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  1. #1
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    Brent Weeks, new talent!

    Hello there, a few days ago I started a thread regarding Brent Weeks. For some reason the moderators saw fit to remove the topic, why I don't know. Anyways my question was whether or not anybody has read his debut "The way of shadows" and it didn't seem that many had. After reading what it was about I scampered of to the bookstore and bought the book. Now 2 days later after having read the first 650 page novel of his trilogy, which will have one book published every month in 3 consequtive months, I'm quite surprised why noone has mentioned Mr. Weeks before this.

    I thought "The way of shadows" was astoundingly good for a debut and I will definatly be buying the next 2 books of the series. Solid characterisation coupled with an interesting and fast moving storyline topped off with some nice plot-twists marks for a very good read indeed!

    A way of shadows is somewhat reminicent of Hobbs assassins apprentice series but as the storyline is much, much darker I have to say I forgot all about Hobb as the book progressed.

    The story is about a little runt of a kid named Azoth who only has 2 friends, a mute little girl and a clever but weak boy who's name is Jarl. They are members of a guild consisting of children between 5-16 years old being led by a sickly guildleader and his cruel, sadistic right hand named Rat. Both Jarl and azoth are aware that they have to get out somehow and while Jarl has dreams of buying apprenticeship somewhere in the city Azoth dreams of being apprenticed to the deadliest assassin alive - Durzo Blint......


    I would easily rate this book higher than the hyped "The steel remains" by Richard Morgan. The prose might not be as good as Scott Lynch, Abercrombie or Rothfuss (although it is very good for a debut in my opinion) but both the story and characterisation shows so much promise that I think we'll hear more of Brent Weeks in the comming years.

    I highly reccomend his debut "A way of shadows" for anyone looking for a good fast paced read.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    I would easily rate this book higher than the hyped "The steel remains" by Richard Morgan. The prose might not be as good as Scott Lynch, Abercrombie or Rothfuss (although it is very good for a debut in my opinion) but both the story and characterisation shows so much promise that I think we'll hear more of Brent Weeks in the comming years.

    I highly reccomend his debut "A way of shadows" for anyone looking for a good fast paced read.
    The original thread at which I have contributed too was most likely "eaten" in the database reorganization that's taking place.

    I bought the book Tuesday night when it was e-released - Wednesday 1 am my time actualy - and I read some then and it hooked me so last night I stayed way too late to finish it

    I agree with most of the comments above - I definitely enjoyed the book much more than The Steel Remains, and actually this book is quite dark in a more interesting way than Morgan "shock everyone at any price and maybe have a story somewhere there too" and it is one of the best epic fantasy debuts of the year on par with Empire in Black and Gold.

    The series continues at the end of October and then November so we will see if the author can fulfill the immense promise of this book.

    Without too many spoilers - the story/world of the book is a generic fantasy one, nothing original the way Tchaikovsky had the insect Kinden in Empire, but the characterization, pace of the action and storytelling are superb. This is a book driven by action, by making you care what happens to the main characters, especially Azoth/Kylar but the rest too, the bad guys are bad in a disgusting evil way more than pure evil way, the good guys are ambiguously good at best...

    The book ends at a natural point with the story to be continued this month.

    Since the next two books are to be released in the next two months, it's hard to rank the book for now, but I am on board for the next one and I will get it asap...

    A page turner from beginning to end and highly, highly recommended.

  3. #3
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    Yet again I'm astounded by what I see as marketing misstakes by the publishers (orbit in this case). Why havn't we (I assume many are as ignorant to whom Brent Weeks is as I was) heard anything about Mr. Weeks debut? Scott Lynch, Abercrombie and not to mention Rothfuss had an immense hype surrounding their debuts probably serving to boost the sales and making them "names" in the fantasy franchise. Is there a lack of good "agents" in the fantasy field?

    Enough rambling=)

    Nice to see that I'm not alone in enjoying this new addition to fantasy.

  4. #4
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Don't think it's a lack of good agents particularly, but perhaps a limit to publicity budgets. As much as publisher's would like to, there's not always the money there to push a debut novel. But Orbit are the biggest genre sellers in the UK, I believe.

    Having said that, I got a copy yesterday. Initial impressions are good, but there's a couple I need to finish before I get to it.


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  5. #5
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Thanks for mentioning and, subsequently, enlarging my amazon wish list.

  6. #6
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    I knew it was coming out, it's a matter of simply checking the publisher's schedule on amazon.com. Or reading Fantasybookcritic's monthly spotlight of Fantasy, SF and horror books ( recommended for anyone interested in new releases).

    I've read few reviews, mixed ones, though more positive ones than negative ones. I know Aldarion/Dylan disliked it, but another blogger on Westeros said it was the best new book he read all year. Other than that there are almost no reviews for the book on the net and in that sense Orbit has failed in getting any pre-release publicity. Especially since this is a genre in which quite a few of the genre's readers also read blogs and such.

