Way back in 1996, I’d heard rumors of a great new fantasy author. The news ran sort of like this: Lynn Flewelling – Del Rey – new fantasy world that wasn’t Robert Jordanish – great map – cute male thieves – cute male thieves fighting corrupt wizards and nobles – cute male thieves crushing on each other.
That got my attention.
I tracked down her debut novel Luck in the Shadows at a posh bookstore at a posh local shopping center during lunch. The novel looked yummy. I’d been at what was to be one of my all-time dream jobs for a few months by then, and felt settled enough to spend a little money. So I walked to a nearby posh salad bar restaurant, and settled in to inhale a salad and the first chapter or two.
I didn’t finish the eight-dollar-salad and I was thirty minutes late from lunch. I shoved the paperback at my then-boss, gabbling something like: ‘New fantasy book, cute male thieves and spies, they might be gay for each other!’ I worked in an understanding environment. I think Lynn sold another book or two from the same store later that day.
Lynn’s books and Lynn’s dashing Seregil and Alec have been long-time fictional companions of mine through the intervening years.
Some of the books have been better than others, the plots smoother, the twists less predictable. But that’s only because the best of them were superlative. Every book was a glorious, spine-chilling mix of adventure, romance, and dark dark fantasy. Every one of them advanced the characters (main and secondary), left me laughing, and left me crying. Lynn didn’t write specifically about two bisexual male characters; she wrote about two characters in a culture and time when no one batted an eye about two men in love, or two women, or any mix of possibilities. Her female characters were as strong, flawed, and wonderful as her men. Her villains didn’t mess around. The stakes began high and ramped higher, an undercurrent of vast menace threading through ‘lesser’ adventures like the tick-tick-tick of a thaumaturgical bomb’s clockwork timer.
Lynn herself turned out to be a pretty good email friend and intermittent mentor (like she is to all of us newer writers).
Now the seventh – and possibly last – book of the Nightrunners series is out, Shards of Time, and I’ll be picking up my paperback at my local indie bookstore this weekend. I admit I’m going to be a little hesitant to thumb past the title page. It’s going to be good. But each page after that is a little closer to the end.
Check out Lynn Flewelling’s brand new website, and all her gorgeous books.