A cold knocked me down big time last week, but I'm back now, and boy have I got a great review for you!
Seriously, have you read The Way of Shadows yet? It is AMAZING!
It tells the story of Azoth, a young street rat who sees his chance to get out by apprenticing himself to reknowned assassin (aka wetboy) Durzo Blint. Through his training, Azoth becomes Kylar Stern, a low-ranking aristocrat with new friends in high places...and the skills to kill. One problem - wetboy's don't have friends.
Why I loved it:
It's gritty, it's action-packed (be prepared to read the last 200 pages in one sitting!) and it has twists that even I couldn't see coming. Not many books can keep me guessing, but this one did. You know those moments when you're reading a chapter and you realize you're physically sitting up straighter because the story has just punched you in the gut? Well, you get a lot of those in this book.
I am a character girl, no question, and The Way of Shadows has one of the most fascinating characters mixes I've ever read. I fell in love with Azoth from the very first sentence. These are real, flawed, hurting, wonderful people. There is a depth here that stole my breath several times. From Kylar and Durzo, all the way down to the secondary characters. There are only a handful of authors who can make me forever remember a secondary character who gets only one scene. Brent Weeks does it! He also comes up with one of the most awesomely horrible bad guys ever. I loved hating this guy!
One of the things I admired most as an aspiring author was the way Weeks writes from the periphery. Even at their best, Kylar and Durzo are, for the most part, in the shadows of the kingdom. They're not in a position to make big bold moves. We never really see things from the POV of those in power, but we know them and love or hate them based on Kylar and Durzo's reactions. Weeks also writes so that the reader eventually pieces together all the details...but the characters never do. It created such a cool dynamic! It's my new goal to figure out how he did it.
This was by far the best book I've read this year, and it's near the top of my all time list, too. I bought the next two books in the Night Angel trilogy the second I finished the first one. I cannot say enough good things about it.
Brent Weeks is a master, and this is one of those rides that leaves you breathless and thinking "Holy crap, I wish I could write like that!"