I love music, arts, I write, sing. I dance through life, I fly high. And got my feet on solid ground.
I am a feminist, a LGBT member, I hold values like honesty, reliability and family in high esteem.
I am myself. That has to be enough for you.
AND I am a fangirl.
Day 16: Saddest Moment?
I’m hard-pressed between when Seregil decided to break the conditions of his return to Sarikali, or when Alec gave Sebhran up, when Kari appeard with sleping-death-stricken Illia in the Stag&Otter and pretty much the entire 2nd half of “Shards of time”
Seregil in “Traitors Moon” had tried so hard prooving he had honour and gaining approval, he was so messed up, but his acts prooved fruitful - and he knew it. He knew he might had a chance of returning to his clan in honour and he gave it up - and this wasn’t the worst, neither for him, nor for the reader… I think I broke down when he talked to Adzriel and Mydri… my poor, noble, wonderful darling…
Alecs pain when he had to give Sebhran away rings rather nasty with me - my mom had to leave me for a few months in a kids hospital at the sea, because I was sick and she had my big sis and her work to take care of… it was for my best and it was only temporary, but well… I think I have an inkling on how she felt (sis told me years later mom was miserable for the first few weeks, because she couldn’t care for me, even though it’s not her fault). Let’s say, I guess for a parent it’s one of the worst things to be forced to give your child away, even though ou love them dearly, but you know it’s for the best, both for them and for you… and I bawled my eyes out. (however, as usual I am pretty glad Lynn adressed this. (and I am hoping for a short story about the Hazad.)
And … I already expressed my love for Illia, who’s just TOO adorable to feel annoyance at. And when Kari was there with her… well, first I spat out curses in Lynns general direction. Then… I… well. I guess Micum broke my heart. He considered it his fault. Kari did too… and I guess, if Illia had died she would have left. Or kicked Micum out. One way or another, she loves her husband… the more serious was this “If Illia dies I wont forgive you! Any of you!” - it was awfully raw… *sobs*
And the last half of “Shards”. First the entire story of Nhandi and Khazireen. This was already heartbreaking, not to mention how it was then written down in history (with Khazireen betraying Nhandi… oh damn…) - and the idea of having to doom your loved one or the Greater good. And Thero. *sniffs* When he makes clear that in that case he’ll kill himself. Just states it, no big, fancy words. And Alec and eregil don’t argue with him, because they know they’d do the same… and it’s nothing fancy, grand, romantic or desireable. It’s simply a desperate act by a person broken by despair and…
Let’s say, I cried very, very, VERY often during these books. But I think… these sad moments are so effective because they are genuine. They’re not tacked on or played just for sadness. They’re consequences of the plot and the characters and very often the reason for this sad moment leaves longer lasting traces in the characters than just the sad scene…
I gonna reread them soon and I gonna need kleenex.
You know, by now I’m convinced Seregil and Cecil have a secret club - Anonymous fans of my boyfriends lovely locks - or something like that, where they meet and swap stories and hair lotions to make Carlos or respecitvely Alec’s hair even more shiny - or grow faster after they’ve had it cut again…
… and one day, Seregil comes into their room in that weid in-between-the-universes-space, after a month-long absence, haggard and sniffeling and Cecil just knows, that for one reason or another Alec had cut off his nice long braid and the only thing helping here is a good glass of wine, so he fetches it.
Hey Nightrunner fandom, let’s play a game:
Reblog this post with a funny quote from the books.
"If the sight of a Skalan wizard cackling hysterically on the ground with his robes tucked up around his waist struck any of them as odd, none were so ungracious to say so in his hearing." -Traitor’s Moon page 185
that bit always makes me giggle, poor Thero
Seregil watched him go, then raised an eyebrow at Alech. “You just lied to a priest.”
"So did you."
"I lie to everyone. You’re the good Dalnan boy."
"I haven’t been a good Dalnan boy since I met you."
… bits like this always break me. I love their relationship and their dynamic so much.
This is the face of pure, unadulterated happiness.
You’re into fantasy? Go, read them.
You’re more into swashbuckling espionage? FUCKING GO READ THEM
You’re „But meh, I actually prefer my stories with a diverse cast and some positive reprsentation of queer people and awesome female characters…“ - Did I fucking stutter, GO READ THEM, NOW!
The series centers around spies and thieves – the umbrella term they use for their profession is „Nightrunner“ and there you have your title, tadaa! – Seregil and Alec, while giving also some proper spotlight to the supporting cast consisting of friends, allies, antagonists, queens, princesses, wizards… you name it.
The stories are a good mix of fantasy fare with espionage thrown in and espionage set in a fantasy world – the first two books, which are directly linked via plot bow are prime examples for this. (Basically the overarching plot is the standard prophecy fare, executed deftly and with some nice little twists regarding the foretold roles in the events… and it’s heartbreaking. Really. Really. Heartbreaking. The subplots, which in part tie in to this and influence some relationships for the coming years/books are a fine mix of espionage and magic and a good deal of horror.)
