The Way of Shadows

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In this first volume of the Night Angel trilogy, Azoth begins his apprenticeship to assassination specialist Durzo Blint and quickly learns that the perfect killer has no friends-only targets.

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Azzie

Oct 5, 2009

Excellent fantasy novel! This is Brent Weeks' debut and a wonderful one at that. It's a very dark story, overall, that doesn't hold back on the child abuse, rape, poverty and other horrible things that happen in a city that is basically controlled by thieves and a weak king.

From all this muck comes Azoth, a guild rat who has aspirations to be more than what he is: poor, afraid, and weak. To do this, he risks everything to apprentice to Durzo Blint, one of the best paid killers in the city, if not the entire region. Azoth quickly leaves behind whatever childhood he managed to hold on to while living on the streets as he works to be what he always wanted to be: unafraid.

The assortment of characters are both appalling and endearing, jerking you around as you try to decide whether or not you like them as they move through the politics, intrigue and filth of their world all so that they can survive, from themselves and forces outside of their kingdom seeking to destroy them.

Weeks does not hold back and it's just so refreshing to read something that is both character and plot-driven. Everything is so rich and real as the characters interact with one another to come out on top - because that's the only way to stay alive. The power of human compassion and desire for survival is a theme that permeates throughout the entire series.

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