  7. #7
    The one thing that makes me hesitate is that it sounds a little young-adult from the plot and the standard fantsy world. For example, I picked up the highly recommended Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams and was very dissappointed. I didn't get through more than 50 pages before I tossed it aside. How would you say The Way of Shadows compares to Dragonbone Chair?

  8. #8
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phil_geo View Post
    For example, I picked up the highly recommended Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams and was very dissappointed. I didn't get through more than 50 pages before I tossed it aside.
    The Dragonbone Chair, the first of a trilogy, is definitely an exercise in patience. The first half of the book is rather slow. It seems that there are two different approaches to assimilating a new world: 1) massive info-dump or 2) slowly ease the reader into it. Williams definitely took route #2 on MST and, perhaps, took it to an extreme. However, Shadowmarch doesn't suffer the same slow length of beginning. It would seem, in that case, even Williams was aware of the marathon-like beginning to Dragonbone Chair. Once into second half of first book, I felt the other two breezed through quickly, if somewhat predictably.

  9. #9
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    The one thing that makes me hesitate is that it sounds a little young-adult from the plot and the standard fantsy world. For example, I picked up the highly recommended Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams and was very dissappointed. I didn't get through more than 50 pages before I tossed it aside. How would you say The Way of Shadows compares to Dragonbone Chair?
    I thought it would be YA aswell from reading about the plot...... Boy was I wrong. This is probably as far from YA as you can get (Morgan excepted ofc). The story is extremly dark, molestation, rapes, curses, murdering of innocents. You will be extremely surprised when you read as the "heroes" of the book perform acts that will leave you dumbfounded. Never have I read about heroes that behave like this=)

    In the way of shadows is NOT Shadowmarch. I think you have mixed the books up somewhat in the post above=)

  10. #10
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    So, what are the assassins like? As in what sort of weaponry do they use?

    What sort of magic is used in this world?

    Is it all human races or other races as well? I'm reading about a God-King in the North as well, are there different tribes of humans then?

    Who/what sort of enemy is there for Kylar Stern and companions?

  11. #11
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    In the way of shadows is NOT Shadowmarch. I think you have mixed the books up somewhat in the post above=)
    Sorry, no. What I meant was that the slowness that opens MST is a one-time mistake that Williams has not repeated. Essentially, 50 pages isn't enough of a read, IMO, to toss aside the whole of MST. Sorry, I should've clarified myself much better in my previous post.

  12. #12
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Here we go with YA misconceptions again.

    What are some of the perceived "marketing mistakes" on this book? If compared to Lynch, that's kind of like comparing oranges and limes. Lynch had a LiveJournal presence and he was discovered because he was posting his novel through his blog. So, naturally, there would be some Web buzz surrounding him. Weeks doesn't have much of a Web presence right now.

    I received my ARC for Weeks's Way of the Shadows at the end of August, two months prior to the book's release. That is relatively standard. Orbit was publicizing the book when they announced their Fall/Winter list for this year, so it isn't like the book is being ignored.

    Just because it isn't Orbit's lead book for the year (i.e. as Rothfuss was for DAW) doesn't mean there's now push behind it. The book has a blurb from Terry Brooks, an author whose fans are comparable to those of George R. R. Martin, who blurbed The Lies of Locke Lamora.

    BTW, we didn't delete the thread intentionally. There was a snafu in shuffling some stuff around behind the scenes.

  13. #13
    Well, when I asked if this book is young adult, I was asking two things. First, a YA novel has simplified exposition so that children can follow it more easily. Basically, either the narrator explains what is going on, or they have a character explain what is going on. The book is written so that people who are not as strong readers as adults can follow the events and plot. Sometimes this is blatant, and sometimes almost unnoticeable.

    Second, for this book, I was asking if it has a very standard fantasy world that would be boring for an experienced genre reader. The first time you read a book with elves and dwarves, you are enthralled. The tenth time, the setting is boring unless the author has made some effort to keep it fresh. Young adult books have a much better chance of encountering readers who are not burned out on the genre, so there is less of a requirement to come up with something new. I don't fault some young adult books for having standard setting or plots because I think their target audience appreciates those things. I just don't enjoy reading them myself.

    Eragon would be a good example of this - it is the first fantasy book a lot of children read, and they are captivated, but an experienced reader finds it somewhat unoriginal.

    I know that this is certainly not true of all young adult novels, His Dark Materials being a perfect example of stunning originality. However, since the reviewer specifically mentioned a standard fantasy setting, I was wondering how standard and how tough that would be to endure.

  14. #14
    Nobody in Particular kcf's Avatar
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    I'll keep my out for it. For me, it's a simple case of too many books and not enough reading time. Also, I'm not sure that Orbit sent me this one - they don't send me too many books and right now I've got plenty of promising reads so I don't ask publishers directly very often.

  15. #15
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I've been thinking similar things Ken, though since I did receive this one and folks have been asking about it, I may push it up the pile. Also, I want to see how much of a YA book this is.

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