Hello and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular series in which I take the opportunity to share the opening introductions of a multitude of books. These may be books I’ve already read, are looking to read, or even just a little bit intrigued about.
For today’s post I set myself the challenge of featuring a book I read before I started my blog. I started blogging back in 2017, so most of the reads that fall into this bracket are those as I picked up as a teenager. Today’s featured book is the first in a series that I adored completely and utterly.
Can you guess what today’s featured book is from the intro?
Azoth squatted in the alley, cold mud squishing through his bare toes. He stared at the narrow space beneath the wall, trying to get his nerve up. The sun wouldn’t come up for hours, and the tavern was empty. Most taverns in the city had dirt floors, but this part of the Warrens had been built over marshland, and not even drunks wanted to drink standing ankle-deep in mud, so the tavern had been raised a few inches on stilts and floored with stout bamboo poles.
Coins sometimes dropped through the gaps in the bamboo, and the crawlspace was too small for most people to go after them. The guild’s bigs were too big and the littles were too scared to squeeze into the suffocating darkness shared with spiders and cockroaches and rats and the wicked half-wild tomcat the owner kept. Worst was the pressure of the bamboo against your back, flattening you every time a patron walked overhead. It had been Azoth’s favourite spot for a year, but he wasn’t a small as he used to be. Last time, he got stuck and spent hours panicking until it rained and the ground softened beneath him enough that he could dig himself out.
The Way of Shadows – Brent Weeks
From New York Times Bestselling author Brent Weeks…
For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city’s most accomplished artist.
For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly – and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.
But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics – and cultivate a flair for death.
As a young adult I was really taken with the synopsis of this book, and my previous read of this series sticks with me because I pretty much binge-read it! I loved it so much! Back then I pretty much read fantasy books exclusively. There was the odd exception, but it was rare. For a book to stand out amongst all other fantasy books I read around the same time, I think it says something!
I read these books back in 2014 and I would love to go back to them again. The synopsis even appeals to me now; I have every confidence I could read them again as I really got on with the writing style and the flow of action. The first book alone is around 650 pages long, so on the one hand it’s not for the faint-hearted, but equally I found it so easy to read. It’s one of those things where if you’re really into it, you’re into it.
I since went on to read another book of his, The Black Prism, in 2017 but I only gave that a 3 star rating. It was a perfectly acceptable read, but I haven’t gone on to continue with the series. Another reason I’d like to go back to The Way of Shadows is to see how the two books compare. It’s been a long time since I read this series and I have read a lot of books since then. I want to see if my new perspective is consistent with my original experience or whether my reading tastes have changed.
I hope you have enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday post! Have you read The Way of Shadows, or any of the other books in the series? Let me know in the comments!