maandag 25 mei 2015

Brent Weeks: The Way of Shadows


The Night Angel Trilogy was a gift from my husband for my 26th birthday. It was a finalist for the David Gemmell's Legend Award, it has 661 pages and all three novels have some of the ugliest covers I ever saw.

“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.”

The novel reads as easy as a YA novel. It is fast-paced and it’s written in easy to read prose. A bit too easy in my opinion.  Throughout the novel there are words missing, spelling mistakes and sentences that just aren’t right. It’s as if no one edited this novel. Isn’t that supposed to be a real process when you publish a novel? Apparently, Weeks skipped this step.

It is suspenseful, full of action, fast-paced and it has surprising turns.
But Weeks skips several years for no apparent reason. I don’t like it when a writer does this. It makes me feel disconnected from the characters. We miss important years, decisions and events and he doesn’t even fill us in on them.
Characterization isn’t great as well. Motivations and thoughts aren’t known to us for most of the characters so connecting with them is virtually impossible. Every character has a few main characteristics but that’s all there is to them. Logan, for example, is handsome, strong, just and he has a quick temper. That’s it. All four characteristics stay the same throughout the novel; he doesn’t change is what I mean. Weeks created his characters and they don’t evolve, they don’t learn or change. It’s a very shallow novel.
World-building was almost non-existing in this novel. There’s virtually no background to the characters, to the city or to the world outside this city.
Weeks is not afraid to let his characters die. Almost every major character dies in this single novel. At this rate there won’t be anyone left for the third part in the trilogy.
The climax was a little underwhelming to be honest. The main characters had no real influence or task in it even though it was made out as if they would change the whole outcome.
The magic is intriguing and it seems different from other magic-systems I’ve read about. And Kylar his talent is broken! Now that’s exiting to read about. A hero who needs to find out how he can use his broken talent.

But for all these flaws I had a fun time reading this. It is fast, pure escapism, entertaining and highly enjoyable; just don’t expect this to be Great Literature in any way.

Happy reading.

Enjoying this!