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Night Angel #1

The Way of Shadows

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From New York Times Bestselling author Brent Weeks...
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.

645 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published October 1, 2008

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About the author

Brent Weeks

62 books21.4k followers
In a small-town Montana school at age 12, Brent Weeks met the two great loves of his life. Edgar Allan Poe introduced him to the power of literature to transcend time and death and loneliness. Fate introduced him to The Girl, Kristi Barnes. He began his pursuit of each immediately.

The novel was a failure. The Girl shot him down.

Since then–skipping the boring parts–Brent has written eight best-selling novels with the Night Angel Trilogy and the Lightbringer Series, won several industry awards, and sold a few million books.

Brent and his wife Kristi live in Oregon with their two daughters. (Yeah, he married The Girl.)

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5 stars
71,777 (44%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,713 reviews
Profile Image for Mark Lawrence.
Author 72 books51k followers
June 14, 2022
I'd read a couple of sniffy reviews about this book and a friend was very meh about it ... even Weeks himself seemed a touch apologetic about his debut when he saw my tweet about starting it ... though I could be over-reading 140 characters there. In any event, my expectations were not sky high.

It turns out that I tend to like what people tend to like ... who knew? I don't enjoy every popular book but I do generally find out that there's a good reason why they're popular.

Brent Weeks is a great story teller and his writing is plenty strong enough to carry the load. I call the book fun, and it is, but that's not to diminish it in any way. There are plenty of emotional scenes and even though I could see the strings being pulled, I still got drawn in. There's as much action as any reader could want, varied and interesting magic, tight plotting from a good number of interesting points of view. The pacing is good and there are few info dumps. I could perhaps have stood fewer discussions on the city's varied architecture but that's the very minor niggle on the back of a great deal of enjoyment.

And that friend of mine who wasn't a fan - she wasn't a fan of The Warded Man either, which I loved, and I have to say that this is probably the most enjoyable read I've had since devouring Brett's The Warded Man several years ago. Like that book TWoS takes what I loved about 80's fantasy and grows it up for the more demanding, hard-edged tastes of today. Definitely recommended.

Perhaps the book benefited from me having a rare day to myself and reading most of it in one go. Then again I could have done a lot of other things with that day ... and Weeks' story didn't let me!

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Profile Image for Nataliya.
743 reviews11.8k followers
April 23, 2023
A plucky street urchin Azoth wants to be a wetboy (*). Which is basically an assassin on steroids . Minus the unfortunate side effects of acne, neck hump, obesity, testicular atrophy, and man-boobs.
Also, call me immature, but when you call your magical artifact ka'kari, despite the mandatory fantasy apostrophe, the "kaka" part inevitably elicits immature giggles from me. Dear writers, please be careful in your word choices.
Anyway, as I said above, our plucky street urchin (hello, fantasy trope!) Azoth strives to become a super-assassin under the tutelage of Durzo Blint, a cruel badass wetboy ( but deep, deep, deeeeeeep down inside he is, of course, a caring mentor in his own gruffy way - hello, another trope! ). He gets his wish after a few counts of child rape and child mutilation - but relax, it does not happen to Azoth; really bad things are only allowed to happen to the sidekicks . Anyway, he gets the training and adopts the identity of Kylar Stern, which sounds marginally better than Azoth.
"The truth was, Azoth hated Azoth. Azoth was a coward, passive, weak, afraid, disloyal. Azoth had hesitated [...] He was Kylar now, and Kylar would be everything Azoth hadn’t dared to be."
He meets a noble and honorable Logan along the way (to be prominently featured in the sequels). He also has a mandatory love interest - a saintly mind-numbingly boring Elene, whose soul is pure and childhood disfigurement does not seem to interfere with her beauty, like, at all. She basically is a virginal Madonna of this story.

NO, NOT THAT MADONNA................. THIS ONE!

One of my main gripes with this story is the overreliance on fantasy tropes/cliches. In this case, in addition to the ones above, we get a mandatory virgin-whore dichotomy (Elene being the virgin). And another trope - pretty much all the whores turn out to have a heart of gold. Of course.

No, really, women come in more than two varieties. Believe me.

The character development of the entire story is rather non-existent, more of a videogame variety. The characters are cardboard caricatures - very perfunctory, very stereotypical and cliched, with very little stepping out of of designed fantasy tropes. Durzo Blint failed to arouse much sympathy or admiration despite learning about his tragic/tortured backstory. Logan is a prototypical hero/good guy. Elene is a cute love interest devoid of personality. Only Jarl and Momma K seemed to be interesting at all, but they don't get nearly enough on-page time. As for Azoth/Kylar himself, he is a decent action hero, but I could not care less for him as a person; he just lacks depth.

Nevertheless, despite characterization being his weak point, Weeks is a good storyteller. His story is very plot-driven and flows reasonably well with the exception of a few parts where the pacing was a bit uneven. The plot drags just a bit in the first part, but picks up quite nicely in the second half of the book. Action scenes are vivid and written very well, and the loose ends get nicely wrapped up. The book, despite its weaknesses, managed to eventually capture my attention, making it hard to put down until I got to the end. Reading it is, in my limited experience, just like playing a videogame - a fun ride without too much depth.

Overall, an average 3-star 2-star¹ story with forgettable characters, overreliance on fantasy cliches, and the feel of a videogame put to page, but rather fun and with nice action scenes. Nothing special, but it got me interested enough to pick up the sequel. Brent Weeks does show promise as a writer, especially if he eventually steps outside the familiar and comfortable fantasy genre patterns.
¹ After realizing that I have given 3 stars to quite a few books that I liked way more than this one, I realized that the fair thing to do would be to knock this one down a star. For the life of me, I have no idea why I was so generous with rating it in the first place.
Profile Image for Simeon.
Author 1 book373 followers
November 24, 2015
The Way of Shadows is so laughably bad, I thought it was satire. Let me give you an example. So, near the end of the book, the protagonist is about to express his love to this girl after like 20 years of lusting, and at this point in the story, there's been a little cursing, the violence is PG-13 and badly written, all very YA. So, our protagonist approaches his lady and says to her (this is a direct quote):

"I think you're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. And the purest. I'm not asking you to fuck. But maybe some day I'll earn the right to ask you for something more permanent." He turned and facing her was harder than facing thirty Highlanders.

Ahh, Brent Weeks. I think he has a little Vogon in him.
Profile Image for Luna. ✨.
92 reviews1,214 followers
September 9, 2017

“Do you know what punishments I've endured for my crimes, my sins?" <- I read The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks, I think that's punishment enough for my sins.

