Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shadow’s Edge-Brent Woods

Shadow’s Edge
Brent Woods
Orbit, Nov 2008, $7.99
ISBN: 0316033650

He survived as Azoth a street urchin thief in his hometown of Cenaria until he became Kylar Stern, apprentice “wetboy” to legendary assassin Durzo Blint (see THE WAY OF SHADOWS). When they became embroiled in the Godking's successful coup, his mentor and his best friend the rightful king of Cenaria Logan Gyre died though he survived again; he quits the life of a professional killer seeking a new start with his beloved Elene.

Kylar and Elene accompanied by their adopted daughter Uly leave Cenaria with its too many recent deadly memories for Caernarvon. There he opens up herbalist shop as a skill he learned as a wetboy assassin, but instead of murder, he uses it to heal. However, inside his soul, he feels pulled by his love for Elene vs. his missing the adrenalin rush of an assassination. While somewhat accepting the ennui of a shopkeeper, he hears rumors that Logan is alive and hiding in the Hole of Maw prison amidst cannibalistic and psychopathic killers. Meanwhile, the former shadow rulers of Cenaria the Sa’kage continue to rebel against the Godking, but face extinction without a miracle. Jarl asks Kylar to join them by rescuing the rightful king and assassinating the wrongful king.

Although not quite as action-packed as the opening gamut, SHADOW’S EDGE has enough escapades to avoid the mid book feel of only setting up the finish. Kylar is a fascinating protagonist as he has matured since his deadlier days, but still feels the addiction of a kill. The support cast is solid from his family who yank him with love to Jarl who yanks him with adventure and the fate of his buddy to Logan who is slowly dying in the Hole. The second book in the Night Angel trilogy is an engaging character driven fantasy as the audience expects Kylar to return to the shadowy world of the assassin, but at the same time have some doubts whether he is willing to pay the cost: his life with Elene and Uly.

Harriet Klausner

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