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Title: Shadow’s Edge
Series: Night Angel #2
Author: Brent Weeks
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
Kylar has sworn to give up killing to live in peace with Elene. They move to another city and Kylar begins life as an apothecary. But his hunger for justice causes him to go out each night, and while not killing, he does distribute justice to lowlifes and criminals.
All of that changes when his best friend Jarl, now the Shinga of Kylar’s former city-home, comes begging for him to do one last job: Kill the godking. Unfortunately, another wetboy, Viv (who’s a girl) is on the job to kill Jarl for the godking. Kylar watches his best friend die before his eyes. To make matters worse, Kylar must leave Elene (who he was going to ask to marry him the next day), for good. Because killing the godking is a one way job. He won’t be returning from it.
He ends up hooking up with Viv through an incredible amount of circumstance twisting and they decide to work together to kill the godking. Turns out Viv is the godking’s daughter and he has a magical hold of her. Kylar and Viv overcome through the magic of love (or at least, bonding magic) and everything is hunky dory.
Except Elene is kidnapped, Kylar can never be with her, he is magically bonded to a woman who killed his best friend, most of Kylar’s friends and acquaintances are dead by the godking’s hands and yet another city-state is waiting on the border to take over. And Kylar still doesn’t know the cost of him coming back to life each time. He should really find out, you know?
Man, I plowed through this in 2 days, or just a little less really. I started Friday evening (hence my post A Small Selection) and was done by 10am Sunday morning. It was not a “I have to get through this, so man up, soldier and start marching” kind of drive. I just couldn’t stop reading, even while I knew roughly what was going to happen because this was a re-read.
The main downside to this book was that I had just read Return of the Crimson Guard and that book, while leaving me somewhat frustrated, also awed me with its depth, amount of plot threads being woven simultaneously and the battle scenes. Sadly, Weeks did not, really could not, compare. His writing was not bad, it was good in fact but it just wasn’t AS GOOD. When you read two Epic Fantasy Books almost back to back, comparisons are going to happen whether you want them to or not. So read this after reading something by Michael Crichton or Modesitt and everything will be just fine.
For the record, I rated this higher than Crimson Guard. I enjoyed it more.
The biggest upside was a scene where Weeks totally riffs on Star Wars. As I stated, Viv is the godking’s daughter. She’s been developing feelings for Kylar during their stint together. Then, during one of the climactic clashes between the 2 wetboys and the godking, the godking lets it out that he’s also Kylar’s father. So a total Leia and Luke scenario. But it gets better. The godking then hollers out, “Just kidding!” I just about died laughing. Even now, while I’m typing this up, it still makes me laugh. And if you don’t get the Star Wars reference, you’ll lose nothing from the story. It just won’t be as rich.
Like I mentioned in my Small Selection post, the violence here is pretty intense. Thankfully, it is not glamourized, but Weeks doesn’t hold back in the slightest. Also the profanity is at the same level and of the same style as in Book 1. It’s very anachronistic, besides being unnecessary.
There is another whole storyline revolving around Logan, the rightful King, that I’m not going to touch on.This is a 2 weave story and his is the second. It’s pretty much about what a good man will do to survive and not cross the line into becoming a villain.
This book was just as good as when I read it in ’09 and the trilogy as a whole is holding up as well.
*double thumbs up*