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The Way of Shadows: Night Angel Trilogy, Book 1

Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
Series: Night Angel Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 21 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (703 ratings)

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Summary

The perfect killer has no friends. Only targets. For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city’s most accomplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir. For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned the hard way to judge people quickly - and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint. But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and cultivate a flair for death.

©2008 Brent Weeks (P)2011 Hachette Digital

Critic reviews

Praise for the Night Angel trilogy: ‘I was mesmerized from start to finish. Unforgettable characters, a plot that kept me guessing, non-stop action and the kind of in-depth storytelling that makes me admire a writer's work.’ (Terry Brooks)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not Grimdark, but a good start to a series

This is the first book I have listened to from the Author. I knew before I started the book that was could have been classified under the Grimdark genre. However, after reading the book i would say it probably just slipped into this genre.

Yes, there is killing - a while it was graphic, it wasn't overly so
Yes, there is sex - but nothing graphic. Rape is there, but not detailed.
Yes, there is torture - but nothing we haven't read already
Yes, there is a lot of swearing - but that's fairly normal.

The story itself goes at a steady pace. There were times when I got a little confused with what was happening. Maybe this was a downside of the audio version, but there were times when I had to go back a bit to try and work out why we seemed to have skipped time a little.

The main two characters are interesting. They are killers but you are expected to be rooting for them. Life is meaningless, they kill their targets and innocents if needed. I think the body count in this novel is one of the highest in any novels that I have read. You can not go more then a couple of chapters without someone dying.

The beginning of the book is very much setting up the major characters in the book. There is nothing new here - slum kids, bullies, begging to be apprenticed, tragic incident, test. The middle part then explains what a Wetboy is - and the training involved and setting up some plot points for later on. The latter part of the book is the story proper and we see some of the world and politics. While the book does conclude, it is obvious that it's going to be continued within another book.

Some of the world building is a little confusing. There are killers (thugs), assassins and Wetboys. There seem to be many types of magic users. Some magic users can be Wetboys. Some of the titles for these type of people are a little weird. To me a witch is female, but that is not the case here. The term Wetboy is a little daft - why not use assassin - its got more fear to it. Wetboy sounds infantile.

All in all I enjoyed this book. Hopefully the following books will expand on the major characters further and flesh out the world a lot more.



The audiobook was of high quality. While the narrator does vary his voice a little for the characters, it is a little variation. He is not a voice actor. There were some parts where I think it would have benefited from a little longer pause, especially when going from one scene to another.

11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good trilogy -if you can cope with the narration

I really enjoyed the Lightbringer series, so embarked on this trilogy enthusiastically. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was short-lived and I very nearly chucked it all in because of the narration.

The opening chapters of this first book are quite stark and brutal, and I found the narrator's tone (almost a lack of gravitas?) just didn't fit at all. There was little differentiation between the characters' voices, and the timing / breathing was wrong too. However, I was intrigued by the story so persevered. By midway through the third book, I realised I was no longer being irritated by the narrator - I'd simply got used to it.

I'm glad I did persevere. Kylar is a good character, as are so many others. I would suggest that perhaps the writing and plot isn't quite as mature or well-crafted as the Lightbringer series (Wikip. suggests the Way of Shadows was Brent Weeks' first series published?), but it's still a good tale, and good enough for me to listen to all three books in the series back to back, without getting bored or distracted.

Not quite a 5 star series all the way through, although I think books 2 and 3 were better than 1. Worth it if you can cope with the narrator.

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Shame about the Narrator

if you are British try to persevere through the narration, as the book is a blinder .

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great start to a great trilogy

I couldn't ask for more gripping content from a first book in a trilogy. Simply amazing.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic tale, bloody, brilliant, poignant

Fast paced and with a fantastic plot, entertaining throughout. The voice acting was spot on.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the book, loved the audiobook

read the whole trilogy years ago, this audio version raises it to a whole new level, anyone that enjoys dark fantasy with deep story and characters that you really invest in, needs to experience this

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not a fan of the narrator, but a pretty good book

I'd listened to Assassin's Quest with this narrator, and he nearly ruined it for me. He wasn't as bad in this one. I'd recommend listening to the preview to see whether you like his style.

Enjoyed the story quite a lot. It didn't feel original, with a kid who shows potential learning to become a master, but was a lot of fun. Also, some of the characterisation was at least borderline offensive. I'll probably carry on with the series on paper, but I'm not desperate to.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I loved the Books.. but

Where does The Way of Shadows: Night Angel Trilogy, Book 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

in the top 100 put only just, while its a good book the narrator is weak.

