Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Review - The Way of Shadows- Brent Weeks

Rating: 4/5
Why I read it: Had seen good reviews for it and was able to get the trilogy for a little more than a single paperback.
Azoth is a street urchin who sees becoming the assassin Durzo Blint’s apprentice as his only chance of a better life.   
I’m a tad conflicted about how much I like this novel. It was fast-paced, engaging, and very entertaining. I really liked and cared for Azoth/Kylar and Blint but I didn’t really care all that much for a number of the other main characters. As an avid fantasy reader I’m used to scores of characters with odd names and twisting plot lines but occasionally with this novel I felt lost and I wondered what the point of including certain scenes was. This occurred most with the Solon/Dorian/ Feir group. I’m sure their purpose will become clearer in the following books.
There was some exploration into the human condition when Weeks examined the depths of depravity people will dive to in order to survive and the potentiality to redeem oneself afterward.    
There were a couple things I was a little incredulous about and some plot points that seemed like they were supposed to have a bigger impact and just fell flat. Overall it’s an entertaining and relatively quick read (for its 645 pages). I’d recommend it for fans of gritty fantasy and assassins. If you enjoyed this book I suggest reading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.

"Assassination is an art, milord. And I am the city's most accomplished artist."
"Do you know what punishments I've endured for my crimes, my sins? None. I am proof of the absurdity of men's most treasured abstractions. A just universe wouldn't tolerate my existence."
“Every man worth a damn is a hypocrite.”

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