The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1)
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The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1)

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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  54,409 ratings  ·  2,389 reviews
From New York Times Bestselling author Brent Weeks...
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 ac...more
Mass Market Paperback, 645 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Orbit
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Nataliya
Dec 04, 2013 Nataliya rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Fans of videogame-style fantasy
Recommended to Nataliya by: GR positive reviews
A plucky street urchin Azoth wants to be a wetboy (*). Which is basically an assassin on steroids . Minus the unfortunate side effects of acne, neck hump, obesity, testicular atrophy, and man-boobs.


* (These are just some of the images that come up in the internet search for "wetboy".)
Also, call me immature, but when you call your magical artifact ka'kari, despite the mandatory fantasy apostrophe, the "kaka" part inevitably elicits immature giggles from me. Dear writers, please be careful in you
...more
Simeon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jon
Mar 30, 2013 Jon added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Fantasy Book Club December 2009 Selection
Mark Lawrence
I'd read a couple of sniffy reviews about this book and a friend was very meh about it ... even Weeks himself seemed a touch apologetic about his debut when he saw my tweet about starting it ... though I could be over-reading 140 characters there. In any event, my expectations were not sky high.

It turns out that I tend to like what people tend to like ... who knew? I don't enjoy every popular book but I do generally find out that there's a good reason why they're popular.

Brent Weeks is a great...more
Fly
So this book was a pleasant surprise! I left for New York and had only packed one book, thinking I wouldn't be able to read the entire book on my trip...oops. So I had to run to the bookstore to pick out another book to read. The bookstore closed in five minuets and I quickly grabbed the book because of it's interesting looking cover. Read the back, didn't sound too interesting, but noticed a quote from Terry Brooks which made me consider it. I picked it up and put it back down a couple of times...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
There are a few authors, Joe Abercrombie included, whose books I've read in large part because everything they've said outside of their novels (on blogs, etc.) has been hilarious and witty and they don't take themselves too seriously. Brent Weeks (or Sussex Months...yes I still think it's funny) is one of those authors.

One of the reasons it's taken me this long to get to this book is because I think the cover is awful. I know cover art doesn't really effect anything and probably shouldn't anyway...more
Felicia
I liked this book, although it didn't tread the newest ground ever, the characters were interesting and the plot held my attention. I think the only thing lacking was the world building, it was confusing and I found it hard to really get a grasp on everything that was happening politically. BUT I recommend it highly, especially to people who like Robert Jordan, Joe Abercrombie, Stephen Erikson Robin Hobb or Terry Brooks. Very accessable, but with the new era "grit" we've come to know and love in...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Likeable, really, but something made this a hard book to delve into and get lost in the story. Could be the gritty scrabble of life in the mud of the Warrens. Could be that while character building was excellent, the world outside the Warrens lacks details, even as we meet the characters living there. Could be I've read too many stories lately with heroes of questionable ethics, and I need to cleanse my palate with light and fluffy (taking applications for light and fluffy~).

Halfway through. Fou...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Azoth is a "guild rat", a street urchin and orphan, and a member of a group of guild rats tyrannised over by Rat, a cruel older boy. Azoth and his best friend Jarl look after a mute little girl, Doll Girl, but Azoth dreams of being something more, doing something else, and above all, getting away from Rat.

A chance meeting with the famous Wetboy, Durzo Blint, is an opportunity he won't relinquish: he begs to be Durzo's apprentice, to become a feared Wetboy, Cenaria City's famous professional assa...more
Kevin Xu
This book is really slow in the beginning until about 200 pages into the book. Then the speed of the book really picked up with full of action that included killing in painful ways. This book would do really well if it is made into a movie or especially if it is made into a video game. Overall, this is what an assassin should be.
David Sven
In the city of Cenaria, the Sa’kage rule the streets. A shadowy and incestuous underworld that exerts and enforces its influence through fear using assassination and intimidation. The most feared of the Sa’kage assassins are the Wetboys. What’s the difference between an Assassin and a Wetboy? Durzo Blink explains
”Assassins have targets. Wetboys have deaders. Why do we call them deaders? Because when we take a contract, the rest of their short lives is a formality.”

