Katy's Reviews > The Way of Shadows

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
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Jun 07, 2011

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Recommended for: fans of dark epic fantasy, tropes, antiheroes

Book Info: Genre: Dark epic fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Recommended for: older YA, fans of dark epic fantasy who don't mind typical tropes
Trigger Warnings: murder, killing, assassination, violence, rape (mostly M/M), torture, mutilation, stealing, slavery, cannibalism, infidelity

My Thoughts: The beginning of this book is pretty typical epic fantasy fare, other than the fact that our hero is an antihero. But Azoth is an orphan, he's taken in against the odds by a powerful man who learns that Azoth is more than he appears, rising up from his poverty-stricken roots, etc. And, of course, the love interest that is forbidden. Still, once Kylar is on the scene, things heat up and I found myself tearing through the pages to find out what happened next. So don't let the typical trope throw you off from reading this book if it sounds like something in which you are interested.

However, I was astounded by the sloppy editing on this book. It was released through one of Hatchett's publishing groups, and editing errors were heavily scattered through the book. There is a part where Azoth calls another character by his first name in a familiar manner, even though he has not yet met that character and really doesn't know much about him. And there are a lot of missing words from sentences. I'm amazed that a professional editor working for a major publisher would be so sloppy. If that will bother you, keep it in mind.

Still I did enjoy the book, despite how dark it often is. If you like dark epic fantasy, antiheroes, and don't mind the typical tropes and editing problems, then check this one out.

Series Information: The Night Angel Trilogy
Book 1: The Way of Shadows
Book 2: Shadow's Edge
Book 3: Beyond the Shadows

Disclosure: I purchased the omnibus edition of the trilogy for myself. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: 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.
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Quotes Katy Liked

Brent Weeks
“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.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“..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.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“Life is empty. Life is worthless. When we take a life, we aren't taking anything of value.- Durzo Blint”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“I regretted that I hadn't turned myself into the kind of man that you could be with. That it wouldn't be just for me to be with you, even if you wanted me. Our lives started in the same shit hole, Elene, but somehow you've turned into you, and I've turned into this. I don't like what I've done. I don't like who I've become. You don't deserve a fairy tale? I don't deserve another chance, but I'm asking you for one. You're afraid that love is too risky? I've seen what happens when you don't risk it. [...] I'm willing to risk it to see the world through your eyes.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“You'd be surprised at what you'd do to stay alive.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“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.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“Dad, one of my first memories is of sharing my worry with you about the space shuttle poking holes in the atmosphere and letting out all of Earth's air.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“Relationships are ropes. Love is a noose. - Durzo Blint”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“A man’s greatest treasures are his illusions - Durzo Blint”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“You will find no answers here, just choices.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows
tags: life

Brent Weeks
“A wet boy has a deader, an assassin has a target, because assassins sometimes miss.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“I’ll spend my life training just for the moment I have my chance at you. I’ll wait until you think I’ve forgotten today. I’ll wait until you think it was just a dumb guild rat’s threat. After I’m a master, you’ll jump at shadows for a while. But after you jump a dozen times and I’m not there, you won’t jump just once, and that’s when I’ll be there. I don’t care if you kill me at the same time. I’ll trade my life for yours.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“If I tell you a secret can you keep it quiet?
“Well, I can. I’m not so sure about Doll Girl.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“Words were another sword for the man who wielded them well.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“How can one love the light and live in darkness?”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“Dying well is easy,it only takes a moment of courage. It’s living well that I couldn’t do. What’s death compared to that.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“Life is empty. Life is meaningless. When we take a life, we arn't taking anything of value. Wetboys are killers. Thats all we do. Thats all we are. There are no poets in the bitter business.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“Let me make this real simple. You will not break me. The hole will not break me. I will not break. I will not be broken.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“I warned him, Kylar. She was a lovely, careless girl. The kind of woman born without a heart, so she couldn't imagine breaking anyone else's.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“That pain you feel," Master Blint said almost gently, "is the pain of abandoning a delusion. The delusion is meaning, Kylar. There is no higher purpose. There are no gods. No arbiters of right and wrong. I don't ask you to like reality. I only ask you to be strong enough to face it. There is nothing beyond this. There is only the perfection we attain by becoming weapons, as strong and merciless as a sword. There is no essential good in living. Life is nothing in itself. It's a place marker that proves who's winning, and we are the winners. We are always the winners. There is nothing by the winning. Even winning means nothing. We win because it's an insult to lose. The ends don't justify the means. The means don't justify the ends. There is no one to justify to. There is no justification.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“What happens when you strip away all the masks a man wears and you find not a face beneath them but nothing at all?”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“You don't need to like reality, only be strong enough to face it”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“If you worry about what everyone is trying to do, you become a spectator and not a player.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“Paranoia begat perfection in the wetboy's trade.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“Delayed obedience is really disobedience.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“Let's just call it an artifact of a misspent youth.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“Hope is the lies we tell ourselves about the future.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“Analogies are lies grown-ups tell.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“He didn't make me pay all that I owed, but maybe I had to be willing to pay the full price. That's how repentance is different from regret.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“It is better to suffer evil than to do evil.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks
“There was something very fine about seeing a man damn himself.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows


Reading Progress

June 7, 2011 – Shelved
May 25, 2014 – Started Reading
May 26, 2014 –
42.0%
May 26, 2014 – Finished Reading
May 27, 2014 –
100.0% "working on review"

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