The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
Azoth is an orphan on the streets and is a part of a guild of street rats. This is a guild which is only a small part of the underworld of Cenaria. Azoth faces certain annihilation from Rat for humiliating him. In a desperate bid to save everything close to him, he tries to become a wetboy's apprentice (think assassin with magical powers). He seeks the best in the city - Durzo Blint - to apprentice to.
The book runs very long on violence, and repeats the mantra of life being empty far too often. The author definitely achieves the feeling of emptiness as death in this book with commonplaces-ness and utter lack of achieving any other story points.
There is very little in the way of the deaths building a political picture, which I had somewhat expected since there is a lot of power play in the book. From Azoth's point of view though, the deaths are simply done and don't seem to have much meaning besides furthering his education and as a point of contention while he continually tries to believe that all life is meaningless.
At the end there is a feeling that the epic this story was supposed to achieve somehow fell short and was not so epic after all. There is a hint of grandness with a long timescale and flashy powers just rising to the surface, but it hasn't come to fruition. Perhaps the next remainder of this trilogy will be more satisfying.
This is one of the books I've read and reviewed for the fantasy mini-challenge.