This novel had a promising start, I really enjoyed the start and was excited to fangirl over this novel for eternity, as everyone already knows I am Brent Weeks trash & I'm not ashamed to admit it. So I expected to absolutely adore this book, to be submerged in feels and just want to cuddle it for long hours and cry tears of adoration. Having a promising start and being quite fun I thought I'd hit the lottery. It starts off with some Locke Lamorr vibes, a bunch of young children living in a guild. A tiny 9 year old girl gets cut up for fun and a young boy is raped into submission. Extremely grim and totally had my full attention, however it quickly went sour from there and I lost interest very fast and after a while I realised I hadn't hit the lottery at all and what I instead had was a cliche novel full of tropes, sucky names and forced badassery. Lets be honest here folks the writing was extremely choppy and lacked direction, most of the story itself was talking and talking is boring. I wanted a lot more show instead of tell. But weeks only delivered 5% show the rest was just lines of whining and a POV from an insecure child... sound familiar? Kylar (Azroth) is a twin of Kip (lightbringer series) except it's not "I'm so fat" instead it is "I can't protect those I love.. Wah Wah Wah". I don't know if it's a case of its me and not you Brent Weeks, or it's a full blown case of it was definitely Brent Weeks fault why I disliked this novel so much and can't continue with this series because it's the same old crap from his other series and I can't be bothered reading garbage. Maybe I've just out grown Brent Weeks stupid horny school boy writing style? I'm not sure. I honestly hope not tho... because I am and always will be Gavin Guile (lightbringer series) trash. Another major issue I had with the novel is the use of the word "Wetboy" for an assassin name.. shittest assassin name ever... like ever.. How could someone even justify calling a killer such a pathetically shit name? I'm not even kidding right now, anything would have been better and tougher then that name. I can think of atleast 7 names which would have been cooler and more appropriate. When I think of a Wetboy I think of something a pedophile would google or that awkward moment after my toddlers bath and I chase him around the house with a towel screaming "get here boy, your wet".

So this book is marketed as "grimdark" or "dark fantasy" WHICH ACTUALLY RUFFLES MY FEATHERS. What a load of dog shit.. About two things in this novel could be considered grim & both happened in the first 100 pages. The main character is an assassin who ONLY KILLS BAD PEOPLE. WHICH THEREFOR MAKES HIM A HERO. He is not a grey character but instead pure white. “It is better to suffer evil than to do evil.” are you sure about that? Pretty sure only evil people become assassins but anyway.. you go be white and a hero Kylar, no one gives a fuck. I'm so bored of your standard black/white characters, they honestly have no depth or personality and I'm not interested in heroes, they are boring. But my main problem with this book is the lack of originality and the fact it stunk so badly of this authors other series that I can't even forgive this for being a debut novel, Brent has brought nothing new to the fantasy genre or his own writing style. It was actually pretty childish and kinda lame. Are we certain this series wasn't written by Brent at age 12? When he first hit puberty and could only think about sex, girls and wanking?

“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.”

The story is basically about a child named Azroth who wants to become an assassin so he can stand up to his bullies in the guild and protect his friends. One night he runs into Durzo Blint the baddest and deadliest assassin going around. Durzo doesn't take on apprentices so it's Azroths job to impress him and show Durzo why he should be apprenticed. After awhile Azroths changes his name to Kylar Stern and to be honest the book gets more and more cliched towards the ending. Don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker for a well done cliche plot; I love assassins, I love magic, I love the hateful but nice mentor, I love the weak boy who turns into a strong focused individual trope.. What can I say I just love tropes, however this book just made me roll my eyes, it was boring, annoying, I honestly felt like I had read this book 1000 times over. It's safe to say I'm actually sick of these tropes, this was not a warm trope cuddle more of a trope slap. But it wasn't all bad there was a few redeeming factors; some of the twists and plot points were unpredictable and made the story more interesting, the magic system was interesting, Durzo Blint was cool... Ummm.. *cough*.. Hmm let me think.. That's literally all I can think of... So yeah pretty much a bust.

Recommended to people looking for a novel to begin with in the adult fantasy genre.

Ps. Safe to say I will not read the rest of the series because quite frankly I got better things to do. 😴😴
Profile Image for Adina.
827 reviews3,229 followers
November 8, 2022

The Way of Shadows is an entertaining start for Night Angel trilogy (soon to be tetralogy). Azoth, a guild rat, struggles to survive in the Warren’s dirty and dangerous streets. Durzo Blint is an assassin working for a powerful criminal organisation. The two will cross paths and the Azoth will become Kylar, Durzo’s apprentice and a new persona. The plot is enhanced by interesting magic, a complex scheme to conquer a kingdom and a prophecy that could ruin or save the world. The usual stuff, nothing new, but I enjoyed the characters and action well enough. The novel is part of the grimdark fantasy genre, which means you should expect lots of people dying of unnatural causes, with as much gory details as possible. There is a scene in the novel which shames even the Red Wedding scene from GOT.
Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 45 books128k followers
April 19, 2009
I liked this book, although it didn't tread the newest ground ever, the characters were interesting and the plot held my attention. I think the only thing lacking was the world building, it was confusing and I found it hard to really get a grasp on everything that was happening politically. BUT I recommend it highly, especially to people who like Robert Jordan, Joe Abercrombie, Stephen Erikson Robin Hobb or Terry Brooks. Very accessable, but with the new era "grit" we've come to know and love in fantasy :)
Profile Image for Markus.
472 reviews1,523 followers
November 2, 2015
3.5 stars

”I don’t ask you to like reality. I only ask you to be strong enough to face it.”

Durzo Blint is Cenaria’s most feared killer. Azoth is a frightened little boy living on the streets. Through a series of coincidences, the two come together in the dark underworld of the capital, and the guild rat becomes the assassin’s apprentice.

The only thing you know about the plot is that you’re following Azoth’s journey from the streets to becoming a top-notch killer. That can make things a bit confusing, as you’ll occasionally wonder what on earth is actually going on, but at least it’s mostly coherent. And luckily, there are tons of interesting subplots coming up every now and then.

The setting is interesting enough, but not in such a way that it adds to the overall quality of the book. It’s a city; a capital city, and the novel takes place on its streets and in its mansions and castles. As for the world, it does appear to have many interesting aspects, but sometimes it feels as if though random lore is added to give depth where there is none. However, as fantasy lore is like a drug to me, I won’t pretend to dislike it.

Azoth himself is generic young human male protagonist #1162. There is nothing special about him, his personality, or the way he does anything. However, this is actually positive for the book, as it takes away the attention from him, and sets the focus on the book’s absodamnlutely fabulous secondary characters.

Just like in many other books, movies and games, The Way of Shadows is about a mentor-protegé relationship where the obvious star of the show is the mentor. Durzo Blint is the most skilled and infamous killer in Cenaria, and by far the character with the most depth. He’s the one with all the secrets and the mysterious past. The one everyone fears, to the extent that he may insult the king with virtual impunity. And does so repeatedly…

“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.”

Aside from Durzo, there is a trio of incredibly interesting noblemen who steal the show from time to time. The first, Duke Regnus Gyre, is the good noble archetype. The one who refuses to seize the throne because it would be dishonourable, and walks knowingly into exile instead. Gyre is a great character to read about, but it is the other two who really caught my attention.

The curious thing is that both of these characters became my favourites in an instant. In one scene. In the case of Count Drake, that instant was in the middle of a short conversation where he talks about his past, which is, if possible, even more interesting than Durzo’s.

But the other… oooh, my. Lord General Agon, ladies and gentlemen. Lord General Brant Agon, with a single swift swing of his sword, became my favourite literary character of all the ones I’ve encountered this year.

On the other hand, there is also another character, who goes by the name of Elene, who is so incomprehensibly annoying I would say she’s singlehandedly responsible for much of my disappointment with the book. I don’t really want to talk about her.

As for the writing, this is not a book in which to search for eloquence or beautiful prose. Weeks’ style is the same simplistic one that has been popularised by several of the most rapidly rising stars in fantasy in recent years. The best word to describe it is adequate. It does not add anything to the quality of the book, but it serves its purpose.

There is one major downside, however, and that’s the fact I have never read a fantasy book with a more stupid terminology. Durzo Blint is a wetboy, and while that sounds like an orphaned kid running the streets doing shit jobs for change money, the book gives the notion that a wetboy is some sort of ridiculously super-skilled master-assassin. The only thing that’s even more ridiculous is when the characters are trying to figure out what a female wetboy is called.

The book is not so fast-paced in the beginning, but eventually it gets unputdownable. The last twenty or thirty chapters are filled with deadly action and fascinating revelations to no end. And while I was disappointed by the ending itself, I would say that the second half of the book as a whole was great.

So as a whole, The Way of Shadows is not a disappointing book, but it’s not impressive either. There is nothing that will blow your mind away, but there is plenty of excitement. It’s a flawed book kicking off an interesting series, and so I am definitely interested in learning what happens in the continuation of Azoth’s journeys.

”Now, boy, are you ready to become a sword in the shadows?”

Author 1 book358 followers
February 28, 2017
*New individual reviews are on the way. Until then, make your self comfortable with this sorry excuse of a review"

This review is for the whole series (spoiler free).
This is, by far, my favorite fantasy story of all times. It begins as a personal story of a kid apprenticed to an Assassin, and ends as an EPIC fantasy story, including amazing magic, mystical artifacts, Immortals, Godkings, and of course politics.

Both character & world building are impressive (Its architecture is delicate and refined), but the gem of this book is the magic system. Magic easy to understand, yet complex and multi-leveled. The pace in all of the books is great, except perhaps the first 100 pages of The Way of Shadows.

"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."

Finally, in this book, you will meet the biggest bad mofo* of Fantasy. Forget Logen Ninefingers. Forget Jorg of Ancrath. Forget Vaelin al Sorna & Kvothe. Here you will get to learn Durzo -fucking- Blint. I totally recommend this book to every fantasy reader out there, and trust me, you will love it!

*bad mofo: A person of such dangerous capability that it produces a natural coolness about them, which when those two qualities combine (coolness and danger) create a reputation that is renowned. They exude these qualities in every aspect of day to day living, therefore leaving their mark on society in legendary form. Other Synonyms: Durzo Blint, Acaleus Thorn, Dehvirahaman ko Bruhmaeziwakazari

You can find more of my reviews over at http://BookNest.eu/
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,867 reviews16.5k followers
June 1, 2017
If Charles Dickens was born in 1977 and grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons and then World of Warcraft and reading sword and sorcery mags and playing online games and who liked wearing a cowled hoody all the time – he may have come up with a book much like Brent Weeks’ The Way of Shadows.

This is a good book.

I was prepared to dislike it, thinking that it would be a pulpy X Box serialization or a campy Assassin’s Creed type fantasy – and both descriptions are fairly accurate – but it is also much more.

Actually, this is a gritty, bloody book. The subject matter is, after all, a bildungsroman about an assassin, ahem – a WETBOY. Weeks’ does an above average job with characterization and the plot is none too sophomoric. There is more than enough to keep a reader engaged throughout the 600 plus pages. Weeks writes about good and evil, right and wrong with the odd perspective shared with Michael Moorcock’s Elric saga, coming from the outside looking in. Or with a nod to Piers Anthony’s A Spell for Chameleon.

This is not great literature, but it is a lot of fun. Weeks is a great writer in much the same way as I, the Jury is a great book and Mickey Spillane a great writer (as opposed to Hemingway being an Author). Actually, this is great in the same way that Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon is great.

Enter the Dragon was never going to win an Academy Award, but it did get a ton of respect and street cred. Why? Because it does what it does very well. A reader picking up Way of Shadows or a viewer selecting Enter the Dragon likely does not care why Heathcliff loves Cathy, or why The English Patient was a cinematic success. What this reader or viewer does care about is that Weeks delivers a damn fine adventure. Charles Dickens or Mickey Spillane (or Bruce Lee) would be proud.

Profile Image for carol..
1,535 reviews7,865 followers
March 28, 2015
Likeable, really, but something made this a hard book to delve into and get lost in the story. Could be the gritty scrabble of life in the mud of the Warrens. Could be that while character building was excellent, the world outside the Warrens lacks details, even as we meet the characters living there. Could be I've read too many stories lately with heroes of questionable ethics, and I need to cleanse my palate with light and fluffy (taking applications for light and fluffy~).

Halfway through. Found myself starting to skim to get to the resolution (or get to bed; sometimes they coincide), so I put it down until I could focus. I'm finally liking the world being created. The characters are interesting, and the narrative has returned to each enough times that I care at least a little bit about them, and if a few are rather one-dimensional (especially the love interest), overall they are done well.

I do find that there seems to be awkward narrative jumps, where one moment we are going through a day per chapter, and then all of a sudden, movie montage our character is sixteen, almost completely transformed from the awkward, unskilled youth into a fully competent assassin. Additionally, the narrative skips around, from primary to characters so minor that they are never heard from again--insert carol's lament of the disjointed narrative standing in for foreshadowing and tension-building--

Almost finished. Surprised by . The overall political maneuvering is fairly clear and understandable, and the plot did have a couple of twists that left me surprised.

Conclusion? Good enough to lure me to the second book, but not enough to join my library.

Cross posted at http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2013/0...
Profile Image for seak.
429 reviews473 followers
November 30, 2011
There are a few authors, Joe Abercrombie included, whose books I've read in large part because everything they've said outside of their novels (on blogs, etc.) has been hilarious and witty and they don't take themselves too seriously. Brent Weeks (or Sussex Months...yes I still think it's funny) is one of those authors.

One of the reasons it's taken me this long to get to this book is because I think the cover is awful. I know cover art doesn't really effect anything and probably shouldn't anyway, but it was very off-putting for me. Does anyone really want to see Hayden Christensen dressed up for Halloween on a cover? Maybe I shouldn't ask that... :) (It does look like HC doesn't it?)

The covers were what set this series apart, although it's hard to imagine that now, but they set the standard that is now almost a necessity and I can at least give them credit for doing that much. But really, what would a fantasy novel cover be without a cowled figure anyway...original?

Okay, now that the cheap shots are out of the way. I do love a good hood and The Way of Shadows (2008, 645 pp.) is full of them. Realistic covers, for me though, only really work for urban fantasy/paranormal romance. It must be the tats I guess. :)

This tale begins with the struggles of our main protagonist, Azoth, a guild rat - a nothing who's got no where to go and nothing to lose. His only way to escape the slums and a life of cruelty and pain is to apprentice himself to Durzo Blint, a renowned wetboy (kinda like an assassin times a hundred) and legend. This, however, is not as easy as he supposed since he is forced to turn his back on anyone he's ever loved and devote himself to a practice that's not altogether savory for anyone with some sense of morals. Like the cover blurb says, "The perfect killer has no friends - only targets."

To accomplish this, Azoth is given a new identity and a new name, Kylar Stern, while he begins his training and attempts to unleash his "Talent", or his magical abilities that would extend his skills as a wetboy.

The Way of Shadows is a fast-paced dynamite of a novel. I was up late into the night burning through pages to find out the next twist. I have to admit, I love a good assassin-themed novel. Weeks does a great job with characterization and I became really attached to Kylar, Momma K, and Logan; some awesome characters with convincing motives. This is the definite focus over world-building, which while an admirably realized world, is only given the barest of details necessary to further the plot. In a character/plot driven novel, The Way of Shadows doesn't get bogged down in description and it was much appreciated.

Kylar, although desiring to be a killer, is easy to relate to and has his own qualms throughout the story of doing such work. His character works well with his cranky master, Durzo Blint, who seems to have given up any such feelings of regret for his job. And, although this story plays on many fantasy archetypes (assassins, masters, a powerful sword, an unconquerable enemy), Weeks creates a unique feel that is all his own.

One thing I was surprised about was how violent The Way of Shadows is. For some reason, it was not what I was expecting (weird - assassins = violent?), leaning more toward The First Law trilogy than anything. I'm not complaining, it was only unexpected. Weeks does a good job weaving it into the story adding to the emotions (mostly of hatred toward the inflicter) the reader feels for the characters.

Basic grammar errors, such as missing words, were almost to the point of annoyance, but didn't distract too much from the story and in the end I felt that the climax was a little underwhelming as I didn't feel like the actions of the main characters were as necessary as they were made out to be. Otherwise The Way of Shadows was romping good fun. I didn't realize I would like this series so much.

When Should You Read The Way of Shadows?

The best time to read The Way of Shadows is when you're in the mood for something action-packed and quick-paced. If you need a break from reading description after description and you want something that moves the plot forward through short, concise chapters, The Way of Shadows will do you good.

And in the end, covers don't really matter as long as the book's good.

(side note: I may sound like I hate descriptive novels, but this is far from the truth. I do like balance, however, and a frequent mix of faster and slower novels fit the bill for me.)

Rating and Links

4 out of 5 Stars (Really really liked it)
Profile Image for Andrew Obrigewitsch.
935 reviews123 followers
August 13, 2018
I found this series to have the kind of "well" written and "witty" dialogue that every 12 year old pervert will love, due to its "well" thought out and "intellectual" nature. However, I beseech one to read this series as one will not be surprised in the least by the plot twists. In fact from page one, a discernible reader will know the basic ending of the story, and thus can praise it for being a well written work of fantasy.

The author's characterization of women as being either virgins or whores will astound even the most ignoble character. And one can only marvel at the rate which the lesser characters die off, while the major ones do not.

Seriously though, all I can say is WOW!

This was the MOST overhyped book I have ever read. So many people recommended it to me I expected something really good. What I got was a book that felt like a young adult book that was trying to be adult by swearing and talking about sex, just like a 12 year old boy would do.

While the book was entertaining and had some good concepts, it was deeply flawed in many ways, and really felt like it was targeted to 12-20 year old crowd, or should have been a CW network TV show. It was full of overused tropes and the way side characters all died off was like watching horror movie were everyone gets killed really easily while the hero can miraculously survive. And lastly there were many similarities in this book to the first book of the Mistborn Series, only the Mistborn book was, way, way better.

Now given that this was the author's first book I will cut him some slack and say that the battle scenes were well done and the way magic was used was cool, if not fully explained with rules applied. I will check out the next book to see if the writing improves (which I heard it does, but from what I heard this was one of the best books ever written too, so what I heard my also be false) and the overall plot does get your interest, the machinations of foreign powers taking over.

For people who have not read The Broken Sword by Paul Anderson, The Black Company, Fritz Leiber, The Chronicles of Amber, Robin Hob's Assassin novel, or the Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon, I recommend all those over this. And if you want a long read, then Game of Thrones and Wheels of Time are both better as well. Unless you are in your late teens or early 20's, then you will probably love this story.

I have had a couple of grammar "experts", come on here and tell me I'm using quotation marks incorrectly. So let me tell you that quotation marks can be used to show sarcasm, it is actually a standard use of them, but don't take my word for it go to the link below:

Profile Image for Overhaul.
269 reviews603 followers
March 26, 2023
A sus 11 años, Azoth ha aprendido a juzgar a la gente a primera vista; en realidad, le va la vida en ello, pues forma parte de una de las bandas de huérfanos que roban y malviven en las peligrosas calles de la metrópoli de Cenaria.

