Nightrunner: Book Three
Bisexual male protagonists; strong female protagonist. GLB-positive world; egalitarian.
Okay, this is probably my favorite Flewelling novel, if not my favorite gay fantasy at all. Flewelling has come back to this world with a vengeance and the story told is not only brilliantly gripping but also very well told. The plot is refreshing after the quest-clichés of the first two Nightrunner books: a journey to the land of the Aurënfaie, to convince the haughty renamed-elves (what else are they supposed to be?) to help the war effort. I love how the war against the dark didn't simply vanish with the end of the last book and how throughout this book, there are genuine risks, real losses and a powerful sense of realism.
Of course, it is Seregil and Alec that held my attention the most. Whatever gripes I had about the relative lack of open homosexuality in the first two books, it's gone now. Seregil and Alec are very clearly a couple, very in love, and this is shown numerous times throughout the book. I've heard people complain that Flewelling is "prissy" about gay sex, that she never suggests that two men do anything else than hold hands, but after reading this, I will beg to differ. She does not write explicit sex scenes but we are made well aware that there is a physical side to their relationship and really, no author should have to write sex scenes for the sake of political correctness.
The story has a beautiful, bittersweet ending that is very realistic and well done. I could take issue with a few minor things throughout the novel, notably the labyrinthine politics (how is the reader supposed to keep all of the names straight?) but really, these are minor complaints. This book is a winner.
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