Wednesday, July 20, 2011

[Lisa's Take] The Night Angel Trilogy - Brent Weeks

Ok, Lisa, it’s time to admit that you’re finally over Wise Man’s Fear. You’ve moved on. It took a long time, but you’re back to enjoying fantasy again. This also means you need to stop neglecting your book blog and start writing reviews again. So here it comes – the motherload of catch-up posts.

After a whole litany of failures, the book that finally snapped me out of my fantasy-malaise was The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. I picked it up on a whim going into a week of vacation, and then proceeded to devour all 3 (quite hefty) novels in about a week. This included leaving a tropical island in order to find a bookstore so I could immediately read books 2 and 3. Talk about an excellent week: nothing but mai tais, poi spinning, and reading 14 hours a day.

The Night Angel Trilogy (Way of Shadows, Shadow’s Edge, Beyond the Shadows) is everything I like in a fantasy novel. Big, interesting world; intriguing magic system; a wide range of flawed characters; a wry sense of humor; love, hate, revenge… you get the idea. Imagine Brandon Sanderson meets Peter V. Brett, mashed up with Joe Abercrombie’s unwillingness to pull punches, and you’ll have a pretty clear picture. The pacing of the novels is non-stop, and it is disgustingly easy to sit down with the book, then look up and realize 3 hours have passed.

The trilogy is not without its flaws; some of the romance aspects were a bit overwrought (think early Robin Hobb, or Elizabeth Haydon’s Rhapsody as a comparison). Sometimes the main character grates on your nerves a little, and sometimes the author stretches believability for just how clueless people can be. One plot element in the 3rd book (moon dragon? What??) wasn’t explained well enough.

But those are all minor gripes, and can be 100% ignored. This review isn’t going to be long or rambly: get these books, read them, and then start slavering for more Brent Weeks. He’s a keeper.

No comments: