Many years ago, my sister had told me about the Way of Shadows, a fantasy novel and part of a trilogy that she had read. I was sufficiently intrigued and added it to my TBR. Two CBR Book Exchanges ago, Malin had graciously added it to my book haul and hoped that I would enjoy the reading experience. And, while I admit that this book was not my cup of tea, I am grateful for the experience and the diversity in reading material that she introduced to me.
This novel focuses on two main protagonists: expert assassin (referred to as a wetboy, in the first of many terrible decisions made by Brent Weeks) Durzo Blint, who is unemotional and detached from everything in his life; and Azoth, a street urchin who is indebted to a bully and begs and steals to survive. Azoth’s path swerves with Durzo’s, and he is determined to become a wetboy. But to do so, he has to make an important kill. And once he accomplishes said kill, he will have to go through extensive years of training just to receive Durzo’s approval. And that’s not even covering the kind of political unrest in the nation.
There is an interesting story in here, but there is a TON of plot crammed in. Weeks had some good ideas that were overshadowed by PLOT TWIST and SPECTACLE in a way that made me feel like I was watching a soap opera in double-time. A few of these were a bit telegraphed for my taste, and I might have rolled my eyes more than once.
Also, I should admit that this was a bit nihilistic for my taste. That’s not anyone’s fault, but more a reflector on the kinds of books I like to read. I don’t mind a bit of dark reading, but this is cynical and brutally violent. I am glad to have read this, and I know now that Weeks and I are not of the same tribe.
Cross-posted to my blog.