Sunday, January 23, 2011

Shadow's Edge

Title: Shadow's Edge
Author: Brent Weeks
Series: The Night Angel Trilogy, book 2
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2008

Recommendation: Worth reading if you enjoyed the first book in the series.
Rating: 7/10

Summary: Kylar rejects the life of an assassin and leaves Cenaria to start a new life with Elene. But it's easier to make a promise of leaving the old ways than to become a peaceful apothecary and the past has no intention of letting Kylar go. When Jarl comes to tell Kylar that Logan is still alive and imprisoned, Kylar has to go back to save his friend and maybe save Cenaria.

Reactions: I am not entirely sure why it took me so long after reading the first book in the series to pick up the sequel. The long wait between the two books actually makes it much harder for me to remember what happened in the first book of the series and while I do remember the main characters and the general plot, some of the details grew hazy with time. Weeks does a decent job of reminding the reader important details as the plot continues, so overall it wasn't too difficult to get into the book regardless.

Shadow's Edge turned out to be a pretty good yarn. The plot is well-paced and kept me reading. As with many middle-of-the-trilogy book there were a number of events that seemed to be staging the way for a final resolution that will happen in the third book. However, there was a decent book ending for the story arc within this particular book. Still lots of open questions remain.

One of the interesting parts of the book was Kylar's struggle to give up his criminal ways and start a new life with Elene. I think Weeks' view on the topic are presented in the book and somewhat foreshadowed in the following conversation between Kylar and Momma K at the beginning of the book:
"Momma K, do you think a man can change?"
She looked at him with profound sadness. "No. And he'll end up hating anyone who asks him to."
It's not a big surprise after that when Kylar ends up going back to his life as an assassin soon afterward.

All in all, it was an interesting read. There are fun characters, well-moving plot, and a good dose of conflict and politics. However, it doesn't stand out to me as a particularly innovative or brilliant work among other fantasy novels. I may finish the series at some point, but I think I'll move on to other reading for now.

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