The Way of the Shadows is the first book of The Night Angel Triology and tells the story of a street urchin who manages to weasel himself into an apprenticeship with the city's most famous magical assassin (called a wetboy), which are different from regular assassins. I'm making this distinction because the characters do so as well.
What follows is the story that spans the years of training until culminating in... let's call it the graduation.
First off, the story itself is clever. There are numerous twists that aren't obvious and the author isn't afraid to 'go there' when it comes to brutality. Which is something I expect to see if reading a book about assassins (I have a future review lined up to explain that one further).
A downside is that most of the characters are as flat as a board. The protagonist isn't, fortunately, but everyone else is a stereotype. Their's the noble, handsome, honourable, strong, friend. The all powerful master. The sociopath antagonist. There are zero surprises to be found here.
When it comes to the women, it's even worse. They're either chaste virgins (the love interest) or whores. And I mean the whores literally. Every woman with speaking lines (who isn't a virgin) is or was a prostitute, or cheating on her husband. Repeatedly. Oh and they're all hot too, with big breasts, narrow waists, doe eyes, the works.
Basically, if you are looking for interesting female characters, this isn't the book you're looking for.
Despite this flatness, the characters do drive the plot, which is a big plus. There is a bit of future prediction I'm not too fond off. But it's flexible and rare enough to not become bothersome.
If you are looking for a grim, coming-of-age, underside of society novel, then you can't go wrong here. My own misgivings barely impacted my enjoyment so expect a review of the next book soon.