|Shadow's Edge (The Night Angel Trilogy)
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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?
- Not quite Tolkien, but up there with George R. R. Martin
I may have already admitted that I don't read a lot of epic/heroic fantasy--but as my title suggests, what I have read is the guy who founded the genre (LOTR 3 times), as well as another guy (GRRM) who I believe is considered one of the leaders of the field today. So I hold such books to an extremely high standard. If I'm going to go to the effort of keeping dozens of weirdly-named characters straight, care about a plot that spans three books, and wade through 2,000+ pages, I better get fascinating characters, magnetic storytelling, cool plot elements, and satisfying fights and battles.
I'm happy to report that as with the first book, this second book delivers on all counts. As with the first one, I read it at all possible opportunities, mimicking addict behavior very closely. The emotional range I thought was better, as I got more involved with the characters--an improvement on book one.
Sure, there were a few copy editing gaffes here and there, but as a former proofreader myself, I have to commend those who worked on this one for doing such a fine job with a 700-page book. ...more info
- Two down and more more awesome to go!
I love these books. Brent Weeks continued a great story with the second Night Angel book. Given the introduction and setting of book one, this story allows itself to explore the world in which the characters live, the history of a very well imagined world and the consequence heavy decisions that drive the story.
Weeks had better be working on new books as the third of the trilogy is due out in November. After that, I expect a lot more from him. He is a writer to watch while we read his works....more info
- It is hard to run from something you are ment to be.
Brent Weeks does it again with his sophomore book! Kylar is back, and he is leaving the way of shadows behind him, or at least trying to. Problem is his wetboy past is quite hard to leave behind. I have always had issues getting into second book in the series, simply because the writing often feels as though it is being forced for the sake of a trilogy or series. I am happy to say, it isn't here. Mr. Weeks again gives the reader characters you can empathize with and care for, and a plot that always surprises.
Bottom line if you liked The Way of Shadows, Shadow's Edge will not disappoint....more info
- engaging character driven fantasy
He survived as Azoth a street urchin thief in his hometown of Cenaria until he became Kylar Stern, apprentice "wetboy" to legendary assassin Durzo Blint (see THE WAY OF SHADOWS). When they became embroiled in the Godking's successful coup, his mentor and his best friend the rightful king of Cenaria Logan Gyre died though he survived again; he quits the life of a professional killer seeking a new start with his beloved Elene.
Kylar and Elene accompanied by their adopted daughter Uly leave Cenaria with its too many recent deadly memories for Caernarvon. There he opens up herbalist shop as a skill he learned as a wetboy assassin, but instead of murder, he uses it to heal. However, inside his soul, he feels pulled by his love for Elene vs. his missing the adrenalin rush of an assassination. While somewhat accepting the ennui of a shopkeeper, he hears rumors that Logan is alive and hiding in the Hole of Maw prison amidst cannibalistic and psychopathic killers. Meanwhile, the former shadow rulers of Cenaria the Sa'kage continue to rebel against the Godking, but face extinction without a miracle. Jarl asks Kylar to join them by rescuing the rightful king and assassinating the wrongful king.
Although not quite as action-packed as the opening gamut, SHADOW'S EDGE has enough escapades to avoid the mid book feel of only setting up the finish. Kylar is a fascinating protagonist as he has matured since his deadlier days, but still feels the addiction of a kill. The support cast is solid from his family who yank him with love to Jarl who yanks him with adventure and the fate of his buddy to Logan who is slowly dying in the Hole. The second book in the Night Angel trilogy is an engaging character driven fantasy as the audience expects Kylar to return to the shadowy world of the assassin, but at the same time have some doubts whether he is willing to pay the cost: his life with Elene and Uly.
- great new author ... with room to grow
This is kind of a redo of a previous review. because my first review was pretty sloppy.
First of let it be said this is a good book series. the writer is new and so there are a few minor quibbles and gripes but the pacing and smooth the action well well done, the story compelling. long story short is that in every way that matters this book and this series are a good read.
since most of the reviews focus on how great the book is I just wanted to point out some of the flaws. first and foremost the writers voice is kind of... unusual. there are narrative descriptions of actions that read allot like a teenager telling a story to his friends at the mall.
This extends to the specific vocabulary. The story will often flow wonderfully until the author throws in a word that simply does not belong in the atmosphere created. its a sword and sorcery medieval fantasy but characters use words like Microbraids, contraceptive and bang (slang for having sex) which can be totally jarring in the middle of an otherwise well written narrative.
