This series is about assassins, prostitutes, thieves and an insane king. It is about rape, murder, betrayal, and dark magic. This series is also about the power of love, friendship, trust and loyalty and how even those things can be found in the darkest underbelly of a society. It is about impossible choices where the line between right and wrong is blurred and no choice is without painful consequences. Basically, it is about people and their incredible ability to persevere against impossible odds.
Fantasy Series Review by Mulluane
♦ Brent Weeks has certainly put his name on the SFF map with this stunning debut trilogy. Even if he never writes another series with the same impact as this one, I would not hesitate to say these books will be read and reread for generations. The Night Angel Trilogy is a stellar example of character driven fantasy. Every character, whether main or secondary, shines with a life of their own. Like any character driven story, you will be sucked into these people's lives and your emotions will be plucked like harp strings. If it was only for the great characters, this series would stand out, but there is more. The plot twists are delightful. Brent Weeks does not hesitate to kill off key characters and by doing so, keeps the tension high. However, that is not the only vehicle he uses to provide surprises. He excels at the sudden revelation that comes seemingly out of nowhere, and yet, you realize afterwards that there were hints and when you add all the clues together, it all makes perfect sense. I loved every minute of it.
♦ You might have noticed that I labeled this series both epic, and sword and sorcery. I think both classifications apply. There is a big battle of good verses evil, (the generally accepted definition of epic fantasy) but it comes later in the series. The first book reads like classic sword and sorcery, man and his magical sword going around killing those who need killing, no real goal in mind other then to become the best at what he does (in this case it is assassin.) Later on, the plot thickens and the greater evil force emerges. So while it is still man and sword striving to be the "best", righting wrongs, killing them that needs killing, it also becomes much larger in scope. Soon it becomes saving the world instead of protecting or avenging his friends. Hence the reason why I call it both. If I am wrong, well, you have my permission to ignore me attempting to think outside the box!
♦ This series has only one weakness (after all, nothing is perfect) and that is in its world building. It is not bad really; I found it to be just enough, but world-building lovers might decide otherwise. Personally, give me engrossing characters and I barely pay the world any attention anyway. (My apologies to those authors who put spectacular amounts of work into their world building, it is not completely lost on me, honest.) There may have also been a bare minimum of vague "cause the prophecy says so" moments but those are few and far between. For the most part, it was more like "oh! Now that extremely vague line of prophecy makes perfect sense and in a way I could have never guessed!"
♦ One more word of warning. This is a very dark, violent and at times, very sad world. You will find alot of profanity, rape, child abuse, pain, and suffering. It is also a very real world; Brent Weeks does not skimp when it comes to the darker sides of human nature. In my opinion, it makes this book better but if these sorts of things offend you, I suggest avoiding this series. I also suggest (note I said suggest) that this is not an appropriate series for younger teens. There are acts of violence against children that will (and should) make you very uncomfortable, if not horrified. That being said, I would like to further commend Brent Weeks for how well he handled this material. He walked a very fine line between real and disgusting and I felt that he succeeded admirably. Does not mean I would hand the book to a 13 year old, but if you are not too squeamish, the events that that place will engineer horrified sympathy instead of shocked disgust.
♦ If you like your fantasy real, dark, character driven and face paced, you cannot go wrong with this series. The magic system is well done, the characters are exceptional, and the twists and turns are delightful. As an added bonus, each book can stand on its own (provided you read the previous one first.) To make this less confusing, you can put down book one and never read another in the series yet be completely satisfied with the ending. Book 2 relies heavily on events that take place in book one, but again, upon completion of book two, you will feel that the story, as told in the book, is complete. The books do not have traditional cliffhanger endings. Instead, Brent Weeks uses a "hook." He presents you with a final revelation that makes you wonder if there is more to the story then you thought and while you do not feel like you "have" to read the next book to find out, you sure want to!
♦ Highly recommended! If you want a bit more detail about the books, I suggest reading the individual book reviews. This is definitely an author I look forward to seeing more from.
|Author: Brent Weeks
Genre: Sword and Sorcery, Epic Fantasy
Series: Night Angel Trilogy
|Author's Web Presence|
Novella: Perfect Shadow (Night Angel)
Affiliate Links: Amazon-Kindle
Individual Books Available in Kindle and Audio
Please read individual reviews for more information.
More Great Epic Fantasy
Epic Fantasy Series Review of Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks - Reviewed by Mulluane - on January 12 2009 - Rating: of 5 Stars