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The Way of Shadows (The Night Angel Trilogy) (edition 2008)

by Brent Weeks

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2,410792,577 (4.07)77
Member:brina243
Title:The Way of Shadows (The Night Angel Trilogy)
Authors:Brent Weeks
Info:Orbit (2008), Mass Market Paperback, 688 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

  1. 40
    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Kassilem)
  2. 30
    The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (simon211175)
  3. 20
    The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (elwen)
  4. 10
    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (MarcusH)
    MarcusH: A fantasy epic that while not dealing with magic still is reminiscent of the inner workings of a political structure.
  5. 00
    Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling (Kaelkivial)
    Kaelkivial: Master apprentice relationship between assassins and saboteurs. Heavy political ramifications, intrigue and deception/disguises, magic is present but not all encompassing. Note: Way of Shadows much darker than Luck in the Shadows.
  6. 00
    The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller (generalkala)
  7. 22
    Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (Norwegianbear)
    Norwegianbear: if you are into "Assassin" fantasy stuff
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» See also 77 mentions

English (74)  Hungarian (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  Icelandic (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (79)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
With as much blood and gore as a John Webster play this book is not for the faint-hearted. Through the mire however weaves a story of sin and repentance, love and sacrifice and a complex web of life-altering decisions in which each character (even those seemingly insignificant) play their part. This is a book about choice and consequence in its rawest form. ( )
  themus | Aug 2, 2014 |
This is the debut work for this author. I’ve read and really enjoyed his later Lightbringer series, so decided to go back and start with this first set.

The plot draws you in from the beginning, and the cliché of not wanting to put the book down and just read one more chapter has never been more apt. They are on the darker side of fantasy books, with some graphic descriptions but this only makes the story that more "real".

Azoth is a street urchin, working in the gang of the evil Roth. He dreams of leaving the slums and never being afraid again. He wants to do better, and to be able to protect himself and his friends from the evil of the gangs. Azoth wants to be an apprentice to Durzo Blint, who is acknowledged to be the best 'wetboy' or assassin in the city. He finally gets his chance when Blint agrees to take him on; and he learns this trade of killing. Along the way, Blint introduces Azoth to many of his friends. Momma K is the leader of the Pleasure Guild, a tough and robust woman who teaches Azoth how to blend into polite society. Blint's long-time friend Count Drake shows Azoth that there is more to life than the fame of being the best assassin there is. Drake also helps him to understand that it is possible to love even in the hardest circumstances. After many years of training and hard work, Azoth is ready to take his first contract and his new name.

The relationship between the two central characters is as intense as it is enigmatic. Durzo Blint is, to all intents and purposes, as ruthless as they come and never stops reminding Azoth how little he values life, including Azoth's. Yet beneath this brutal exterior, there's depths there that go against the cold ruthlessness he's eager to project.

The characters are well realised, but the world building isn't quite so detailed - to me though this was not a bad thing, as it kept the book moving at a fast pace well suited to the plot, with all its twists and turns. The author is not afraid to kill off characters with which the reader has formed a bond, which is initially shocking and then refreshing in its ingenuity.

What's also refreshing about this book is that Weeks doesn't rely too heavily on standard fantasy plot devices. Magic is used but the cost of using magic is also clearly shown, a character will not simply use a magic spell when the mood takes him or her, the use of magic is extremely draining and often dangerous to the person using it, especially in the hands of the unskilled.

The criminal underworld setting for this book has echoes of Scott Lynch's The Lies of Lock Lamora, another superb fantasy book that, like this book, pushes fantasy in new directions.

Fast-moving, inventive, dark, many-stranded and above all fun. Thankfully, I bought the trilogy as a set … so I could start book 2 the minute I put this one down. ( )
  Jawin | Jul 19, 2014 |
Well written - just about everyone dies so not the fun side of fantasy, however it does keep some options open.
Not the Joe Abercrombie dark and hopeless but not exactly light and fun either. Might read more by the author but definitely prefer a little more upside
overall 70% ( )
  jason9292 | Jul 7, 2014 |
Book Info: Genre: Dark epic fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Recommended for: older YA, fans of dark epic fantasy who don't mind typical tropes
Trigger Warnings: murder, killing, assassination, violence, rape (mostly M/M), torture, mutilation, stealing, slavery, cannibalism, infidelity

My Thoughts: The beginning of this book is pretty typical epic fantasy fare, other than the fact that our hero is an antihero. But Azoth is an orphan, he's taken in against the odds by a powerful man who learns that Azoth is more than he appears, rising up from his poverty-stricken roots, etc. And, of course, the love interest that is forbidden. Still, once Kylar is on the scene, things heat up and I found myself tearing through the pages to find out what happened next. So don't let the typical trope throw you off from reading this book if it sounds like something in which you are interested.

However, I was astounded by the sloppy editing on this book. It was released through one of Hatchett's publishing groups, and editing errors were heavily scattered through the book. There is a part where Azoth calls another character by his first name in a familiar manner, even though he has not yet met that character and really doesn't know much about him. And there are a lot of missing words from sentences. I'm amazed that a professional editor working for a major publisher would be so sloppy. If that will bother you, keep it in mind.

Still I did enjoy the book, despite how dark it often is. If you like dark epic fantasy, antiheroes, and don't mind the typical tropes and editing problems, then check this one out.

Series Information: The Night Angel Trilogy
Book 1: The Way of Shadows
Book 2: Shadow's Edge
Book 3: Beyond the Shadows

Disclosure: I purchased the omnibus edition of the trilogy for myself. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: 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. ( )
  Katyas | May 27, 2014 |
Wow. Brent Weeks has managed to weave a truly impressive tapestry of well written, multi faceted characters and situations. He holds the reader's interest and drives the reader to continue. Durzo Blint is one of the best written characters I've seen in a long time, and his relationship with Azoth/Kylar is so deep and real. I would like nothing more than to continue with the next book in the series and for the world in which this trilogy transpires to engender more books.



One minor critique- I have a "hundred page rule" where I finish the book if I'm within a hundred pages of completion, but the writing style for the last hundred pages didn't encourage rapid page devouring.
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
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Boehmer, PaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Kristi, Confidante, companion, best friend, bride. They're all for you.
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Azoth squatted in the ally, cold mud squishing through his bare toes.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316033677, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:39 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Determined to escape the Warrens, Azoth seeks out Durzo Blint, the city's most ruthless assassin, to persuade him to take him on as an apprentice and to teach him the deadly Way of Shadows.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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