Avid readers will recognize the inspirational origins of many aspects of the story drawn from other stories especially, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, Magic for example is often described as knots or webs similar to the way the One Power is described. There is an organization of female magic users divided into subgroups based on their specific magical strengths or interests and labeled by color (women who specialize in healing magic are Green magae for example) Even their center of organization is not surprisingly a great white tower (in the shape of an angel) located on an island in the middle of a river/lake.
having said that even with the similarities to other writers the story maintains an overall uniqueness and originality that keeps you interested in the continued development of the story and characters.
I enjoyed this series and honestly look forward to more from this author. after a few more books in this world I would love to see something totally original as the writer develops.
Others have done a plot summary, so I'll leave that out. If you want to know what kind of books these are, think George Martin teamed up with Tad Williams. It has that kind of feel.
These are adult themed books, however. You will not want to give these to your teenager due to the *ahem* number of adult situations and references. I stopped reading Goodkind because of the harshness of those situations - these are close, but not to the level where I'll not want to read the series.
All in all, excellent work....more info
- A great read
Great Trilogy. Fast paced and fun to read. Full of epic quality; action, history & characters you can feel. Thank you Brent!...more info
- Brutal Fantasy (Spoiler Free Review)
The Shadow's Edge is the second book of the Night Angel Trilogy. The trilogy focuses on assassins in a fantasy realm. However, the assassins must rely mostly on martial arts, stealth, poisons, and weapons, rather than spells. This book has much more magic than the first book and some fantasy creatures are introduced. The second book takes place in Cenaria during a Khalidoran invasion. Throughout the book there's action, political intrigue, and character development. There's also a good bit of death. No character is safe. If I had to make a comparison, it's fairly close to George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.
The story continues with Kylar Stern, Jarl, Logan, Elene, Vi, Hu, Momma K, and the most vile loathsome Godking ever written. This guy makes King Xerxes look like Willy Wonka. The plot deals with the invasion. The story is epic and defines the boundaries of the human spirit.
The characters in this book are excellent. The author, Brent Weeks, does a great job at making sure they read like real people with real emotions. The story is full of characters that you'll love and despise.
The writing style is pretty accessible to just about anyone. It's pretty simple. The action scenes are also well written and easy to visualize. The Chapters are about ten pages long, and you'll find yourself reading five to ten Chapters per sitting. In the 600 pages, there are a few nonsensical sentences. But these are easy to overlook because the story and characters are great.
The dialogue does a great job at portraying the relationships between the characters. Brent Weeks also writes what the characters are thinking as they are speaking. It becomes clear that some characters say things to further their own selfish goals or try to dominate others. Some of the dialogue feels like modern day slang, and seemed out of place, but this is easy to overlook.
This book is for adults who like a dark element to fantasy. There is violence, gore, sex, cannibalism, murder, and rape. It's Rated R to X and seems more horrific than fantastic.
If you want to read a brutal epic adventure, and don't mind anachronistic dialogue, this is for you! If you're a fan of GRRM and you're tired of waiting for his next book, you will most likely enjoy this one. Don't let the 600 pages deter you, the story moves fast and something interesting happens every few pages. Like the first book, it's very good.
Warning: This book is very brutal! Avoid it if you don't want your imagination going to very dark places. Characters get physically and mentally broken. It's not a pretty sight!...more info
- If the first book merits five stars...
then I have a problem; Shadow's Edge is seriously better than The Way of Shadows. I started the Way of Shadows a number of times, then set it down, thinking it was simply too generic: Street Orphans. Assassins. Etc. But in my third attempt I got to a point where I could no longer stop reading. I was so caught up in the characters' humanity; the internal struggle between good and evil is as gripping as the battle with the evil Khalidorean Empire. Now I have finished Shadow's Edge, and can only say it is even better -- much better!!! -- than the first book in the series. There is nothing generic here. New characters are added. Old characters are developed with greater depth; Logan's experience in the Maw and subsequent character development is expecially riveting. New regions of Midcyru are explored. Greater evil constantly threatens even greater heroes. The author deserves praise from his many readers. A complete, breathtaking, hugely entertaining, and intelligent fantasy series. Bravo!!!!...more info
- A fantastic additon to the series, a must read
Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks is the second book in the Night Angel Trilogy. The first novel is titled The Way of Shadows (The Night Angel Trilogy) with the third being titled Beyond the Shadows (The Night Angel Trilogy). After reading the first book in this trilogy, I was both excited and nervous to read this book. Excited because the first novel was one of the best books I have read in long time, I loved ever word of it. Nervous, because I as concerned that Mr. Weeks would not be able to catch lightening in a bottle twice. Could he possibly live up to the greatness that was book one? There is also the trend in some trilogies that that the second book is merely a bridge novel to further the story without much substance behind it. Here are my thoughts on this novel.
