The White Road by Lynn Flewelling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Saddled with Sebrahn, a magical creature who can heal, kill and raise the dead, Seregil and Alec set off on a journey back to Plenimar, where an alchemist had created Sebrahn out of Alec’s blood, to find a way to prevent it from ever happening again. For exactly the same reason, they are hunted by Alec’s long-lost kin, intent on capturing him and Sebrahn before anymore tayan’gils are created out of Alec’s blood. Also hot on their tail is Seregil’s old nemesis who desires Sebrahn for his healing power.
I only picked up The White Road because it was on 50% discount and it had a Legolas-looking persona on the cover (not that I like Legolas, but I like elves and elvish stuff in general). I had browsed the blurb and found it to be about two heroes searching for “the truth about this living homunculus - a journey that can only lead to danger… or death”. I mean, what could go wrong with a fantasy with elves (she calls them faie, but anyone with a decent background in reading fantasy would know the words are interchangeable) and magic and dangerous adventure? I did take the precaution of reading the list of “also by Lynn Flewelling” to find out if it was part of a series, but didn’t find any indication. No “So and so series” with list of books or “book #XX of the something-or-other chronicles!”
Boy, was I wrong. After the first chapter, I started thinking that there was too much back story to the book for it to be a stand alone. Then again, The White Road was written as a complete novel in itself - whilst I wondered if there were prior books (maybe one of the also-bys) to the series, I didn’t find it difficult to follow the story. A quick google search later informed me that this was book 5 of the Nightrunner series.
It was altogether a tantalising read, one of those books that just don’t let you put it down. I mean, it took altogether about 5 hours, on a working night, up until 2AM to for me to release that final sigh of relief, so go figure.
I went back to the bookshop a few days later but couldn’t find any of the other books. I suppose Flewelling’s not popular enough to be high on the list of imports. On the other hand, I’ve only ever found the Ender series (Orson Scott Card) during warehouse sales, and you hardly see any Eddings on the shelves anymore, so maybe it’s the poor reception of fantasy books in Malaysia that’s causing the problem. A third deterrent could be the fact that the two main protagonists are in a homosexual relationship. Um, yeah, way to go, censorship board.
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