Through the eyes of our main ch...more
Nate
A somewhat awful page-turner:

A page-turner I'm embarrassed to have finished. The plot in this exciting thriller rolls along, almost too swiftly, but ultimately left me unfulfilled. The author never fleshes out his world or the characters inhabiting it. They often lack motivation for their actions and are little more than mere vehicles for the plot, whose elements fit *too well* together. The central love story is so trite its laugh-out-loud funny, and while I realize Mr. Weeks met his wife at a...more
Rob
Executive Summary: I seem to read nothing but grimdark fantasy these days, but compared to say Malazan or Song of Ice and Fire this isn't nearly as bleak. I enjoyed this one start to finish.

Audio book: This is the first book I've listen to narrated by Paul Boehmer. He's a pretty good narrator. He speaks clearly. I never had trouble understanding him.

He does a few accents for the various nations, but not really distinct voices. Sometimes I had a little trouble knowing who was talking, but not of...more
Andrew O
I found this series to have the kind of "well written" and "witty" dialogue that every 12 year old pervert will love, due to it's "well" thought out and "intellectual" nature. However I beseech one to read that series as one will not be surprised in the least by the plot twits, in fact from page 1, a discernible reader will know the basic ending of the story, and thus can praise it for being a well written work of fantasy. The author's characterization of women as being either virgins or whores...more
Nate
Oct 14, 2008 Nate rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: those who appreciate fiction
Recommended to Nate by: the author
Shelves: just-read
I'm biased. Let's get that out of the way up front. In fact, Brent and I were in each other's weddings. I read (and enjoyed) an early draft of the book before he'd gotten an agent or publisher. So of course I was elated to be able to go down to Borders and support my friend by buying his book.

But once I opened that portly paperback, none of that mattered: I wasn't reading it for him--I was reading it for me.

When I'm really absorbed in a book, the need to read supersedes all others--whether food,...more
Matt
What a great debut from a new author. It well exceeded my expectations as I have never really been into the whole assassin type of fantasy. But after hearing so many good things about this series, I decided to pick it up and give it a try. And boy am I glad I did!

Before reading it, I had actually read several reviews that stated that this book dragged at times. At no point in this book did I feel like it was slow and boring. It read like a fun action movie to me.

I would highly recommend this boo...more
Stephen
4.5 stars. Outstanding debut novel in what I would describe as the fantasy "noir" setting (i.e., darker in tone, more adult in theme and characters more "grey" than black and white). This novel is very well written with a detailed, intricate plot, excellent main characters and outstanding world-building.

Nominee: David Gemmell Legend Award (2009)
Nominee: Compton Crook Award (2009)
Brandi
This book doesn't start very strong. I had a hard time following the book just for the glossed over plot and the mismanaged use of words of which the author doesn't explain the meaning to until about halfway through the book. That is when the book started to pick up and be good, the middle.

However, saying that, he switches to side characters story lines quite suddenly and some of time time I don't even remember who these characters were because they were mentioned briefly so long ago that it tak...more
Cissa
Not impressed. Very much not.

It wasn't awful, mind; it was full of things happening, and the world would have been more interesting if more thoroughly drawn; as it was, it sacrificed plausibility for "grit," to my mind- not to mention taking for granted some fairly appalling assumptions about humans and societies. (More on this would lead to spoilers.)

The main problem I had was this: the "shocking revelations" scattered throughout, on which the plot turned, were not foreshadowed at all (except b...more
Erika  Badass
It took me a good bit to get fully into the book. There were a lot of storylines at first. It wasn't as overwhelming as some varying POV (points of view) books can be, but there was just so much information and I didn't understand the names of some of the factions of people, I hate when I don't know how to pronounce something and I found that a lot in this book. I don't know how to say a lot of the Ka'Kari, and La'Sheahdhhdhhehe bla bla bla's.

Politics play a heavy role, it's intriguing when you...more
Chris
Now this was an awesome first book for Brent Weeks. I wasn't sure if I'd call it 5 stars or 4, but I remembered just how engaged I felt through most of the story so I gave the higher ranking.

I cared about the characters. Kylar, Durzo, Elene, Momma K, Uly, Count Drake, Logan, Solon, Dorian, Feir, and Jarl were a great cast of protagonists. I couldn't stand Rat, Roth, King Aleine, or the Godking.

Durzo Blint was my favorite character. I won't go into that too much as it could spoil; much of his c...more
c.o.lleen ± (... never stop fighting) ±
Dec 4, 2011

On this second re-read I think I'd give it a 3. There were just too many parts where I wasn't really into it, and I even started thinking it was more a 2 1/2 - but it picked up a lot at the end, so 3 it is.

