“Beyond the Shadows” by Brent Weeks

The end of an exciting story I blazed through.

Well, it actually took me a couple months to read all three books in the trilogy, but the fact that I managed to complete the whole thing in about two years is something to celebrate because I hardly ever complete the series I start. So yeah, I’m proud of myself.

Genre:

Fantasy

Series:

Night Angel, book 3

Pubbed:

December 2008

Goodreads summary:

A new queen has usurped the throne and is leading Cenaria into disaster. The country has become a broken realm with a threadbare army, little food and no hope. So Kylar Stern plans to reinstate his closest friend Logan as King, but can he really get away with murder?

In the north, the Godking’s death has thrown Khalidor into civil war. To gain the upper hand, one faction attempts to raise the goddess Khali herself. But they are playing with volatile powers, and trigger conflict on a vast scale. Seven armies will converge to save – or destroy – an entire continent.

Kylar has finally learnt the bitter cost of immortality, and is faced with a task only he can complete. To save his friends, and perhaps his enemies, he must assassinate a goddess. Failure will doom the south. Success will cost him everything he’s ever loved. (Goodreads)

My thoughts: (spoilers)

Beyond the Shadows wraps up Brent Weeks’s Night Angel Trilogy, a fantasy story about a street urchin who becomes a notorious wetboy (assassin) and uses his skills and powers to save his friends and, ultimately, a kingdom. This last book has its ups and downs and there were times when I was upset with the characters and the pace, but overall it was a fun reading experience.

First of all, I was beyond excited when Durzo popped up again. He’s my favorite character and though we get further backstory on him in this book, I’d still love to know more about him and read about one of his adventures or one of his other identities before he became Durzo. I love how he surfaced because I’d never have guessed the Ymmuri was him. I also love how his relationship with Kylar has developed and that there is opportunity for it to continue to grow, and it’s amazing that as powerful as Kylar is and as much as he knows how to do with the kakari, there is so much more that Durzo can teach him. It was fun to read of his interactions with Kylar as a teacher and as a father figure. Those were my favorite moments in the book.

Kylar was also interesting and because he’s so much like Durzo now, I enjoyed reading from his perspective. I was much annoyed by him in the first book and softened a little toward him in the second. But in Beyond the Shadows, I was sold. I like how he has developed through the story. I admire him for how much he has sacrificed and how hard he tries to be a better person. I was amazed and entertained by his power, strength, and badassery as the ultimate assassin, and love it every time when he takes on the Night Angel avatar to scare the shit outta someone. Lol! (I still imagine it as Venom.)

The reason for Kylar’s immortality was interesting (and convinced me that Jarl wouldn’t return ), and I like how that works to ensure the person values their immortality though it brings so much pain. I can now understand why Durzo was such a wretched soul when we first meet him. It’s a harsh existence to be the Night Angel. Those you love strengthen you; but by caring for you, they become vulnerable to the price for your immortality.

It’s quite sad and made me feel sad for Kylar and Elene’s relationship. It’s the only moment in the story that I felt something for that pairing because I still don’t ship it. I hate that whole Kylar-Elene-Vi grouping. Ugh! I hate that Elene and Vi are always compared; I hate that Vi is always painted as a scarlet woman and Elene is always the epitome of purity and that the only reason they are thrown into a situation together is to emphasize that difference; I hate how much Vi has to sacrifice and endure… I just wish she had a better life. I like Vi. She should have been treated better in the story. ☹ And unlike all the other female characters, she’s the only one that seems like a person and not an idea.

Speaking of female characters, they are all quite disappointing because they are hardly fleshed out and always objectified. Slight exceptions are Vi, who I liked the more I learn about her, Momma K, who despite her faults and ruthlessness at times can be caring. I’d love to know more about her too and read about her succession to becoming Shinga. Both women come across as strong, fully developed characters. The same could be said for Sister Ariel, but all the others are weak and one-sided, especially Elene and Jenine, who are both simply virginal objects for the men to fight over. ☹ I didn’t care for either, but I felt bad for Jenine because she was caught in Dorian’s talons as he descended into becoming the dreaded godking he swore he wouldn’t be. Jenine had no voice and no agency, and I’m not even sure she got that by the end.

Ahh, Dorian. I was so mad at Weeks for what became of Dorian. WHY did he do that to my favorite character?? 😥 By the end, I was conflicted. I hated that Dorian became so evil and went mad, but I loved how Weeks wrote this. I loved that he tricked me, the reader. Dorian was such an unreliable narrator, and I didn’t realize what he was up to until halfway or more through the book, at which point I was like “OMG!! DORIAN WENT DARKSIDE!!” Dorian tricked both me and himself into believing what he did was right. He had me going right up until he raped a girl. I was like “DORIAN!! YOU DID NOT JUST DO THAT! NOOO!!!…” I was so pissed and upset and sad that my favorite character became such a MONSTER! I think he was worst that his FATHER THE GODKING!! Why did Brent Weeks do this to him!! 😥 😥 😥

Anyway, I enjoyed reading about Solon and Feir’s adventures. Solon is another badass. OMG! I love that moment when he becomes known as “Stormrider.” I think that’s a cool nickname. At first I was impressed by his love interest, Kaede, because of all the power she seems to wield, but to me, Solon upends her influence when he arrives and overshadows her, unfortunately. Still, I’m impressed by what she did to protect her people from the tyrannous previous king. Feir was also cool with his swordmaking and reading his parts (and Kylar’s too) made me like Garuwashi. I love that tense moment in the tent when Feir was nervous about the copy of Ceur’caelestus, the sacred sword, he made (and if anyone would notice his signature on it) and then Solon shows up in the nick of time. Lol! That had me laughing.

I could keep going (and talk about Kylar’s stupidity in losing his sword, Retribution, and not listening to the ka’kari, smh), but I’m going to wrap up here. This end to the trilogy was surprising because I didn’t expect Weeks to be able to answer all my questions and have so many things and people come into play in the epic battle at the end and still keep my interest and have it all make sense, but he did it. I even got an answer to the mysterious tattoo Logan got on his arm from the moon dragon in the second book. Sure there are some things I disliked but overall, I enjoyed this book and the trilogy. I’m glad I read it, and I’m sure I’ll reread. I just wish there was more to come.

Overall: ★★★☆☆

This one had its ups and downs, but I enjoyed it. I think it wraps up the story well (despite the cheesy spots, lol), and I wish there was more to come.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

Yea…I think it’s worth Buying. I bought the trilogy and am glad I did. I plan to reread it. Plus, I like the cover design.

P.S.:

The Legendarium Podcast, which features discussions about fantasy books, has a podcast series going for the Night Angel series. Check it out here.

#WyrdandWonder

Wyrd and Wonder is a month-long celebration of all things fantasy in May. To celebrate, I’ll only read fantasy books and post reviews of fantasy books, like this one! 😊 I’m also hosting a GIVEAWAY for W&W. Check the post to enter.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on ““Beyond the Shadows” by Brent Weeks

  1. Pingback: Quest Log The Second: in it to win it

  2. If you enjoyed this, you definitely need to check out his newer Lightbringer series, which starts with The Black Prism. His writing has improved, the magical system he creates is amazing, and he throws these jaw-dropping twists on you where you’re like “WAIT—WHAT?!”

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.