Book Review – The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

I’ve just finished reading this book. I picked it up at the book shop in one of those purely impulsive buys and I’m glad that I did. It’s a big tome and it covers some very interesting ground and certainly doesn’t pull its punches. This is fantasy for grown ups and I really enjoyed that about it.

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The story is fairly simple in essence, but it’s engaging and it’s very well managed by the author. I found some of the coincidences that come out later in the book a bit hard to swallow at times, but certainly nothing unforgiveable. There was sometimes a sense of the author trying too hard to surprise the reader. I won’t say any more on that to avoid spoilers.

I also had some problems with the writing now and then. It’s not a particularly literary book – it’s written very openly and simply. On the whole it’s written very well, but I found some hiccups in the writing that could have been better editted. Things like, “He picked up the jug of water and poured a glass of water.” Word repetition like that can be distracting to the reader.

However, regardless of these small gripes, I greatly enjoyed this book. There’s good stuff about the life and training of an assassin, heaps of action and intrigue and characters that you can really understand and care about. To me, that’s quality storytelling.

I’d readily recommend it to fantasy fans. There are two more in the series and I’ll certainly pick up the next one.

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