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This week's novel has been out for several months, but I saved it for the perfect moment knowing that it would help me through a time of boredom by whisking me to a magical realm, so I didn't read it until the trip to Chicago when it made the flight seem way too short...

I am talking about the much anticipated sequel to Lynn Flewelling's Night Runner trilogy Shadows Return. Seregil and Alec are back and better than ever. If you haven't met our daring duo, I recommend Luck in the Shadows, Stalking Darkness, and Traitor's Moon (simply because I think no fantasy lover should be without them) but you can pick up the story fairly well without the background given in the original books.

Alec and Seregil lead dual lives, indolent lordlings by day, and theives for hire by night. But it is more complicated than that. These two characters are so well drawn that it is hard to pin them down and say "this is who they are and what they do." In this case, the life partners are asked by the Queen to take a message to her sister, and leaping at the chance to get away from the boredom they are feeling at home, they set out on a journey that is interrupted by a slave raid. Not knowing whether the other survived or not, they are subjected to individual trials that test them to the breaking point. And a mysterious prophecy that has haunted Alec now finds validation--in the most unusual way.

I don't want to give away too much of the plot to this story. If you are a fan of the series, you will savor every word. If you are coming to it with fresh eyes, I almost envy you, because that first meeting of the two is magical. I cried every time I tried to read Luck in the Shadows the first time because I couldn't write like that -- it was sheer poetry to me. There is a male/male relationship at the heart of this story, but it is such a natural love story that it feels like there could be no other outcome. This is a lyrical series, and one that I usually have extra copies of lying around my house to give to people so that they can become hooked on it too. I can't wait for the next outing in October.


On the film front, the hubby had been dying to show me some of his favorite movies, so around the holidays, we went on a renting binge. One of the movies that he wanted to share was Kissing Jessica Stein.

Jessica is working at a job she hates, for a boss she's disappointed in, and her mother is making the "you aren't getting any younger" noises. Her love life is non-existant, and an attempt at speed-dating is more disasterous than usual. So, when she sees an ad in the personals section that reverberates in her soul, she answers it -- despite the fact that it is in the women seeking women section. Enter bi-curious Helen, a vibrant gallery worker who is pretty much as free-spirited as Jessica is uptight. They learn a lot about love, trust, and pain as they muddle through building a relationship. This is a truly poignant story about what it is to love and lose, and come out a winner on the other side. Everyone grows up, and most learn a little bit about life along the way.

I really liked this movie. It was nothing like what I was expecting. The acting is powerful and compelling, even with the comedy frame. I would recommend it to all romantics. :)


Feb. 15th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
Very good post.

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