Friday, March 8, 2013

The Way of Shadows

The Way of Shadows (yes, kind of cheesy but fun)
By Brent Weeks

This book was sitting on my husband's "to be read" shelf and I just couldn't resist reading. It is another fantasy book (I seem to read similar genres in batches).  Although it is another "dark" book, the characters were compelling and the plot was intriguing. Some secrets also were revealed at the end. I did wonder about it being the first in a series because it ended as though it was a single book.

I enjoyed the main character, Azoth, who changes his name to Kylar when he apprentices himself to Durzo Blint, an accomplished assassin. Kylar overcomes an awful childhood to become someone who is hired to kill. Although he is told not to love, he finds himself falling for the one person he was supposed to protect. And perhaps there is love for the father-figure of Blint and some other nefarious but good-hearted characters.

The book is violent and does give graphic descriptions of child on child abuse. Some of the killing is also described in detail. Magic is part of the life of many of the characters, although Kylar is sadly seemingly unable to use his own magic. Weeks is a great writer who uses plot, characters and tension to create a wonderful world. I am planning on reading the rest of the series and have already gotten another of Week's books: The Blinding Knife.

What did this book have to do with my faith? The expectation that a killer cannot love really brought "thou shall not kill" to life. How can you love someone, be in close relationships with other people, and kill for a living? Or kill at all? Is there not something broken with someone and their relationships - especially with God - when they are able to kill? Certainly, there have been times when people accidentally kill. And what about soldiers who kill? How does that effect their relationships? How do they keep in right relationship with God? The interesting thing is that, despite his claim that he does not love others, Blint shows at the very end that he does love, he does care, he does have (really messed up) relationships. Perhaps there is grace even for a hired killer? I don't have the answers, just the questions!

I recommend The Way of Shadows.

Happy reading!


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