I must say that Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling is an excellent addition to the Nightrunner series. It is the second book in what is currently a five book series. The plot is sound and moves well, and I absolutely love the main characters Seregil and Alec. It is interesting to see the main characters struggle and develop through the second installment.
The plot is a continuation of the plot from the first novel. War is coming, and the city of Rhiminee is preparing. Alec is still be schooled by Seregil in the art of being a rogue or spy. Seregil and Alec are still aiding the crown with the information they collect. But a dark prophecy is starting to unfold. The prophecy foretells the return of a helmet that will turn the wearer into the ultimate necromancer, one whose powers will be unrivaled. But as in most prophecies there are those who can stop the darkness from coming to pass. The prophecy foretells of the four who can stop terror from blanketing the world; The Guide, the Guardian, the Shaft and the Vanguard. The Guardian is Nysander, the wizard. He has been keeping watch over once piece of the magical helmet for years hoping the day of the prophecy’s fulfillment would not come in his lifetime. Unfortunately, that is not to be. But who is are the other three foretold by the prophecy? And can they stop Mardus, a man touched by the dark god, who is determined to reassemble the helmet and become the manifestation of the dark god in the world. You will have to read the novel to find out.
Again, the characters are excellently done. These characters have a lot of depth, even the minor characters. Alec continues to grow, even changing speech patterns as he matures. Secrets of Seregil’s and Alec’s sordid pasts are revealed. We learn more about them, their characters and their lives. We also see them both developing as does their relationship. One of the things that I adore about this book is the blooming relationship between Seregil and Alec. Alec is an innocent, and comes from a world that does not believe in homosexuality. But Seregil is from a more accepting culture. As they start to fall for each other (yes there is homosexuality in these novels, so if that bothers you please give these novels a pass), Seregil fears corrupting Alec and Alec is just plain confused about his feelings. We also get to know more about Nysander and see him stress about his role in the upcoming prophecy and worry about how it will affect those he loves. Nysander is another excellently rounded character in this story.
Flewelling gives us another engaging book with spectacular characters and a solid plot. There is not as much history in this book which allows the plot to move a little better in comparison with the first novel. There is plenty of action in this book including fights, magic, and kidnappings. I like her writing style, it is a lot more involved than some other writers but she will pull you in and captivate you.
I love the Nighrunner series. I have really enjoyed re-reading it (for the fourth or fifth time). It is probably my favorite series out there. And Stalking Darkness is a great installment in the series. You do really need to read the first novel to read the second. So if you haven’t read, Luck in the Shadows, you should read it first before you delve into Stalking Darkness or you will be a little lost. You should like this book if you like fantasy novels or you enjoyed Luck in the Shadows.