July 20, 2011

Review: Shadow's Edge, by Brent Weeks

Author: Brent Weeks
Title: Shadow’s Edge
Series: The Night Angel
ISBN: 9780316033657
Publisher. Orbit (2008)

Go to Amazon page

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Kylar Stern has rejected the assassin's life. The Godking's successful coup has left Kylar's master, Durzo, and his best friend, Logan, dead. He is starting over: new city, new friends, and new profession.

But when he learns that Logan might actually be alive and in hiding, Kylar is faced with an agonizing choice: will he give up the way of shadows forever and live in peace with his new family, or will he risk everything by taking on the ultimate hit?” (GoodRead’s blurb)


This book was a roller coaster ride and I loved it. The basis for the plot is quite straightforward but Mr. Weeks does some amazing things along the way that will leave you hanging on to his storytelling for dear life.

One of the best things about this second volume is the broadening. Everything broadens: the world is larger, the cast is larger, the scale and the consequences are larger... and does it work.

Actually, and I’m pretty ashamed to admit this, I almost wanted to skim through the first part of Kylar’s life. After all, marital disputes can only entertain you so much when you can be with Logan in his hellish prison, trying to break free, or with the leaders of Cenaria’s underground planning a coup to retake the throne. Even having three wizards prancing about and following the unclear visions of a visionary was fast-paced and thrilling...

But that’s a bit unfair, because Kylar does undergo some development during this “time in peace”, and in the end it’ll take him to the choice the above blurb talks about. It might just be that I don’t like his love story too much, for reasons previously stated in my review of book one (The Way of Shadows).

I found, though, that the quality of the action far surpassed any possible complain I could hold against Kylar and his too loveable girl. This time, we’ll see full blown battle fields, we will see magic rampaging wild and we will still see the desperate attempts of the Night Angel to win a clash of titans and bring peace to a city that hated him, all for the love he holds for a friend who, he has just learned, is not quite dead.

The cinematic is movie-like, and this coming from one who usually complains about unrealistic scenes of that sort.

Beyond love and hope and action, we will also learn more about the power Kylar now wields. It will serve to better settle the magic system and will foreshadow the kind of hero he must become, because no blessing comes without a price – and that is something that I liked so very much! And, of course, there’s more plotting and more intrigue and more betrayals, real or imagined, necessary or cruel.

All in all Shadow’s Edge help up to my expectations. Some bits were slightly slower than in The Way of Shadows, but Logan’s part of the tale more than made up for it. I’d recommend this book – and if you’ve not yet read The Way of Shadows, well, what are you waiting for?

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