Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Book Report #6 - Nightrunner 7 / Shards of Time

It's always an odd feeling to read the last book of a series, especially one that you've followed for a long time and of which the characters have become important to you, like old friends. You have special occasions, because you don't want it all to end lamely or with an all too dramatic bang or with no proper ending at all.
Some years ago, the Nightrunner books were recommended to by good friends. We shared more or less the same interests and I knew I could trust their judgement, even if this was a genre I hadn't quite read before: thieves / spies in a fantasy world. The decision wasn't too difficult anyway, I had always liked fantasy and I didn't mind interesting thieves :)

What I hadn't expected were characters and a world that was painted with words so multi-layered and fascinating that the author, Lynn Flewelling, would turn into one of my all-time favourites. She is brilliant and was clever enough to have used her “Nightrunner world” for a whole set of another series, too. The Tamìr books tell quite a different story and one which happens hundreds of years before the adventures of Alec and Seregil, but you always get treated to glimpses into that past, especially in “Shards of Time”. So, this book was actually like a closure to both series.
All those years ago, I also hadn't expected to start reading books about male characters who end up as lovers. For some, this might be a reason to skip the Nightrunners, it certainly would have been for me, had I known about it then. But when I was actually reading the first book and only at the end of it is the first hint that this might happen, it felt like the most natural thing. Alec and Seregil are one of the best couples I've ever known and I wouldn't want to have missed them for anything. They didn't only proof to me that this kind of story wasn't something you should skip out of principle, they are also a good example how to have a couple as main characters without telling a romance story. That just isn't what those Nightrunner books are about, but like this last one showed, it's never forgotten that these two men are the lifeblood of each other. They've chosen a dangerous life, but it's the most natural thing that they couldn't go on alone any more.
But they are not the only great characters in this series. Like in the Tamír books, the whole world and its cultures are almost characters in their own right and I'll miss those just as well as the other people that populated Rhiminee and the other places of Lynn's world. On that score, Shards of Time didn't disappoint either. Of course, there were moments when I thought that final battle could end with anything else than disaster. And although I had (of course) took a short look at the ending to see who might survive it all, I was on the edge of my seat when I read those last chapters for real. I had to cry out of sadness and happiness. I wanted to start reading that same book or the whole series from the start right away. In other words, it was a perfect ending, because it was a new beginning.

I believe, I could forget all the writing courses I started, if I just could understand how Lynn Flewelling is creating her works. I know that she has offered writing courses in the past, on a ship cruise even! It must be wonderful to join her for one of those.

But since I don't know if that'll ever happen, I still can try to learn from her books, while I keep enjoying to reread them over and over again.

This got cross-posted in my Livejournal.