Lynns world is vast, colourful and diverse, we see three very different countries up close (Skala – setting for much of the series and Alec’s and Seregils current home) Aurënen (Seregils home country where he was banned from) and Plenimar (which is at constant war with Skala. Also they keep slaves. Let’s say, the characters have not too high an opinion about them); we also get some glimpses on the more Northern countries. Throw in some racial and ethnic minorities (Retha’noi and Dravnians especially) and you got a pretty colourful backdrop to work with and Lynn works with it pretty well… if it ever gets adapted to screen I really hope to see a lot of racial diversity there, just as much as we already get cultural diversity – it been a good time since I saw a fantasy world with so many so diverse cultures which are so fleshed out and logic in their conception and, god, now I’m having a Cultural History boner.
Just as vast and varied is the cast of the series.
There we have our already mentioned protagonists, I’ll get to them in a minute, because, really, they get enough screen time in the books already and can convince you on their own of their awesomeness, they can wait for a bit.
We have Micum, a loyal, steadfast friend who can kick ass massively but a) is often more than a bit torn between his desire for adventure with Seregil (and as he enters the picture Alec), his love for his wife and kids and the fact that he’s not as young as he used to be (he copes with the latter bit via biting his tongue and getting through with it. So far it still works, but he’s too aware he’s getting older)
Nysander, a wizard, long-time friend and mentor and boss of Seregil, eternally good-natured, intelligent and really a lovely, grandfatherly figure. … oh and also devoted to a task handed down his line for generations. For this task he would force himelf to kill Seregil. Also he develops a nasty habit of keeping secrets Seregil, nosy as he is, certainly doesn’t like. … let’s say, the fantasy plot takes a terrible toll on Nysander. And the worst part for both him and the audience is, that he knows he has to pay the price and he would pay it – unwilling, but without complaint. And… Nysander breaks my heart and… the events of the 2nd book „Stalking Darkness“ leave permanent scars for years.
Thero, Nysanders apprentice, is in the beginning rather uptight, stiff … and Seregil and he have their own little feud going on.
It dies down a bit after… book two, having the two of them growing closer as friends as Thero himself thaws a bit – by the way, Lynn, where is the novel FOR THAT, I WANNA READ THAT.
He’s interesting, funny, sarcastic and in that regard on par with Seregil. Considering their early animosity, this is probably a good thing too. In general, we don’t have enough Thero.
What we have however are plenty of awesome ladies of all ages, temperaments and vocations who are…
Magyana. Scholar, wizard, Nysanders long-term love, yet firm on her celibacy – an intelligent, powerful woman in a high position, who is kind and caring and deeply devoted to the man she loves, yet still wont compromise her philosophy for him. And Nysander respects that – she in turn just shrugs about what young woman he currently has as a bed bunny – really, their relationhip is heartwarming. Yes, especially the last part. Nysander gives no flying fuck about anything called celibacy. He wont have sex wit Magyana, so he’s looking somewhere else. Seems like a legit deal and one way to make a relationship between aces and allosexual people work. Howevr, it’s clear that Nysander has no deeper attachments to his bed ladies – and it’s heavily implied, in the current case even outright stated, that his bed ladies themselves have no such wishes themselves. … really, looks like the representation of one way to make a relationship between allosexual and asexual partners work.
Idrilain, Phoria, Klia, Elani… hell the whole royal family is made of badasses. And they have to – a prophecy dictated that a queen, daughter of the royal line, has to rule and defend Skala. Since two past attempts at discarging this prooved to be a less than good idea, they now stick to it. This is extremely notable in the Skalan culture but later.
These women are all highly skilled warriors and commanders, some of them are intelligent diplomats. One is a seasoned, experienced queen and commander who even on her deathbed commands diplomatic missions to be dispatched. One feels like the unfavourite, despite being the heir and next queen and will do anything to keep close tabs on those she doesn’t trust and she wont exclude her family from this – not to mention her ability to hold a grudge for very, very long. However, she’s a good commander and genuinely devoted to her troops and her country. One is a very young queen who was groomed for this, still learns and genuinely craves for honest friends. One is fiercely loyal to her country and the throne, without ambition to rule herself.
… the Skalan royal family is cool. Nuff said.
Beka Cavish, Micums eldest daughter and much like him regarding temperament. A warrior and high ranking officer, loyal, intelligent and quick-thinking she clearly shows how well Seregil has tutored her from an early age. Soldier and loving it.
Kari Cavish. Micums wife, mother to Beka and two other girls and a son. Also a foster son.
