After their victory in Aurenen, Alec and Seregil have returned home to Rhiminee. 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?
I didn’t realize how much I really wanted to spend time in a fantasy world when I picked this up, but I really, really was in the perfect mood for it. This is the fourth book in the Nightrunner series; it was intended to be a trilogy but proved so popular that the author appears to have written more! I’m very happy about this, especially given that this is a wonderful addition to the series as it stands. I love Alec and Seregil and their world, so of course I was happy to spend another book with them. In this one, they venture to another new country (albeit unwillingly) and we get to see some of Plenimaran culture. They also run into an unpleasant reminder of Seregil’s past.
I had forgotten most of what happened in the first three books; I read them at least a year ago, before I began blogging seriously, but it didn’t seem to matter too much. I remembered enough to understand the dynamics between all the characters and picked up what I’d forgotten fairly quickly, but I’d probably recommend reading the whole series in order and fairly close together. This one definitely leads into the next one, The White Road, which is coming out next February, but wraps up its own storylines for the most part.
That storyline is very exciting; the plot twists and turns and it’s hard to know what’s going to happen next. Seregil and Alec are fantastic characters as usual; the secondary characters aren’t huge here but they also show up and remind us why we like them so much. All in all, this is a very respectable, solid fantasy novel. It does its job of transporting its reader to another world extremely well. I’m really looking forward to The White Road!