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The Way of Shadows (The Night Angel Trilogy) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Oct 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 677 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (1 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316033677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316033671
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 3.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,804,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"What a terrific story! I was mesmerized from start to finish. Unforgettable characters, a plot that kept me guessing, non-stop action and the kind of in-depth storytelling that makes me admire a writer's work." --- Terry Brooks
"Kylar is a wonderful character - sympathetic and despicable, cowardly and courageous, honorable and unscrupulous...a breathtaking debut!" --- Dave Duncan

Book Description

The first instalment in an astonishing and epic tale of magic, violence and revenge. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After releasing both books of Karen Miller's Kingmaker, Kingbreaker duology within the space of a few months (and, it must be said, achieving considerable success with such a method), Orbit decided to do the same with Brent Weeks' The Night Angel Trilogy: all three books were released within a month of each other.

This is a particularly clever marketing ploy, as it means that fans don't have to wait long for each instalment, while the author's reputation and presence is built all the more quickly (or destroyed, depending on the books!).

Quite a bit of buzz has been steadily growing online around The Way of Shadows, so it moved rapidly up my reading list. I must confess I had my doubts about this debut, one being that it might veer too far towards bubblegum fantasy territory. Having finished the novel, I've found that some of my concerns were justified while others were not.

In short, The Way of Shadows is something of a mixed bag.

The weakest aspect for me was the worldbuilding, or to be blunt, total lack of it. What we have is a standard medieval-esque world of kings, princes, assassins and soldiers. There's even a magic sword and a prophecy. In short, there is absolutely no innovation whatsoever. For some readers this is not a problem; the issue of worldbuilding vs characterisation is an old one, and many fans of the genre are quite happy as long as the story and characters are good. That's fair enough, but personally I like fantasies where the author attempts to push the boundaries a bit, do something a little different. Failing that, the world needs to at least come through well in the writing; I need to be able to become absorbed in it. Weeks' world fails on both accounts for me - it's neither particularly interesting and it just never reeled me in.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the 3 books of Night Angel Triology altogether, and I just finished reading "The Way of Shadows" a couple of hours ago.

Characters: Very strong and well built ones, others not so really (because they didn't need too), and a couple of them that could have been more developed. The main character is really good, as well as some of the more important ones (be them friend of foe).

The world/enviroment: The world is simple and with no big crazy innovations in the style, but it suited the story well. As for the enviroment and scene description, I really loved some parts. The beginning of the book made me dive head first in the story, and kept me turning pages.

The plot: Really good! My only negative comment on this is the last third or quarter of the book, where I got a bit lost in events (probably helped the fact that I read this part very late in the night, and my attention might not be the same, but damn! I wanted to know was happened next!!!)

Overall: Great book! I'll give it a 4/5 because I'm not one of giving 5/5 easily, I keep that note for the astonishing ones. This ones is great as I said, kept me turning pages, even when work was just some hours away and I should sleep. I recommend it with my eyes closed and without any doubt! Looking forward for the next one, who is already out of the shelf and ready to start my page turning addiction...tonight :)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are looking for spell books/dragons/shiny armour/creative backdrop type fantasy then move along now. This is gritty, brutal and is mainly focused around practical deaths (it is about assassins), straightforward scenery (think mediaeval) and political intrigue. It starts with a young youth, but it is not really focused on "coming of age" type plot lines, more on what you may choose to do to survive and what happens when you make mistakes. But as the story and series progresses, more threads are added and a complex web of politics, plotting, magic and love entangle everyone. Not shy of killing key characters, page turning can be a genuine "hold your breath" moment.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really struggled with this book to begin with. The writing felt YA in style but the content was very mature and dark in places, and the two didn't sit easily together. There were also areas of poor editing, especially the use of repetitive words or phrases close together, something I wouldn't have expected from a novel published by one of the major publishers. The characterisation also felt a little erratic, as if the author hadn't quite settled on exactly who each character was.
But
After a couple of hundred pages things began to gel. The story came together, I finally cared about what happened to Azoth / Kylar, and the political intrigue sucked me in.
The book isn't without faults, the author tends to introduce things late into the story which have never been mentioned before as a means of escaping particular situations, and there's a particularly leery description of a 15-year-old girl that did't sit well with me, but the story hooked me and I raced to finish the book in just a few days.
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Format: Paperback
It was an entertaining read, almost a page turner.
However, I could not escape a feeling that although, all the right ingredients were present, such as mages, swords, bows, kings, etc., it didn't feel like a fantasy, more like an adventure story.
Too much of freely disposed magic. When you have so much of it, the magic looses its "magic" element. A very confusing history of the world. If not confusing then very little of it, so it is difficult to understand some things that happen because we don't understand the background of characters or history of places.
When Joe Abercrombie's the First Law trilogy was published, people were raving about how gritty and bloody it was. I agree, but The Way of Shadows is a lot worse or should I say "better"? A significant amount of flying intestines and spilled blood. There are a few heart wrenching moments intermeshed with love.
Not bad, all in all. A good read but as a fantasy it lacks some depth. Hopefully, it will improve in the next two books. I am willing to give the trilogy a chance.

On to the book two of the Night Angel trilogy, Shadow's Edge
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