There are some novels out in the world that are very obscure, either because promotion for said book wasn't good enough or because the book was so bad that it didn't merit wider attention. As a result, great books can sometimes get lost in the in the mist of all the crap that is out in the world. But sometimes when you find one of these obscure books they’re just...well, they’re not terrible but they’re not really good either. A prime example of this is the 2008 book, The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks.
Before I go any further, let me just say that this is not an official review by any means. This is just my general thoughts on the book as a whole and the impact it left on me. If anything it's more of a rant so don't take this one too seriously.
In a nutshell, it's about a street urchin named Azoth who becomes an apprentice to best assassin in his home city, Durzo Blint and in doing so, becomes involved in the city's politics in both the underworld and high class societies and has to do various “jobs” for people of both classes. Sounds like a pretty cool concept doesn’t it?
So how does one best describe this book? Well, it starts off really good but after the first third it all goes downhill. The characters all start out pretty cool, really interesting and three dimensional but by the time it ends, they all become....well....just the opposite. The time span of the book was ridiculous as well. During the first third, it takes place over a decade. In the last two thirds it takes place over a few days. As a result the book just isn't very well paced. In fact, second two thirds of the book just felt like one long climax and was very annoying. While this may sound good, it wasn’t executed very well. It got to the point where I found myself whishing the story would end already and end this damn book.
In the end, there were a few good surprises in it, but there are many other fantasy books I would recommend before this one. Maybe the sequels are better and if I ever read them I'll be sure to give you my opinions on them, but until then, this books was forgettable and is a prime example as to how a story can start out really good but can go down the shitter really fast.