The Way of Shadows (Night Angel Trilogy #1)

The Way of Shadows (Night Angel Trilogy #1)

by Brent Weeks

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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From NYT bestselling author Brent Weeks comes the first novel in his breakout fantasy trilogy in which a young boy trains under the city's most legendary and feared assassin, Durzo Blint.

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art—and he is the city's most accomplished artist.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned 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.

Devour this blockbuster tale of assassination and magic by Brent Weeks, which has delighted readers all over the world—with over one million copies in print!

Night Angel
The Way of Shadows
Shadow's Edge
Beyond the Shadows

Night Angel: The Complete Trilogy (omnibus)

Perfect Shadow: A Night Angel Novella (e-only)
The Way of Shadows: The Graphic Novel

For more from Brent Weeks, check out:

The Black Prism
The Blinding Knife
The Broken Eye
The Blood Mirror
The Burning White

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316033671
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 10/01/2008
Series: Night Angel Trilogy Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 688
Sales rank: 43,012
Product dimensions: 6.86(w) x 4.38(h) x 1.46(d)

About the Author

Brent Weeks was born and raised in Montana. He wrote on bar napkins and lesson plans before landing his dream job years and thousands of pages later. Brent lives in Oregon with his wife, Kristi, and their daughters. Find out more about the author at or on twitter @brentweeks.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"I was mesmerized from start to finish. Unforgettable characters, a plot that kept me guessing, nonstop action, and the kind of in-depth storytelling that makes me admire a writer's work." —-Terry Brooks, New York Times bestselling author

