Shadow’s EdgeApril 23, 2013
Brent Weeks definitely did not let me down. Not many times I read sequels with surpass the first book. This is one of it. This book expands the background laid in the first book, and brings it to a full bloom.
The story still continues on the life of Kylar, a full-grown assassin now. Cenaria had been fully occupied, the rebellion was forming, and Logan was still kept deep in the Hole. The Godking was tightening his grip on Cenaria, while Kylar was getting out of Cenaria to start a new life, just to realize that his past will always haunted him.
The first novel of the series is like the laying of the chess pieces on the board and some opening movement. One side was under pressure, and victory was on sight. But total destruction was evaded. The heir survived. On the second novel, the play on both side became more subtle. Each was laying traps for his opponent. The end game was difficult to predict. New players, initially not taking part in the first novel, were coming, bringing their own interest. The game became more complicated. The balance of the game was change. Brent Weeks was indeed the master of the game. He laid the characters like a professional chess player. The intention was hidden until the attack was commenced. And once the attack began, it was hell unleashed.
Brent Weeks succeeded in expanding the first novel, in terms of plot as well as tension. The new faction and point of view characters indeed make the story more interesting. Unfortunately, it is the main characters, Kylar, that somehow was not really grown. I expect a deeper characterization for Kylar. Fortunately, it is saved by the discussion of Caernarvonian culture, which is an important plot point. Logan part is much better, and of course Vi’s part. It looks like that we are going to have a trinity finally: Kylar, Logan, and Vi.
The dialogue is witty, despite some cliches. The pacing is good, not to slow not to fast. It is easy to get hooked when you read this novel. The best part I will say is the plot. All the plot device are laid carefully till they converged to the final event. The final conflict was indeed a very good climax, even though it was a bit predictable. Weeks was too obvious in showing the trail. I hope he can write with more subtlety (which he did, in his Lightbringer series).
Overall, a very good sequel, better than the first book. 4 star!