Kari is the very motherly homemaker, keeping the homestead running when her husband is away, and oh she dislikes when he’s away, she does – not only because of the all-too-real danger of Micum not coming back but also because him going away on missions closely relate to the many secrets he has to keep from her, secrets he has with Seregil. … and let’s just say, Seregil and Kari once had a very tense relationship and this is sometimes still notable, though they eased up to one another big deal.
Kari’s a homemaker, she loves it and she’s stubborn and strongheaded. And awesome.
And don’t get me started on Seregils sisters. One head of her clan, cunning diplomat, one a healer, very blunt, occasionally rough with her brother and yet so caring underneath…
And then there’re the minor characters and unnamed ones, women from all professions, whores who are content with their job and make a good ton of money (Lynn makes a clear distinction between voluntary prostiturion under safe conditions and a good boss and sex slavery.)
See a pattern here? We get a ton of female characters of so many different vocations and walks of life and no walk of life is portrayed as inherently superior or inferior. There is no „I’m not like other girls!“ rhetoric here, because these other girls are different from you and from other girls too, because they live in a society that mostly got over prefixed gender roles and the need to adhere to them. Women are equal to men. Some perform feminity and keep into the role as homemaker. Some don’t. Some kick ass and present themselves in a manner one would consider masculine, yet nobody ever doubts them in being a) competent in their field and b) being a „real woman“. You feel like a woman? You’re a woman, that’s it. Some kick major ass and present as very feminine when the occasion fits.
Gender presentation is no deal there.
… ok, i think it’s now time to talk about the main characters.
Alec is 16 at the beginning, your typical naive newcomer, offering his counterpart Seregil someone to spout exposition to, both explicitely (as in, he talks for pages on-end – the characters are well aware of his love to ramble) and implicitely (as in – his remarks about Alec’s modesty not only tell us a bit about him but also of the culture he lives in, judging from the nonchalant way he comments).
Clever, a bit naive and new to the life Seregil more or less drags him into, he’s a quick learner and prooves early on how smart he is – and thankfully, he continues to use his brains.
What’s most intriguing about Alec, both for me personally as reader and in-story for Seregil is just how good-hearted Alec is. He trusts Seregil right from the start, simply because Seregil saved him out of a dungeon and then showed nothing but kindness to him. This leads to Alec saving Seregil in return, at great danger for his own life, after knowing Seregil for maybe two weeks. And he remains this genuinely kind, open fellow; in part he cultivates this image but at no point he’s faking this personality.
And this is a big part of exactly why Seregil loves him so much.
Because, well, Seregil… ehhh… Seregil… is… smart, nonchalant, ruthless, sarcastic, wont forgive betrayal, has many faces, is a master spy…
and boy, does the guy need therapy. It gets better over the course of the books, partly thanks to Alec (Seregil faced his demons, which helped him a lot, but I think without Alec having his back he would have continued to run away. Or worse. … definitely the worse.), but he’s been shaped and scarred by several events of his youth and these scars do remain – what changes is how Seregil regards them. Same with events in the books. They scar him, permanently, but he learns to deal with it.
Frankly, they’re refreshing. Alec has no big issues and is as mentally stable as they come. Seregil makes several very successfull efforts to not ruin that; Alec remains wholesome in most regards and can recover rather easily from whatever happens to him. It’s nice to see a young hero who’s not brooding and all hurting.
Same with Seregil. He’s messed up and he knows it, but he also in many regards is very much sane. He’s very empathetic, able to genuinely care and love and functions very well both in society/societies and as a human being and it’s refreshing to have a character who’s clearly a mess but who is not rendered incompetent by it. Seregil doesn’t mull over his past – quite the contrary and nope, his pushing away anything uncomfortable is not healthy either, nor presented that way – but it made him who he is in-series.
So, refreshing, interesting characters we want to know more about.
And who enter a happy, stable relationship.
(If you’re suprised or shocked at this you haven’t read the article so far throughly.)
This is another thing I love about the books. They have a good ratio of positive queer representation and it ties into a very complex cultural concept.
I already mentioned that the matriarchy in Skala informed the broad equality for men and women there. This also led to a more open society regarding sexuality, making queer relationship as normal and non-eyebrow-lifting as straight relationhips (the only reason to gossip is, when you seem to have a relationship with your underage ward. Which is a good reason to get tongues wagging). In Aurënen, Seregils home country, homosexuality is regarded much the same way, with the added bonus that long-term relationhips are considered the same way as a heterosexual marriage (the distinction makes sense if you keep in mind that the setting still is one where marriage is an economical and political buisness, with biological offspring sealing the deal, so the distinction does make sense.) - Alec is Seregils partner, so he’s automatically accepted as member of their clan.
And this, dear friends, is a very, very, very beautiful thing.
