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The Way of Shadows (Night Angel Trilogy #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 481 )
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5 Star

(342)

4 Star

(93)

3 Star

(33)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

22 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

Dark, Dynamic, and Brilliant!

"Way of Shadows" has to be one of the most well written fantasy books I have ever read. It transports you into a 'shadowed' world with some extremely dynamic and interesting characters. Although a good portion of this book was difficult for me to stomach, I feel that We...
"Way of Shadows" has to be one of the most well written fantasy books I have ever read. It transports you into a 'shadowed' world with some extremely dynamic and interesting characters. Although a good portion of this book was difficult for me to stomach, I feel that Weeks was trying to emphasize that you can't fully appreciate the light unless you have experienced darkeness. I was extremely impressed by this novel, and I can't wait to read what Weeks comes out with next.

I think fans of Salvatore's Artemis Entreri will enjoy the characters, and fans of Stephen King will enjoy the writing style.

posted by BluHawk on March 10, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

26 out of 82 people found this review helpful.

Literary junk food

I chose this book on the suggestions of other readers after having read Scott Lynch's Lies of Locke Lamora which, by the way, is a fantastic read. Of the hundreds of science fiction and fantasy novels I have read, I have only put down a handful of them before finishing....
I chose this book on the suggestions of other readers after having read Scott Lynch's Lies of Locke Lamora which, by the way, is a fantastic read. Of the hundreds of science fiction and fantasy novels I have read, I have only put down a handful of them before finishing. This was one of them.
I consider this book literary junk food. Like actual junk food, it is cheap, synthetic and lacking any of the healthy qualities that comprise any good work of fiction. Here are my specific complaints:
1. Characters - The characters were not only cliché, but poorly developed. Typically characters are shaped and molded throughout the story by how they react to events. The author seems to have foregone this careful construction and has instead allowed undeveloped characters to play pivotal roles in the story which left me not only divested of interest but confused as to why said characters were even involved.
2. Plot - Every now and then I find myself asking "Did I miss a page" while reading a novel. I found myself asking that question frequently in this book and even checked the cover to make sure that this was in fact the first book of the series. Perhaps the author was waiting until the very end, I only read about 3/4 of the book, to have a huge reveal on the use of magic, the dynamics of government and its relationship to foreign nations, etc but by the time I was 3/4 of the way through the book I felt that I knew less about what was going on than when I started. Several times the author skipped ahead by 3 or 4 years and attempted to state the changes in each character during that time period instead of developing them. Sure, you can do that, but don't expect me to care about what happens to a character that you claim I should like without showing me why.
3. Content - A wise man once said that swearing was an attempt of a small mind to express itself forcibly. I would extend that observation to the use not only of expletives but of sex and violence as well. There is enough of all three of these to shock anyone but they add nothing to the plot and provide only superficial shock value that fades quickly leaving the reader feeling cheated and abused. Perhaps the author is taking a page from Hollywood's playbook where they add enough sex and violence to make even a poorly acted and poorly conceived plot lucrative. Don't misunderstand, I am not opposed to these elements as a matter of moral directive as they can, in the right author's hands, prove extremely useful in punctuating a point or developing a character; I only object when they are so obviously laced throughout a story for nothing more than cheap shock value.
In short, you would be better served by spending your money on a Big Mac or two.

posted by spagivin on July 16, 2009

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sigh...

    At first, I was really enjoying The Way of Shadows. It offered a world that was simultaneously alien and familiar, dark and foreboding atmosphere and characters that showed the potential to become very interesting. The action was thrilling and engrossing, I will at least maintain that assertion. Sadly, those characters that seemed so promising to begin with (i.e. Durzo and Azoth) don't really change at all. Durzo may be the best "wetboy" (humorous term for really good assassin) in the land, but he is also an immature little whiner. You'd think that after roughly a decade in the story he would have matured a little or at least changed in one tiny little bit...nope. This problem indicates one of Weeks weaknesses (no pun intended); the inability to make the passage of time seem tangible in the story. Ten years passes and the only thing that has changed is Azoth...ugh, Azoth. Azoth is essentially the "prophetic" hero to-be of the story. That's great, except he's so annoying that I found myself not caring if the whole world did end, just so long as he would get over his incessant whining and crying. Ya' know that part in Spiderman 3 that everyone hates (hmm that may not be specific enough; that was an awful movie), when Peter Parker goes around feeling sorry for himself? Well imagine a character whose entire personality was based around a similar kind of self indulgent pity partying. Obviously, I can't recommend this book, at least there weren't any typos.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2010

    Disappointing.

    A disappointing purchase. Sloppily written. Problems with grammar, word choice, narrative flow, and character growth. The names used here are cliched and/or cartoonish. Kylar Stern? Gwynvier? Cenaria? Khalimdor? Really? I rolled my eyes when the sword 'Retribution' appeared for the first team, wreathed in blue flames. Ack. Someone else called this 'junk food' and I think I have to agree. I really wanted to like this, and I thought I would considering all the positive reviews on here. I understand there's a demand for fantasy assassins but this was a huge letdown. I was prepared to buy the entire series. As it stands, I won't buy any after this one.

    I'm a voracious fantasy reader nowadays, and after just finishing the awesome, intelligently-written 'The Name of the Wind', Brent Weeks had a tough act to follow with 'The Way of the Shadows', and it just didn't measure up. Action alone does not a great novel make. I've read worse, but I've also read much better.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    A cat

    My name is Sparrow..

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 31, 2012

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    Posted January 19, 2012

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    Posted November 19, 2010

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    Posted August 12, 2010

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    Posted January 22, 2013

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