Thursday, December 12, 2013

review: the night angel trilogy

I promised ages ago that I'd share about this book and I've really been procrastinating. Probably because I started reading another series that I'm enjoying, and coworkers are begging me to take their advise on a third series after this ... but man was this a good one.

From some earlier reading, I already knew that I was a fan of Brent Weeks' writing style. And as I was working my way through The Black Prism I was instructed several times that I absolutely had to read the Night Angel trilogy if I enjoyed his writing. So, I scoured the used book stores in my area, to no avail, and then finally gave in and purchased a very large volume containing all three books for the trilogy. Good call, self, good call.

I devoured this. Stayed up till my eyes couldn't focus at 3 in the morning and I had to work the next day kind of devoured. The start took time to get going, which seems to be Weeks style. He sets the stage carefully, and it certainly plays out well later in the book, but beginnings aren't what I would call his strongest point.

There's a lot I'd like to say, but with a trilogy like this? If I say too much I'll easily spoil things. It's a well constructed medieval world, called Midycru that's comfortable to slip into from the get-go. There are multiple forms of magic. Well developed, distinct forms of magic. Which I actually think is quite masterful - it can be hard enough coming up with one cohesive system of magic, but to come up with multiple forms in one world? Colour me impressed.

The characters are strong and complex, with failings that allow you to truly enjoy them. The plot turns come at just the right time, and there were moments where I wanted to scream at what Weeks was doing to these people - he's not afraid to put his characters through the wringer for the sake of realism and story. Even better, it's not just the main characters that are compelling. The secondary and tertiary characters, spiralling out from the centre of the story are well developed enough that the story feels real. Although, Jenine maybe is a little two dimensional ... but she doesn't have too much of a role, and even when she does take up page space it's mostly to prop up to other, more major characters.

Weeks is equally deft with his plots and big reveals. Book three, in particular, has a few big moments that were just heart wrenching to me.

From his blog, it seems like one day we might get to read more of Midycru, and I'd be quite excited if that were the case.

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