THE NIGHT ANGEL TRILOGY, 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION, by Brent Weeks, Hachette Books, Orbit Books


This special 10th anniversary edition celebrates the blockbuster assassin fantasy series that launched New York Times bestselling author Brent Weeks’ career.

 
For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art – and he is the city’s most accomplished artist.

 
For Azoth, survival is just the beginning. He was raised on the streets and knows an opportunity when he sees one – even when the risks are as high as working for someone like Durzo Blint.

 
Azoth must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics – and become the perfect killer.

 
The Night Angel Trilogy:

  1. The Way of Shadows
  2. Shadow’s Edge
  3. Beyond the Shadows

 

The cover, designed by Lauren Panepinto, is blacker-than-black, as it were: the page edges are dyed black, and there’s a great visual effect when you view the cover from different angles.

 
I’m so happy that Orbit didn’t simply repackage the old Night Angel art, great as it was. When it hit, those covers were a big gamble, as they were so different from the narrative covers that dominated the shelves. I truly believe that the stark central figure against the simple white background had no small part in getting a lot of people (maybe even you!) to pick up my work for the first time. Thus, Orbit’s art was integral to me getting to do the work I love even to this day, and for that reason, it will always be very, very close to my heart.

 
But now, ten years on, so many people have loved that art style that it’s been imitated many times, so a re-issue with the original art would fit in, rather than stand out. And let’s be honest, Durzo Blint only fits in when he wants to fit in. So I’m gratified that Orbit wasn’t contented to do the same old thing, and are instead innovating as they so often do, while still staying true to the spirit of the work.

 
Oh, you want one? I have good news! BARNES & NOBLE has again partnered with Orbit (and my now-cramped hand, ouch) to offer a limited run of these omnibuses SIGNED, for no extra cost. The pre-order page is live now HERE (U.S. only, sorry.) As I’m currently using every day to sprint toward the earth-shattering finish of THE BURNING WHITE, I won’t be touring for this release. So, if you’re in the US and you want your Night Angel hardcover omnibus signed, this is your best chance. Stock is limited, and B&N does usually sell out, so if you’re on the fence, go ahead and borrow the money from that friendly loanshark. I’m sure it’ll all work out fine!

 
If you want to pre-order a copy but aren’t in the US, you can grab one from any of these fine retailers:

  • Amazon
    Books-A-Million
    Indiebound
    Powell’s Books

 

Author Site:

http://www.brentweeks.com/

approx. 1189 pages

Out November 13 2018

MY THOUGHTS:

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

So this bad boy anniversary collection of books one through three is really unique. I actually love the cover, although I should add the cover on my book is black on black. The cover shown above is actually white on black.  So I think I have a very unique and rare edition :). Thank you so much Orbit.

I think I was one of the odd few who had not read Brent Weeks until this edition came out. It wasn’t because I had good intentions of reading the trilogy that made him famous, I really did want to read it.  I have the first book of his next series, “Prism Black” on my shelf waiting patiently for me to pick it up.  It’s a bad boy too.  I think that’s where the heart of the reason for the delay in reading Week’s work lies. It’s just so big a read and time always got in my way.

However, I did manage to pick it finally and read it. It took me two months to read, not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but there are three books in this edition after all.

My findings astonished me to say the least. As an avid fantasy book reader and author, I’m always holding my breath when I start a fantasy series, hoping beyond hope that the book won’t disappoint. I expect much more from fantasy and science fiction than I do the other genres.

I was not disappointed. The trilogy’s complexity involving magic systems, world-building and social/political systems blew me away.  I wouldn’t say that Weeks writes like Tolkien or Donaldson, two fantasy writing icons, but I think he truly has a gift that places him somewhere in between.

Although all the elements to fantasy writing were present and accounted for, it was his characters that drove the series.  Their multi-layered and sub-layered complexitites were just mind-boggling. The development of his characters’ inner-struggles and growth despite all the adversities Weeks threw at them, left me wanting to see what was going to happen to them next.

I’m not going to begin to try and understand the inner workings of the male mind and why male characters were portrayed one way and female another, I will add that how each was portrayed proved critical to the success of the plot and the skill used to do this, surprised me. Darkness upon darkness seemed to be fluently associated with the success of this trilogy. Although dark and violent (we are talking assassins here), Weeks does give a fully rounded perspective about the nature of his characters by providing continuous conflict in as many dark and vile ways that he could think of.  I think he threw everything at them including the kitchen sink.

Instead of appearing like sociopathic narcissists, the profound conflictive emotional war raging just under the darkness did break through and expose a lighter side to the MC making his inner-struggles relatable and just.  I suppose these creative characters can’t avoid a humanistic quality, with hidden needs and qualms  like all the rest.  I  did find myself enjoying how Weeks cloaked this aspect just enough to keep the reader liking his characters despite all the gore and violence that may have otherwise overtaken the story-line.

With his add of amazing concepts involving magic and world-building and social interactions that propelled the characters ultimately to their goals, because of their need to belong, Weeks managed to create a masterpiece of complex violent fantasy with a unique edge of humane determination. The reader is drawn in and made to see all aspects of the conflict that each character must address, resolve before moving forward. With each resolution, the characters develop further but also expose a newer conflict with a heightened degree of tension. This continues onward throughout each book, building and creating until finally, an explosion of enlightenment and resolution that leaves the trilogy successful.

Whereas this reader previously stated the trilogy to be a character driven trio, if not for his added use of an intricate and masterful plot manipulated uniquely by the author, the characters would not reveal as realistic/believable and this reader would have tired of them almost immediately. With that thought, without his added social and political structures, his characters would not have realistic purposes and viable goals to achieve. They would have fallen flat. But as that is not the case, I feel that Weeks somehow managed to find a balance that supported all aspects of the story, something many fantasy writers fail to do.

How can a true fantasy book lover not adore this trilogy? They simply can’t. Writings such as Weeks can only go one way. I imagine with each additional work, his skill will sharpen and his work will exceed the last. That in itself is incredible to fathom. As long as he can avoid repeating the same plot, magic system, political and social setup as well as seperate his goals and characters from those of previous stories, there is no where he can he go if not up?

I would challenge him to write a standalone to hone his craft and tighten his writing. If he can provide the same type of excellence in a standalone as he does in his triology/series writing, then it would prove that he can ultimately write anything. This would also prevent him from becoming a writer that can only write one thing. With that said, Weeks wants to be careful to avoid falling into the same pitfall that Tolkien and Donaldson fell into, their inability to write anything but a series of one kind and achieve similar success that their series had achieved. Sure, each is a genius and remarkable in their own right and other work of theirs has been enjoyed by this reader, but nothing each wrote after their huge successes: Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and Thomas Covenant Chronicles, ever reached the same bar of excellence, in my opinion.

Of course, this could be what Weeks wants. And who am I to challenge that?

Regardless, I believe with continued excellence such as this trilogy, Weeks will one day find himself among the greats like Tolkien and Donaldson, with his own style of writing keeping him separate from, yet still held accountable by fantasy book lovers such as myself. He has set the bar rather high for himself, yet somehow, I doubt that will be an issue. I look forward to delving into his other work to see where it goes.

I gave this book, and I wish I could give it more:

5-Star-Logo-2

PNGPIX-COM-Gold-Star-PNG-Transparent-Image

Fantasy Book Achievement Award

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