When young Alec of Kerry is taken prisoner for a crime he didn’t commit, he is certain that his life is at an end. But one thing he never expected was his cellmate. Spy, rogue, thief, and noble, Seregil of Rhiminee is many things–none of them predictable. And when he offers to take on Alec as his apprentice, things may never be the same for either of them. Soon Alec is traveling roads he never knew existed, toward a war he never suspected was brewing. Before long he and Seregil are embroiled in a sinister plot that runs deeper than either can imagine, and that may cost them far more than their lives if they fail. But fortune is as unpredictable as Alec’s new mentor, and this time there just might be…Luck in the Shadows.
I bought this when it went on sale last year because of a blog review which I unfortunately can’t find right now. But wherever it is, it convinced me to give it a go. And y’all, I LOVED IT.
For some reason I thought it was more of a romance than it actually is? It is not a romance; it is instead a fantasy adventure mystery with really excellent characters. There is a decided lack of kissing in this book,1 so if you’re looking for kissing in your fantasy stories I’ll direct you to The Magpie Lord.
Part of why I wanted more kissing is because I loved the characters so much! Seregil is a thief/con artist/spy who steals and lies and kills people. But he’s noble and working for the government! So there’s that tension between right and wrong hovering over him and giving him grief. He’s a swordsman! He’s charming and witty and sassy. He’s like an epic fantasy version of Douglas Fairbanks, with a hint of woobie.
Alec is his (future kissing) partner and his story is a coming of age one. He’s good with a bow, kind and quietly clever, and he’s a loyal friend and companion to Seregil. He’s adorable, basically, and I want to squish his cheeks (into Seregil’s so they FINALLY KISS ALREADY2).
The supporting characters are great, too! I particularly loved the various warrior queens and princesses. Seregil’s country is one ruled by queens, and it has a strong history of women in military positions. Such a refreshing change from the usual “women suck” position taken by lots of other pre-2010s fantasy series set in pseudo-medieval Europe.3 There are also wizards, and several versions of the fae, and centaurs and dragons and stuff! It’s an wonderful setting, and I can’t wait to explore it more in the rest of the series.
Luck in the Shadows has everything I liked in a book: adventure, courtly intrigue, friendship and wizards and more! I was so excited after finishing it that I bought the next book in the series right away. Bring on the kissing! And other important plot points, too.
Read: January 3-4, 2015
I hate that cover. HATE IT. Who is that? Is that Seregil? Seregil does not have a mullet, holy crap.