Customer Reviews

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The Way of Shadows (Night Angel Trilogy #1) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 533 reviews.
BluHawk More than 1 year ago
"Way of Shadows" has to be one of the most well written fantasy books I have ever read. It transports you into a 'shadowed' world with some extremely dynamic and interesting characters. Although a good portion of this book was difficult for me to stomach, I feel that Weeks was trying to emphasize that you can't fully appreciate the light unless you have experienced darkeness. I was extremely impressed by this novel, and I can't wait to read what Weeks comes out with next. I think fans of Salvatore's Artemis Entreri will enjoy the characters, and fans of Stephen King will enjoy the writing style.
Enma More than 1 year ago
This series is one of the few sets of books I can read over and over again and not get tired of it. It lacks the usual five paragraphs explaining some random lady's coat nor does it linger on a single detail. Its fast paced and it almost feels as if you're there, watching it like a movie rather than simply reading it. It introduced different ideas, wraps up nicely, and leaves space for future stories. Some of it was predictable and it included some cliches' but not necessarily in an irritating way. It was more believable than the norm. All and all these are the best books I have read in a while and compared to what I usually read the change in pace is a relief. It is not a story for the light of heart.
Wade-Black More than 1 year ago
Way of Shadows is heartfelt without being corny, and philosophical without being preachy. The way Brent Weeks switches plot streams keeps the reader constantly engaged and on edge. The book reads like a gritty and modern R- rated superhero legend. The devil is in the way Weeks details the arts of war and assassination. Way of Shadows does not lack for action or an intelligent story that forces the reader to rock back on his/her heels with each new twist. Totally addicting and satisfying.
cend2go More than 1 year ago
The story starts out with the character Azoth, a kid living on the streets-if you call his life "living"-- and he dreams to be something more. After an incident where his "guild" of street kids attacks the most renowned wetboy-an assassin that has a variation of magic called Talent-a man named Durzo Blint, Azoth decides he will do anything to become Durzo's apprentice and a wetboy himself no matter what the cost. Azoth is told later by Durzo that if he is serious about becoming a wetboy apprentice, he must kill the bully-leader of his guild in a set amount of days. Azoth stalls, worrying about it: the if's how's and when's of what he has to do, and that stalling costs him his best friend's life. After that, Azoth promises to never hesitate again. As Azoth-now newly named Kylar Stern-begins his training under Blint, other, larger plots are stirring. The ruler of another kingdom is plotting a takeover, but not an open one. It's taken years of planning and careful maneuvering to get all the right people in the right places, and as Kylar is just discovering some of the wetboy's darker secrets along with some of Durzo Blint's, the takeover begins. Will Durzo and Kylar use their infamous talents to aid the kingdom? Or will Master be pitted against Apprentice? ************ Mr. Weeks did an amazing job in this first book. The characters were very life-like and believable. The plot lines started in this book promise to be a great series! The twist he puts on rules of magic and other magical items are unique. His characters are both loveable, with humor on the right occasions; and hated, with motivations and actions that only they have reasons for. This trilogy has some content that isn't appropriate for children.
Pagan More than 1 year ago
I've had this book sitting in my closet for two years now, hidden away because of moving several times and lack of enthusiasm to unpack. I finally cleaned out the closet and thought, hey this sounds interesting! Wow, not a disappointment! The only disappointment is that it got stashed away in the moving boxes for so long! The plot was fabulous, the characters were real, and unlike many books that jump around from being told in one character's point of view to another characters point of view the story actually flows together and the parts overlap with a brilliance I've never seen before. The intrigue, battles, magic, and romance all weave a fantastic story that I'd recommend to anyone who likes gritty fantasy filled with assassins, mages, and the darker side of life. I read the book in three days (which is actually a really long time for me) and could hardly stand to put it down when I had to attend to other things (like sleeping, and college...haha). Anyways, this is a book that you don't want to miss out on. I'm going to find time to go get the next one today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After a friend recommended this book to me, I was looking forward to reading it. Frankly, I was torn. It took me almost 3 weeks to finish this book. The first couple hundred pages drag¿and drag¿and drag. The story moves so slowly then you are thrown into the book full force with a huge cast of characters and places that are often times hard to keep track of. As for the assassin's journey, it's more than exceptional. The real drama of the story isn't in the actual killing at all, but in dealing with the very morality of the situation. Watching Kylar hesitate and choke as he attempted to take his first life was heart-stopping in itself. The only real gripe I had with the book, and it is, unfortunately, a rather large one, is the story structure itself. As the book progresses, it seems that every named character gets their own perspective. I found myself getting absolutely absorbed into Kylar's story, and then, all of a sudden, I'm reading about someone else. This happens so many times, and while I understand the author's reasons, as he wanted all the cards to be out on the table, eventually these constant cutaways to (in some instances) throw-away characters becomes very annoying, and actually persuaded me to put the book down for the night a couple times. These cutaways not only put a damper on the flow, but made the whole story much more complicated. As if to solve this at times, the characters also drift into page-length monologues to explain...everything. If some of these cutaways and monologues had been removed, there would be a much tighter novel in its place. Instead, they sit there and make the 600 or so pages much more intimidating as time goes by. So, overall it has great potential, and the main reason it warrants praise is the likeability of characters like Azoth and Doll girl, or Blint, but it lacks the refinement and tightness that would have made it a flowing story.
sweetsounds More than 1 year ago
brent weeks did a great job with this series,will eagerly wait for more books by him. the characters were brought to life with so much feeling. weeks also has a way with humor at just the right time, I love that in an author.I was also fond of the way he used sensuality in the books as well very sexual at times (not a bad thing) my only gripe was the ending, I feel it didnt wrap the story up very well, left me with alot of questions about the many plotlines he developed so brilliantly.but overall was a very easy read I would recomend it
