Monday, February 22, 2010

Shadow's Edge

The perfect killer has no identity, but many faces.

Beware! There are spoilers ahead!

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, 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?

It's been about six months since I've read Brent Weeks's debut The Way of Shadows. I loved it, and thought it was one of the best debuts of 2009. Weeks's fast-paced, dark tale left me satisfied. I'm beyond pleased to say Shadow's Edge did not let me down. If anything, Weeks improved upon what he already laid down in the start of the Night Angel Trilogy.

Let me explain: This book doesn't suffer from middle-book syndrome. You know, where it's only a bridge, and the more than 600 pages only serve to get us from one book with a plot to the next. The stakes are upped nicely. We go from Kylar facing an equal to facing someone he believes it's his destiny to try to kill. Not to mention the mythology of the Night Angel being expanded even further. So it's big, and it's important.

The scope of the book is also much grander. More countries are visited, and more pieces are put on the table, giving us a sense of some really huge things. And the number of viewpoints is greatly expanded. Book one was all Kylar's show-- how he became an assassin. This book is about him trying to escape the shadows he has so long made his home. He does a lot of things that you wouldn't have seen coming at the start.

But it's not just about him anymore. It's got its focus on other areas, too. For example, Vi Sovari, just a very minor character in book one, has become one of the major viewpoint characters, and she's quite dynamic and intriguing. There are others: Dorian, who also had a small role, keeps cropping up, and mystery seems to follow him everywhere. Elene and Ully have some very unexpected twists. And the characters in the dismal Hole really leave an impression.

All in all, it's a worthy sequel, and a fine chapter in what is shaping up to be one of the best trilogies recently published. Highly recommended.

My rating: 10/10

Coming Soon: Something Completely Different (and no, that doesn't mean Monty Python).

1 comment:

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

I have the first book here on my shelf. I am going to have to get to this trilogy at some time. I have heard it is really good. But your reviews make it sound even better. Thanks for the great reviews!