Bandas en las que los pequeños son tiranizados por los mayores, en las que sobreviven los más fuertes, los más rápidos, los menos inocentes.

Su única posibilidad de escapar a la miseria y el miedo constantes es convertirse en aprendiz de asesino. Y no de cualquier asesino, sino del mejor: Durzo Blint.

Para ser aceptado por Blint, azoth deberá demostrar que tiene aptitudes para el "oficio" que desea aprender. También deberá pagar un elevado precio: empezar de cero con una nueva identidad. Diez años después, el joven Kylar Stern se pasea por Cenaria. Entre sus mejores amigos se cuenta Logan Gyre, heredero de una gran familia de la nobleza y uno de los pocos que podría disputar el trono al loco rey de la metrópoli.

Son tiempos turbulentos. Las familias nobles están enfrentadas. En el Sa’kagé, la gran organización del hampa que mueve los hilos de los ricos y los pobres en la ciudad, se ha abierto una lucha por el poder. Y una amenaza del exterior empieza a planear sobre Cenaria.

Un primer libro cuya lectura ha sido exitosa de una saga que llevaba en mi saca mucho tiempo y siempre ha oido hablar de Brent Weeks.

A través de una historia que engacha y con unos personajes en los que encuentras de todo, Weeks nos presenta una historia de asesinos y sombras, su toque de magia y un mundo cruel y frío.

La temática asesinos es algo que me encanta teniendo pendientes la famosa Robin Hobb y su saga, la que he intentado leer dos veces pero no era el momento.

Su narrativa es uno de los aspectos que suele comentarse. Muy buena, pero es un libro muy lento, ya le llegará su momento.

Durzo Blint ha sido mi personaje favorito. No puedo decir más, ya que podría echar a perder parte del desarrollo de su personalidad.

Una narrativa sencilla, ágil y descriptiva sin ser cansina nos lleva por una trama nada compleja o rebuscada, pero que enganchará y captará nuestro interes.

Con nuestro personaje principal, Azoth, se nos presentan el gremio de ratas. Que es digamos una red de ladrones, maltratadores y asesinos, todos ellos niños. Todos ellos maltratados..

En el gremio, sólo sobreviven los más fuertes, los más inteligentes y los más aptos. Cuando Azoth aspira a elevarse por encima del barro y la miseria pasará de tener miedo a ser temido. De presa a depredador. De rata a asesino en las sombras.

Los cimientos para el angel de la noche están listos. Una primera parte más que apta y muy atrapante. Con ganas de seguir..✍️
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
February 27, 2022
The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1), Brent Weeks

The Way of Shadows is the debut novel of American fantasy writer Brent Weeks. 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.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «مسیر سایه ها»؛ «سه گانه فرشته تاریکی جلد یک طریقت سایه ها»؛ نویسنده: برنت ویکس (ویکز)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و پنجم ماه فوریه سال2022میلادی

عنوان: سه گانه فرشته تاریکی جلد یک طریقت سایه ها؛ نویسنده: برنت ویکس؛ مترجم: حامد عسگرپناه؛ تهران، بهنام؛ سال1399؛ سال1400؛ شابک9786226651707؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده21م

عنوان: نگهبان شب یک: مسیر سایه‌ها؛ نویسنده برنت ویکز؛ ‏‫مترجم علی خسروی؛ دبیر مجموعه پارسا ذی‌قیمت؛ تهران، انتشارات خوب، نشر پرتقال، سال1397؛ در450ص؛ شابک9786226513463؛

قاتلی تمام عیار، هیچ دوستی ندارد، او تنها قربانیها را میبیند؛ برای «دورزو بلینت» کشتن یک هنر است؛ و او ماهرترین هنرمند شهر است، نبوغش از کوچه ها تا خلوتگاههای دربار به کارش میآید؛ اما برای «آزوت»، زندگی و بقا، امری مشروط است؛ چیزی که هرگزی به آن دل نبست، و از آن فراغ بال نداشت؛ به عنوان یک بچه لاشخور، در خرابه های شهر بزرگ شده، و دشوارترین راه را برای جلب نظر مردمان، و همچنین برای خطر کردن یاد گرفته است؛ خطرکردن او همانند کارآموز «دورزو بلینت» شدن است؛ اما برای اینکه «دورزو بلینت» او را بپذیرد، «آزوت» باید به زندگی پیشین خویش پشت کند، و هویت و نام تازه ای برای خود برگزیند؛ و در نقش «کایلار استرن»، باید یاد بگیرد، که جهان آدمکشها، همانند سیاست بازیهای خطرناک، و جادوهای عجیب و غریب است؛ او باید درنده خوییها را پشتیبان باشد، این همان نبوغ مرگ آفرینی او میتواند باشد

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 07/12/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Alexa.
481 reviews121 followers
October 30, 2015
Since this book is full of tropes and stereotypes I'm going to do this review Disney style!

Our main character Azoth is a street urchin. Don't you love street urchins? Of course you do! You have been conditioned by Disney to do so. (Remember Lady and the Tramp? Aristocats? Aladdin?!)

Azoth meets Durzo, a master assassin, sorry, master Wetboy. And here comes my first problem with this book. I HATE the word 'wetboy'. I always thought it was silly how some people hate the word 'moist'… until I read the word 'wetboy'. Every time Durzo says they're better than assassins I just shake my head sadly.

From there the book follows a typical master-apprentice pattern.

Including the required growing up montage à la Lion King.

Azoth (now called Kylar) is a full assassin (I refuse to call him a wetboy) and the book has all the required fantasy characters, including the love interest and main reason I hated this book: Elene.

Elene was a friend of Kylar from his street urchin days, she was attacked and disfigured, and Kylar blames himself. But never mind the scars, because she's lovely, not just lovely but beautiful! Gorgeous!!! Her whole characterization is a string of synonyms of the word beauty (I'm surprised he didn't call her Belle) Oh, and she's a saint, there's no better girl in the whole world *rolls eyes*

Since we're doing this Disney style, Elene is going to be the prince from Snow White.

Do you remember anything about him?

Of course not. He’s a freaking placeholder. Just like Elene. And Kylar is totally obsessed with her. I refuse to call that love. :/

Then we have some battles and some pretty good twists, sadly I read this with Markus, who was always coming up with possible plots and ideas that sometimes ended up being more interesting than what actually happened in the book!