moss_writer More than 1 year ago
It was a wonderful read with lots of connectable characters! The book was well rounded with dark, light, romantic, funny, serious, and heart warming turns. The plot was very original. One in many that have sucked me in and kept me wanting more and more. If your looking for a good read that will keep you on the edge this is one that will please. The twist it gives to magic and the fantasy world is refreshing and liberating! The characters are easy to love and easy to hate. (you'll understand when you read). The author really helps you feel who they are or were meant to be and even the bad guys are just so bad you love to hate them! Wonderfully written and fun to read!
pilot_13 More than 1 year ago
I gave The Way of Shadows five stars because it was a very compelling and enjoyable story for me. However, I know some would not like this book for the author's straight forward and plain-spoken writing style. He holds nothing back, and I like it because it shows he isn't pretentious and writes in a way he's comfortable with. The story is like nothing I read before. In the way Weeks describes different cultures in the book, it's like he mixes different real-world cultures to make those in this book. Ceurans are like Scottish, red-headed samurai, the Khalidorans are like big dark haired, handlebar mustached, brutish vikings, and the Sethi are like Mediterranean-style pacific islanders. Along with a great setting, this book is a page-turner. It's a story about an orphan that doesn't want to live like an animal or be afraid anymore. Azoth (the protagonist) wants to leave the dirty, third-world Warrens and live a happy life with his friends. And he believes becoming a Wetboy (professional killer) will help him obtain that. He wants to apprentice with the best in Cenaria, Durzo Blint. But this path is definitely not as easy as Azoth thinks. This book is his beginning in the way of shadows. Weeks does many unexpected things with his characters and it's always turns out different than you think. It's a definite buy in my opinion (just for adults though, there's graphic violence, profanity, and "adult situations").
Blaquestarr More than 1 year ago
Didn't expect much when I bought this title based on the other reviews on the B&N site, but the cover and premise looked interesting. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. :) A bit graphic in nature towards cruelty to children (really, it's the only emotional part of the book that gets me), but I cared about these characters and wanted to read the next one and the next one. Writing style is a bit funky, but it's what makes it unique and plays out like the character's actual thoughts. Not a seemless transition, but I tend to like writers to write out of the ordinary vernacular of proper English. Setting is believable, and since this is a set up or an introduction story to the trilogy, a lot more character develeopment than actual action. But I loved it, and would recommend it. ^_^
dalnewt More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of tale that enlivens, resonates and satisfies. The primary characters are well developed and engaging. As a bullied 'guild rat' who apprentices himself to a legendary 'wet boy' assassin, the protagonist, Azoth aka Kylar, is sympathetic, complex and convincingly humanized. The pace alternates between fast and faster. The action is exemplary ranging from individual contests/assassinations to battles for a kingdom. And, the multi-threaded story is utterly compelling. I simply can't understand why the critics haven't raved about this book. I'm glad I paid attention to another reviewer's recommended list. This book is an excellent fantasy read for anyone between the ages 12 to 100. I've already purchased the next two books in this trilogy because this book was just so d_m good.
DAY-READER More than 1 year ago
This is by far the greatest book in fantasy i have ever read. I couldnt find anything that compared to George r.r Martin until now. The book never slows down, from begaining to end you just cant put it down. The author never acts like hes taking you somewhere else. I felt like i was dancing with this book. everything was beautiful and the steps just perfect. If your reading this review, 'LISTEN TO ME' you must buy this book. you will not be dissapointed. I could go on and on about this book, the characters, the plot, the late nights reading because i couldnt put it down. Trust this review. AND GET THIS BOOK....Weeks has risen to the very top of my favorite authors. I love the world he created....And I am begging for me....Brent Weeks has said after a year he is going to revisit the night angel and continue on..That I am very excited about..Please Weeks hurry and revisit..PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was astonished and mesmerized by the heart-gripping power of this novel. Now that I'm captivated, I am passionately, and impatiently, waiting for the next two books in Brent's trilogy. I started the first page just to check it out, couldn't set it down, and finished all 688 pages in a mere couple days 'and well-spent late nights'. Having previously only read some J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, this was my first foray into modern fantasy. Wow, what an astonishing journey! The characters are complex, raw, real, and multi-faceted. In only a few moments, you are able to feel and grasp who they are, but just when you think you know them, you realize how ephemeral are the masks they wear. It is then you discover something profound that leads you to look deeper. The plot is subtle yet strong, and filled with twists that make you gasp or shriek or cheer. The action is never gratuitous or forced, but quite often intense and robust, keeping you on the edge of every page. Filled with adventure, magic, evil, love, heroism, risk, pain, and a dramatic grittiness that leaves you needing to catch your breath but not wanting it to stop, this is a masterpiece you'll never forget. Brent brilliantly depicts the shades of shadows found in evil, suffering, and shame, while pointing toward the hope that where there is a shadow, there must somewhere be a light. I think many will find that what started as a fun read, soon becomes a life-changing experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the dark and gritty feel of the book. Too many authors try to write a hero who is so consumed by "righteousness" that it becomes boring. Brent Weeks characters had depth and a healthy dose of humanity... It made the series great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a great book and very sad but exicting at the same time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A hands down MUST read!!!  the plot, the characters, the settings are all so well developed.  This trilogy is definitely a rags to hero tale, but Weeks does it with style.   
Tlocke More than 1 year ago
