Stalking Darkness - Lynn Flewelling Such a gripping story. I am an avid fan of sword play, magic and perilous adventures. And this book delivers them all.

I had started "Luck in the Shadows" only assuming it was a one volume story, containing a light plot to encompass the romantic entanglement between Seregil and Alec. I was proven wrong on both accounts. The book turned out to be the first of 5 (as of yet) published volume) with only a slight derail in acknowledging the romantic development between the two men.

[spoiler ahead]While I felt a bit put out that the feelings between Alec and Seregil were not developed more thoroughly, I was still very pleased by the book. There was always a feeling of dread that spurred me to keep reading. The adventures were intense, whilst at times separated by moments of respite. To me, it seemed like the perfect combination of cleverness, courage, human errors and magic. I was most impressed with the scenes when Seregil found the crystal crown and Alec's cruel treatment at the hands of this tormentors. I became so immersed in the story, the chasing and anguish laid out in the pages that the romantic relationship between Alex and Seregil completely slipped my mind. Or more to say, it became intrinsic to the story, giving strength to the characters and plot.

It took me a while to understand why the story would shift to Beka's point of view. I assumed it was to give a direct accounting of the atrocities of war but by the end of the book, I couldn't be sure whether she or Micum were the real Vanguard.

I liked that several characters were introduced in the story to give it depth but not to shift the main focus off Alec, Seregil, Micum and Nysander. And yes, Alec is my favourite, followed closely by Seregil.[end spoiler]

The world was nicely drawn up, the adventures various and puzzling. I can't find any flaws to the story, from my subjective point of view. Curious as to what the third volume will introduce and how things will progress for the characters.