Not a lot has changed from my original review, I suppose, except that, perhaps, the slow bits seemed even slower. I will say that I think the parts concerning Durzo and Azoth are definitely the best and most engaging bits.

For a time I was beginning to think that maybe I really just...more
L
I knew I was not going to like this book, but had to at least try it, since my son passed it along and he was feeding me Thanksgiving dinner. After all, I'm a peace activist; how I possibly like a book in which the protagonist is an assassin, a professional, at that. Of course we meet him as a boy growing up in the slums, who does what he has to do to survive & protect smaller, weaker children. The whole assassin thing begins as a dream of a way out. The book has everything you'd expect from...more
Kirstine
I guess there are truths we must all face sooner or later.

One of them is that reading about assassins is not quite as cool as being one. Not that I have ever been one, but I've pretended to be a few on my xbox and that was simply a more satisfying experience than reading this.

With that sad realization out of the way, let me acknowledge that this book is actually very good. The plot is at times a little difficult to follow, but I don't think that's any fault of Brent Weeks, rather myself, as I...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I actually read this in the omnibus edition, but wanted to give a good rating to each of the individual volumes. I read "these" at a trying time in my life and needed a good absorbing read. I needed "a book" (I think of the trilogy as one book since that's how I read it.) that would not only hold my interest, but would give me, my mind a place to go to get a break from a difficult and draining time. This/these did that. They are good and they remain on my shelf.

http://www.goodreads.com/review/s...more
Jim
This was pretty good, another interesting world by Weeks. Fun sword & sorcery with some interesting characters, although a lot of them are guilt driven. I'm pleased that it wasn't spoiled at all by reading the prelude short story first. Oh, there was one big reveal that wasn't, but I didn't really miss it.

I almost gave this 3 stars, though. There were a couple of things that were just a bit too far out even in this world. (view spoiler)...more
Liviu
I liked it a lot and it hooked me so much that I stayed way too late one night to finish it.

It is one of the best epic fantasy debuts of the year on par with Empire in Black and Gold.

The series continues at the end of October and then November so we will see if the author can fulfill the immense promise of this book.

Without too many spoilers - the story/world of the book is a generic fantasy one, nothing original the way Tchaikovsky had the insect Kinden in Empire, but the characterization,...more
Nathan
Dec 29, 2008 Nathan rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Fantasy Fans
I tend to buy books in clumps, and YESTERDAY I bought this series of 600+ page each monsters, and I finished the first book, this book. At my reading speed, that means that it took up about 8 hours of my life.

And I am sooooo glad I did.

This book examines human character very well, with a wide variety of very different, real, people. Love, loss, hope, fear, desire, triumph, hate, evil, good, and a dozen other motivations get thrown into the mix and the "action" button pressed on the blender.

The b...more
Megan Baxter
Mostly, I don't think this book knows what it is. It keeps wanting to be dark. Very dark. Dark enough that I physically drew back a few times and considered whether or not this book was really for me. But then, and this is even more irritating, it kept pulling its punches. Think that character was just horribly murdered in front of your eyes? Probably not! A huge massacre at which everyone's supposed to die? Not the characters we have any attachment to!

Note: The rest of this review is being wit...more
Evgeny
This is a very dark fantasy book with good plot and a fairly serious problem.

The good: plot. The story is very dark with lots of deaths, violence, rape, etc. Still, it makes you keep reading. You begin to care for major characters and want all kind of bad things happen to bad guys.

The bad: it might be my impression, but the book suffers from continuity problem. There is no smooth transition between different scenes. It feels like a bunch of static pictures with description of each of it. This s...more
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Brent Weeks was born and raised in Montana. After getting his paper keys from Hillsdale College, Brent had brief stints walking the earth like Caine from Kung Fu, tending bar, and corrupting the youth. (Not at the same time.) He started writing on bar napkins, then on lesson plans, then full time. Eventually, someone paid him for it. Brent lives in Oregon with his wife, Kristi. He doesn’t own cats...more
More about Brent Weeks...
Beyond the Shadows (Night Angel, #3) Shadow's Edge (Night Angel, #2) The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1) The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2) The Night Angel Trilogy (Night Angel, #1-3)

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“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.” 202 likes
“king: "You're...you're shit! You shitting, shitting shit!"
"Your Majesty," Durzo said gravely. "A man of your stature's cursing vocabulary ought to extend beyond a tedious reiteration of the excreta that fills the void between his ears.”
107 likes
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