I was looking for the reviews of the first and second books in this series just now, I didn’t realize I read them over year ago! Sometimes I don’t like a series enough to read all the books one after the other, but I always plan to finish it eventually. This series, The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks, was one of those–I love the characters, but the writing and story line aren’t always compelling. At the same time, this is the first series by a local Oregon author and I wanted to support him.

Beyond the Shadows

In the end, I’m glad I decided to finish this series. The last book, Beyond the Shadows, perfectly exemplified why I love these characters. There were unexpected deaths, surprising sacrifices, and incredibly sweet love stories. By the end of the book I was simultaneously crying and yelling! Beyond the Shadows picks up where the last book left off: there is a succession battle between Logan and Terah, Kylar is mourning his lost life with Elene, and Vi is still running for the consequences of “ring-raping” Kylar. This book also adds in a new story line, as Dorian is forced to take his father’s throne and become the new Godking.

As with the previous books, the moral theme of the book is heavily applied to every story: how to deal with the consequences of our bad choices. Kylar is emotionally dead from betraying Elene, and Vi is forced into a subservient student role so she can learn to control the magic she’s unintentionally unleashed. Elene struggles with anger and jealously at the bond Kylar and Vi share, but learns to accept it. Dorian becomes a monster to save the woman he loves, and then sacrifices his love for her to save her life. These poor characters never receive a break in this book, but the fast-paced action forces them into situations that reinforce the morality of fixing your mistakes.

In the end, no one is really happy–there are hints that happiness may be in the future for some of them, but this is the last book so we’ll never know. I was bawling the last few chapters for the sacrifices Kylar, Elene, and Dorian had to make to save the world. They all stepped up and bravely faced their worst nightmares because it was the right thing to do and I was cheering for those sacrifices, and yet it was heart wrenching because I was also hoping they would be selfish and be happy for just once!

Brent Weeks is not the best author I’ve read, but he has such great potential. I had such a strong emotional connection to these characters that I greatly enjoyed the books despite stylistic issues I normally can’t stand. For other emotional readers, I highly recommend this series for a quick weekend read that makes you laugh and cry every few chapters.

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