Saturday 8 May 2010

Review: Shadow's Edge - Brent Weeks

Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks
Night angel triology, book 2

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 608
Published: 2008

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?

This book took some time to read, not cos it was big, but cos it was so emotionally draining. I read 50 pages and had to stop. And took a break for some time. The reason, well let me put it like this. I saw a glimmer of hope, then I turned around and Weeks stabbed me in the back and left me bleeding.I should have learned not to trust it but I kept turning around and getting hit again and again.

He is an excellent writer and he has created a rich world, but there is darkness, such darkness that I had to take those breaks from it.

And the darkness he creates it not a darkness that I read and think no way (well except for those cannibals, but then that happens too, like that plane crash in the Andes.) But here the deal was war, and what happens during and after it. People do not live happily ever after. No there is death, rape, and bloody murder. It is brutal and it happens every day in real life too. The thing is just that Brent Weeks put it here for all to see, and he really pushes it.

It is not a gore fest in blood and guts. Yes there is death, and horrible things. But he tells about them, without going in to details, because that would really have been bad. Now they are just there in this dark, dark world without hope.

But ok, something about the story then, Kylar has left the fallen city and gone to another with Elene and young Uly.. But then he hears that Logan might be alive, but in a place worse than hell. Can he really turn his back on his nice new life and go back to what he used to be? The answer is pretty obvious, he may be a killer but he is also nice and wants to help his friends. He is loyal, and righteous (well most of the time, I mean he was an assassin.)

This story started away from the horror, but went there via the side characters, while Weeks dealt blow and blow of hopelessness. But he has such strong characters that never give up even after the horrors that are happening to them. And there is still one more book, this one left with hope again but there are things to be seen too. I just have one hope, that he keeps Kylar alive, because I want him to be happy.

One other thing is how he made me see one character in a new light, one I should, have hated, but even among this hopelessness there is forgiveness. All hope is not lost.

Great series, even if it is dark. Take your time reading it, or perhaps you are not like me and I can deal with these things. I always have a hard time to deal with sadness, and darkness. Which is weird since I love fantasy and big war scenes, but I still wanna live in lala land and see HEAs and freakin unicorns.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: What can I say, I like it.
Reason for reading. My own book
Final thoughts: Dark fantasy, but awesome.


  1. I have the first book on audio - up next...

    I am so looking forward to it...

    So please it is worth the read - thanks for the summary..


  2. EH
    For me it was totally worth the read, I mean it is just very dark at times. But he is so good at what he does. I need that in fantasy

  3. I find I like the darker fantasy - they feels more real and when done well the pace can be a nice rush and leave with you that heady feeling at the end..

    I also find darker fantsy always have fantastic world building scenes as well.. and the characters are worth meeting..

    Weeks is great at this..


  4. Not sure if I could stomach that at the moment. But it sounds interesting. Sometimes I like these books but sometimes I think I way too whimsy for them.
    Great review!

  5. I really need to read this book. The husband has recommended the series and he has books 2 and 3 for me to read but the length and the *evil* tendencies of the writer (I mean, he puts his characters through the wringer!) are why I'm stalling. I REALLY mean to get to them. Hopefully soon.

  6. I remember chatting with you about this series, so I'm glad it held up to your standards! I finished the Study series recently and... as you said, the second and third books were very disappointing. But I'm glad I got through them as now I can start a NEW fantasy series, as every time I finish one series, I am allowed to start a new one :-D

  7. EH
    It did feel real in its horror, war is hell, and he showed that. People did the worst things imaginable.

    He did manage great with the world building, and that it what I need from fantasy. Characters that I could root for and hate with a passion like no other.

  8. Susi,
    I am whimsy too, therefore those breaks. But here it was more the sadness of it, I sure do not like characters to be sad. But still sooo good.

    Sadistic genius. I thought Robin Hobb was evil for making her male leads suffer but Weeks makes an entire population suffer, every lead character gets hurt. But he is such a good writer

  9. Aarti,
    Sadly I warned you :( I thought the first Study was so amazing! The 2nd was suddenly very YA and oh let's go to the academy and study magic blah blah, and the 3rd plain boring. Very disappointing indeed.

    But this one is holding up, in its horror. He is a great writer for sure. I honestly can't even imagine for a second what will happen in book 3. I am usually a great guesser, and usually right too, but ideas at all

  10. I read all three books and loved them all. I love dark reads.

  11. Oh, this sort of sadistic read usually drives me to put it down for good...

  12. UW
    They were certainly good :) I am happy to have read them, well 2 of the 3

    That they sure were :)

    Chris, Anything else than fantasy and I would have done the same

  13. This series sounds pretty phenomenal!!! I don't mind draining...sounds like a powerhouse!

  14. Oohhh, I never heard of this series but even though it does sound so depressing and hopeless, it also seems like just the right fantasy series for me.

  15. Hey honey! Great review! Wanted to peek over to see how you were doing honey! I hope you had a great weekend!!!

  16. Staci.
    Then you would sure be in for a ride if you read it :) Amazing but draining for sure.

    Really, oh that sounds great then. You should give it a go :)

    Hi Cecile
    Thank you so much for sending me that email btw! What a fun thing to waken up too.
    I hope all is well with you too hon

  17. I've heard about this series, and I like my fantasy dark at times, but is there no hope glimmering at the horizon where the baddies get a can of whoop-ass and the hero gets the girl or saves the day? Love the dark vibe you're describing but I needs some form of light to balance it...

  18. Leontine
    Without spoiling too much, this one had a "happy ending". of course more trouble is coming.
    As for the boy getting a girl, one I have not figured out, another one, tricky. Not sure which girl it will be. But at least someone is gonna be happy.

    And the baddie sure got what what coming for him in this one ;)

  19. This sounds like another great book. I'll add it to my list.

  20. Maybe it's too dark for me. It does sounds that way. Need some light reads at the moment! :)

  21. I think this would be too much for me, but I'm glad you enjoyed it.



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