The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks
Publisher: Orbit Books (July 23, 2013, first published 2010)
Print Length: 661 pages
Audiobook Length: 21 hrs and 26 mins
Narrator: Simon Vance
Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.
When Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.
While The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks had a lot to be desired, a convoluted magic system and more or less unlikable characters made it miss the mark for me.
The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) is a fantasy novel that follows multiple, third-person POV’s as the various characters try to find their place in a world ruled by colours.
The world created by Weeks is incredibly creative. From the Chrometia, to the characters, things felt dynamic enough to keep me interested. However, it is with the writing that I also found a lot of fault. First, the book is slower in pace, with nothing really happening, plot wise, until about halfway through the novel. Also, while the magic system is very interesting, it is also complex. I did find myself on numerous occasions doubting the fact that The Black Prism was the first in the series because it read as if there was already supposed to be an intimate understanding of system. My confusion made me lag through the novel, starting and stopping it several times, and ultimately taking me out of an otherwise immersive world.
As with the writing, I found myself having a love/hate relationship with the characters. On one hand, I rather enjoyed reading from the third person POV of Karris. A strong, independent character with just enough snark to make me a believer, Karris and her story line would probably be one of the only reasons I would continue with the series. I also found myself tolerating the Prism, Gavin Guile, as I found his way of handling his past to be intriguing when compared with the fact that he was, at least for me, the ‘hero’ of the story. I wasn’t a huge fan of Liv, probably because she was introduced as a POV rather late in the story, and finally I couldn’t stand reading about Kip. Not to say that Kip, or his story line, was dull, I think my loathing stemmed more from the fact that every time Kip was mentioned Weeks chose to comment on his weight. It is fine to introduce a character with a description of their appearance, but then having it rehashed in every other sentence made it have less of an impact and lean more towards a spiteful taunt aimed at those who do not fit the ideal of a hero.
I guess I end this review by saying that I very torn about reading the next book in this series, The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer #2). I don’t think the issues I had while experiencing The Black Prism will be addressed or fixed in the sequel, but if you’ve read this series, what do you think?
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks. Have any fantasy recommendations you think I should check out? Leave them as a comment below and help my TBR grow.