The plot of this novel picks up where the first novel ends. Kylar Stern has done enough killing and wants to walk away from the wetboy business. He goes to extraordinary steps to get away from everything and renounce his one time profession. What, if anything, could get him to once again pick up that life he tried so desperately to put behind him? This novel is also riddled with sub plots that make this book, and world, come to life. Some of the sub plots include, Logan Gyre was left in the ultimate prison cell with societies worst criminals at the end of book one. Does he survive the battle with losing his sanity, and battling the other people in the cell? The prophet Dorian can see the future. However, seeing the possibilities of the future leave him teetering on the edge of sanity. There is also the sub plot of the Godking and what his rule means to the country. There are several other sub plots, but in the interest of space and not wanting to spoil anything I will stop there. Suffice to say that, while book one was a sprint into the realm on an assassin and occurred at break neck speed, this book has a slightly less frantic pace. However, the slight slow down does nothing to affect the plot or book. The story is a masterwork of pacing, and it is obvious that Mr. Weeks put a great deal of thought into not only each book, but how the overall plot meshes together. I can not really put into words how good the storyline is in this book. It is a story that is easy to get caught up in and one that you want to read just one more page before you go to bed. Only to realize that it is four in the morning. To me a book that can capture a reader like that is a rare thing, and so far, Mr. Weeks is two for two on that.
The characters in this book are largely the ones from the first novel. Characters such as; Kylar, Logan, Vi, Momma K, Jarl, Elene, and Garoth. This, of course, is just a small sample of the characters in this novel. There are a lot of characters in this novel. However, unlike other novels with a lot of characters, I never once felt like a character was lost or pushed to the side. In fact, I think each character was written near flawlessly. There is a great deal of character development in this novel, actually more than what I thought would be present. The thing that surprised me were the number of characters that were developed to a significant extent. In most books, significant character development is usually reserved to one or two characters. In this book, there are no less than half a dozen characters that receive significant development. This makes the book feel much more rich and vibrant, and it is very easy to connect with this wide assortment of characters. At no time did the characters feel like they were being dragged through the plot, it actually felt like they were creating the plot and influencing events. This is something I can not say about several books I have read. I really enjoyed the characters and the vibrant nature in which they were written.
I have one very minor criticism about this novel:
There are several places throughout the novel where the copy editing was off. There are missing word that snap the reader out of the experience to figure out what word is missing. It's not a big deal, but when a book flows this smoothly, those things are easy to notice.
Some things I enjoyed about this novel:
1 - The depth of the plot and sub plots. It is rich, vibrant, and has enough twists that the reader is never allowed to get comfortable with what they think will happen. I enjoy being surprised while I am reading, and I was surprised several times in this novel.
2 - Just like the first novel, this novel doesn't hold any punches. Some authors become too attached to their characters and never kill any of them. That is not the case with this book, or series. If a characters death will benefit the story, Mr. Weeks is not afraid to kill them. It's refreshing and makes the books that much more interesting to read.
3 - For a new author, Mr. Weeks prose is very refined, fluid, and expressive. Mr. Weeks writing is very easy to read, but at the same time it is an adult novel. If you are looking for a feel good story with flowery language, this is most certainly not the book for you.
When all is said and done, I really enjoyed this novel. This book, and series, gives me renewed hope that the fantasy genre still has new and fresh ideas to offer to its readers. With the first two books in this trilogy, Mr. Weeks has announced himself to the fantasy genre as a name to watch. Usually when I read a series I try to take a break in between novels to read something different. That will not be the case with this series. I will be starting the third and final book immediately as I must know what happens. The degree to which Mr. Weeks has been able to get me connected with the characters is amazing; I can not even guess what will happen next. This is certainly a series that fantasy fans should read, it has something for everyone. I would even hazard a guess and say that people who usually don't read fantasy novels may enjoy this one as well. I know this series will be very high on my recommendation list for a long time to come. Do yourself a favor and check this one out.
- It's a FUN RIDE... enjoy!
It is what it sets out to be, entertainment.
- an light, quick page-turning read
- relatable characters, who behave and grow true to their natures
- a fast moving plot(enough action and story for 6 books--no fluff here)
- an interesting world with imaginitive political, social and criminal groups, all with their own agendas
...AND BEST OF ALL, you don't have to wait 10 years for the author to finish it!
All said and done, one thing matters for a work of this type, was it a fun ride/read?
Big YES here, to all three books....more info
- Even better than the first!
It's hard to do, but he did it. He outdid himself. The story is immensely engaging with plot twists, subtly, and excitement.
You will literally hang on every word, as he surprises you with what next.
I've been liking the new authors who have been coming out, Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss come to mind, and Brent Weeks is definitely on that list of great authors.
Great story of intrigue, love, adventure, and moral dilemmas.
GO READ IT!...more info
- The Battle continues!
