There is an excerpt now available:
Thanks Mith: you see, I like that. It's not particularly new or original, it works within the usual Fantasy realms - tavern, guilds, assassin - but it's fun. Not clever, not particularly stylish, but well done.
And sometimes that's all a reader wants.
Mark / Hobbit
That's just what I was thinking as well when I read that, and I ordered a copy. And it *is* a bonus that these novels have sizeable heft and come out in quick succession.
In a nutshell, I'd say that Weeks is pretty much a "gritty" R. A. Salvatore.
And I felt it did have a strong YA tone. Not saying that to stir the pot!
Read it and find out for yourself!
Just thought I'd mention - Brent Weeks' 'The Way of the Shadows' has been Nominated for the new, David Gemmell 'Legend' Award for Fantasy! (I have the honour of being the Awards Administrator) We've got about 36 Nominations uploaded so far, from all the major publishers.
Adrian Tchaikovsky, Empire in Black and Gold has also been Nominated - but is not yet up on the site (on our 'To-Do List'!) Voting is not yet open, but everyone is welcome to Sign-up to the site in order to recieve updates/competitions etc...
PS: Don't miss out on your vote - it's shaping up to be very exciting!
All this talk of the book has got me reading the book. I'm a few chapters and I like it so far, though I don't know if I'd say it is YA.
There you go: works for reviewers too......All this talk of the book has got me reading the book.
Hope to get to it soon myself.
Inquiring minds want to know...
Nice rant/article up at kcf's nethspace blog about the subject.
I'm about 100 pages into the book and don't get the sense that the book is YA, though I can see how it would appeal to young adults with the youthful protagonist on his (anti)-hero's journey and the immature Logan Gyre. The struggles are more against the society in which Azoth lives than with coming to grips with his age and growing up. The difference is subtle but enough to push it out of being a full-blown YA novel. Though I can only guess at this point, much of the early part of this novel (and maybe the whole book) is partially set up for Azoth and Logan Gyre place in the world as adults.
Not that YA is a bad thing, just ask Neil Gaman, Cory Doctorow or Scott Westerfeld.
This book sounded interesting so I picked it up earlier this week. Will post my thoughts when I've read it.
Re: the YA tone thing -- my totally subjective, possibly-way-off impression is that a "YA tone" seems to mean a story that has some or all of the following characteristics:
-- Straightforward prose and plot structure;
-- No explicit gore or sex, and usually no dwelling on horrible psychological trauma (which is not to say that there can't be emo characters, just that they stay in the realm of emo as opposed to being explicitly mentally broken);
-- Mostly clear "good" and "evil" characters;
-- Upbeat ending.
In other words, the same kind of stories that someone else might describe as "fantasy lite." Whether this is fair or not, I don't know. But when I see the term used, that is what I understand it to mean.
So what I expect, based on those comments, is a story that is about an assassin but which glosses over the more unpleasant aspects of being a hired killer (having to kill people who aren't particularly bad and may in fact be upstanding citizens who are merely politically inconvenient, the uglier physical aspects of death, dealing with distinctly unsavory employers/suppliers/co-workers, the tedium that would go into planning and carrying out a realistic contract killing, etc). Since fantasy assassins, like fantasy thieves, are a far cry from the real thing, this sort of goes with the territory and I don't expect to be disappointed by the prettification of it. But I'll be interested, after reading the book, to see whether my initial guesses were right.
Can't really agree that there is no "explicit gore" or "no dwelling on horrible psychological trauma" in this book.
The protagonist is an assassin - you tell me if that is a clear good or evil character?
Oh, I meant those as general "this is what I think people mean when they describe a book as 'YA'" comments, not a description of Brent Weeks' book in particular. Since I haven't read his book yet, I wouldn't presume to characterize it one way or the other. I don't describe books as having a "YA tone" anyway.
I thought that's what you were getting at Cranky, just wanted to dispel the myth, so to speak.
Finished the book yesterday morning and enjoyed it throughout, but especially the last quarter where things started picking up...
From the party where the prince is killed to the end was fun after the build up from the rest of the book. Once Kylar started to use the kakari and we learned more about Durzo's past I really started to connect with both characters and the parallels they have with personal inner conflicts and their love life or lack thereof. I didn't really care either way for Blint until I learned of his daughter/ love for Momma K and then to top if off we find out who he really is (on more than just one level).
The end of the book really made me interested in the next installement, and also glad that there will hardly be any wait at all between the 3 books in a trilogy I expect to wrap up nicely but leaving me wanting more in Weeks universe.