Not too long ago, I completed the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks, a grimdark fantasy story about a street urchin who becomes a notorious assassin, which is called “wetboy” in the book. I enjoyed reading the story although I wasn’t enthused about how it ends. Wanting more story about the characters, I quickly started on Perfect Shadow. I wanted to know more about my favorite character — Durzo Blint, who trained the protagonist of the Night Angel books, — and the Perfect Shadow didn’t disappoint.
Night Angel, book 0
The Perfect Shadow contains two short stories. The first focuses on Durzo Blint before he became Durzo, the best wetboy in Cenaria and connected to the Sa’kagé. The second story focuses on Kylar after the events of the trilogy and in the process of hunting down Trudana Jadwin, the duchess who killed the prince and started a war and has a weird taste in art. (Goodreads)
This was almost exactly what I wanted, but it would have been great if the stories were longer.
Perfect Shadow: A Night Angel Novella
I appreciated this story. It’s almost exactly what I wanted, which is more story about Durzo that gives us more insight into his past and who he really is. Turns out, he’s been pretty truthful with us, well Kylar, this whole time.
Perfect Shadow shows us the making of the personality Durzo Blint. It tells us about the incidents in Durzo’s life that led him to this point — to training to become a wetboy and helping Mama K to become head of the Sa’kagé.
I was so curious and engrossed that I quickly completed the story. I tore through it hoping for more despite how short it is. I was surprised that Durzo was trained to become a wetboy because the entire time I read the trilogy, I assumed that he was the first wetboy ever. It was interesting to see how Scarred Wrable figures in this, which made me think back to what he said to Kylar in the trilogy when Scarred Wrable was sent to kill him. Scarred Wrable is a minor character but the few sentences of backstory we get on him in Perfect Shadow makes me want to read a book about him. I want to know if he ever acts upon the info Durzo gave him about the pendant he wears.
I also appreciate the background we get on Durzo and Momma K’s relationship. I like the parallels drawn between them in that one passage where they both arm themselves according to their profession. Learning how Durzo got the name Durzo Blint was also a treat, and a bit funny, and also learning about the other identities he’d assumed in the past, which ties back to the identity he takes on later in the trilogy. Getting a peek into Hubert Gibbett’s early life also helped me understand why he’s such a monster in the trilogy.
Much as I enjoyed this story and the further understanding we get about Durzo (I totally get why he’s such a tortured soul when we meet him in the trilogy), I wish there was more. I really wanted some backstory about the mages — Solon, Feir, and especially Dorian. I’d love to read about the crazy shit they must have did while studying to become mages, and I’d love to know more about Dorian’s background because him breaking away from the Godking and Khali’s influence to go become a mage would be a really good read.
I, Night Angel
I loved this story, lol!
It’s basically about Kylar in his Night Angel form torturing the shit (probably literally) out of a dude to get info on Trudana Jadwin. It’s dark and it would have been disturbing if it wasn’t so funny, and the reason why it’s funny is because Kylar is mostly talking the entire time and making the man’s imagination do the work for him. The imagination is a powerful thing. But, really, I like it for the conversation between Kylar and the ka’kari.
It’s obvious that this is a quick story Weeks had fun writing. First of all, the dude Kylar captures and is supposedly torturing is called Ugh. Lmao! When I read that name in the story’s second paragraph, I had to stop and just laugh. I guess Weeks couldn’t think of a name and went with the sound he made while trying to think of one that matches the character.
The conversation between Kylar and the ka’kari while “torturing” Ugh is the gem of the piece. It’s hilarious. The story is told in first-person and there’s a moment when the ka’kari interrupts the flow to ask Kylar “Are you narrating,” which makes it all obvious. Kylar was indeed narrating with the intent that the ka’kari can recall it all later for him. The ka’kari was, of course, indignant that Kylar would use it in such a way.
“But fine, I’ve got my own little ontradictions my own self.
Damn, that didn’t really sound very good, did it? Maybe I will have to edit these recollections a bit. Later. If I live that long.
Remind me to edit these, would—
~Oh fuck off.~”
Lol! This one had me cracking up. I wonder if any of that made sense to you readers. If not, go read the story! Well, first read the trilogy and then read the story. Although the events in this book occur before the trilogy, they are best read after completing the trilogy. That way the characters and situations in The Perfect Shadow will all make sense and you won’t be spoiled for anything.
I appreciate it for Durzo’s backstory. It was a fun read. If you’ve read the Night Angel trilogy, then I highly recommend this book to you.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
It’s worth it if you own the trilogy.