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Friday, September 2, 2016
MARIAH's THOUGHTS on The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
Science Fiction/Epic Fantasy
Night Angel, #1
October 1, 2008
From New York Times Bestselling author 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.
Read the Night Angel Trilogy!
(covers link to Goodreads)
**About the Author**
Brent Weeks was born and raised in Montana. After getting his paper keys from Hillsdale College, Brent had brief stints walking the earth like Caine from Kung Fu, tending bar, and corrupting the youth. (Not at the same time.) He started writing on bar napkins, then on lesson plans, then full time. Eventually, someone paid him for it.
Brent Weeks lives in Oregon with his wife, Kristi, and their daughter. He doesn't own cats or wear a ponytail.
Stay connected with Brent Weeks
Not exactly a story that breaches new territory and had made me think of a videogame. The Way of Shadows is still a wonderfully written tale with comprehensive details down to the architect and design of a room. A third person omniscient point of view, Mr. Weeks has a flare for plot development as the first book of the Night Angel Trilogy kept me awake, excited to find out what happens next. I was disappointed that I didn’t have the second book with me to read immediately.
The setting of Cenaria is gritty and disgusting in the Warrens, luxurious with the counts and royalty, all held together by the Sa’Kagé and their wetboys in the underworld. It displays corruption, death, betrayal, gender roles, ancient artifacts, and abuse. Most importantly, magic killers... I mean wetboys. The wetboys are superior to assassins because they can use the Talent. The central conflict does not simply focus on Azoth, but many of the upperclassmen such as noble Logan Gyre or Azoth’s Master Blint. Too much to take in? Not necessarily, as the plot was pushed forward at a reasonable pace and told from different characters’ views to get a total understanding of the events going on in Cenaria.
The characters were a bit flat in comparison to the plot that had a lot going on. They stayed true to who they were when first introduced or true to what they wanted to be. The most twist to a character came from Momma K, her secret love for Durzo Blint, and vice versa. The main protagonist Azoth, turned Kylar Stern, is at first yet another orphan in the Warrens and dreamt of becoming powerful, fearless. Like many other stories, he triumphs, falls, feels loss, with a glimmer of hope. He’s brave for the people he cares about and takes action against those who chooses to despise. Durzo Blint is hard, cold, and closed off from everyone around him. He seems to care in his own callous way, why else should he keep an apprentice? Elene, I suppose the heroine or one of many damsels in distress, is pure and innocent without a hint of a corrupted soul. She embodied, “Inner Beauty” because of her scarred face. Her biggest development was using her voice after she left the Warrens. Logan Gyre remains just, noble, and virtuous from when he was a boy to when he becomes Lord of House Gyre. Some of these stereotyped characters lacked depth and therefore elicited very little sympathy from me in the long run. The Way of Shadows needed to work on character development but it was fairly enjoyable.