Sunday, September 27, 2009

Review | The Way of Shadows By: Brent Weeks

The Way of Shadows

(Night Angel Trilogy)

By: Brent Weeks

"For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city's most accomplished artist.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly - and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins' world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and cultivate a flair for death."

The book started off cold and dirty. Like a guild rat on the street. Precisely who the main characters was. Short little scenes from various characters, little climaxes ending on cliffhangers and then the next scene. A set up for a world and the characters within it. Focused, and yet not.

It meandered and there was a hint to the point of were things were going, but finally I have reached a scene were Weeks has just upped the anti by 1000% and I feel like I am reading a runaway train. It was dark before and hinted at the shadows. And now I am being taken for a rollercoaster ride of a lifetime through the pits of hell. I am unsure if Weeks will be able to keep up this sort of pace or if things will drift off a little, but if the pace is kept it will be a long night ahead of reading and a mad dash to the end and the next book for me.

Near the end it’s a massacre brilliantly orchestrated were Weeks is unafraid to slaughter the good guys. The marks of an amazing author. Do what needs to be done to move the story. The good guys don’t always win, and people get murdered along the way. Brent demonstrates that fighting honorably and fair won’t win the war. The bad guy is willing to sneak in and seize power rather than engaging in even battle on a battlefield. The good guy needs to learn the same thing, that honor will not bring you victory.

It was a very strong and powerful read and well worth it. It was dirty and gruesome and if you are looking for something sugar coated this in not for you. If you don’t like assassin books this is not for you. If you like your fantasy dark though, this book is really good. A great first mark of an author to pay attention to.