The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1) by Brent Weeks

A man of your stature’s vocabulary ought to extend beyond a tedious reiteration of the excreta that fills the void between his ears

This quote is the most intelligently constructed insult I’ve ever seen. Simply brilliant!

A Way of Shadows is a great read. The story’s beginning is a bit slow, typical of Brent Weeks. He attempts to let his readers form an opinion of the characters before introducing them fully. It makes for highly flexible and unpredictable characters.

The story is unevenly paced, with the quickest phase coming halfway through. The last few pages aren’t as fast-paced as one would expect of a fantasy read, but it is no less fascinating.

The characters are hugely complex. Azoth/Kylar is a character whose personality is shaped by a varying range of extreme experiences. His complexity is highlighted in his personality: A brutal soulless assassin who has enough of a heart to love a woman who puts him in great danger.

Durzo Blint is a reflection of Kylar. His carefree attitude to life and the taking of it is in stark contrast to his ‘love life’.

In general, the characters are some of the most complex I’ve ever encountered in fantasy and some of the most memorable as well. One of the finer points in the characterisation is the strongly human nature of the characters. The author does not sacrifice original character personality for a more fantastic tale. The result is a somewhat confusing, highly complex but nonetheless thrilling tale.

It’s a very complex plot. I’m still trying to figure out some parts of the story. The entire thing is a complex weave of even more complex characters, themes of violence, betrayal, love and redemption.

I really must read book 2!

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