Do I recommend this? Maybe if you like Assassins and convoluted plots?

Will I read the next one? Nope. I’ll write my reasons on a review for that later.
Profile Image for Carolann.
36 reviews
December 10, 2012
So this book was a pleasant surprise! I left for New York and had only packed one book, thinking I wouldn't be able to read the entire book on my trip...oops. So I had to run to the bookstore to pick out another book to read. The bookstore closed in five minuets and I quickly grabbed the book because of it's interesting looking cover. Read the back, didn't sound too interesting, but noticed a quote from Terry Brooks which made me consider it. I picked it up and put it back down a couple of times, until the store said they were closed and I needed to hurry. I grabbed the book and thought what the heck, I'll give it a go. Read the first part, it was pretty good but not amazing. All of the sudden, out of nowhere, the book is insanely good and I am freaking out in the plane wanting to talk to someone about what's happening. I highly recommend this book and am happy I have found a new addicting series.

First read 1/21/09
Second read 12/4/12
Profile Image for Dana Ilie.
404 reviews347 followers
March 12, 2018
Brent Weeks has done a great job of tying it all together. While Azoth is the main character, several other plot strands with different characters are introduced and expertly tied together further down the line.

This was one of those books that once I started I couldn’t put down – well written and with a strong story to boot, I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the trilogy.
Profile Image for Feyre.
102 reviews242 followers
May 21, 2018
“Assassination is an art, milord. And I am the city's most accomplished artist.”
― Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows


The story starts out with a bang, and the author has built just enough mystery around the main characters and their motives to keep me turning the pages. The book is busy, it's fast moving, but I found it sometimes to be more complex than it needs be. I just hope it gets better in the following books.
Profile Image for Kristen.
167 reviews77 followers
October 30, 2018

5/5 stars

“Killing was no longer an activity, it was a state of being. Kylar became killing.”

The Skinny:

This story follows Azoth as he becomes the wetboy, Kylar Stern. Under the tutelage of Durzo Blint, Kylar slowly transforms into one of the most formidable wetboys in the city. Kylar’s is put to the test, both physically and mentally, when a force larger than he could have anticipated threatens his city.

My Review:

As far as Fantasy goes, this is not the best out there. The politics were so-so, and the writing, at times, was basic, almost YA feeling (but the violence was most definitely NOT YA). When I think of a good political fantasy that also has that court intrigue/conspiracy, I think of The Goblin Emperor. This was no Goblin Emperor. Yet…

I don’t fucking care - I loved the entire goddam book!

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I’m not lying when I tell you that I was on the edge of my seat for the majority of this read. The villains were so…VILLAINOUS! Rat, a foe from Kylar’s earlier years, was the most hideous of characters. He reminded me of Ramsay Bolton from GOT (the show). He is really just a sick, sick character with no moral compass. Similarly, Roth, another weasel, was also on my “to-die” list. Roth is basically a bastard in nice clothing.

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On the flip side, there were several refreshingly kind characters, namely: Logan, Drake, and Doll Girl. There were also many characters (Momma K) that seemed to walk the thinnest of lines between good and evil. At times, these characters had me both loving and hating them. I was such a see-saw of emotions.

I loved reading about the internal struggle that Kylar goes through as he transitions from Azoth to Kylar. He is a good person at heart, yet wants what most people want: to be strong and unafraid. Because of his innate goodness, Kylar is constantly facing an internal battle.

The most complex character was probably Durzo himself. He was such a vivid tangle of feelings and emotions. It was obvious that Durzo wanted to not care about life, nor himself, but that it was impossible for him. Despite trying to distance himself, Durzo was connected to several people by such a delicate strand of love. No matter how hard he tried, it was impossible for Durzo to sever the thread.

This book had my heart-a-poundin for virtually the entire second half of the book. Nothing was ever as it seemed. The numerous ‘reveals’ and plot-twists were devastating and most were surprising. There were a couple that I had guessed from pretty early on, but the majority knocked me on my ass. I was also blown away by some of the fight scenes. Not only were they pretty brutal, but they also 100% kicked ass.

**I had this pretty little list all prepared of all the reasons why I enjoyed reading this book. As you can tell from this review, the pretty little list went out the window. Instead, you get a muddled review, half fan-girl, have nonsense…you’re welcome?


I need the next book. NOW.

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Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,461 reviews9,617 followers
August 22, 2015

Durzo gazed into the frothy brown ale as if it held answers. It didn't, and he had a choice to make. The usual forced gaiety of the brothel swirled around him, but nobody male or female bothered him. Perhaps it was Retribution unsheathed on the table in front of him. Perhaps it was merely the look on his face.

I enjoyed the book and liked some of the characters. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. Azoth/Kyler was a nothing, a low-life that was in a bad situation along with many other kids. But Azoth didn't want that life any more. He wanted to be an assassin like Durzo Blint. And Durzo didn't take apprentices, but this time he did, he changed Azoth into Kyler Stern. He tried to make him a strong killing machine with no heart. He showed him how to poison, how to fight, how to use magic... but.. Kyler still had a heart.

Kyler did the one thing Durzo told him never to do. Do. Not. Fall. In. Love. It will get you killed. Durzo pretty much knew what he was talking about in this book. But alas, Kyler can not help falling in love with the sweet Elene, who happened to be someone from his past.

It turns out that Durzo happened to love after all, and most things he told Kyler always came to pass, if he told the truth that is.

"I'll miss you. You're the closest to family I'll ever have. I'm sorry I brought you into this life. Momma K and I did everything we could to make you a wetboy. I suppose it's to your credit that we failed. You mean more to me than I ever thought another person could."

Kyler blinked back tears. There was no way he could kill the man who'd written this. Durzo Blint was more than his master; he was his father.

Durzo and Momma K (who runs a brothel) took Kyler out of a bad situation and tried to teach him book learning and how to kill. Seems kinda funny when it's read in that context, but that's how it is. Momma K tried to help a lot of kids as much as she could. I don't like the fact they called assassins wetboys, it sounds just weird to me, but I digress.

I was really shocked at some of the things at the end. You just never know what you will find out and why people hold things back until they die.


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Profile Image for Michael.
Author 110 books92.6k followers
March 28, 2015
I actually read this book long but never added it to my shelf or wrote a review, I'll have to rectify that in the near future.
Profile Image for Kitty G Books.
1,551 reviews2,937 followers
January 16, 2015
You know what, I have NO IDEA why I waited so long to read a Brent Weeks book. i have been told by various people that he's like marmite and you either love or hate his writing and for me that was a little intimidating I suppose and I wasn't sure which way it was going to go. However, after James convinced me to start with the first book in this series I am thoroughly happy and elated that I did follow his advice, and I can say with certainty that Weeks is a new favourite author for me.

