Brief Review: Book 1 of The Night Angel Trilogy: The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks




For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city's most accomplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned the hard way to judge people quickly- and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassin; world of dangerous politics and strange magics- and cultivate a flair for death.

MY #2

Azoth is always afraid.  Living as an orphan in the Warrens of the Cenaria City, he and his only two best friend, Jarl and Doll Girl, are members of the Black Dragon guild. they are forced to make their living by stealing money and scraps to pay Rat, the Guild Fist as the guild dues. Failing to do so will cause them beatings by Rat. Azoth's first encounter with Durzo would be that one night when he was trying to scrap some coins underneath a local muddy tavern, when he suddenly realizes that Durzo's slaughtering the assassins in that place. Before leaving, Durzo blocks Azoth's escape route and tells him to pretend as if he werent there.

Eversince, he dreams of becoming Durzo's apprentice until one day when Jarl surprises Azoth by giving him a secret stash of coins that he has been saving for years. Jarl then asks Azoth to use that money for his apprenticeship with Durzo. Unfortunately, Durzo does not want any money, he instead makes Azoth an offer; if he's able to kill Rat within one week without any help and brings proof, Durzo will make Azoth his apprentice.

Azoth is in doubt and dilemma, up until he sees the consequences of his hesitation on both Jarl and Doll Girl. Azoth finally manages to gather the courage and motivations he needed to complete the test after Rat mutilates Doll Girl. With Rat's death, Azoth finally becomes Durzo's apprentice under one last condition; Azoth must leave his old life behind, including his relationships with Jarl and Doll Girl, etc. Durzo then fakes Azoth's death and gives him a new identity; Kylar Stern, the young nobleman of a minor family.

Kylar then begins his training with Durzo, which carries on for several years. He learns about fighting with different weapons and styles and how to make poisons, how to conduct the perfect kill, camouflaging, etc. But what frustrates both Kylar and Durzo is the fact that no mater how hard they tried, Kylar could not use his magical Talent, making him only a very skillful assassin, but not truly a wetboy.

Durzo eventually sends Kylar to Count Rimbold Drake, who gives him a new name and life. Staying at Count Rimbold's place, Kylar befriends the strong mountainous Lord Logan Gyre. 

Turns out that leaving behind the past is not as easy as it seemed. He has always cared about Doll Girl which is why he often watches Doll Girl from afar. He loves her...

A proper wetboy should not love. Those who wetboy cares about, can and will be used against them by the enemies. 'Love is a noose'- Durzo Blint

I first saw this book in the Adelaide Airport's bookstore. It was love at first sight and the moment I start reading the first few pages, I found myself unable to stop."Assassins have targets, wetboys have deaders.". 

These coming-of-age stories have always been my favorite kind and frankly speaking, this series beats others, PERIOD. You will find yourself as eager as a grasshopper, waiting for the time when Kylar finally becomes a wetboy. 

I love the characters, how so many of them grows and changes. Each and every one of them were beautifully crafted by Brent. The emotions portrayed     in the stories are.....well.... I literally cried for each of them that has to learn things the hard way.

There are swords, magical artifacts, tragedy, triumph, moody antihero with traumatic past and his hard-bitten mentor, training montages, sadistic swells of sentimental glurge and oh, "the curve yielded to curve with the sweetness that inspired art.", hehe! I mean, even the female characters were written with sensitivity, sarcasms, and a fair doses of badassery. 

What more can you expect from these kind of novels? Because I'm telling you, this book is way way beyond AWESOME! 
P/S : I bought all 3 books in Australia. Studied there for a year, and when I came back to Malaysia, these 3 books were nowhere to be found. But hey, I bought all 3 books back, the #1 from Auckland, #2 from Singapore, and #3 from Malaysia, all of these 3 books of mine are in different sizes. LOL. But you know why I'm willing to do so? Cos it's worth it, and I can't imagine my library without them. DFTBA!

 5.0 stars

Brent Weeks was born and raised in Montana.  After getting his paper keys from Hillsdale College, Brent had brief stints walking the earth like Caine from Kung Fu, tending bar, and corrupting the youth. (Not at the same time.) He started writing on bar napkins, then on lesson plans, then full time. Eventually, someone paid him for it. Brent lives in Oregon with his wife, Kristi. He doesn’t own cats or wear a ponytail.

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