With their most treacherous mission yet behind them, heroes Seregil and Alec resume their double life as dissolute nobles and master spies. But in a world of rivals and charmers, fate has a different plan.…
After their victory in Aurënen, Alec and Seregil have returned home to Rhíminee. But with most of their allies dead or exiled, it is difficult for them to settle in. Hoping for diversion, they accept an assignment that will take them back to Seregil's homeland. En route, however, they are ambushed and separated, and both are sold into slavery. Clinging to life, Seregil is sustained only by the hope that Alec is alive.
But it is not Alec's life his strange master wants—it is his blood. For his unique lineage is capable of producing a rare treasure, but only through a harrowing process that will test him body and soul and unwittingly entangle him and Seregil in the realm of alchemists and madmen—and an enigmatic creature that may hold their very destiny in its inhuman hands…. But will it prove to be savior or monster?
Seregil and Alec have spent the last two years in self-imposed exile, far from their adopted homeland, Skala, and the bitter memories there. But their time of peace is shattered by a desperate summons from Queen Idrilain, asking them to aid her daughter on a mission to Aurenen, the very land from which Seregil was exiled in his youth.
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 the one thing he never expected was his cellmate. Spy, rogue, thief, and noble, Seregil of Rhнminee 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…
"Looks like you'll have to climb," Seregil whispered, squinting up. "Be careful going over; most of these places have the walls topped with spikes or sharp flints."
"Hold on!" Alec tried to make out Seregil's expression through the darkness. "Aren't you coming with me?"
"It's a one-man job; the fewer the better,"
Seregil assured him. "Would I send you in alone if I didn't think you could handle it? Best leave your sword, though."
"What if someone sees me?"
"Honestly, Alec! You can't just go hacking your way out of every difficult situation that arises. It's uncivilized."
Alec unbuckled his sword and started up the garden wall. He was halfway to the top when Micum called softly, "We'll meet you back here when you've finished. Oh, and look out for the dogs."
"Dogs?" Alec dropped down again. "What dogs? You didn't say anything about dogs!"
Seregil tapped himself sharply between the eyes.
"Illior's Fingers, what am I thinking of tonight? There's a pair of Zengati hounds, snow-white and big as bears."
"That's a fine detail to forget," growled Micum.
"Anything else I should know?"
"Let's see, the spikes, the dogs, the servants—No, I think we covered it. Luck in the shadows, Alec."
"And to you," Alec muttered, starting up the wall again.
Praise for Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling
"Part high fantasy and part political intrigue, Luck in the Shadows makes a nice change from the usual muck of contemporary sword-and-sorcery. I especially enjoyed Lynn Flewelling's obvious affection for her characters. And at unexpected moments she reveals a well-honed gift for the macabre."
– Stephen R. Donaldson, author of This Day All Gods Die
"Memorable characters, an enthralling plot, and truly daunting evil. The magic is refreshingly difficult, mysterious, and unpredictable. Lynn Flewelling has eschewed the easy shortcuts of cliched minor characters and cookie-cutter backdrops to present a unique world peopled by characters who are truly of that world. I commend this one to your attention."
– Robin Hobb, author of Royal Assassin
"A splendid read, filled with magic, mystery, adventure, and taut suspense. Lynn Flewelling, b ravo!Nicely done."
– Dennis L. McKiernan, author of The Dragonstone
"An engrossing and entertaining debut novel. It opens up a new fantasy world that is ripe for exploration-full of magic, intrigues, and fascinating characters… the kind of book you settle down with when you want a long, satisfying read."
– Michael A. Stackpole, author of Star Wars X-Wing: Rogue Squadron
Dissolute nobles, master spies, and the unlikeliest of heroes, Alec and Seregil have survived exile, treachery, and black magic. But the road that lies ahead is the most hazardous they've ever traveled. For with enemies on all sides, they must walk a narrow path between good and evil where one misstep might be their last.
