The Way of Shadows: Night Angel Trilogy, Book 1 : Night Angel Trilogy

  • by Brent Weeks
  • Narrated by Paul Boehmer
  • Series: Night Angel Trilogy
  • 21 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The perfect killer has no friends. Only targets. 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 the hard way 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.

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What the Critics Say

Praise for the Night Angel trilogy: ‘I was mesmerized from start to finish. Unforgettable characters, a plot that kept me guessing, non-stop action and the kind of in-depth storytelling that makes me admire a writer's work.’ (Terry Brooks)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not Grimdark, but a good start to a series

This is the first book I have listened to from the Author. I knew before I started the book that was could have been classified under the Grimdark genre. However, after reading the book i would say it probably just slipped into this genre.

Yes, there is killing - a while it was graphic, it wasn't overly so
Yes, there is sex - but nothing graphic. Rape is there, but not detailed.
Yes, there is torture - but nothing we haven't read already
Yes, there is a lot of swearing - but that's fairly normal.

The story itself goes at a steady pace. There were times when I got a little confused with what was happening. Maybe this was a downside of the audio version, but there were times when I had to go back a bit to try and work out why we seemed to have skipped time a little.

The main two characters are interesting. They are killers but you are expected to be rooting for them. Life is meaningless, they kill their targets and innocents if needed. I think the body count in this novel is one of the highest in any novels that I have read. You can not go more then a couple of chapters without someone dying.

The beginning of the book is very much setting up the major characters in the book. There is nothing new here - slum kids, bullies, begging to be apprenticed, tragic incident, test. The middle part then explains what a Wetboy is - and the training involved and setting up some plot points for later on. The latter part of the book is the story proper and we see some of the world and politics. While the book does conclude, it is obvious that it's going to be continued within another book.

Some of the world building is a little confusing. There are killers (thugs), assassins and Wetboys. There seem to be many types of magic users. Some magic users can be Wetboys. Some of the titles for these type of people are a little weird. To me a witch is female, but that is not the case here. The term Wetboy is a little daft - why not use assassin - its got more fear to it. Wetboy sounds infantile.

All in all I enjoyed this book. Hopefully the following books will expand on the major characters further and flesh out the world a lot more.



The audiobook was of high quality. While the narrator does vary his voice a little for the characters, it is a little variation. He is not a voice actor. There were some parts where I think it would have benefited from a little longer pause, especially when going from one scene to another.
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- GhostMuppet

A good trilogy -if you can cope with the narration

I really enjoyed the Lightbringer series, so embarked on this trilogy enthusiastically. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was short-lived and I very nearly chucked it all in because of the narration.

The opening chapters of this first book are quite stark and brutal, and I found the narrator's tone (almost a lack of gravitas?) just didn't fit at all. There was little differentiation between the characters' voices, and the timing / breathing was wrong too. However, I was intrigued by the story so persevered. By midway through the third book, I realised I was no longer being irritated by the narrator - I'd simply got used to it.

I'm glad I did persevere. Kylar is a good character, as are so many others. I would suggest that perhaps the writing and plot isn't quite as mature or well-crafted as the Lightbringer series (Wikip. suggests the Way of Shadows was Brent Weeks' first series published?), but it's still a good tale, and good enough for me to listen to all three books in the series back to back, without getting bored or distracted.

Not quite a 5 star series all the way through, although I think books 2 and 3 were better than 1. Worth it if you can cope with the narrator.
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- Robyn

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-07-2011
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK