This book was nowhere near as interesting as the first book, in my opinion The first half of the book focused mostly on unimportant details, and there wasn t nearly as much action and political intrigue However, that epilogue really makes me want to finish reading the trilogy VERY INTRIGUING. I think a lot of people who are complaining about the role of women in this book completely missed something important it adds to the development of the world It is a medieval fantasy and the women in this time period are relegated to nothingness however they play a huge role in this book itself Elene and Vi are FOILS they are meant to be eachother s anti thesis in every way Vi was abused sexually, physically, and mentally in every way conceivable while Elene grew up in a relatively happy and loving home If anything, Brent Weeks is taking a pot shot at how most writers of this genre makes women seem completely feeble I personally loved Vi and Elene in their own rights I grew annoyed at Elene trying to change Kylar and I felt a twang of pity for Vi For those who are curious as to who is my favorite I d say both Vi in a sort of bonding way Its not easy to trust nor love after being the victim of abuse and Elene for her naivete of the world Elene can also be considered a Siddhartha character oblivious to the plagues of man and learning them in a cruel manner Also, I enjoy the fact he switched points of view it let you connect with each character and sit on edge over their coming fate I know certainly I did I wanted to know what would happen to Jenine, to Dorian, Durzo, Momma K, etc It also developed character growth in variable rates some then others because there was NO minor or major characters in this theater which Weeks tried to capture I think All in all, this has been one hell of a read from start to finish for me It has been quite some time since I ve put my whole being into a book to read Definitely a book I will recommend to everyone I know and hope they like it as well as I do. Some time has passed, and I m trying to think of something positive to say about this book And it turns out to be a real struggle.Most of it is about Kylar constantly complaining that he s a virgin, Logan constantly complaining that he s a virgin, Elene being dreadfully annoying and Kylar and Elene trying to avoid the topic of sex around little Uly It s like the book is a pendulum switching constantly between annoying and awkward.The storyline is just a sidetrack A break between the actually interesting stuff It still is exciting occasionally, I ll give it that But mostly it s six hundred pages of boring, annoying, juvenile stupidity that ends with going or less no changes And it also includes the utter destruction of my sole remaining favourite character.Now, me not being able to recall any positive things does not necessarily mean that there weren t any I like this world, some of its characters, concepts and background stories very much, and I really like Brent Weeks himself I would feel justified in giving this the capital punishment of a one star rating because I know that he can do much, much better.However, I m going to be nice because of two amazing lines near the end that single handedly saved my enjoyment of the series enough to go on. Quite honestly, this falls at two stars on my enjoyment scale While Weeks is talented at developing the video game fantasy, a genre I am now officially defining for public benefit, it lacks most of what I love in a good read Shadow s Edge is an improvement over The Way of Shadows, but ultimately the shortcomings of the storytelling cripple the book A hallmark of the video game fantasy is a telegraphed narrative with cursory character development Weeks jumps from person to person, almost never focusing on a single character for than eight pages, and the rough average is five That s right, I said five I ve given my ten year old nephew chapter books with longer story segments Many of the characters, while interesting, only provide the smallest of background to the storyline, such as the former pirate turned whore Kaldrosa, so the sacrifice of a larger coherency hardly seems worth it Kylar, the Godking, a Khalidoran soldier named Ferl, Jarl, Momma K, Elene, Logan, Dorian, Vi, Feir, Sister Ariel, a high mage named Neph Dada, a elite soldier named Lantano, Agon Brandt it s a broad cast of characters we visit for a few moments at a time He s written a screenplay broken down into scene shots, with us dropping in on discrete scenes and allowing us to gestalt the whole mess together The breakdown lends itself to a dissociation from the novel Every shift of scene and voice creates a sense of disruption, and I found myself frequently making use of it, setting the book down to go get a glass of water, maybe check in to Goodreads, walk the dogs, and so on Some books are so immersive that when I finish, it s like coming up for air from an underwater swim, gasping for air and with the shock of returning to the world This is not one of them What also became apparent is that Weeks sacrificed a great deal of background for the opportunity to character shift One small example is found in the description of Neph Dada twelve knotted cords hung over the shoulders of his black robes for the twelve shu ras he d mastered I m relatively certain I read no about the cords or the shu ras, except when Neph appears again In fact, I couldn t tell you if that s part of a magic or religious system, or if it makes him especially intimidating It s a challenge to be given details like that that lack context and seemingly never appear again It reminds me a great deal of when one first starts to play a video game and one has to pay attention to every sign, pick up every object, or go down every walkway in case it becomes significant later Most of it, of course, never becomes meaningful Once in awhile it does, but if I have to flip hither and yon to determine where I saw that character last and what was he up to, well, I don t.In order to compensate for the lack of world building, a common crutch of the video game fantasy is a reliance on the background cultural knowledge of the reader to fill in the gaps The decision to name the sorcerous order the Chantry reminded me of Dragon Age, along with the historical real world reference of a fund land priest dedicated to a specific patron The Vurdmeisters sounds like Norse mythology, and of course, dedicating their deaths to Khali sounds a lot like the Hindu goddess So much is ignored here I m not sure I could tell you much about what people eat, and I don t think we ran into any animals besides horses Transportation seems to be cart horse and ship based We re given the broad outlines of a vaguely European feudal system with a pre industrial level of technology, and our own imagination fills in most of the details.Antagonistic, aggressive conflict is the hallmark of almost every interaction scene in the book If it is not Kylar conflicted with himself over Elene, it s likely there s an undertone or outright flurry of physical violence I m a character reader, but I can be a sucker for a good action story and only minor character development if it s done well These are not Given their extraordinarily troubled background, Kylar and Elene are crazy young Unfortunately, I m not sure if that is intentional or not Kylar s obsession with Elene s goodness has become oh so boring and it s quite obviously doomed from the start The most insight we get during Elene s five pages is her own frustration about their chastity Enough already, and isn t it a bit weird that parentless children running rough in gangs and occasionally seeking refuge in whorehouses haven t had sex I m sure there s some big reveal in book three that has to do with their virginity, but I m not sure I care There s a weird incongruity I ended up getting stuck on we actually spend time learning how Kylar disguises himself as a smelly tanner, an experience most people instinctively avoid And yet for the rest of the book, all our experienced magic users comment on how Kylar doesn t smell At all Elene notes perfume doesn t work on him Not even his clothes smell after riding horseback for days.Another hallmark of the video game fantasy is the limited development of female characters Really, isn t it about time for the fantasy male writer s fascination for the virgin whore dichotomy to be over So been there, done that, and these men were brought up in America post 1970, so I can t quite get the fascination Oh wait, I can That way women aren t scary.So what kept me reading Probably my own book OCD I do like the Logan storyline, and I thought his development and time in the Hole was a fabulous and frightening look into the depths of humanity His fellow denizens were fascinating, especially his connection with Lilly and Gnasher view spoiler His escape and subsequent request to rescue Gnasher was well done, and one of those clever ethical tests hide spoiler 3 5 starsWarning Possibly the laziest review in all of humanity follows.Beginning AKA the Kylar Elene sex soap opera The ENTIRE 200 pages were about as thrilling and sexy as view spoiler hide spoiler Nope.Just no.What the hell Brent This is like some teenage sexual angst sketch than an epic fantasy I can see some sexual innuendos, some earthy and frank sexuality hell I read Lolita and dozens of Robert Silverberg books so a prude I m not, but neither am I a sopho pornographer and I walked past this line of fiction in middle school.And 700 pages I might have stayed with you for another 100 or so pages, but I was not going to wade through this muck for the next week at least.I did not love The Way of Shadows but I liked it enough to give this a try, especially after scores of rave reviews from readers whose criticisms I enjoy The world building and magic systems are cool, but I cannot get past writing that seems almost misogynistic.To each his own, but life is too short and you ve lost me after 100 pages. Brent Weeks packs lots of content into Shadow s Edge and as with the first novel in the series there are lots of different story strands which tie together nicely, although a few are left open for the final book.This is a great book and I found it to be well written, with some strong characters and I look forward to reading the final novel in the series soon. Wow, does Brent Weeks pack a punch or what For most of this book, I thought I would be giving it four stars, simply because I had enjoyed The Way of Shadows I loved the early years of Kylar s life and his training to be a wetboy My favorite character had been Durzo Blint, his mentor, master, and father figure during this training This was epic a story, focusing not only on Kylar as he tries to learn the simple life of an herbalist, but on the primary players in a power struggle between the conquering kingdom of Khalidor and the now oppressed people of Cenaria.Logan Gyre s story is further explored as the Cenarian heir is hidden away in Hell s Asshole, a most notorious section of an already horrible prison We see Kylar as he takes Elene and Uly and moves to a neighboring kingdom to settle into the simple life One of the book s main strengths is the struggle that Kylar goes through trying to deny his training and his history in order to be a good man and be what Elene wants him to be The other strength of this book is that it brings Viridiana, or Vi as she prefers, into the role of a main character She was introduced in the first book, but in this one she becomes the focus of much of the point of view action And what wonderful results Weeks gets from this I love Vi Though Weeks shifts to a epic scope, this book is nearly as good as the first one It might even be better, it s simply hard to choose it over the wonderful weaving of story he exhibited in Book 1 But regardless to which way I d go, I know what my next book will be Weeks ends this with a massive cliffhanger and has several of the characters at major crossroads So with that, next stop is Beyond the Shadows. The Second Novel In The Night Angel Trilogy, The Breakneck Epic Fantasy From New York Times Bestselling Author Brent WeeksKylar Stern Has Rejected The Assassin S Life The Godking S Successful Coup Has Left Kylar S Master, Durzo, And His Best Friend, Logan, Dead He Is Starting Over New City, New Friends, And New ProfessionBut When He Learns That Logan Might Actually Be Alive And In Hiding, Kylar Is Faced With An Agonizing Choice Will He Give Up The Way Of Shadows Forever And Live In Peace With His New Family, Or Will He Risk Everything By Taking On The Ultimate Hit Devour This Blockbuster Tale Of Assassination And Magic By Brent Weeks, Which Has Delighted Readers All Over The World With Over One Million Copies In Print What can I say about this book How about a list of reason why you might love it.If you think the power of love overcomes all, and that belongs in a story about an Assassin, you know a guy that kills people for money Then this book is for you If you think all women fall into one of two categories Those being virgins or whores Then you found your book right here If you like reading books that feel like the story to an 80 s video game, you know a plot just thrown in there so you can watch some cool action Then this is for you If you think people should sacrifice themselves for no real good reason at all Then this book is for you If you enjoy cannibalism and pissed on bread, then you are in real luck here If you like your relationships in stories awkward Like a playboy model walking up to these guys awkward Man is this your book Oh, and the action scenes were good too.