Beyond the Shadows (Night Angel #3) ★★★★☆

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This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Beyond the Shadows
Series: Night Angel #3
Author: Brent Weeks
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 699
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

The kingdom is safe now that the Godking is dead. Ha. The godking’s various sons are duking it out to see who will rule in his stead and once that is determined, the winner is coming back for some real vengeance. At the same time another kingdom is taking advantage of the chaos to annex a large of chunk and they’ve brought troops to back up their claims.

Logan won’t take the kingship since he pledged his oath to Terah Graesin but she is the worst possible thing to happen. Kylar must kill her to allow Logan to ascend the throne. He must do it in such a way though that it doesn’t look like Logan asked him to do it.

Kylar is still linked to Vi and both Elene and Vi are in the Sisterhood. Who want to use Kylar, somehow. Superpowerful magical swords are involved, as are near immortal creatures and a host of millions of undead. Elene gets possessed by Khali but for the purpose of containing it [as it is a fallen angel] so Kylar can kill her with the magic swords and thus truly destroy Khali.

It all comes together in one HUGE battle is so stupendous that I’m not going to even try to describe it. Kylar saves the world at great cost and everyone is sad at Elene’s sacrifice and Vi still wants to jump Kylar’s bones.

The End.

 

My Thoughts:

Good stuff!

My only complaints are as follows. The profanity still sticks out. Seeing the F word is just jarring. It doesn’t fit. Second, the amount of history we’re deluged with from Durzo Blint is a bit much for one book. I’d really liked to have seen a prequel trilogy following his adventures in his various personas.

Other than that? Rock’em Sock’em Robot success!

True love. Magic swords. Magical killer creatures that are unstoppable. Hordes of undead that aren’t all human sized shamblers. 2000 women who can control magic? Aes Sedai anyone? That really stood out to me this time. It just seemed a very blatant ripoff where as back in ’09 I didn’t even make the connection. Either way, I enjoyed it this time around.

The storyline dealing with Dorian Ursuul, the prophet and son of the Godking, was wicked hard to deal with. He sees the future, gives up his gift because of what he sees and then ends up becoming something just as bad as his father ever was. Since he was introduced as a character who wanted to only do good since the beginning, that fall from grace was just brutal! Weeks really digs into what it could cost to see the future.

The violence is not ratcheted down any either. There was one scene where I just put my kindle down and had to catch my emotional breathe. Kylar was bound on a water wheel to kill him for him killing the queen. His own friend Logan, who became king of that action, was the one who had to pass sentence. Logan also knows that Kylar heals super quick, so the water wheel will take days. He breaks a table leg off and just smashes Kylar’s arms and legs so that he’ll die. A friend having to execute his best friend, having to physically destroy him, it was intense. I had ALL the manly feelz.

While the writing definitely shows that this trilogy was Weeks’ first go, it is in no way sub-par. It just isn’t as nuanced as experience will make him. Heck, comparing this to the latest Light Bringer Novel, Blood Mirror is a good exercise in watching someone grow their literary wings.

It would be cool if at some point Weeks returned to this universe, but at the rate the Light Bringer novels are coming out, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

★★★★☆

bookstooge

 

  1. Beyond the Shadows (2009 Review)
  2. Way of Shadows (Book 1)
  3. Shadow’s Edge (Book 2)

Shadow’s Edge (Night Angel #2) ★★★★ ½

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This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 

 
Title: Shadow’s Edge
Series: Night Angel #2
Author: Brent Weeks
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 645
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

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?

 

My Thoughts:

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*

★★★★ ½

bookstooge

  1. Shadow’s Edge (2009 Review)
  2. Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1)

Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1)

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This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot,, Booklikes & Librarything and linked at Goodreads & Mobileread by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 
Title:       The Way of Shadows
Series:    Night Angel #1
Author:  Brent Weeks
Rating:   4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre:    SFF
Pages:    659
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis: Spoilers

Azoth becomes apprenticed to Durzo Blint and becomes Kyler. Magic, politics, love and death all roll into one super messy ball.

Kyler becomes the possessor of a magic ball that gives him extraordinary powers. And just as he’s gaining them, he’s forced to kill his master and watch his city fall to invaders. Throw in a prophet, some other magic balls, a complete godking of evil, best friend becoming king and teen love and you have this story in a nutshell.

Oh, don’t forget the violence. Lots and lots and lots of violence.

 

My Thoughts: Spoilers

I had forgotten just how brutal this book was. It was heart wrenching to see everything falling apart for Kyler. Yes, he’s successful in apprenticing under Blint, but by the end of the book, all Kyler has is his life and the life of the girl he loves. He sees, and we experience, everything else going to the pit. Friends? Dead, killed, imprisoned. Mentors? Poisoned, paupered, destroyed. It is all torn away.

The book ends on a slightly hopeful note, as the city nobles and craftsmen flee and destroy everything to deny it to the invaders. Kyler is alive, even though he died. The legend of the Night Angel has taken seed and the invaders know “something” walks the shadows. The prophet has set things in motion to stop the godking from total domination. The War has Started.

The writing definitely shows that this is Weeks’ first book and is not nearly as polished as his Lightbringer series. Nothing stood out as wrong, but some things weren’t just as “right” as they could have been.

To end, I thoroughly enjoyed this book again and both cheered and groaned at the triumphs and tragedies woven throughout this story.

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bookstooge

  1. Previous Review from 2009