(In Plenimar homosexual acts seem common enough, though looked down upon, probably related to the implied strict separation of gender roles; reminds me of Victorian times… or ancient Greece … as in, if you take on the womans part during sex, you make yourself a woman, you make yourself weaker. … would be the logic behind this. Also they seem to connect homosexual sex with force and violence.)
Also, Aurënen has dragons.
The Nightrunner series contains of seven books:
„Luck in the Shadows“
„Stalking Darkness“ (direct sequel to „Luck in the shadows“)
„Traitors Moon“ (Standalone)
„The White Road“ (direct sequel to „Shadows return“)
„Casket of souls“ (standalone)
And „Shards of time“ (standalone and for now the end of the series)
I didn’t even get to touch on the issues in each book, which is too bad, but also good, because now you’re going to read them anyways, right, and discover these themes and motives for yourselves, right? Right?
Also… even though most Bokthersans don’t give a fuck as it seems, Seregil has no legal standing in his clan…
… but then there’s Bokthersa-descended Rieser, who, as most of his rider, sans the poor lad who died, got off easy, because “they have the tayan’gils blood”. … can I interpret this as Rieser being somewhat closer related to Ireya by blood?
… which would make him and Alec kin. … which means, if Alecs blood kin is descended from Bokthersa he has a very legal claim to the clan to, giving him status on his own, unrelated to Seregil.
Which might open a backdoor for Seregil too, to regain legal standing, if he ever needs it…
Day 5: Favorite Friendship?
This meme is killing me.
I’ve got Klia and Mhyrini. Alec and Beka. Alec and the Cavishes in General. Seregil and Micum. Seregil and Kari. Seregil and Thero. Their friendship with Klia and later Elani. Seregil and Korathan…
It ended up being the friendship between Seregil and Nysander, because.. this is so much of a teacher-apprentice, father-son and… it is heartbreaking. Nysander was the first to actually GIVE Seregil a hom and… damnm it broke my heart in the end. I think this death has lef it’s biggest mark on eregil, hence on me too. *sniffs* *hidesl*
Day 4: Favorite Scene?
Guys, guys, don’t do that to me, don’t make me choose so often…
there’s the first time Seregil calls Alec talí. The time they reunite in Plenimar. Anytime Seregil interacts with Ilar, just because it is so raw and intense and…
The time Thero meets Mika.
The first time Seregil transforms into an otter in front of Alec, that’s so made of adorable…
When Seregil gets declared teth’brimash and realizes just what this might mean, the implication of atui being served without him dying, him being able to earn himself a name, him being FREE at last and oh my god…
I can’t decide, so I declare all books, EVERYTHING one gigantic scene, a glimpse of a moment for the Immortals, a fleeting second, thus - a scene, And win.
Yep. I can’t choose, so I take it all, greedy as I am. XD
The mayor blinked in surprise. “I meant no offense, Baron. I was only saying, that some treated their slaves better than others. Surely that counts for something?”
“No, it doesn’t.”
"Shards of time", book seven of the Nightrunner series; Lynn Flewelling
… sums it up.
Ok, liebe Bayern und Bayern-nahe und Österreicher auf meinem Dash.
wer von euch ist ebenfalls ein Rhiminee Irregular?
Wer wartet sehnsüchtig auf den 1. April?
(fendassor, du musst nicht antworten, von dir weiß ich das.)
… mag jemand bescheid schreien? Besteht irgendein interesse an einem informellen Meet-up irgendwo wo wir alle hin kommen, zum gemeinsamen Fangirlen, Buch-lesen, Buch-diskutieren, etc?
I want “Nightrunner” as movie or a series (miniseries, 3 episodes per book, each book a season).
And I FUCKING WANT BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH AS ULAN. You hear me?
… or Mardus. Mardus would be awesome too.
I want it NOW
That left lover. Seregil shifted irritably in the saddle; evidently oracles were not infallible.”
Lynn Flewelling “Nightrunners 1: Luck in the Shadows”, p. 272.
… Illioran oracles are at least less fallible than your own attempts at it, Seregil. I hope you learned to trust them more.
I didn’t choose the fandom life.
The fandom life broke into my house in the middle of the night and said “Dad’s on a hunting trip, and hasn’t been home in a few days.”
I didn’t choose the fandom life
the fandom life grabbed my hand and whispered, “Run.”
I didn’t choose the fandom life
The fandom life borrowed my phone and asked me “afghanistan or iraq?”
I didn’t choose the fandom life.
The fandom life gave me a squishy birthday cake and said “Yer a fangirl.”
I didn’t choose the fandom life.
The fandom life looked straight ahead and whispered in a firm, yet broken 10-years-old voice: “Let’s bring mom back.”
I didn’t choose the fandom life. The fandom life found me tortured in a dungeon cell and helped me escape before offering me an apprenticeship as a bard which then turnd out an apprenticeship as a thief and bulgar. … and their lover.