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Traitor's Moon
Lynn Flewelling
Bantam Spectra, 540 pages

Gary Ruddell
Traitor's Moon
Lynn Flewelling
Lynn Flewelling was born in Presque Isle, Maine in 1958. She received a B.S. from the University of Maine, 1981. Past jobs have included house painter, sales clerk, teacher, necropsy technician and copy writer. She lives in Bangor, Maine, with her husband Doug and 2 sons.

Lynn Flewelling Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Luck in the Shadows

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Charlene Brusso

This is the third book in Flewelling's Nightrunner series, which began with Luck In The Shadows (a Locus choice for Best First Novel) and continued in the acclaimed Stalking Darkness. If you're just starting the series now, you won't have to worry about missing key plot points in previous novels. Each novel, while certainly connected by main characters and setting, stands neatly alone. Sure, there is some history between the characters, and you can't help but wish you knew more about some things referred to in passing from the earlier books, but you also won't get lost because you don't know the full history of the missing Magic Sword, the Lost Heir, or the saga of the rise of the Evil Overlord from book one -- not that any of those hoary old scenarios figures in any way in this smoothly written and quite original series.

As the novel opens, the warrior Queen Idrilain of Skala lies dying from wounds received in battle against the fierce armies of neighbouring Plenimar. Idrilain knows Skala will fall, just as she has, unless her people can convince their other neighbours in Aurënen, home of the magical Aurënfaie, to ally with them. Against the wishes of her older children -- plain-spoken eldest daughter Phoria and her younger brother Korathan -- Idrilain sends her youngest daughter Klia as head of the ambassadorial delegation to the Aurënen. Accompanying Klia are a small troop of fighters as bodyguard, as well as exiled Aurënfaie, ex-thief, and mercenary Seregil, who will act as cultural interpreter, and his lover and partner Alec.

Everyone involved knows the negotiations won't be easy. As if things aren't tough enough, Seregil's enemies and family back home haven't forgotten, let alone forgiven him for, the terrible crime he committed more than 40 years ago: accidentally killing a visitor to his family home during what should have been a simple burglary.

Though Seregil re-enters his forbidden homeland now with the temporary permission of the Aurënfaie Council, the Iia'sidra, his returning home opens old wounds on both sides. And with Alec's recent discovery of his own half-bred heritage, as well as his intimate connection to a hated exile, the young thief has plenty of troubles of his own to worry about. In the meantime, of course, the Plenimaran forces are pushing Skalan troops farther and farther back, and Phoria is working on her own strategic plans, Queen Idrilain's wishes notwithstanding.

No one is safe, and while Seregil and Alec remain the main characters (the ostensible "heroes") of the story, no character is allowed to act as mere window-dressing. Flewelling has given us another fast-paced fantasy adventure with fully realized characters and more than enough intrigue, magic, and danger to hold your attention throughout these 500-odd pages.

Copyright © 1999 Charlene Brusso

Charlene's sixth grade teacher told her she would burn her eyes out before she was 30 if she kept reading and writing so much. Fortunately he was wrong. Her work has also appeared in Aboriginal SF, Amazing Stories, Dark Regions, MZB's Fantasy Magazine, and other genre magazines.

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