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The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1)

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4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  99,236 Ratings  ·  3,545 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
ebook, 586 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Orbit
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Popular Answered Questions

Jay K Belle, Tezin Kendrick, okay his grammar is a little misleading but surely you could understand the question if you used your brains a little more?

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Belle, Tezin Kendrick, okay his grammar is a little misleading but surely you could understand the question if you used your brains a little more?

Brendan, yes you should buy the books in order to read them properly... The Way of Shadows is the first one in the trilogy, followed by Shadow's Edge and then Beyond the Shadows.(less)
Tenzin Kendrick Yes. Its a three book trilogy. Did I mention you should read it?

Way of Shadows
Shadow's Edge
Beyond the Shadows

Read it. Go read it. Go read it now.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mark Lawrence
Jun 05, 2016 Mark Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Nataliya
Dec 04, 2013 Nataliya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 yo
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Simeon
Nov 23, 2015 Simeon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: utter-shite, fantasy
The Way of Shadows is so laughably bad, I thought it was satire. Let me give you an example. So, near the end of the book, the protagonist is about to express his love to this girl after like 20 years of lusting, and at this point in the story, there's been a little cursing, the violence is PG-13 and badly written, all very YA. So, our protagonist approaches his lady and says to her (this is a direct quote):

"I think you're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. And the purest. I'm not asking y
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Markus
Nov 02, 2015 Markus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2015
3.5 stars

”I don’t ask you to like reality. I only ask you to be strong enough to face it.”

Durzo Blint is Cenaria’s most feared killer. Azoth is a frightened little boy living on the streets. Through a series of coincidences, the two come together in the dark underworld of the capital, and the guild rat becomes the assassin’s apprentice.

The only thing you know about the plot is that you’re following Azoth’s journey from the streets to becoming a top-notch killer. That can make things a bit confus
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Peter Tr
Jul 25, 2016 Peter Tr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is for the whole series (spoiler free).
This is, by far, my favorite fantasy story of all times. It begins as a personal story of a kid apprenticed to an Assassin, and ends as an EPIC fantasy story, including amazing magic, mystical artifacts, Immortals, Godkings, and of course politics.

Both character & world building are impressive (Its architecture is delicate and refined), but the gem of this book is the magic system. Magic easy to understand, yet complex and multi-leveled. Th
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Lyn
Jul 05, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Charles Dickens was born in 1977 and grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons and then World of Warcraft and reading sword and sorcery mags and playing online games and who liked wearing a cowled hoody all the time – he may have come up with a book much like Brent Weeks’ The Way of Shadows.

This is a good book. I was prepared to dislike it, thinking that it would be a pulpy X Box serialization or a campy Assassin’s Creed type fantasy – and both descriptions are fairly accurate – but it is also muc
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Felicia
Apr 19, 2009 Felicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
seak
Nov 29, 2011 seak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
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
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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
Jon
Mar 30, 2013 Jon added it
Recommended to Jon by: Fantasy Book Club December 2009 Selection
Andrew Obrigewitsch
I found this series to have the kind of "well" written and "witty" dialogue that every 12 year old pervert will love, due to its "well" thought out and "intellectual" nature. However, I beseech one to read this series as one will not be surprised in the least by the plot twists. In fact from page one, 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 whor
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Alexa
Oct 30, 2015 Alexa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Since this book is full of tropes and stereotypes I'm going to do this review Disney style!

Our main character Azoth is a street urchin. Don't you love street urchins? Of course you do! You have been conditioned by Disney to do so. (Remember Lady and the Tramp? Aristocats? Aladdin?!)



Azoth meets Durzo, a master assassin, sorry, master Wetboy. And here comes my first problem with this book. I HATE the word 'wetboy'. I always thought it was silly how some people hate the word 'moist'… until I read t
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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.
Carol.
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
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Jeff
Oct 27, 2015 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
GET OUTTA HERE BRENT WEEKS. Let me tell you folks this is a winner. AHH oh man. There are so many twists and so many incredible intertwining plot lines. I LOVED the character Azoth and his passion and unwavering ideals. I was shaking reading this , especially the last 3/4. I honestly cannot say enough about it. Maybe it's because it's been awhile since I've read fantasy like this, maybe it's just because this book is unreal. I had heard Weeks was good but get OUT man. Wow. Well done. Seriously i ...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
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David Sven
Jan 28, 2013 David Sven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dark-fantasy
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
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Kristen
I FRAKING LOVED IT!! RTC.

