Warning: Spoilers!!! Do not read if you do not want spoilers.
Is there a song for you, that when you hear it, reminds you of a book?
I was reading the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks when Jai Ho by the Pussycat Dolls hit the top ten. And I kept hearing it all the way I was reading the three books. Now, everytime I hear it, it reminds me of Jarl and Azoth and their special old "greetings" to each other, "Jarl O". And I think that will stick with me for life.
I liked the story telling-quality of Brent Weeks. I would give the story-telling quality per sey a score of 5 out of 5. And I would have given this book 4 cherries if not for the ending. It is just too, too drawn out. Too dramatic to the point of embarassing to read!!
Another reason this book got lower than 4, is that there are loose ends in the story. Like for example, who is going to lead the people of Khalidor? Since their one stalwart leader has gone mad? And given that they have the culture of corruption and utter domination, I have a hard time envisioning them not deteriorating back to their old ways without a strong leader. From that perspective, it was not a happy ending.
And I really, really did not like it that somebody who has strived to do what was right against all odds for so long only ended up being mad. I mean, the reason I read fiction is to get away from reality, and here, Weeks lets reality intrude. *sigh*
I liked the idea of a VIR. I think that was original of Brent Weeks!
What VIR is (as defined by a reader of Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks) :
Vir is a non-sensient parasitic entity that feeds on the magic of a person. It looks like a moving tattoo on a person's skin.
The Vir gives the ability to tap on the reservoir of magic which the goddess Khali keeps, thereby giving the person who has Vir, more power. And this is what makes Vir very desirable to the people of Khalidor. This is also the only fact about Vir which is known to the general population of Khalidor. The thicker the Vir is on the person's skin, the more power the person has. Therefore, the more Vir a person has, the higher is his status in the male-dominated society of Khalidor.
The Vir is also essentially evil. The more a person uses his/her Vir, the more evil he/she will become. He/she will enjoy doing evil deeds more. The pain and suffering of others will become more of a pleasure to the user of Vir. A person born with Vir can also choose not use his/her Vir so as to avoid the evil of Vir. However this is difficult due to the temptation of power which Vir offers.
The goddess Khali does not necessarily be the real goddess Khali, as long as she has the capability to hold all the magic that is being put into the reservoir as the people of Khalidor prays. The daily prayer that the people of Khalidor practices is actually a spell that transfers a small amount of a person's magic (and/or ?life force) to the goddess Khali or the reservoir which is the goddess Khali. Sacrifice offerings to the goddess also add to the reservoir of magic. The more pain and suffering involved in the sacrifice the more power is harvested out of the sacrifice into the reservoir.
Rating: 3 cherries out of 5
Excerpt taken from the author's website at: http://www.brentweeks.com/books on 23/06/2009.
Logan Gyre is king of Cenaria, a country under siege, with a threadbare army and little hope. He has one chance — a desperate gamble, but one that could destroy his kingdom. In the north, the new Godking has a plan. If it comes to fruition, no one will have the power to stop him.Kylar Stern has no choice. To save his friends-and perhaps his enemies-he must accomplish the impossible: assassinate a goddess.
Other reviews of Beyond The Shadows:
Only The Best Sci-Fi/Fnatasy (added: 05/04/2010)