Brandi's Reviews > The Way of Shadows

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
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's review
Feb 24, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: read-in-2009, fantasy
Read in March, 2009

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 takes me a few minutes to sort through all that I have read to find a link (the one I was supposed to make initially). First off, I read a lot, I can follow books with twisting plots and many characters, so this had me aggravated. I realized the reason that I kept getting the characters all mixed together in my mind was because not a lot of them are memorable in themselves (we are talking side characters here).

As well, no respectable fantasy novel should be using modern day swear words. This book is so riddled by the S word and F word that every time it is used it reminds me that it is a fictional story written by some regular joe from reality. That makes it hard for me to get involved personally with the characters or even care meaningfully about the story.

The only things that I DO like about this book are the main character (wow one character...) and the actual story (though I still think it was poorly written and needed a lot of rewrites; I don't think it should have gone to print the way it was...).

So in the end I have an amused/hate relationship with this book. I really liked the story, but didn't like the way it was written at all. The swears are just too much for me and made the books 'romantic' moments seem petty and dirty. How can you tell someone you love them and say the word fuck at the same time. Apparently the author doesn't know how woman like to be wooed. It was rather appalling and in extremely poor taste. Swearing in the case quite literally ruined the book for me.
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03/07/2009 page 36
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Boilyyyy (new)

Boilyyyy apparently you're kind of slow to not get parts of the book, or to follow along with the characters.

Brandi Boilyyyy wrote: "apparently you're kind of slow to not get parts of the book, or to follow along with the characters."

Apparently you didn't actually read my review.

Cera Taylor I disagree on the swear word part. I've read books with misplaced swears, where modern curse words are being tossed around in a medieval setting; but Way of the Shadows isn't that. In fact, I didn't even pause to think about it when the words were used, because they just seemed to fit in with the rest of the dark setting.

And let us not forget that the F word alone has been around for thousands of years; and that the "vulgarity" of it is based off the fact that it is a "commoner's word" (in place for "fornicate"). Kylar and Blint both spent much of their time among the lower class, so it's only natural that they'd pick up that kind of speak.

As for character confusion, I didn't experience any of that. I was able to pick up and remember the different characters we came into contact with, and when they were reintroduced after a long absence, it was made clear who they were rather quickly. But to each their own I suppose.

Brandi Must have been because this book bored me to tears and I hate swearing.

Cera Taylor Ah well, guess it's just not your personal cup of tea then.

message 6: by U.L. (new)

U.L. Harper I was just looking for a book in this genre to read and this somewhat bad review just sold me on it. Cursing and odd plot twists and an assassin who is wooing women the wrong way. This sounds like something I've been neglecting. Thanks.

message 7: by Dave (last edited Jan 18, 2011 12:04PM) (new)

Dave I do agree that usage of the "F" word in the final scene of the book was a bit out of place. As the reviewer pointed out, the situation didn't seem appropriate, especially since Kyler himself rarely sweared (if ever) throughout the rest of the book.

But other than that, I found the usage of swear words to be appropriate. I found it especially entertaining the way the author had the King use them for comic relief. Normally, this tactic might seem cheap, but I think it was done well here.

There are one or two examples of words references that should definitely not have been used because they did not fit into the world the author created. The example I can vaguely remember is the author's describing something particularly evil as being satanic. There is no Judeo-Christian religion in Midcryu (sp?) That should have been caught in the editing.

Though it had it's share of flaws and inconsistencies and is probably no literary masterpiece, I found it to be a highly entertaining and mostly enjoyable read - which is really all you can ask from books like this one

Jason James King It has a strong hook, but the swearing does detract from the story.

Julia Maybe you all shouldn't take this swearing business so strict... I don't understand how you all let yourself be brought put of your concept so easily. I think it's just normal for an assassin to swear - they're not what you'd usually call highly noble - at least not from birth on, so it is in no way out of place.

Momentai It's not that it's weird for an assassin to swear, though the nobility swore the most, but it is weird that they use modern words.

Brandi Stardrag wrote: " but it is weird that they use modern words."

That is what most got me too. Why modern swears of all things?

(Side Note: I really didn't think anyone would care this much about my opinion on the matter, LOL.)

message 12: by Momentai (last edited Mar 02, 2012 08:17AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Momentai My caring knows no bounds! Jk, but I think his curses should be based on his world. Durzo had one with saying night angel this and that all the time lol.

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