The Way of Shadows (The Night Angel Trilogy) - Brent Weeks. (2008) (Fantasy, Male, New Author, Series)
Blurb from author's website:
The perfect killer has no friends. Only targets.
For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city’s most accomplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir.
For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned the hard way 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.Back to reading fantasy, and the gritty stuff is like having a beer with an old friend. Despite the size of the book, I burned through it in pretty short time.
Probably by coincidence, my last few reads have all contained rape. I'm beginning to feel a little inundated with what defines "dark fantasy" - while I'm sure that sexual abuses are part and parcel of the more realistic depiction of a medieval setting - I'm not sure it's working as well as it could. But that's a small concern here, overall. Most of what's floating in my head is more tragic storytelling, and so it only makes sense that's what I'm reading and encountering.
Overall, this is an excellent tale. Weeks keeps the action going, taking his characters through hell and then beating them up some more. I particularly liked that the protagonist starts as weak and fearful, and by the end, he's come into his own confidence and power. There was a nice mix of world building, of balanced magic, of strong personalities and character development.
I definitely see myself continuing on with the series, though I find myself, at the moment, craving something lighter.
Any of you read this yet? What did you think?