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The Way of Shadows: The Night Angel Trilogy: Book 1 Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2008
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"Kylar is a wonderful character - sympathetic and despicable, cowardly and courageous, honorable and unscrupulous...a breathtaking debut!" --- Dave Duncan
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Top Customer Reviews
The story begins with some frankly darkly disturbing descriptions of life on the streets which include child sexual abuse and extreme violence. Though The Way of Shadows is fiction, there is a sad truth in the darkness that these children face and the extreme actions that the fight for survival creates within humankind. This portion of the story could happen anywhere in any big city on Earth; and because of this Weeks' characters and motivations are believable and three dimensional. One of the mistakes that new fantasy writers often make is to become so excited by their magic and dragons that they forget that all good stories are about people. Brent Weeks I'm happy to say does not make this mistake. His story is about people and their motivations first and magic and abilities second. Our similarities bind us, but our differences make us interesting.
Young Azoth sells his soul to a "Devil" by the name of Durzo Blint in order to protect his friends Jaral and Doll-girl. Blint is a "wetboy" or super assassin, who's abilities are trained, but also a product of his "Talent"...an innate magic that augments his ninja-like skills. At first glance Blint is a complete sociopath with no connection to the humanity around him. Azoth turns out to have the abilities to become the physical equal of Durzo Blint, but the real story takes off when he is tested in order to discover if he has the heart (or lack thereof) to become a Wetboy.Read more ›
To be perfectly blunt, "The Way of Shadows" is a great concept with some very professional execution. The protagonist is interesting to follow around as he is swept up from the life of a common street rat and into that of a calculating assassin, or "wetboy" (didn't care for the title, sounds funny), whilst under the tutelage of Cenaria's best-of-the-best killer for hire, Durzo Blint.
In stark contrast to the almost YA writing style, this book manages to pick up some very haunting themes including child abuse and prostitution. This makes the characters' ordeal that much more chilling, when they begin to find that the unforgiving life of the city is more of an enemy than anything else they've experienced. You can feel this presence of turmoil pick away at them slowly through the first pages, and then slip away as everyone makes their "escape" from the street life.
As for the assassin's journey, it's more than exceptional. The real drama of the story isn't in the actual killing at all, but in dealing with the very morality of the situation. Watching Kylar hesitate and choke as he attempted to take his first life was heart-stopping in itself.
The only real gripe I had with the book, and it is, unfortunately, a rather large one, is the story structure itself. As the book progresses, it seems that every named character gets their own perspective. I found myself getting absolutely absorbed into Kylar's story, and then, all of a sudden, I'm reading about someone else.Read more ›
The plot of this book, where do I start? Usually in this section of my reviews I hit on the key plot, and sub plot, points. Quite frankly though, there is so much that goes on in this novel that I would never be able to do it justice. So, please know that this section only covers a few pieces of the plot. One of the main plot lines, at least on the surface, is a little clichéd in that it is a coming of age story of an orphan turned assassin. But, that cliché is turned on its head with vivid details and a thorough entrenchment into the story. Most types of these stories follow the lines of, I am an orphan therefore I became an assassin. That is no where near what this part of the story is. In his novel we are allowed to see the progression of events and choices that force the character down this road. Another main plot line, which is more apparent later in the novel, is a political coup. The amount of delicate planning, subtle foreshadowing, and setting things up is brilliant.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Horrible. That's the only way to describe this book. I won't be picking up anymore books by this author.Published 2 days ago by Flower
This was a wonderful read if you can be patient while parts of the story get set up. I get a Game of Thrones vibe, add magic, and follow an Arya-like character. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
I had a hard time getting into this book. There was too much conversation and not enough story line movement at first. Finally, about 40% through the book things get moving. Read morePublished 20 days ago by vegasbill
I didn't expect this to be this good, some of the names of things threw me off, night angel, wet boy, but this is a deep dark exciting book. Read morePublished 29 days ago by adam
Amazing! Couldn't stop reading it (and all the other ones either), and after it I just couldn't start anything else cuz I was so caught in the story and characters. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Read this when it first came out in paperback, freaking awesomePublished 1 month ago by Mgelliott86
Different from most other Fantasy I've read, definitely enjoyed it, looking forward to continuing to read the series.Published 1 month ago by Richard Smith