Apr 14th

Thirsty for Diversity Thursday Feature Premiere!

Nightrunner Series

Hello everyone! This is Oli, introducing the first installment of my mostly-weekly feature, Thirsty for Diversity Thursdays. I’ll be reviewing various books and series that diverge from the very common white/straight/cisgender narrative that inundates fiction, despite the fact that it is neither realistic nor something that many of us can relate to. In addition to reviews, various essays and relevant content series will be produced as well. Today I’ll be focusing on one of my very favorite authors!

Trying to find solid, good fantasy novels with gay protagonists is a literal nightmare. It involves delving deep into a literary sea of smut, tropes, and sometimes not-so-great writing. There is nothing wrong if you are into the super steamy romance stuff. Many of these works are well-written–I have yet to read Captive Prince, but hear great things about it! However, for those of us that aren’t interested in the steam and romance there aren’t many other options. One can lose hope slogging through the mire–but hey, that’s why I’m here. I live on a farm, slogging through mire is what I do.

If you appreciate a good fantasy novel with LGBT+ elements and you haven’t read anything written by Lynn Flewelling–well, frankly, I’m so sorry. You have my condolences. Let’s remedy the situation.

The Nightrunner Series is by no means new, but I haven’t seen them spoken of much in the book blogging world. It’s not only one of my favorite fantasy series, but one of my favorite series, period. Smut? Nope. Shoddy storytelling? Nope. Gayness as the overarching theme of the books, rather than gay characters just existing and being gay? Nope. I. Love. These. Books.

These are plot-driven books and the romance is slow burn, not all-encompassing. I love the bond that develops between the two main characters, Alec and Seregil, that leads to their eventual relationship. And did I mention they’re total badasses? I don’t want to delve to far into the plot, so I’ll try to give a spoiler-free summary of the basics: Seregil and Alex are nightrunners, badass thieves with a moral code and mission as well. They are friends with a variety of enchanting side characters–really, all the characters in this series are well written. The world is much like your typical fantasy setting, but very well crafted. The society in which they exist is fairly egalitarian in terms of issues like sexuality and monogamy, a relief compared to the ways in which these issues are handled in other fantasy novels. The first three books are strong. Books four and five were a little weaker–the storyline goes in some really weird directions and I wasn’t overly thrilled, but I was so attached to the characters that I didn’t have any issues getting through them. The final book made me cry for want of the ability to perpetually indulge in new stories about Alec, Seregil, and their compatriots.

Lynn Flewelling writes a prequel series as well, the Tamir Triad. It’s set in the same world but centuries before the events of the Nightrunners Series take place. While not quite directly, I suppose, the main character of these books is the high-fantasy-magical-woo woo equivalent of transgender. The trilogy is much darker than the Nightrunner Series but let’s be real–can you name good high fantasy series with transgender main characters? I can’t, and digging these rare gems up is what I do.

These are the books that got me back into reading genre fiction, for which I’m eternally grateful. I’m not an avid re-reader but I find myself continually returning to these books–I’ve read the first three a minimum of three times. I love these books so much, there really aren’t words. They aren’t perfect by any means–they are by and large quite white, for one thing–but they’re special to me nonetheless. Read them! You won’t regret it.

The books in the Nightrunners Series are as follows:
Luck in the Shadows (Nightrunner, Vol. 1)
Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner, Vol. 2)
Traitor’s Moon (Nightrunner, Vol. 3)
Shadows Return (Nightrunner, Vol. 4)
The White Road (Nightrunner, Vol. 5)
Casket of Souls (Nightrunner, Vol. 6)
Shards of Time (Nightrunner, Vol. 7)

The three books in the Tamir Triad are as follows:
The Bone Doll’s Twin (Tamir Trilogy, Book 1)
Hidden Warrior (Tamir Trilogy, Book 2)
The Oracle’s Queen (Tamir Trilogy, Book 3)

Lynn Flewelling also wrote a collection of short stories, Glimpses: A Collection of Nightrunner Short Stories

Nightrunner Series

Hello everyone! This is Oli, introducing the first installment of my mostly-weekly feature, Thirsty for Diversity Thursdays. I’ll be reviewing various books and series that diverge from the very common white/straight/cisgender narrative that inundates fiction, despite the fact that it is neither realistic nor something that many of us can relate to. In addition to reviews, various essays and relevant content series will be produced as well. Today I’ll be focusing on one of my very favorite authors!

