06 November 2010

Books: The Night Angel Trilogy: Beyond the Shadows by Brent Weeks (2008)

In the final volume of The Night Angel Trilogy, author Brent Weeks often violent, Tolkien style series comes together fittingly, but is rather over-long, and drags in many places.

The World Building that goes into these fantasy series can be daunting, and some authors get lost in their world, producing pages after pages of things that seem important, yet are nothing but filler. Still, I’m guessing Weeks will eventually return to this Universe, and that might be his purpose for filling out this series to nearly 700 pages in this final voulume.

There is some interesting stuff here, like the character of Dorian who seemed such a minor character in volume one, who in this final one becomes very integral to the conclusion -its interesting to see a “hero,” motivated by the desire to bring peace, who ends up committing countless acts of horror himself, all in the service of the ending another horror.

But after spending nearly 700 pages setting up the finale, it ends rather abruptly, with all the loose ends coming together rather neatly. It’s a good series, one that I recommend, but it reminds me why I read so little of this genre anymore: I’ve read most of them in the 1980s.

It may not be fair to compare him to Stephen R. Donaldson or Terry Brooks. The genre is rather limited, and it does need fresh ideas to make it worth reading, but when you’ve read as much as I have, you still can be disappointed by a story, even if it is well written.

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