Azoth and Ezio are the same! If Assassins creed was put to paper this is what it would read like. Dark and mysterious, Weeks makes this fictitious world stand out. To often authors make light of a situation. Weeks' grimy description of Azoth's orphanage makes everything seem more real. During Azoth's training as an assassin, I pictured running along the rooftops of a Florence as Ezio Alditore from the hit video game series Assassins Creed. The vivid description and the non stop action made this book a success! Cant wait to read more of Weeks' work.
william gaffney More than 1 year ago
Fact is this is a series does what books are supposed to do, making you freak out about reading, and keeping you awake till 2 in the morning reading. Nonstop action and twists thatll leave Your back hurting.
Miciotto Johnson II More than 1 year ago
Amazing book from start to finish! I loved that you were hit with so many twists that you were forced into being immersed into the story. It is definitely must read!
EffStar More than 1 year ago
This first book of the Night Angel Trilogy is a tour de force of winding storylines, and heart wrenching drama. A set similarly to Dicken's class Oliver Twist also has the subtle twists of science fiction. While this book is classified as Science Fiction/Fantasy it lacks the outlandish nature that most books classified as such that have. Durzo Blint is a fore to be reckoned with and as a character is really the reason to read the book in its entirety. Azoth, while a sweet character, is missing much of what it takes to be the hero of such a spinning tale. His naive nature doesn't allow a person to really think of him as a full fledges wetboy. Maybe as the trilogy progresses I will be more interested in the happenings of the now Kylar Stern. Bas Assed.
PollyBennett 8 months ago
Dark, at times hard to read. But, in all a spectacular story.
Kaelkivial on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really great story telling ability and very fast paced plot. There were some very dark scenes and most of the characters are pretty dark inside (Blint especially), but I felt that this just made him and the story all that more believable. Not all heroes are pure. I admit I skimmed over a good deal of the political intrigue and such- I was much more interested in watching the Master/apprentice relationship between Blint and Kylar, and the interactions between Kylar and the array of interesting secondary characters. Very good read overall!
Radaghast on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What an awesome book! There's really no better way to describe it. Way of Shadows takes traditional fantasy to a whole new place and you are very glad for the ride. The novel tells the story of a young orphan living on the streets. Sounds like fairly typical fantasy. In a lot of ways this first part of the story reminded me of the brilliant Mistborn. But as bad as Vin has it in that book, Azoth has it ten times worse. This book definitely doesn't pull punches in terms of how graphic the world Azoth lives is. I didn't feel anything that happened during the course of the novel was over-the-line, but it's definitely not for people with a week stomach. What helped for me was that, as Azoth manages to escape his circumstance and begins training with the greatest assassin Durzo Blint, he does find lots of good in the world to counteract the evil. There's a balance here. The Warrens are a bad place to live, but you understand how it got that way, and you understand that a few people are trying to restore good to that world. I can't really explain too much more of the plot. It relies, perhaps a little too heavily, on twists, and any explanation would ruin the story. So many twists arose as I read, that I started to question whether Weeks thought his novel was interesting enough. Trust me, it is, and it would have been a better novel without the continual, "Oh wait, so he's really the father?" or "Guess who didn't really die this time." It just got sort of silly. All that said, Way of Shadows is so much different from other fantasy, and so well written, it's definitely one of the finest novels I've read. The characters and their struggles overcome any M. Night Shyamalaness on the part of Weeks. I can't wait to read the next one.
readafew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Way of Shadows is the first book in the Night Angel Trilogy and I have to say, I can't wait until I get the chance to read the next two in the series. Personally, the book felt a lot like Feist's Magician Apprentice/Master books but a lot darker and grittier. Which since the book is about an assassin that should be expected. Assassin's aren't nice cuddly people. The story begins with an orphan boy (Azoth) trying to survive on the streets with other orphans in the worst part of town. We learn a lot about the underbelly of this little city in a country that is barely worth an attempt to conquer. A chance meeting brings our protagonist to the attention of Durzo Blint, the most renowned wetboy ever (read a supernatural assassin!). Azoth asks Blint to be apprenticed and he's given a task to perform to prove himself worthy.We follow Azoth through his training and learn quite a bit about his country and people, the politics that make everything go around. But while parts of the story are well and fully told, Weeks kept adding in new and interesting pieces to the puzzle around the edges and not explaining much, leaving it to the next book for us to find out more.While it's a great book, it's not a stand alone by any means, so be prepared for that. Good writing, lots of fun, interesting magic, a little dark and brutal but an excellent read.
les121 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although I don¿t read epic fantasy very often, I¿m glad I picked this one up. Once you push past the extremely bleak, depressing beginning, you¿ll find that The Way of Shadows is a fun, exciting, twisting tale of politics, murder, love, and redemption. What makes this novel compelling is it¿s characters. The entire cast is made up of complex, interesting, and emotionally engaging characters that easily drew me into their story.The plot is full of unexpected twists that kept me turning pages, eager to find out what happens next. The most predictable part is the romance, but the characters and their relationships are so deftly crafted that the romantic elements flow smoothly and realistically into the main storyline without overwhelming it. Eventually everything comes full circle, the last two hundred pages picking up the pace with almost non-stop action. The ending is satisfying, but we also get the sense that this is just the start of a much greater journey. As for the worldbuilding, I¿m not sure that I completely understood everything Weeks tries to convey about magic and magic users. This is one very important element could have been more clearly explained. Still, my confusion on that point didn¿t really hinder my enjoyment of the story.Overall, I liked The Way of Shadows, though I feel slightly spent, emotionally and mentally, after finishing it. I¿ll probably take a break to read something less gloomy, but I definitely plan to come back to this series. It helps to know that it¿s a trilogy with a definite ending, unlike some fantasy series that seem to go on and on forever. More than anything, though, it¿s the characters that will make me want to return and find out what¿s in store for them next.