The Way of Shadows – Brent Weeks

The Way of Shadows

The Way of Shadows


Azoth is a starving child gang member in the Warrens - the poorest, most dangerous part of the city. After a chance encounter with notorious 'wet-boy' killer-for-hire Durzo Blint, he convinces Blint to take him on as apprentice - just as his only two friends are being tortured by the gang leader.


I thought, remembering back, that perhaps I hadn’t given Weeks enough credit for this book – that I’d scored it less than it deserved. But I checked my records, and I gave it the same score I’m giving now, so kudos to me for recognizing talent. Many books don’t stand up to a second reading quite as well as they do in memory. This is an exception – it’s exceptionally well written and constructed.

I like to re-read series in their entirety when a new volume comes out – a habit that is now honored far more in the breach than the observance; I just don’t have the time I used to. But it had been so long since I read the Night Angel books that I wanted to go through them again. I’m glad I did, though it appears I did forget to start at the very beginning, with prequel story The Perfect Shadow.

This isn’t a perfect story – there’s some clumsy infodumping at least once, and some other minor issues – but it is a very good story. The prose is good, the characters engaging, the plot meticulously constructed, and it has all the neat things I like to see, from ancient lore to clever magic. I highly recommend this book.

The only downside for me is that Weeks’ books rarely go on sale, and so much does go on sale, that I haven’t gotten past book one of his second, Lightbringer series. And my records say I didn’t like books two and three of this series quite as much. But we’ll see, and this book is so good that I doubt myself a little.

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