“pouring their buckets of muddy light into the crystal waters of the sky.”
When Night Angel Nemesis was first announced, I knew I had to dive back into the Night Angel series and do a complete reread. It had been a decade since I’d read the original trilogy. I honestly remembered very little, and I was excited to return to Midcyru. After the—in my opinion—disappointing ending of the Lightbringer series, I can’t express how overjoyed I was that Weeks was returning to Night Angel.
The Way of Shadows follows Azoth, a street urchin, who lives a cruel life. The book’s other main character is Durzo Blint, a master assassin. Early in the book, these two characters cross paths. While Azoth becomes enamored with the idea of taking on the role of assassin himself, Durzo is less than enthused about it. Throughout the book, Azoth learns about secrets regarding the politics, the magic system, and the assassins. Weeks does a masterful job at writing twists, which further adds to the addicting nature of the Night Angel series.
I will always point out flaws in the books I read as I see them, and this book is no different. Some people have criticized the series as not having a good representation of women (basically sexualizing every woman) and while I can see why that may be bothersome, this wasn’t something that hindered my enjoyment of the book—although I certainly picked up on it. If that’s something that bothers you, this may be a skip. The biggest fault in my eyes was some of the dialogue felt rather juvenile—and while that could be explained away by Azoth’s age, it wasn’t exclusive to Azoth. These moments often happen when the villains are talking with the main characters. It is, however, a minor inconvenience overall.
The positives of this book, though? There are so many. It’s brutal and action-packed. It’s fast-paced and thrilling. There are secrets, surprises, twists, and hooks that drag you through the story. As far as I can remember, there weren’t any info dumps—or if there were, they didn’t really feel like one to me, at least. I truly found every chapter to be gripping and unputdownable, and I’m eager to reread book two, as I know that’s where a favorite character gets a lot more page time. The action is constant, and every chapter typically ends with me wanting more, which is my favorite writing style.
If you like a dark story about assassins and a main character who is both sympathetic and somebody you want to root for, you’ll enjoy The Way of Shadows.