What did you like best about this story?

The strong descriptive actions scenes.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I actually really dislike this narrator (not as a person), he does not have a broad vocal range and his weak nasal tones ruin a grand epic scenery and strong pros. A strong voice is need for strong stories and this narrator sadly has neither.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no, this questions is asked frequently. most books are 10 plus hours its not possible.

Any additional comments?

While i love fiction and fantasy most of it is based in a medieval or renaissance period esk. This is meant with no offence but american accents didn't exist at that point, so having one as your narrator is strange to say the least. especially a weak nassal one. Oliver Wyman would of been a fine choice of American narrator though and really should of been given this book to narrate as he is top notch in this field.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing book!

The book was nothing short of amazing and worth every penny!
The narrator was tolerable, mediocre, but tolerable.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Paul Boehmer sounds like a hammer horror villain.

The story is what it is - a good, but not great debut from an author who would go on to be brilliant (read the lightbringer, seriously). There are plenty of places where it could be improved, and plenty of places where it is great Fantasy.
The narration is what let's it down though. Paul boehmer sounds.... creepy. There is no better way to describe him. The combination of flat, drawn out vowels and slow enunciation puts me in mind of someone you'd expect to be backing up Vincent Price.

Listening at 1.25x speeds him up enough that he doesn't sound quite so bad though, so I'd recommend that.

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  • johan
  • 29-05-15

Well spent hours

Likes it alot but I didn't like the guys voice has a lot potential too be better than it is though

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wayne
  • 18-02-12

Absolutely brilliant!

Any additional comments?

What a brilliant book, one of the best I have listened to. Extremely well written with non-stop action. There are only a few passages which seem to drag a little, but remember this is a 20 hour book. The story and the characters are engaging. The narrator is fantastic. The only problem is this is book 1 of a trilogy and the other 2 books are not on Audible yet. Please Audible get the rest of the series real soon, I can't wait!!

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Frode
  • 27-06-15

Paul Boehmer destroyed my books!

How could the performance have been better?

Paul Boehmer - I am not a fan of yours. Sorry, i could never ever listen to the books because of you! That is how AWFULL his "accent" is! I am sorry, but i can never ever finish a book with Paul Boehmer in my ears. So i am happy Audible have a return police!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • McWolfe
  • 24-01-14

Decent Fantasy-Intrigue

If you could sum up The Way of Shadows: Night Angel Trilogy, Book 1 in three words, what would they be?

Complex, Dramatic, Gripping

What did you like best about this story?

The personal development of the characters, and the rather complex wheel-within-wheels-plot

Any additional comments?

While it was a good book, at times I lost track because of all the different characters in the story. The highlights of the book is when it focuses on the main characters.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-19

Disappointing

I listened to this book together with my partner, as we're both avid fantasy readers, and had heard good things about The Knight Angel-triology. To be honest listening to the book was a struggle. The characters are weak (the female characters really had us cringing), and the story just didn't manage to feel exciting or engaging, no matter how long we listened. Won't buy the next in the series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mikael
  • 27-06-19

Slowish start, still great

Lowed the trilogy. The only reason I'm giving just 4 stars for the story is because I found the first half of the book a less enjoyable than everything after that. So if you're thinking of dropping this book because of that you're really missing a great story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-06-19

great book, not the best narrator

the book is fun, exciting and shows good character growth and sets the stage for a good number of sequels, but the narration is far to slow and deliberate for my taste

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin
  • 17-06-19

This is great! But b

This is not a pure our world book, but not a full fantasy either..

I did this trio in book form when they came out. Loved them with my own voices. But this first has met my hopes.

I love a lot of books, but the street rats to riches is fun :D If you like this one, also look for Michael Wiseharts books. New in the game, good books and likes his fans. But anyway..

You will like the characters, there are not too many like GoT, but not boring either.
If you are a more Tolkien person, you might be a little disappointed. The focus are on the actions of the people, not the lingering smell of the depths of despair of where they roam.

Do the credit! Don’t like it exchange it. But I think you will ;)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-11-18

Excellent listen

deep and captivating story, could not stop listening! would 100% recommend to anyone who loves sci fi fantasy.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-11-18

Good book

I have read this book before, and I remember enjoying it. Maybe it just isn’t suited to be an audiobook or maybe I have grown out of these types of books, but it wasn’t that good anymore. I would still have finished it but the narrator wasn’t something I could deal with. I tried to listen several times and giving it a fair shot and thought I could get used to his voice, but no.

1 person found this helpful