This book is action, fantasy, adventure, and a coming-of-age story. It's also political, it's dark, it's savage, it's mysterious, and it's grim. I really, really enjoyed this, and I have to say that the last 3rd of this book was impeccable. So many twists and turns, so many crazy things that there was no way I could anticipate, yet it all still made sense and it was all exciting.

This is the story of Azoth, a young boy who grows up in the Warrens (the poor district) as part of a gang which is run by a horrible creature named Rat. Rat beats his followers, he's nasty, cruel and perverted. He's a dark and grim character, and truly I despised him (which is good and really shows Week\s skill at character creation). Azoth doesn't like his life, in fact he hates it so much and fears for his own safety and his friend's safety that he wants to apprentice himself to Durzo Blint, the city's most deadly assassin.

The story is a crazy whirlwind of action and excitement straight from the start, and I found it really interesting to dive in and enjoy it. The story is fast-moving and I could tell early on that this book was going to be at least a 4* book for me, because I was just so engaged, however as the book and story went on and everything was dramatically ramped up in intensity I slowly noticed myself getting more and more drawn in and loving the book more and more. By the final third of this book I couldn't put it down and I read this in basically 2 long sittings and one shorter. If I'd had more time I think I'd have just read it straight through!

So, this is a classic fantasy world in some ways, for example we have magic, mages, assassin's, councils, Kings, plots and more, but equally there were some interesting twists to these things which make it original and unique. This is a Grimdark book if ever I saw one, and was a lot more brutal in places than I had anticipated it being, but it was all the more shocking and engaging because of that.

I liked the characters in this probably as much as the ever-changing plot. The character of Kyler and Durzo were by far my favourites because they each go through some personal battles with morals and integrity. I thought Kyler grew a lot over the course of this book and he was ace by the end of it. He really develops as he faces many trials and problems, he trains hard, fights harder, and he's an all-round bad-ass (well, when he's thinking hard enough to outwit those he faces).
On the other hand Durzo is a bad-ass from the start and he's a crazily good assassin. He's a very mysterious and questionable character and you never truly know where you stand with him because as his secrets are slowly revealed there is both honour and shame to his actions. He's a good master and a great teacher, yet he's also brutal, mean and nasty when he needs to be. Seeing his battle with the external forces which influenced him was really great and I was always engaged with seeing what his character would throw out next.
Momma K and Elene were also both very cool characters in their own way. I liked the aloof aura that Momma K has around her and her status. She's a very skilled and wise woman who's worked her way to the top of the Courtesans, and I think her wisdom and ideas really helped our main characters to blossom and develop.
Elene was a very interesting character because of her roots and her backstory. She has grown up in a world where she knows little about how she got to where she is, and her fantastical way of viewing things was both heartening and dashing as the story tested what she believed. I think there were some moments with her character which shows resilience and love, and I think she's a character I would like to see more of.
Logan was another character whom I came to love over the course of this book and truly he is a gentleman. He's a son of a Duke and he's abandoned early on by his father due to political makeovers. He has to grow into a role before expected to, and he has to become a leader to his house and his friends. He's a kind character, loving character and very enjoyable to read about. his interest in doing what's right and fighting for justice made him a great part of the plot, and he certainly because much stronger as the story went on.

In this book we have a few storylines we follow. The main one is that of the main character but there's another storyline which involves the other race in this world, the Khalidoran. There are various political plots going on involving this other race and people who are connected with them, and whilst I found that story to be intriguing, we see far less of that and it seems more to be a set up for more revelations following those characters in the next two books.

Overall, in case you can't already tell, I really enjoyed this book, a lot more than I had initially anticipated, and I would 100% recommend it. I will be picking up the next two books in this series as soon as I can and reading them, and I look forward to it :) Highly recommended (I'm not sure why people don't like Weeks, but I say that I really do!)
Profile Image for Nate.
109 reviews18 followers
August 31, 2011
A somewhat awful page-turner:

A page-turner I'm embarrassed to have finished. The plot in this exciting thriller rolls along, almost too swiftly, but ultimately left me unfulfilled. The author never fleshes out his world or the characters inhabiting it. They often lack motivation for their actions and are little more than mere vehicles for the plot, whose elements fit *too well* together. The central love story is so trite its laugh-out-loud funny, and while I realize Mr. Weeks met his wife at a very young age, we'd need a little more explanation for our hero's affection for a girl than that they knew each other when they were young. This element ruined the ending for me, and Weeks showed absolutely no capability of handling complex emotions. The book reads like a role-playing game with very maudlin moments thrown in to give it a depth which is beyond this author's reach.

This is one of those books where everything falls into place nicely, the characters find out what they need to find out at exactly the precise time for the plot to progress, and every single character introduced ends up being central to the plot if not biologically related to the other characters.

I will say there were a few wonderful scenes, especially in the first half, but Weeks needs to learn to linger, slow down, and build these scenes up for a greater payoff. We're barely ever asked to consider something momentous before rushed along to the next bright, shiny plot-object.

Very similar to Mistborn in its strengths and weaknesses, but much worse. The hype surrounding this debut obscures what a petty project it is, and while there are some great authors out there, I hope this sort of trilogy isn't indicative of the direction in which the fantasy genre is moving.

Read only if you want a *very* light, fun fantasy that clunks along at times but keeps you turning pages and rolling your eyes.
Profile Image for Nimrod Daniel.
143 reviews258 followers
November 16, 2017
The way of Shadows had been waiting for me to read for a very long time, and I’m glad I finally got around it. It’s a gritty coming of age story that has a great cast of characters and an intricate plot. While it has a few minor flaws it’s a fantastic debut by Brent Weeks.

The characters are really well-drawn and most of them are very compelling. I liked the two main characters Durzo and Kyler, who are actually anti-heroes. Momma K, Solom, Dorian are really great charcters as well and I liked them too. I also cared for a few supporting characters like Logan and Ellene and found both of them pretty good as supporting characters.

The world and the magic system are very intriguing. The mechanism and limitations of the magic system feels somewhat vague, but I have no problem with that. The plot focuses on a small region so there's a lot to explore in the following books and learn more about other places and their history.