Trying to find solid, good fantasy novels with gay protagonists is a literal nightmare. It involves delving deep into a literary sea of smut, tropes, and sometimes not-so-great writing. There is nothing wrong if you are into the super steamy romance stuff. Many of these works are well-written–I have yet to read Captive Prince, but hear great things about it! However, for those of us that aren’t interested in the steam and romance there aren’t many other options. One can lose hope slogging through the mire–but hey, that’s why I’m here. I live on a farm, slogging through mire is what I do.

If you appreciate a good fantasy novel with LGBT+ elements and you haven’t read anything written by Lynn Flewelling–well, frankly, I’m so sorry. You have my condolences. Let’s remedy the situation.

The Nightrunner Series is by no means new, but I haven’t seen them spoken of much in the book blogging world. It’s not only one of my favorite fantasy series, but one of my favorite series, period. Smut? Nope. Shoddy storytelling? Nope. Gayness as the overarching theme of the books, rather than gay characters just existing and being gay? Nope. I. Love. These. Books.

These are plot-driven books and the romance is slow burn, not all-encompassing. I love the bond that develops between the two main characters, Alec and Seregil, that leads to their eventual relationship. And did I mention they’re total badasses? I don’t want to delve to far into the plot, so I’ll try to give a spoiler-free summary of the basics: Seregil and Alex are nightrunners, badass thieves with a moral code and mission as well. They are friends with a variety of enchanting side characters–really, all the characters in this series are well written. The world is much like your typical fantasy setting, but very well crafted. The society in which they exist is fairly egalitarian in terms of issues like sexuality and monogamy, a relief compared to the ways in which these issues are handled in other fantasy novels. The first three books are strong. Books four and five were a little weaker–the storyline goes in some really weird directions and I wasn’t overly thrilled, but I was so attached to the characters that I didn’t have any issues getting through them. The final book made me cry for want of the ability to perpetually indulge in new stories about Alec, Seregil, and their compatriots.

Lynn Flewelling writes a prequel series as well, the Tamir Triad. It’s set in the same world but centuries before the events of the Nightrunners Series take place. While not quite directly, I suppose, the main character of these books is the high-fantasy-magical-woo woo equivalent of transgender. The trilogy is much darker than the Nightrunner Series but let’s be real–can you name good high fantasy series with transgender main characters? I can’t, and digging these rare gems up is what I do.

These are the books that got me back into reading genre fiction, for which I’m eternally grateful. I’m not an avid re-reader but I find myself continually returning to these books–I’ve read the first three a minimum of three times. I love these books so much, there really aren’t words. They aren’t perfect by any means–they are by and large quite white, for one thing–but they’re special to me nonetheless. Read them! You won’t regret it.

The books in the Nightrunners Series are as follows:
Luck in the Shadows (Nightrunner, Vol. 1)
Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner, Vol. 2)
Traitor’s Moon (Nightrunner, Vol. 3)
Shadows Return (Nightrunner, Vol. 4)
The White Road (Nightrunner, Vol. 5)
Casket of Souls (Nightrunner, Vol. 6)
Shards of Time (Nightrunner, Vol. 7)

The three books in the Tamir Triad are as follows:
The Bone Doll’s Twin (Tamir Trilogy, Book 1)
Hidden Warrior (Tamir Trilogy, Book 2)
The Oracle’s Queen (Tamir Trilogy, Book 3)

Lynn Flewelling also wrote a collection of short stories, Glimpses: A Collection of Nightrunner Short Stories

By Oliver Lumpkin

Oli oli oxen-free

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