A Fantasy Series Book Review
By Brent Weeks
Genre: Sword and Sorcery, Epic Fantasy, AdultPublisher's Blurb:
Publisher: Orbit; (November 1, 2008)
Mass Market Paperback: 656 pages
Read an Excerpt
Warning - if you have not read The Way of Shadows, the following description contains spoilers. Click here and highlight to view.
I am not going to discuss the story itself here. There are other reviews out here if you want that type of information. The reason I am not going to do this is that it would be nearly impossible without giving spoilers that might ruin your enjoyment of book one. Instead, I am just going to stick to what I liked (or did not like) about the book.
Brent Weeks does what so many authors fail to do; he produces a middle book that does not read like one. He does this in two ways, first by making each book easily capable of standing on its own, and by keeping the pace at a breakneck speed. I was worried at first. The very beginning of this book does plod along a bit as Kylar attempts build a new life for himself and those who are dependent on him. I should not have, after a couple of those delightful plot twists Brent Weeks is so good at writing, the story takes off and never really slows back down.
Again, even though the world is expanded, this book's only weakness is its lackluster world building, and again, I could care less. This series so far has proven to be one of the best examples of character driven fantasy I have ever read. The characters are always changing, growing, and developing as their situations call for it. The only character that remains static is the evil Godking, and that is to be expected. Even so, you will learn some surprising insights into the Godking's life and personality so while he himself doesn't develop, the reader's knowledge of him does, and plan to be surprised at the things you will learn!
Aside from incredible characterization, Brent Weeks is also a master of the "big surprise." You already know that he does not hesitate when it comes to killing off key characters, which means you can never be sure exactly what will happen, but he also loves to take everything you "think" you know and turning it on its head. Some of his "revelations" made me laugh out loud, not because they were funny but because they delighted me. In addition, the ending, oh my heavens, what a bombshell! I love the way he made this book complete in itself, and yet ended it on a note that makes it imperative that you read book three. Sound confusing? Well you will just have to read it and see for yourself!
If there were book ratings, this book would likely be considered "R" rated. Not surprising, after all the story centers on assassins, whores, murderers, war and dark magic. Profanity, cannibalism, sexual content, graphic violence, rape, torture, and the like are commonplace. They also fit with the story adding a sense of realism to the dark world Brent Weeks has created. Of course, it is not all bad. There are also shining moments of self-revelation, self-sacrifice, loyalty, trust, and devotion. I also want to note that while each book can stand on its own, I do not suggest reading them out of order. This book does depend heavily on the events that took place in The Way of the Shadows. The stand-alone qualities refer to being able (though I do not know why you would want to) to put down each book after reading it, completely satisfied with how the ending ties everything up. This book, just like the first, gets a highly recommended vote from me!
Other books in the series
Shelfari Rating 4/5
Librarything Rating 4.43/5
Amazon Rating 4+ out of 5 stars
(13 Customer Reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
|Kindle: Shadow's Edge|
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