--------------------

5/5 stars

“Killing was no longer an activity, it was a state of being. Kylar became killing.”

The Skinny:

This story follows Azoth as he becomes the wetboy, Kylar Stern. Under the tutelage of Durzo Blint, Kylar slowly transforms into one of the most formidable wetboys in the city. Kylar’s is put to the test, both physically and mentally, when a force larger than he could have anticipated threatens his city.

My Review:

As far as Fantasy goes, this is not t
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Kaitlin
Jan 16, 2015 Kaitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
You know what, I have NO IDEA why I waited so long to read a Brent Weeks book. i have been told by various people that he's like marmite and you either love or hate his writing and for me that was a little intimidating I suppose and I wasn't sure which way it was going to go. However, after James convinced me to start with the first book in this series I am thoroughly happy and elated that I did follow his advice, and I can say with certainty that Weeks is a new favourite author for me.

This book
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Raeleen Lemay
Oct 07, 2014 Raeleen Lemay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THIS WAS A GOOD TIME. I went into this expecting a fast-paced story about assassins and magic, and that's what I got! It was slightly different from what I had hoped, but that's for reasons that will be rectified in the sequels.

I'd highly recommend this for fans of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn!
Melissa Martin
www.melissa413readsalot.blogspot.com

Durzo gazed into the frothy brown ale as if it held answers. It didn't, and he had a choice to make. The usual forced gaiety of the brothel swirled around him, but nobody male or female bothered him. Perhaps it was Retribution unsheathed on the table in front of him. Perhaps it was merely the look on his face.

I enjoyed the book and liked some of the characters. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. Azoth/Kyler was a nothing, a low-life that was in a bad situa
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Nate
Aug 31, 2011 Nate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
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Terence
Azoth is an orphan who wants to grow up to be a feared and dangerous man like Durzo Blint. Durzo is the city's most famous and deadly assassin. After a chance encounter, Azoth begs to be apprenticed by Durzo. After Azoth completes a task Durzo sets him to, he accepts Azoth under one condition...that he turns his back on his old life completely. He becomes Kylar Stern the apprentice to Durzo Blint.

The Way of Shadows is a complicated book. In many ways it reads like a horny teenager's wet dream. T
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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
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Michael
Mar 28, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually read this book long but never added it to my shelf or wrote a review, I'll have to rectify that in the near future.
Tammy
Apr 17, 2016 Tammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my kind of fantasy. My first Brent Weeks book and it won't be my last.
All I can say is it was compelling, dark, tension packed (i can't stress this enough). The protagonists were fun to read and the antagonists are some of the most despicable and brutal characters i've read in fantasy. But then Midcyru is a brutal world, filled with assassins, wytches, mages and worse.
I loved the character developments, from Jarl, Elene, Logan and more but Azoth's transformation was a pleasure to read.
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Amar
Jan 06, 2016 Amar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015, kindle
Jako jako dobar roman.
Jos jedan primjer , gdje zbog covera ocekujem neku potpuno drugu pricu. Ja sam ovdje ocekivao neku skolu u kojoj se assassinsi treniraju i salju na zadatke ubijanja. Slicno , ali opet potpuno potpuno drugacije.
Ko je ljubitelj fantasya , jako kompleksnih prica , odlicno razradjenih likova kao i zanimljivih svijetova , volit ce ovu knjigu. Jedna vrsta knjiga u kojima ne znate u kom pravcu prica moze krenuti.

Od samog pocetka , prica je nabijena neprihvatljivim ubojstvima , vel
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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
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Mason
Jan 15, 2016 Mason rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf-zone, audiobooks
I'd say it was the audiobook. And to be honest, it probably was that at first. High fantasy and audiobooks aren't two things that typically mix well for me. But I've gotten there; slowly and steadily. So I can't really say that it was just the audiobook.

Though one big problem was the narrator. It sounded like his slightly British accent was fake, and the only way I know to describe him would be a play director at a community college who is actually a horrible actor and can only find gigs at loca
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Matt
May 28, 2009 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
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
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Night Angel (3 books)
  • Shadow's Edge (Night Angel, #2)
  • Beyond the Shadows (Night Angel, #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.” 303 likes
“..because the only kind of love I have to offer is stupid and blind and so deep and powerful that I feel like I'm cracking just to hold it in.” 148 likes
More quotes…