The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
I had never read the previous trilogy and had committed the cardinal sin of buying a book simply because I liked the cover, but that momentary whim has repaid me with interest! This is a beautifully-crafted fantasy that held me from beginning to end, for all 600 plus of its pages. The narrative is enthralling and the twists are so stunning that I had to go back and re-read the first because I couldn't believe that I hadn't seen it coming, that Weeks had so skillfully misled me.
It has a fascinating system of magic which is complex and well-thought out, based on the colour spectrum that results when white light is dispersed by a prism. The pay-off for being the most talented of magicians, a 'superchromat' like the Prism Gavin Guile himself, is a limited lifespan that dwindles the more you 'draft'. Break your limit, the 'halo', and you are faced with suicide or the madness of becoming a 'wight' and being hunted down. Guile himself starts the story already facing his impending death: 'five years to achieve five impossible goals'.
This first book is woven around five main characters, each of whom found a place in my heart and each carrying a burden of guilt revealed through the story. The volatile relationship between Prism Gavin Guile and Blackguard Karris Whiteoak draws constant sparks; the story gradually unfolds each painful fragment of their history and it seems that only further tragedy can come of it. At the same time the Prism must build a relationship with the illegitimate son he has suddenly inherited, but even that is underlain by dark secrets. His son, Kip, is awkward and smart-mouthed – and retains his character as 'brat' rather than 'chosen one' in an almost endearing way. From a lifetime spent feeling inadequate and inconvenient, discovering his father is not only the most powerful man in the land but also handsome, smart and charismatic, is just another injustice to add to the list. Along with Kip is childhood friend Liv, a less-talented drafter whose father was a renowned general that fought against Gavin, and whose sudden compliance to the Prism leads her to doubt everyone and everything that she knows. And just to spice up the mix, there is the mysterious prisoner that Gavin keeps locked away in a secret blue room...
I don't want to give away any spoilers from this book, but I was seriously impressed with it. It's been a long time since I picked up a book that I couldn't then bear to put down until I'd reached the end. While I wait impatiently for book two and consider spending out on the hardback version in order to read it as soon as possible, I'm off to buy the previous Brent Weeks trilogy. Excellent!
This The Black Prism book review was written by Pippa Jay
All reviews for: The Lightbringer Trilogy
The Black Prism
The Lightbringer Trilogy: Book 1
Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. His strength, wit and charm are all that preserve a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exac...
The Blinding Knife
The Lightbringer Trilogy: Book 2
GAVIN GUILE IS DYING. He'd thought he had five years left - now he's got less than one. With fifty thousand refugees, a bastard son and an ex-fiancée who may...
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The Black Prism reader reviews
Jonathan Roberts from England
Like in the Night Angel Trilogy (my favorite book series) Brent Weeks has done it again. he has created an impossible world with impossible circumstance and thrown in outstanding characters to create a masterpiece.
Anonymous from Somewhere
Like how his previous series improved with both plot and decreased in spelling/grammatical errors this book proves to be leagues beyond his previous series. This book retains the compelling of the previous series, however it has moved beyond it through an excellent storyline, where the concepts take a few chapters to hash out - but it is easily worth it. As the review mentions there are some major twists nearly everywhere, but it does not make the book too confusing or make you expect anymore to come. I don't know about anyone else but I am yet to decide which characters are the protagonists and which the antagonists though. The story itself flows well, with the different concepts integrating in nicely, I will definitely marking the calendar for the next installments of this series or indeed any books that this author releases and urge anyone who is a little unsure to give this book a shot.
Ryan from Australia
Buying a book based solely on the cover is hardly a cardinal sin, I know instantly that if I see a Dragon on the cover that I will not buy the book because I have read so many books about dragons and surely someone has something more original to offer. In this case Brent Weeks has built a beautiful world, central to which lies a very original and well thought out magic system. This world used as the setting for a dark gritty story that just flows so well from start to finish. The author not afraid to take risks by putting the main characters in some very real danger and I like that.
9.3/10 from 4 reviews
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