Book Review ~ “The Way of Shadows”

Title: The Way of Shadows
Author: Brent Weeks
Genre: Fantasy
Rating Out of Five: 4.5

This series begins with a young boy named Azoth who is just barely surviving in the Warrens, essentially the slums of the city. Living in fear for his life, and those of his two friends, Jarl & Doll Girl, is a constant state of mind.
Azoth’s determination to become something more and the want to rid himself of fear leads to certain events that put him in a place to become Durzo Blint’s apprentice, who is the city’s most accomplished assassin. But for Azoth to be accepted as his apprentice he has to give up his old life, friends and take on a new identity and name, Kylar Stern.
For him to get as good as his Master he’ll need to learn more than just weapons, poisons and fighting to become the best wetboy in the city.

I quite liked this book but I was pretty sure I would, even though it is fantasy, as I love assassins! These kinds of stories always have fun action, fighting and magic.

I really liked the main character, he felt very real. Azoth’s/Kylar’s reactions in most of the situations were how I imagine they would be if someone is required to essentially become an entirely different person part way through their life. The confusion and, sometimes, the moral dilemmas he is faced with felt, to me, like real reactions to his surroundings. Completely letting go of a past life, that had emotional attachments would not be easy and likely not fully severed and that is something that you are able to see.

Durzo Blint, his Master, was a favourite too. Cause, well, he’s the best assassin around and he is very quick with his words and full of little riddles that mean so much more. Definitely pay attention to the things that he says because they do actually matter later on.

I loved that in this book that I had so many moments where I’d be like “AH!! so that’s how it is!!” There are quite a few fun twists that happened and that makes for a great read. I dislike predictable when I’m reading a story and this definitely does not fall under that.

I, also, really liked that the author had such a dark element to the storyline, especially at the beginning, but it is throughout. It sucks, big time, but the justice carried out by the end is so sweet and completely deserving. I did a little internal fist pump.

I’d have to say that the only thing that I didn’t like about this book is how short the chapters are. I don’t like super long chapters either but these were a touch too short. I think there is a total just over 60 chapters, which is a fair bit for a normal sized mass market.

That aside, I loved this book and I’m looking forward to reading the next one in the trilogy!

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