(Written October, 2015)
Series: Nightrunner, book 6
Year of publication: 2012
Summary: Flewelling’s sixth entry in the Nightrunner series takes place entirely in Seregil and Alec’s home city of Rhímenee, which is actually something of a nice change after the last three books (Book 3 took place in Aurënen, Book 4 in Plenimar, and Book 5 in Aurënen/traveling/Plenimar). The gist of the plot is that various groups of conspirators are plotting to assassinate various royals, and Alec and Seregil must discover their plans before it is too late. At the same time, a mysterious illness has come to the city — the Sleeping Death. As more and more people fall victim, and even the wizard Thero can’t determine why, Seregil and Alec begin to suspect something more sinister than mere sickness is at work. Besides Seregil and Alec, this book also features their friend Thero, Princess Klia, and, of course, the Cavishes.
Thoughts: It was good, but in some ways unsatisfying. The plot was fairly solid — better than books 4 and 5, but not quite on the same level as the first three. We got to see a bit of development between Seregil and Alec, but this is pushed aside as the chapters are taken up by visits to various nobles and interactions with other characters. I’d have liked to see more about how they are each dealing with the aftermath of the whole Sebrahn thing. We get a few mentions about Alec’s sadness at having had to let go of Sebrahn, and Seregil’s continuing anxiety about Alec after what happened to him in Plenimar. Still, they were enslaved, tortured, separated for weeks or months, and so on — but none of that seems to have had much of a lasting effect on their characters.
I was also disappointed that Alec and Seregil don’t seem to have learned anything new in this book. In the other books, they’ve discovered either something significant about their pasts or about themselves. I’d also have like to see them learn some new skills, or put their skills to more impressive use. I mean, the bad guy wasn’t even that impressive in this one, but he came off as being almost more clever than Seregil. Maybe it’s because they were supposed to be somewhat similar, but still — it doesn’t seem like he should have been as much of a challenge as he was.
I’m still looking forward to the last book, though. Maybe everything I’ve been hoping for will happen in that one. I’d like to see lots of impressive archery from Alec, learn something special about either character, see lots of relationship details, and some character development for Seregil (he was honestly a bit flat in this one).