Looking for a Good Summer Fantasy Read? Try The Way of Shadows

Are you looking for a good summertime fiction read? A fresh story in the fantasy/action genre that is simultaneously fast-paced and in-depth? Then I urge you to buy a copy of The Way of Shadows, the first in the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks.

I love to read, but the fantasy/action genre — nor fiction in general — is typically not my cup of tea. Then again seldom do I know the author personally, as in this case. Brent and I went to Hillsdale College together, are fellow Sinfonians.

Having that sort of a personal connection with the author made it easy to pick up the book. But once I did, the crisp and colorful storytelling, the unpredictable plot, and the compelling characters were what kept the pages and chapters quickly turning.

A note for parents: The book and some of its themes are geared for a more mature audience. The story, especially at the onset, is dark. Plenty of (sometimes graphic) violence ensues. In places the language is gritty, but hardly gratuitous. Sexual themes are addressed frankly, but not overindulged.

That having been said, it’s the story’s larger themes of courage, hope, and redemption that make the enjoyable experience utterly worthwhile as well.

If you are like me, who finished reading The Way of Shadows today, you also will find the story compelling enough to order a copy of the second and third volumes. (All three books were released late in 2008.) I’m not the first to notice, either — actually I’m quite late to the party. A few months ago the book cracked the New York Times extended best seller list.

My hat is off to Brent for a job very well done and a most promising start to an excellent storytelling career. His success thrives on your enjoyment and edification.

Eight bucks gets you the first volume. If you’re disappointed, you’re not out much. But trust me — if my posting here has piqued your interest at all — you won’t be disappointed.

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