Friday, November 25, 2011

Two More Excellent and Similar Tales

When I tipped my head back for a second drink, I noticed a black spider-shaped object clinging to the castle wall above my head. With growing alarm, I realized the shape was descending toward me. It wasn't a spider, but a person.
-"Poison Study" by Maria Snyder

The moment he stepped through the door, out of the corner of his eye he saw the shadow of the doorframe elongate and snap forward. It was as fast a a trapdoor spider he'd once seen, and just as effective. He slammed into the shadow like he'd run into a wall.
-"The Way of Shadows" by Brent Weeks

If Durzo Blint fell in love with Kylar Stern, or (minor spoiler) Aleine Gunder was really a woman, then Brent Weeks and Maria Snyder would have been writing nearly the same story. Don't get me wrong, though, this isn't me complaining.

I read Weeks' trilogy over a year ago, and finished "Poison Study" scant hours ago. I was recommended to the book by a friend, who coincidentally is just getting into book one, "The Way of Shadows." There are striking similarities between the two, from the apprentences' family situations, to the agility of their teachers (though in Valek's case, you don't find out until far later than in Durzo's) and knowledge of poisons, even to the point that both stories exist in world that contain real magic, though in neither it's immediately apparent.

Even knowing how I feel about spoilers, I'm going to stop before I give away too much more; suffice to say I do recommend one if you've read and enjoyed the other.