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The Way of Shadows Audiobook

The Way of Shadows: Night Angel Trilogy, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

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 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 assassins' world of dangerous politics and strange magics---and cultivate a flair for death.

©2008 Brent Weeks; (P)2009 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (6762 )
5 star
 (3787)
4 star
 (2014)
3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.4 (5603 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (5591 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (163)
1 star
 (88)
Performance
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  •  
    suzjohnson 01-10-17
    suzjohnson 01-10-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    538
    12
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    "Couldn't even finish it!"

    I wish I could think of something complimentary to say about this book, but I can't. Total waste of a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Scholtes 01-05-17 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Meh.... could have been better"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The entire point of the book appears to rapidly come to fruition in like 2 chapters at the end. It seems as if the author needed to make a word count with the foundational portion of the book as it became tedious. I guess a better narrator could have helped a bit, as this one simply was not good...


    If you’ve listened to books by Brent Weeks before, how does this one compare?

    The narration of this one was terrible, and the story line drawn wayyyy out.


    How could the performance have been better?

    A narrator that has feeling for the characters... it was hard to get the sense of emotion, and what emotion there was, was very forced. I also find these kind of stories needing a british accent to really put emphasis on the characters...personal preference there I guess.


    Do you think The Way of Shadows needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I'd love to have a follow up (as there is)... but Im confident I wont listen to them... this book was just too tedious and forced compared to some of his other works.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 01-05-17
    Eric 01-05-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "wow this was amazing"

    wow I know that there are more books but this ending was perfect can't wait to see what happens next!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PoohBear 12-31-16
    PoohBear 12-31-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    39
    24
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow start strong finish"

    The starts off slow, I had to put it aside for a couple of days, but about 1/3 into the book the author gets into the exciting parts of the book. The main character is ok, not exciting, but the world the character exist in is exciting; conflict, drama, and choices.

    I will continue to book two, but I cannot in good heart say this a great book; it's a good book. If you are bored give it a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Ladror 12-15-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Decent story, decent performance, subpar writing"

    I liked the story, but the writing style had too much bloat, gore, and ridiculous levels of male gaze. It was distracting, and I had to make an effort to finish it. There's a good book in there, but the story could have really used some editing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PJF 12-14-16
    PJF 12-14-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    22
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    0
    1
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    Story
    "Too many problems."

    This book leaves me with mixed and ultimately negative feelings. I started out hopeful, but by the end of the novel I was left rolling my eyes and just wishing it would be over more often than I was entertained.

    I don't mind stories with a bit of grittiness but I didn't find it especially appealing in the first few chapters. I almost didn't stick with the book long enough to experience the other tones the book has to offer. A tale of big kids beating and literally buggering little kids for fun isn't my idea of pleasure reading, and that's basically all you've got until the protagonist gets a new identity.

    Pacing is also a problem... The story starts when the protagonist is 10 or 11, then you turn a page and suddenly he's 14-15... and again suddenly he's 18+ years old. These transitions are really clunky. What's more I feel like the author is trying to skip over what happens in the character's history so as not to have to deal with the dehumanizing effects of the protagonist being a murderer for hire. That's just lazy, bad storytelling. IMO you don't get to state that your main character has started running around cutting throats of people he doesn't know, to put coin in his pocket, and not reveal how that changes him emotionally. Unfortunately, so far this is exactly what Weeks is doing.

    That said, there are some chapters that are engaging but it's really hit or miss. I'm glued to the story for an hour, and the next I'm like "Whatever." The ones that are the most engaging are those that also make you forget that you are dealing with a guy that cuts people up for money. I'm not sure we as readers should be allowed to forget that. One of my pet reading peeves this year are characters that are killers by trade yet conduct their personal lives like big vulnerable babies. Weeks hasn't done that yet, but he's come dangerously close and I'm only half way through the first book. UPDATE: It goes to crap in the second half of the book.

    Another weird thing I've noticed are a number of D&D references such as using "What in the nine hells" as a curse and I'm not quite sure why we are seeing an overlap in Faerun cosmology. Nearing the end of the book the author refers to the assassin's trade as the "satanic economy" which gave me another WTF moment because for some reason we are seeing references to Dungeons and Dragons, and then real world Christian theology, without any mention of these elements of the world that the author created himself - this is a problem in a fantasy novel. There's also a lot of modern American slang and hand hand gestures like giving people the middle finger and dropping "Shits" and "Fucks" every three or four words in some sections, which rubs me the wrong way in non-modern fantasy.

    At around the 1/3 to 3/5 mark the pacing goes all to hell again. We're put into a flashback without being told it's a flashback with two characters we don't know talking about a prophecy, Then they appear again in the story a few pages later and "Surprise! It's a few decades later and that guy we were talking about who hasn't been born yet is actually the dude you've been reading about the whole story."

    Which brings me to another point of WTF is with the unnecessary PoV shifts? We're with the same character 85% of the time and then we jump into some random person's head that we haven't been following throughout the novel, and jump out never to return again.

    At around the half way point the characters start falling apart in the worst possible way - they become unbelievable. The whole novel we've been hearing about Durzo Blint, the ultimate badass, the super spy, and super duper amazing callous murder for hire that lives by a creed of not forming personal attachments or loving anyone... Then someone says "Oh guess what we're going to kill your daughter that you don't know you have if you don't do what we say," and suddenly it's "ZOMG MY DAUGHTER WHAT DO I DO!!!! I'M SO WORRIED!" Why he just accepts it as true is beyond me, but even if he does, I didn't get why he cared for a girl that he's never heard of or met before when he's spent his whole life telling himself that the only sin in the world is loving someone who could be exploited. I was caught between rolling my eyes and laughing out loud -at- the text every time it came up. There are people who aren't mass murderers who follow creeds of not having emotional attachments to people who don't give a crap about the kids they've never met or knew existed until they were adults, so that this news sends Blint into the emotional fetal position ruins the story for me. By the end of the book both the protagonist assassins hop back and fourth between murdering dozens of people in one scene (sometimes with only a line or two of description), and crying like babies in the next to the point where every time I saw a mention of tears I had "STFU" roaring through my mind.

    Oh, and I wish weeks would stop stealing phrases from other famous fantasy books and movies... There's been a number of them were there's just one or two words off that register as "Seriously? You couldn't find any other way to say the same thing that doesn't sound like someone else's signature phrase?"

    This book isn't recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles 12-03-16
    Charles 12-03-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    39
    31
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    0
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    Story
    "epic"

    A great story with great characters. Plenty of twists and turns that keep you going.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aidan 11-16-16
    aidan 11-16-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good reader, great story"

    hooked as soon as I opened the book. brutal, lovely, and rich is the world of shadows. my only complaint was that a dark story like this could be narrated by a darker voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D 11-15-16
    D 11-15-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "not bad if you can get over the narration"

    story is a little weak at times and needs beter character development. oh and names. the names felt lame... Derzo and rat and doll girl... feels like a first novel. but the core story concept was enjoyable with a fun magic structure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A.J. 11-07-16
    A.J. 11-07-16 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging story"

    The story had me enraptured. The writing made things too obvious, though. Worth the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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