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Author: Brent Weeks
Series: Night Angel #2
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Published: November 1st 2008
Source: Personal Copy
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“You’re the wetboy.”
Blurb (Contains spoilers for Way of Shadows, Night Angel #1. Highlight text to read.)
Kylar Stern has rejected the assassin’s life. The Godking’s successful coup has left Kylar’s master, Durzo, and his best friend, Logan, dead. He is starting over: new city, new friends, and new profession.
But when he learns that Logan might actually be alive and in hiding, Kylar is faced with an agonizing choice: will he give up the way of shadows forever and live in peace with his new family, or will he risk everything by taking on the ultimate hit?
“Love is a fragile, corruptible thing. And yet I have seen it evince a curious strength. It is beyond any comprehension. Love is a weakness that once in a great while triumphs over strength. ”
I just felt that not all aspects of the craft were quite to the point of excellence yet. It was Brent Weeks’ debut book and it was a particularly strong and enjoyable one at that yet still lacking a certain element of refinement. It wasn’t there yet.
Shadow’s Edge is.
I laughed, I
cried got a lump in my front got a face full of onion juice. I was kept on the edge of my seat (figuratively at least, I don’t often read while seated you see) almost from start to finish.
‘Almost?‘, I hear you ask? Observant li’l blighters ain’t ya’s. But yes, ‘almost’. You see, for the most part this is quite a high intensity and high action somewhat fast paced book. Whenever things do slow down it is to give you a bit of a breather while the stage is being constructed before your very eyes and a muttered, ‘Oh no…’ is out before you’re even aware of it.
Even throughout the very beginning — which picks up essentially immediately after the end of the first — you can feel this sense of building tension and the escalating clash between the worlds of a pair of the main characters. I was interested because the first book — for all it’s grimy darkness — did a good job of making us care for these characters. But it still didn’t seem to … hmm… engage quite as well as the rest of the book.
A minor niggle, but one nonetheless.
Once things really get going, the machinations and manipulations of the new players involved, the brutality of the oppressing force, the desperation in the actions of those strong enough to rebel… They will not let you rest until the book is completed.
And after you’re done, the consequences will ring in your mind until you either go crazy or begin the third and (currently) final book in the series.
For me, while this book doesn’t quite eke its way onto the pedestal containing the works of Scott Lynch and Patrick Rothfuss, it comes remarkably close.
Series is a must read for any and all who love and adore fantasy, in my view.
#1: The Way of Shadows
#2: Shadow’s Edge
#3: Beyond the Shadow