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Perfect Shadow
Brent Weeks
Orbit, 60 pages

Perfect Shadow
Brent Weeks
Brent Weeks was born and raised in Montana. After getting his paper keys from Hillsdale College, he had brief stints walking the earth like Caine from Kung Fu, tending bar, and corrupting the youth. (Not at the same time.) He started writing on bar napkins, then on lesson plans, then full time. Eventually, someone paid him for it. Brent lives in Oregon with his family.

Brent Weeks Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Night Angel Trilogy

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Trent Walters

If, like me, you are curious about the bestsellers, the novella Perfect Shadow is a short introduction to Brent Weeks's Night Angel series, sketching in Galaen (Durzo Blint)'s past.

Prominent and alluring courtesan Gwinvere Kirena has had her Chateau Shayon stolen from her, so she hires Gaelan as an assassin. But that's just the beginning. He will have to kill all five wetboys, the supreme assassins of the land, and their leader. If she hires him and he succeeds, can he trust that she will not turn on him?

Gaelan has magical Talents to aid jumping, walking softly, and the like. Moreover, he has kakarei which imbue powers of their own, creating fireballs or swallowing them whole. It's a diverting milieu if not explored fully in this tale.

The dark, gritty style bears its weight on the characters, their machinations, and not on the world; for a fantasy, this is an curious choice. In The Way of the Shadows, the long-lived Gaelan/Durzo Blint has lived and "died" many lives, and his character is more dark and mysterious there, training another a young lad in the ways. Also, the narrative of The Way of the Shadows is more compelling: A boy must defeat his bully, the fist of the guild he belongs to, lest the boy and his friends be beaten again or worse; the duchess wants to steal the duchy from her son; a street boy is to be made into faux nobility. The Way of the Shadows is likely a better entrance into the series, and the novella Perfect Shadow a way to expand the story for fans who want more.

Copyright © 2012 Trent Walters

Trent Walters teaches science; lives in Honduras; edited poetry at Abyss & Apex; blogs science, SF, education, and literature, etc. at APB; co-instigated Mundane SF (with Geoff Ryman and Julian Todd) culminating in an issue for Interzone; studied SF writing with dozens of major writers and and editors in the field; and has published works in Daily Cabal, Electric Velocipede, Fantasy, Hadley Rille anthologies, LCRW, among others.

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