Kyler Stern has settled down to a life of comfortable domesticity...at least he's trying; however the synchronicities of life conspire to pull him back into his darker avatar of the Night Angel (sort of a cross between Jet Li and the Shadow) to seek justice, right wrongs and just beat up bad guys in general.
"Shadows Edge" by newcomer Brent Weeks is as much fun as the first in the Night Angel trilogy "Way of Shadows". In the first novel Azoth/Kyler is being trained (by his teacher Durzo Blint) as a Wetboy, sort of a super assassin. In this novel Kyler has rejected the life of a professional killer but cannot fully accept the life that his fianc¨¦ wants for him, that of a budding herbalist. In a way, this is the coming of age of a young Kyler Stern. The novel does an admirable job of describing that time in most of our lives when we are forced to create of ourselves a new person; an amalgam of the person that our parents, teachers and mentors want us to be and the person that we ourselves wish to be as well the person that destiny has chosen for us. All change is difficult, especially when it requires that we may disappoint the people that we love the most, and this is the case for a young Kyler Stern. We see Kyler struggle with opposing sides of his nature in an attempt to be true to himself but keep the love and acceptance he has struggled for his whole life.
An emaciated but much wiser King Logan Gyre has escaped prison and taken his place at the head of an army to fight the Godking. This is a story of honor, war and redemption as the young characters from the first novel are all forged in the heat of despair to create the men and women that the realm needs in order to defeat tyranny.
As other reviewers have mentioned, there are a lot of story lines here but I did not find myself bogging down with them and in fact enjoyed the fleshing out of the trilogy. I highly recommend "Shadows Edge" and will be the first in line at the end of this month for my copy of "Beyond the Shadows", the conclusion of the Night Angel trilogy.
These books are amazing, I read a huge quantity of sci-fi/fantasy and these made my Top 5! It has been a long time since someone wrote something to make it on my list with Ender's Game, Deed of Paksenarrion, Dune, and The RiddleMaster of Hed. I was intensely impressed at this gold mine. I am eagerly watching for the books that Brent Weeks writes in the future!
Now that I am done raving, a product description: The books are excellent, a blend between the swashbuckling mysterious of The Lies of Lock Lamora and the action pack awesomeness found in Jim Butcher or John Ringo. Great character developement, they force you right along every page. I called in sick to work because I got the book at 9PM and didn't finish it until 6AM the next day! The first book had a slight bit of confusion, but it was resolved very nicely in the second book and finished beautifully in the third with a refreshing blend of sorrow and hope!
I hope this review inspired [i]everyone[/i] to buy these books!...more info
- Good Continuation of the Series
Though I liked the first book better, this was a fine follow up. Brent Week's Night Angel Series has been a breath of fresh air in a tired genre of fantasy that is reduced to authors dragging out series forever. I am moving onto book 3 which is great so far. I highly recommend this series....more info
- Absolute brilliance from a first time author!
I have to keep pinching myself to remind me that this trilogy is the authors first series he has written. Yes these books are just that good! This book continues on from the war and conquest of the God King and the subsequent terror unleashed by him on the populace of Cenaria. We also see the very difficult realities for people who are under the boot of an occupation army, starvation, murder, rioting and rape are a daily reality for the people. Most affected are the poor of the Warrens who find themselves brutalized on a daily basis, through such adversity they manage to gain the power to stand up and and fight back against the God Kings hoard.
What I do find great is the characterization Weeks has created for his characters. We see the lives of people like Kyler greatly changed as he finds the women he loves and takes her away from a life of a pain and misery and ultimately from Kylers work as a wet boy. But will Kyler be able to leave his exciting life behind? Will he have just one more job to complete? Also we get a glimpse into the like of the ousted King Logan as he tries to survive the hell and misery of the hole. Will this peril be to much for him? Or will he survive to become stronger in himself?
I'm about to start the third and final book in this series, i'm hoping it wll be as good as the first two.
- A great follow up to book 1 in the trilogy
Cenaria has been invaded by the Godking but Kylar and Elene have left the country as Kylar tries to break with his violent past and take up the trade of herbalist to please Elene. It doesn't go well as a change and before long Kylar finds himself drawn back into the horror that Cenaria has become under the Godking - and Elene will find herself on an unexpected path.
This is a strong follow up to The Way of Shadows (The Night Angel Trilogy) and easily keeps the reader engaged. Kylar continues to be a character you like and who's story you want to follow. The Good Assassin is rather overdone in fantasy these days, but I decided to take a chance on this series, and I'm really glad I did. These books have easily kept me reading once I got past the first chapter or so in book 1 and I'm a bit hesitant to pick up book 3 straight away as I know that it will be the last I'll get of these characters for a long while. This is a series I'll be recommending to other friends who read fantasy novels.