Brent Weeks is a historian, (or so i have gathered from some youtube clips) He speaks of families and politics from the real old world. The entire book is definitely very political, from the Sakage to Logan's marriage to the Godking's trickery and more to come. I'm still on Shadow's Edge and that's not even half way. But i've been meaning to analyze and review a little, it's one of my favourite books, very gritty and no bull shit (no poets in the bitter business indeed) I think it's my tribute to the awesome talent that is Brent Weeks to talk about what i think he has hinted at.
First of all, the different races of Midcryu,... we find little hints about every race, their physical appearances, clothes and weapons all throughout the books. Azoth is blue eyed, with blonde hair. Durzo and Hu are very thin and blonde. Solon is a short, Sethi dude. The Ymmuri, my favourite clan so far, have short bows made out of wood, horn and horse skin. Their armies rode small ponies and they used their arrows to shoot while moving. They could pierce through armour, and Agon is glad that no one had united the Ymmuri clans,... or they would have surely have conquered all of Midcryu, or as i read it, all that lies between the oceans. These are clear parallels to the Mongols, and the great Genghis Khan. Kylar fought one in an arena, and their hookers apparently wear bells. And the Ymmuri are desert people. And the Sethi, we have 2 prominent characters from there, it's an island empire, sells good wine and has tanned skinned people. Are they black? Pacific islanders? Melanesian? Or are they a mix? Are they an entirely new race thought up by Weeks? Did any real ship riding culture wear earrings attached to the other ear by a chain?
What about the others? Ladeshians? Aelitarians? Kylar and Co. play a little guessing game on the streets of Caernarvon (i can't spell that or pronounce that,... please don't expect me to know) They try to guess who is from where, Caernarvons are tall and blue eyed, fair-haired, and as Kylar wonders where he fits in, they seem to have similar feautures to Kylar himself. Durzo has had many names, and one of them is "sword saint Kenji",... Japanese? I love Asian (far eastern) cultures and this name makes me happy. Ladeshian long bows (or was that Alitaeran?) were mentioned in the coup of the first book, so are they English? The Godking's Highlanders,... these men sound like they are Scottish, yet their hair is said to be short and their moustaches longer. And isn't Kali an actual Indian goddess?
Speaking of gods,... or the God (who i assume could be Brent Weeks himself) there is a lot of atheism, AND religiousness going on. Kylar is a man (as of page 165 Shadow's Edge) torn between a good life and an inner evil. Durzo told him that (may he rest in peace, that glorious epic personification of awesomeness) all gods are fake, and if he really needed to, he should pray to Nyssos, the God of blood, sweat and semen, patron to the assassins and the whores. A very real, natural god, though made up since the moment he was introduced by Durzo. Then again, there are the words, Angel, Godking, the crown of Vir-thorns on the Godking's head, re-incarnation, rebirth, and lots and lots of blood..... are these religious references?
If there are any knowledgeable scholarly brainiacs out there, please let me know,... and i shall some day get all 3 books together, cross reference and try to find more details on each race, (or i hear, there's a Glossary included in a new print) for history sure isn't my turf. But i would like to understand Midcryu a little better. (Not that i'd try to conquer it or anything stupid like that,....no,...)