers are familiar with the world and love the characters. This book not only focuses on the central relationship between Seregil and Alec as they struggle to figure out who they are to each other and to find a balance in their relationship, there are necromancers and demons and gods, an ancient evil, losses, betrayals and much more to deal with. There is real danger and it’s not easily defeated and will forever change the universe we love, have long lasting effects on the characters and the readers for that matter.
These books are pretty long, but I was at the edge of my seat the entire time, feeling the danger as a constant companion to our heroes. I loved their changing relationship and yes, this is the one where Alec and Seregil get together at the end. But this book is so much more. Nysander, Micum, Seregil and Alec are a wonderful team and they do more than keep Skala from losing the war with Plenemar, they save the world from almost certain destruction from the Dead God and his necromancy practicing, demon-controlling minions.
I love this world with the female rulers and strong female characters, where gay couples are not only allowed but accepted (there are even pleasure houses in different colors for the different tastes), a world of magic and fantasy that deals with very real and important issues and where the two leading male characters can fall for each other. It is amazing to have a fantasy world that is so inclusive, yet not intrusive (so that it really is a book everyone can read and feel comfortable with).
Lynn Flewelling has taken time and care to set up the central romance, taking almost two entire books (each about 500 Pages) to get them to that point, but the development is so believable and so, so worth it. Alec is not from Skala and it takes him a while to realize he is bisexual and that he is allowed to feel the feelings in his heart. He and Seregil make a perfect team and the trust and the deep feelings that develop between them stand in stark contrast to the danger, darkness and sacrifices in this novel. The light in the darkness that brought a smile to my face, even when my eyes were still moist from the losses they suffered.
Before starting the Nightrunner series, I listened to the Tamir Triad, which I now know is an amazing prequel trilogy to this series and a three-part story on an epic scale that reads like a fantasy version of a trans story and has one of the most intriguing plots. Thus the mysterious nondescript clay cup with dark and evil energy is familiar to me and it was great to understand its secrets.
I really, really love the nightrunning and court intrigue, but this book works for me on every level and was much better for me even than the first book in the series, which I already loved. Along with book three, which delves a lot deeper into Seregils past and has a lot of political intrigue between clas of his race AND DRAGONS, it is at the very top of my ‘fav’ list for this series ❤
I can’t give anything but 10 from 10 pots of gold and my highest recommendation for y’all to read this series and this book ❤
Lynn Flewelling grew up in Presque Isle, Maine. Since receiving a degree in English from the University of Maine in 1981, she has studied veternary medicine at Oregon State, classical Greek at Georgetown University, and worked as a personnel generalist, landlord, teacher, necropsy technician, advertising copywriter, and freelance journalist, more or less in that order. She currently resides in sunny southern California with her husband Douglas and two naughty dogs.
She is the author of two internationally acclaimed series: The Nightrunner Series and the Tamír Triad. Her books have been published in a dozen countries, including Japan and Russia.