I am reading this wonderful high fantasy book. I admit humbly that the only reason I picked it up while waiting for my husband at the bookshop was the cover. The assassin portrayed on it reminded me of the young Darth Vader from the new episodes of Star Wars. It is really eye catching.
Yes, okay. An author shouldn’t pay attention to boo covers, I know. Open the first page, read the opening paragraph, read the blurb, read a random page.
I did that right after, so there. 🙂 And then I ran to the counter and bought it, carried it home with reverence and haven’t been able to get back to work since then, so absorbed I have been in reading it.
The protagonist is Azoth, a street rat who becomes the apprentice to Durzo Blint, the city’s most famous wetboy (magic-wielding assassin), his friends, his blocked Talent, the politics of the kingdom and the many colorful characters involved. But it is also about feelings and desires and needs and one comes to care about all of these people, and most of all, of course, Azoth, alias Kylar Stern.
In typical high fantasy style, there is elaborate world building, complete with maps of imagined lands and people, the setting is reminiscent of middle ages, and the people in it are mostly white and blue-eyed. The one strong female character, Momma K, is fascinating and interesting, though I see her dying soon (*sob!*) as the story evolves.
But. But. It is a great story, the characters likable even when twisted and very human, the pace fast, the tension high, and surprises often wait at the end of scenes or chapters. Often both. The descriptions are good, rarely so long one’s eyes glaze over (which happens often in high fantasy) and are tied to the characters’ perspective and to the plot.
One thing that bothers me a little is the amount of points of view and the sometimes unexpected change in mid scene, which feels sometimes like head hopping. Still, the story is so good as it races along, dragging the reader with it, that there isn’t much time to think about it.
My verdict: 18 pts out of 20. 🙂 And now I am a fan on Brent Weeks’ “The Night Angel Trilogy” page, here:
Go, buy, read! A great book, I promise, and from a new author!
*floats away on her happy cloud*