Having escaped death and slavery in Plenimar, Alec and Seregil want nothing more than to go back to their nightrunning life in Rhíminee. Instead they find themselves saddled with Sebrahn, a strange, alchemically created creature - the prophesied 'child of no woman.' Its moon-white skin and frightening powers make Sebrahn a danger to all whom Alec and Seregil come into contact with, leaving them no choice but to learn more about Sebrahn's true nature.
With the help of trusted friends and Seregil's clan, the duo set out to discover the truth about this living homunculus - a journey that can lead only to danger or death. For Seregil's old nemesis Ulan í Sathil of Virèsse and Alec's own long-lost kin are after them, intent on possessing both Alec and Sebrahn. On the run and hunted, Alec and his comrades must fight against time to accomplish their most personal mission ever.
The gripping conclusion to the major new fantasy trilogy of necromancy and bone-chilling magic. Long ago Skala was ruled only by Queens, in accordance with prophecy. King Erius, fearing that the prophecy might be evoked as a means to dethrone him, had most of his female relatives assassinated. When his sister fell pregnant with twins, two of Skala’s wizards were warned by the oracle and took steps to conceal the girl who survived her twin brother at birth. Now Prince Tobin has been revealed as Princess Tamir, the true heir to the throne—and Skala has never been more in need of a true Queen. But at the age of fifteen Tamir is deeply confused by the new identity that has been thrust upon her, and feels betrayed by the wizards who tricked her and all her friends. Her demonic twin still haunts her, but now that the spell concealing her identity has been broken, the bond between them is severed. Brother is no longer under Tamir’s control, and he is bent on vengeance for the sins committed against him. Meanwhile Erius’s son Korin, Tamir’s beloved cousin, has claimed the throne and declared her a traitor. But as the country slides into civil war the people begin to acclaim Tamir as their saviour. Tamir strives to avoid conflict, but Korin’s weakness and Tamir’s honour will lead them to the ultimate clash of wills.
As the orphaned nephew of the king, trusted companion to his cousin, and second heir to the throne of Skala, Prince Tobin’s future is clear. But not as clear as the spring in which a hill witch shows him his true face—and his secret destiny...
Now Tobin carries a burden he cannot share with even his closest friend, Ki, his squire. He is to rule—not as he is but as he was born: a woman. Given the shape of a boy by dark magic, Tobin is the last hope of the people of Illior--those who desperately seek a return to the old ways, when Skala was ruled by a line of warrior queens. They still believe that only a woman can lift the war, famine, and pestilence that have run rampant through the land since the king usurped his half sister’s throne. It is these outlaw wizards and witches who protect Tobin--and it is for them that Tobin must accept his fate.
With the unsuspecting yet fiercely loyal Ki at his side, Tobin must turn traitor against the only blood ties he has left. He must lift the masks of Skala’s rulers to show their true colors—before he can reveal the power of the woman within himself.
For three centuries a divine prophecy and a line of warrior queens protected Skala. But the people grew complacent and Erius, a usurper king, claimed his young half sister’s throne.
Now plague and drought stalk the land, war with Skala’s ancient rival Plenimar drains the country’s lifeblood, and to be born female into the royal line has become a death sentence as the king fights to ensure the succession of his only heir, a son. For King Erius the greatest threat comes from his own line—and from Illior’s faithful, who spread the Oracle’s words to a doubting populace.
As noblewomen young and old perish mysteriously, the king’s nephew—his sister’s only child—grows toward manhood. But unbeknownst to the king or the boy, strange, haunted Tobin is the princess’s daughter, given male form by a dark magic to protect her until she can claim her rightful destiny.
Only Tobin’s noble father, two wizards of Illior, and an outlawed forest witch know the truth. Only they can protect young Tobin from a king’s wrath, a mother’s madness, and the terrifying rage of her brother’s demon spirit, determined to avenge his brutal murder...