Thursday, January 7, 2010
The Way of Shadows is the first book in The Night Angels Trilogy by Brent Weeks. I really enjoyed this book but there were a few issues that hindered my ability to absolutely love it. I get the impression that in the author's mind there is a fully detailed and complex world but Weeks does not clearly communicate this onto the page. Things are often not clearly defined, leaving the reader attempting to piece together this world and what role is played by who in an already complex narrative. At times it threatened to become just too confusing. There was also a certain significant plot twist that, when looking back, I didn't feel that there was enough, if any, foreshadowing for. Maybe I would find it on a reread but with trying to keep track of everything else I could not recall it.
There was something that I found distinctly Shakespearean about how the story unfolded, which I rather liked. Indeed, in the extras at the back of the book, Weeks himself names Shakespeare as an influence. I quite enjoyed reading the extras, in fact. Weeks says that Durzo Blint is his favourite of his character and I think that he is mine too followed by Logan Gyre. Brent Weeks has written some fantastic characters, although sometimes conforming to certain archetypes, with some great conflict and contrast between them.
The Way of Shadows is well paced and there were some great moments of suspense and tension, moments where I just couldn't put this book down until I knew what happened next. Just clean up that world building a bit and The Way of Shadows would be a really fantastic book.