Luck in the Shadows is Book 1 in the Nightrunner Series. It’s the tale of young Alec who is imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit but is rescued by fellow prisoner, Seregil, who leads their daring escape. Seregil, a thief, rogue, exile, and noble, takes Alec under his wing and leads him across a country he knew nothing about and into dangers he could never imagine while helping to defeat an invading army while secretly working for the queen. Flewelling fills the fantastical story with magic and daring swashbuckling adventure. Her world building is vivid, precise, and imaginative without ever feeling heavy-handed or loading the reader down with a data dump.
Over the course of the seven books in the series (plus a collection of short stories about the same characters), the relationship between Seregil and Alec develops beyond one of a mentor into loving relationship of equals. While the same-sex relationship is part of the series, it is by no means the focus, which I found refreshing. I wouldn’t call this “a gay series”; I think of it as an epic fantasy series where the lead characters happen to be in a same-sex relationship. The focus on is always on the plot and building wonderful, fleshed out characters. Even the villains are fully realized and real.
While each of the books in the series is complete in itself, they do build on each other, and concepts mentioned in passing in one book may be vital to a future book. The series as a whole is well thought out and will having you jumping to buy the next book the moment you finish each one.
A great series introduced to me by my friend, John Bell, and I can’t thank him enough for it. The only bit of warning I’ll give you is be prepared to buy all seven.