A review by Steve.
In The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks, Azoth is a guild rat who wants nothing more than to escape that life. He is routinely beaten, threatened, and assaulted for no other reason than he is a poor kid from the wrong side of town. Then along comes Durzo Blint, professional wetboy. If someone needs to be dead, he is the man to go to. He begrudgingly takes Azoth under his wing and trains him. He routinely tells Azoth “Assassins have targets, wetboys have deaders. A target can be missed, but if a wetboy takes the contract, that person is dead. They just don’t know it yet.” Durzo and his associate, Count Drake, change Azoth’s name to Kylar Stern, and pass him off as the spawn of a noble family that lives outside the country to avoid suspicion.
Kylar spends his days learning how to be a noble and how to kill someone in every way imaginable. His only holdup is that he cannot access his Talent, the magical part of one’s body that some people can tap and most wetboys have in spades. As war erupts and alliances start shifting, both Durzo and Kylar must make choices that will affect countless people, but also test the bond of friendship they have developed the last 10 years.
This book, along with next two books in the series, kept me on the edge of my chair. I had a hard time putting it down for the simple fact that it is a smooth read. There are no big lists of characters as there are in other books of this genre (i.e. Game of Thrones), and it makes the plot carry along smoothly with access to much larger details without bogging down in the who’s who. Brent Weeks is great at describing action, drama and even landscapes without overdoing it, all while painting a fantastic picture of what is happening to the characters. I would give anything he writes a try in the future and definitely recommend this book. You won’t be disappointed.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
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