The intricate plot is really great and very captivating with a few interesting twists that will keep you on the edge. Having said that, I had some reservations regarding the way a few things were pulled-off, mainly for the way they were written, not the ideas themselves, but it’s forgivable considering it was Brent’s debut. Even though I really liked the book I didn’t feel like “I must read more now”, but that's ok.

All in all, it’s a very good fantasy novel.

4.25-4.5/5 (the ending pulls it more towards 4.5)
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,219 reviews2,052 followers
November 2, 2017
I mostly enjoyed Brent Weeks' Lightbringer series so I thought I would be on a winner with Night Angel. Not so however. I persevered through some 600 pages of this, the first book, but never actually became enthused about it.

I should have enjoyed it and I can see from reviews that a lot of people did. Somehow it missed the point for me. I struggled with the author's endless efforts to absolve his two main characters from the guilt of killing people. They are assassins - what else are they supposed to do? Killing people can never be right so just accept it and let them be bad guys. (think Sand dan Glokta in the Abercrombie books). And while they are being bad find a better name for them than Wetboys. That really got me down!

Sadly this is a series I will not be following up:(
Profile Image for Kevin Xu.
273 reviews96 followers
January 16, 2015
This book is really slow in the beginning until about 200 pages into the book. Then the speed of the book really picked up with full of action that included killing in painful ways. This book would do really well if it is made into a movie or especially if it is made into a video game. Overall, this is what an assassin should be.
Profile Image for Jeff.
115 reviews499 followers
October 27, 2015
GET OUTTA HERE BRENT WEEKS. Let me tell you folks this is a winner. AHH oh man. There are so many twists and so many incredible intertwining plot lines. I LOVED the character Azoth and his passion and unwavering ideals. I was shaking reading this , especially the last 3/4. I honestly cannot say enough about it. Maybe it's because it's been awhile since I've read fantasy like this, maybe it's just because this book is unreal. I had heard Weeks was good but get OUT man. Wow. Well done. Seriously if you like fantasy of any sort. Check this one out. You will not be disappointed.
Profile Image for Nicole.
201 reviews1 follower
April 23, 2023
4/5 I really enjoyed this again with my reread. Its been years since I last read this so everything was feeling pretty new again.

Check out my video for my review!

(The back description of the book)
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.

Azoth was a child in a gang whose only goal was to survive. He grew up in the slums with a hard and violent life. He’s only friends were Elene and Jarl, who both had terrible experiences. (Maybe some triggers for some people in the beginning, it does get dark). Azoth is tired of always being scared and when he runs across Durzo, a wetboy (who is someone who is an assassin but can use their talent), Azoth is determined to do anything to get Durzo to train him.

This book is about Azoth training under Durzo, reshaping his identity—he is now Kylar, and becoming the Night Angel. Kylar is a pretty B.A. character who really takes to being an assassin. There is a problem with Kylar and the Talent, but I do not want to get into too many details.

The talent distinguishes and assassin from a wetboy because the talent is essentially a magic that enhances the wetboy’s ability. Along with the talent there is also the Ka’Kari which there are only 6 and if someone is bonded to one they become almost invincible (and immortal). There are other magics in this world as well, as in there are mages and witches.

The world has a lot of political movement as well. There are multiple political factions in this story and all are trying to maneuver against each other. The politics can get a little confusing in this story. I find myself not always following what is going on.

I did really enjoy this story, I enjoyed reading about Azoth becoming Kylar and learning how to essentially be awesome and B.A. but I do have some complaints. It does seem as though you read a lot about how Kylar is a great assassin, but in the beginning there is a lot of telling and not much showing. I will say the last 30% of the book is just straight action, so it makes it up for it a little bit. Another positive is that the characters are enjoyable. I love Kylar, Durzo, Momma K, Logan and the Count. I cannot stand Elene (but I���ve never liked her).

My other complaint is the writing. At times the writing can feel like there is something missing, there is a lack of depth at times. Dialogue may sometimes feel forced or awkward since it is being used to get to a specific point. It can just feel like lazy writing, but the story is great, which can help you ignore some of that.

Overall, I still really do enjoy this story and I love Kylar and all his growth. I am excited to continue, but I am even more excited for book 4 coming out soon!
Profile Image for David Sven.
288 reviews445 followers
January 28, 2013
In the city of Cenaria, the Sa’kage rule the streets. A shadowy and incestuous underworld that exerts and enforces its influence through fear using assassination and intimidation. The most feared of the Sa’kage assassins are the Wetboys. What’s the difference between an Assassin and a Wetboy? Durzo Blink explains
”Assassins have targets. Wetboys have deaders. Why do we call them deaders? Because when we take a contract, the rest of their short lives is a formality.”

Through the eyes of our main character Azoth, we are introduced to the bottom rung of the Sa’kage – the guild rats. A network of the abused and abusers, rapers and murderers, all of them children. In the guild, only the strongest, smartest and fittest survive. When Azoth witnesses a Wetboy at work he aspires to rise above the mire of the Warrens. To go from being afraid to being feared. To go from prey to being the predator.

But though the Wetboys and assassins ultimately work for the same bosses they still prey on each other. And that’s exactly how the Sa’kage like it. But even the Sa’kage aren’t immune from the Night Angel.

Three faces has the Night Angel: Vengeance, Justice, Mercy. And Azoth must learn then all. He must wear all three faces of the Night Angel to be the perfect instrument of Retribution.


I read Weeks Lightbringer series first and was very impressed by the well defined magic system and world building as well as the story telling in both those books.

My Review The Black Prism http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
My review The Blinding Knife http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Having now read his first book I can definitely say Weeks has added a lot of polish to his writing since. The world building in this book is pretty much contained to the one city and the magic does not have much of a system. Having said that, the magic is still pretty cool, and in this one city Weeks develops an intricate, complex web of politics and intrigue and a plot that twists and weaves at break neck speed. And the action scenes in this book are pretty cool. Weeks, even in this first book knows how to write badass. This book reminds me a lot of ninja/assassin martial arts movies.

I have to admit that a lot of the motivations of the characters seems very messy to me at the beginning. But as we go those motivations are explored more and the complexity of the world builds quickly to the point where I had to change gears and spin the wheels of my mind just to catch up to the fact that there was a lot more going on than I initially thought.

But even at half way I was expecting this to be a 4 star book at most. But things just ramped up in the later parts of the story with some heart pumping moments that just lifted the book in my estimation. I really enjoyed it in spite of its very raw feel in the beginning and at the end of the day I rate my enjoyment of a book above it's flaws.

5 stars
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