- Perfect Shadow.
- Brent Weeks.
- 144 pages.
- Fantasy / Epic Fantasy / Fiction / Short Story / Novella.
- My Rating: It’s OK Book Review.
For the first time in print as a special hardcover edition, Brent Weeks’s blockbuster novella Perfect Shadow tells the origin story of the Night Angel trilogy’s most enigmatic character: Durzo Blint. Also includes the short story, I, Nightangel.
Gaelan Starfire is a farmer, happy to be a husband and a father; a careful, quiet, simple man. He’s also an immortal, peerless in the arts of war. Over the centuries, he’s worn many faces to hide his gift, but he is a man ill-fit for obscurity, and all too often he’s become a hero, his very names passing into legend: Acaelus Thorne, Yric the Black, Hrothan Steelbender, Tal Drakkan, Rebus Nimble.
But when Gaelan must take a job hunting down the world’s finest assassins for the beautiful courtesan-and-crimelord Gwinvere Kirena, what he finds may destroy everything he’s ever believed in.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve never read a book by Brent Weeks before! I know, I know, I fully expect some haughty derision from all you fantasy fans out there! He’s an author I’ve heard many good things about but have never managed to get around to reading until now.
Perfect Shadow also includes the short story: I, Night Angel which I’ll mention first.
There’s not much to write about I, Night Angel, it is an interesting short 20-page read focusing on torture and the prelude to the actual starting of the torture. It’s well written and showcases Weeks ability at setting up and building the scene. The story finishes just as the actual torture is about to begin and I found it to be a nifty, atmospheric and entertaining little read (the type of torture alluded to will make you cringe) but it does, however, read more like a chapter in a book rather than a complete novella.
Perfect Shadow is the origin story for Durzo Blint, the wet boy (assassin) and a character from Weeks Night Angel trilogy. The book itself works well as a story offering you the reader a snippet and taste of the characters and world that Weeks has created. For myself, as someone new to the work of Weeks it left me wanting to find out more, served to whet the appetite and has gotten me interested in reading the Night Angel trilogy (now to find more hours in the day to be able to fit ALL the books in) but I was also left feeling like I wanted more from the novella too. Sure, it did its job and made me interested in the Night Angel trilogy but my overall impression was one of being indifferent towards the novella.
Perfect Shadow isn’t told in chronological order and the narrative flits around. Confusing for some? Maybe, but the same could be said for any book that alternates timelines and doesn’t include the prefixes ‘then‘ and ‘now‘ or the subsequent similar equivalent. For me, as a fantasy fan, I’m used to it and I was easily able to follow the story and the jumps in time.
I enjoyed the beginning of the book, it’s outstanding and on the whole, the story does have a lot to offer but I did feel that the beginning itself was the pinnacle of the book before the story tapered off. Don’t get me wrong, it still had some decent moments but the beginning was definitely, for me, at least, the high point. Blint is a 700 year old immortal and as such, has a long history, the glimpses of that history are great and add some additional depth to his character. When dealing with a shorter page count you need to parcel out what you include in the story and for me, there are a few scenes of copulation that take place and that didn’t add much overall to the story. I feel that Perfect Shadow would have been better served by these being removed and other scenes included. I’d have personally replaced them with scenes that showed Blint training to be a wet boy as for a story that is the origin tale of an assassin the actual training which should have been a big part of the story is only briefly glossed over and I think it would have been interesting to read. The assassin on assassin action is really cool though and when they occur Weeks knows how to write exciting fight scenes.
Weeks writing works well with this novella. His style is straight to the point but engaging. Whether it’s in the past or the present he moves the story forward and as I said, the action is good though, more fighting action and less between the sheets action would invariably have been better!👌
For fantasy fans, Perfect Shadow is a brief, somewhat exciting but ultimately underwhelming snapshot of the work of Weeks and his Night Angel world.
Purchase Perfect Shadow:
Follow The Tattooed Book Geek on: