The Way of Shadows-Brent Weeks

The Way of Shadows

Brent Weeks

Orbit, Oct 2008, $7.99

ISBN 031603377

 

Azoth understands survival of the fittest first hand in his hometown of Cenaria; a city run by a criminal oligarchy.  He knows that if he does not make a move soon, the constant beatings especially from the bully Rat will kill him.  The young street thief loathes most of the gang with Rat being the most despicable but also cares what happens to his only friends Jarl and Doll Girl.  Azoth needs to escape somehow but urchins like him have no options.

 

However, Azoth envisions making an alternate lifestyle choice.  He must become the apprentice of legendary assassin Durzo Blint, who would never take on a rascal like him.  Shockingly the aloof cantankerous Blint will accept him as his wetboy trainee if he assassinates Rat within a week.  Reluctantly as he converts himself into the killer apprentice Kylar Stern, the lad fears the one shadow that remains inside him; the link to his former self as Azoth wonders how his beloved Doll Girl will react to his killing one of the gang.

 

The story line is fast-paced in spite of this being the opening gamut in the Night Angels saga, which denotes setting up the culture and environment and providing insight into the key characters.  However, the plot is character driven as the key players which include Regent Prince Logan Gyre are not always what they first seem; instead shadowy twists that feel genuine and quite exciting will surprise the audience.  Especially fascinating are the poetic legendary assassin and his new apprentice with his new identity.  Fantasy fans will enjoy a visit to Cenaria, a place where the felonious rule.

 

Harriet Klausner

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