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Beyond the Shadows: The Night Angel Trilogy, 3 Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 2008
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"A Criminal Magic" by Lee Kelly
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new magical realism, crossover novel and casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot of this novel feels different from the first two books. Where the first two books were more intimate in setting and scope, in this book the reader is really introduced to the world of Midcyru. Readers begin to understand the vast and storied history of the world and each region within the world. The one aspect that I liked above all others in regards to the plot was things that were hinted at, and briefly talked about during the first two novels rear their head and are explained in great detail in this book. Normally, in this section of my reviews I give a rather brief idea of what to expect in terms of plot. However, with this novel, I don't think that's really possible as so many things happen in this novel. What I can say is if you have read the first two books in this trilogy and can think of a plot line that has yet to be resolved; it is resolved in this book. Yet, not all plot lines are resolved in ways that readers would want, or expect, them to be resolved. Mr.Read more ›
I struggled as to whether to give the trilogy a 3 or 4 star rating. It is hugely entertaining to read. It never bogged down, the characters were engaging, and it was at least adequately original. I didn't hesitate to buy the second and third books after reading the first. But ultimately I'm not sure whether I will read more of Mr. Weeks' work. I had two complaints, both of which may seem like nit-picks... but in a fantasy genre with so many options available, I can be picky.
1. There are occasional, jarring shifts in the tone of the writing. I'm not talking about the liberal use of profanity - I find it quite realistic that criminals, soldiers, etc. in a fantasy world would swear just like contemporary criminals, soldiers, etc. However, outside of the profanity, Weeks generally uses the slightly anachronistic language common to fantasy novels. Except when he doesn't. And sometimes "except when he doesn't" comes at a sufficiently random time to knock me right out of his universe.
I objected to the deus ex machina ending. Dragging all the characters to the final battle felt forced and artificial. It seemed like Weeks himself felt that it was forced and artificial, with characters just showing up in the allies' command tent as if on cue. And it all wrapped up far too neatly, especially considering that the series was quite dark at inception.
The picture-perfect ending also undermines the moral ambiguity that was one of the more compelling themes in the series. Throughout the series we were invited to question whether the ends justified the means.Read more ›
The foremost of said problems is that, in several instances, things simply happen with no explanation whatsoever. Occurrences that have been built up to and leave a reader anxious to read on are simply resolved in a paragraph with no real explanation of the middleground between the onset of the problem and its resolution. While I understand it was probably a product of length guidelines, this came off as being resultant of Weeks writing himself into a conflict that he couldn't write himself out of, which makes for utterly disappointing reading. It seems to me that a few more months in the drafting stages could have fixed up these problems.
I read a blog written by Brandon Sanderson in which he stresses the importance of an author having an intimate understanding of his magic systems, so as to make them more real to readers. While certain elements of Weeks's magic systems are concrete and understandable, too often they seem to have too few boundaries and too little explanation.
Finally, the ending of the book -- of the trilogy -- is, frankly, pretty silly. Being an avid reader of fantasy, I don't use that term lightly, but here it is deserved. A solid conclusion is there, but a final twist is thrown in unnecessarily, and silliness ensues.
Given all of that, some of the character development is fantastic, the world-building is outstanding, and Weeks is just plain fun to read. It's worth your time if you can see past its faults.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just as good as the other books. Keeps you thinking what's going to happen next and really makes you feel for the main character.Published 24 days ago by Wkhauptman
Quite easily the worst of the three. It felt rushed and jumped around way to much. This book makes me think of why Martin separated Dance of Dragons, too much with too little... Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Love
I love this series. I will be revisiting Brent Weeks' universe again in the future...for me it was worth reading twice.Published 2 months ago by Eric
Absolutely a wonder finish for the trilogy. It really ties everything together and answers a lot of the questions that were floating around.Published 2 months ago by TrueReviewH
I accidentally skipped the second book and still enjoyed this immensely.Published 2 months ago by K.C. Ends
In two week's i've finished all three books because i've been reading them nonstop!Published 3 months ago by Jesse Greer
Probably the weakest of the trilogy, but still very enjoyable. I'm anxiously awaiting further writing in this world.Published 3 months ago by Matt H