Saturday, 10 September 2016
REVIEW: The Way of Shadows
I'd read a couple of sniffy reviews about this book and a friend was very meh about it ... even Weeks himself seemed a touch apologetic about his debut when he saw my tweet about starting it ... though I could be over-reading 140 characters there. In any event, my expectations were not sky high.
It turns out that I tend to like what people tend to like ... who knew? I don't enjoy every popular book but I do generally find out that there's a good reason why they're popular.
Brent Weeks is a great story teller and his writing is plenty strong enough to carry the load. I call the book fun, and it is, but that's not to diminish it in any way. There are plenty of emotional scenes and even though I could see the strings being pulled, I still got drawn in. There's as much action as any reader could want, varied and interesting magic, tight plotting from a good number of interesting points of view. The pacing is good and there are few info dumps. I could perhaps have stood fewer discussions on the city's varied architecture but that's the very minor niggle on the back of a great deal of enjoyment.
And that friend of mine who wasn't a fan - she wasn't a fan of The Warded Man either, which I loved, and I have to say that this is probably the most enjoyable read I've had since devouring Brett's The Warded Man several years ago. Like that book TWoS takes what I loved about 80's fantasy and grows it up for the more demanding, hard-edged tastes of today. Definitely recommended.
Perhaps the book benefited from me having a rare day to myself and reading most of it in one go. Then again I could have done a lot of other things with that day ... and Weeks' story didn't let me!
You can go and 'like' my review on Goodreads if you like!