The Way of Shadows is the first book in Brent Weeks' Night Angel trilogy. It is my next read from the Books With Heroes/Heroines Who Are Assassins list at goodreads. This one is more of a assassin book than the previous one I read.
The book tells the story of Azoth, a street urchin desperately trying to make his way on the lowest rungs of the thief's guild. He dreams of begin strong and feared. He dreams of being a wetboy, like Durzo Blint. Durzo Blint is a wetboy, a assassin that boost his skills with magical talents. Azoth sets out to become Durzo's apprentice.
The book also tells about Logan Gyre, the son of one of the few honorable nobles left in the kingdom, and Solon the mage sent to protect him by the seer Dorian. The two strand of the story quickly intertwine when as part of Azoth's training he has to create a new identity as a noble and befriend Logan.
Adding danger are the agents of the godking to the north are spreading chaos throughout the kingdom preparing it for the invasion. Both Logan and Azoth become deeply intertwined in the plots.
The darkness of this book adds a lot to it. Azoth is constantly struggling with his conscience as he trains to be a wetboy. Durzo is trying to teach him that the only way for a wetboy to be safe is to have no attachments at all. A lesson Azoth is unwilling to learn.
There two other effects of the darkness of the book. Weeks keeps introducing new viewpoints but the number never gets overwhelming because he is completely willing to kill off main characters. This adds a feeling of danger that few books achieve. You really don't know when somebody will die. The other side of the coin is that the human part of the book has a hard time developing. Characters can't form relationships if they keep dropping dead all the time.
This is a good book. If you like it dark then this is a great book. The transformation of Azoth is captivating and the scheming gives good grounds for assassinations. And some of the assassinations in the book are quite remarkable. It really scratches the assassin itch.