Beyond the Shadows

Kylar had never started a war.

Approaching the Lae’knaught camp required none of the stealth he’d used to approach the Ceurans. Invisible, he simply walked past the sentries in their black tabards emblazoned with a golden sun: the pure light of reason beating back the darkness of superstition. Kylar grinned. The Lae’knaught were going to love the Night Angel.

Without provoking anyone, Cenaria had been invaded from the east by the Lae’knaught, from the north by Khalidor, and now from the south by Ceura. It was about time some of those hungry swords met each other.

Kylar ran, pulling his illusions around him, becoming the Night Angel. As if through smoke, there were glimpses of gleaming iridescent black metal skin, the crescents of exaggerated muscles, a face like Judgment, with brows pronouncke ed and frowning, and glossy black eyes without pupils that leaked blue flames. He ran past a knot of gaunt Cenarian recruits, wide-eyed, their weapons in hand but forgotten. There were no crimes in their eyes. These men had joined because they had no other way to feed themselves.

The next group had participated in a hundred burnings and worse. A smoking black blade slid from Kylar’s left hand.

“I judge you!” the Night Angel shouted. “I find you wanting!”

Praise for The Way of Shadows

“What a terrific story! I was mesmerized from start to finish. Unforgettable characters, a plot that kept me guessing, nonstop action and the kind of in-depth storytelling that makes me admire a writer’s work.” —Terry Brooks

“Kylar is a wonderful character—sympathetic and despicable, cowardly and courageous, honorable and unscrupulous . . . a breathtaking debut!”

—Dave Duncan, author of The Alchemist’s Code

BOOKS BY BRENT WEEKS

THE NIGHT ANGEL TRILOGY

The Way of Shadows

Shadow’s Edge

Beyond the Shadows

For Kristi,

for all the usual reasons,

&

For my dad,

for your excellence and your integrity,

and for raising kids who whisper, “Peep!”

1

Logan Gyre was sitting in the mud and blood of the battlefield of Pavvil’s Grove when Terah Graesin came to him. It was barely an hour since they’d routed the Khalidorans, when the monstrous ferali forged to devour Cenaria’s army had turned instead on its Khalidoran masters. Logan had issued the orders that seemed most pressing, then dismissed everyone to join the revelries that were sweeping the Cenarian camp.

Terah Graesin came to him alone. He was sitting on a low rock, heedless of the mud. His fine clothes were so spattered wiittoneth blood and worse they were a total loss anyway. Terah’s dress, by contrast, was clean except for the lower fringe. She wore high shoes, but even those couldn’t keep her entirely free of the thick mud. She stopped before him. He didn’t stand.

She pretended not to notice. He pretended not to notice that her bodyguards—unbloodied from battle—were hidden in the trees less than a hundred paces away. Terah Graesin could have only one reason to come to him: she was wondering if she was still the queen.

If Logan hadn’t been so bone-weary, he would have been amused. Terah had come to him alone as a show of vulnerability or fearlessness. “You were a hero today,” Terah said. “You stopped the Godking’s beast. They’re saying you killed him.”

Logan shook his head. He’d stabbed the ferali, and then the Godking had left it, but other men had given it more grievous wounds than he had. Something else had stopped the Godking, not Logan.

“You commanded it to destroy our enemies, and it did. You saved Cenaria.”

Logan shrugged. It already seemed long ago.

“I guess the question is,” Terah Graesin said, “did you save Cenaria for yourself, or for all of us?”

Logan spat at her feet. “Don’t give me that horseshit, Terah. You think