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review 2017-07-19 04:12
Review of "The Blinding Knife" (Lightbringer #2) by Brent Weeks
The Blinding Knife - Brent Weeks

I'm not sure I'm going to able to write proper reviews of the individual books in this series -- this is one of those where the entire series likely needs to be reviewed.


Not really a cliffhanger ending to this one, but definitely not one to read as a standalone.  Mostly everything and everyone just progresses.  Oh, I really enjoyed the read because I'm invested in these people and this world.  I wouldn't say it moved the series that far along though.


Yet, hard to review without spoilers.  Let's just say I loved the book, the two brothers man-in-the-iron-mask got resolved, found out more about everyone, more about banes and wights, major reveal about the oldest Guile ... and yet and yet and yet clearly more to follow with nothing exactly resolved.


See?  Not a very good review to basically say "loved it and found out more."

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review 2016-11-24 10:39
The Black Prism - Brent Weeks

I started reading The Black Prism because one of my English students recommended it to me. I’m a big fan of fantasy, and I had been in a book funk lately. Anything I tried, I just couldn’t get into. However, I started to read this book. I put it down, and kept thinking about it, and that was when I knew, I had a series to read. Finally!


The story itself in a way is standard fantasy. There are rich and poor people, a coming war, feuding, magic users vs non-magic users. What sets it apart partly is the magic system. It was very interesting, though at first a bit hard to comprehend. It’s common nowadays to not actually explain stuff, but just have the reader gradually find them out. It did make it hard to understand in the beginning. I often wish people would just have a foreword to explain these things. It makes it a bit hard to get into the story, because you spend your brainpower trying to work out a complicated fantasy magic system. Once I got it though, I do like how it works.


The main reason why I really got into the story was one of the main characters, Kip. An overweight, kind of a loser, barely teen boy with a mouth on him. Usually, the main characters are special. He is kind of special, but he’s also really terrible at most things. I’ve never been a teen boy, but I find it immensely funny how he keeps having inappropriate thoughts in the worst moments possible. I also love how he’s not skinny. Most of my life, I’ve been overweight. He is a lot like me in that he hates his fat, but it’s not really something he can help. So while Kip is special, like most main characters nowadays, he still has qualities that make him more relatable.


My other favourite character is Gavin. Now, my student looked at me kind of funny when I said this, so I may come to not like him so much in the future, but for now, I do. From the first moment, he is kind of a mystery. There are hints that some things are going on in the background that we don’t know about. There had been one big reveal in the book, and I really loved it, since I never saw it coming. However, there are still some unanswered questions. It keeps the reader really engaged, because you just want to find out the answers.


My one problem with the book was the battle scenes. Honestly, after a while, they were dragging on, and I was having a hard time following in my head. It could just be me, because I’ve had a similar problem with other writers. I’m just not a big fan of battles.


Overall, I really liked the book. I recommend it to fans of fantasies with good magic systems, or with big battles. I’m definitely reading on, and already snuck a peek at the next book, even though I should be doing other stuff. It’s on my Kindle now though, so I’m definitely reading more today. I only gave it 4 stars, because 5 stars go to books like Harry Potter. The kind where I never want to let go.


Cross-posted at Unapologetic Reviews, where you can find more reviews.

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review 2013-12-16 12:49
A Lighthearted, Good Read And A Promising Series Start...
The Black Prism (Lightbringer) - Brent Weeks

As far as fantasy goes, each new fantasy title that is released is a shiny and promising volume. As such you really cannot judge the book by its cover, but have to delve into reading about the synopsis and reviews from others. What does it have? A strong magic system (like Brandon Sanderson)? Worldbuilding (like Tolkien)? Or strong characters? Whatever you want in the book you really need to hunt and work out if it has those. The Black Prism had a nice mix of appealing characters (if, like with Robert Jordan, a touch stereotypical at times - though the female characters were really well developed), great worldbuilding and a brilliant magic system.

The magic in The Black Prism focuses around the colour spectrum and is as much politically based as magically based. There are individuals with the ability to wield magic based on the colours of the light spectrum (generally only one or two colours at most) but this magic requires the individual to see that colour and so is limiting. Then you have the Prism, the one individual able to break light into all the colours. Only, as it turns out, using magic destroys the length of your life, turning you into a colour wight at the end unless you are freed by the Prism (basically he ritually kills you). So the Prism serves as a kind of religious and magical balance in this world and there is only meant to be one at a time.

Only, our story begins in a world fresh from having had two Prisms fight over who was the real Prism (which leads to some interesting twists, but ones which are roughly handled at points). And further, as it turns out, our Prism Gavin Guile, has a bastard son alive in the world along with several new enemies arising. So not only does he have the usual politics of the world to deal with, but a new set of problems which drive the plot.

It is the whole worldbuilding and political intrigue that drives this novel and makes it one of the better fantasy releases in the past few years. That said if you tire of epic fantasy as a genre it isn't particularly doing enough to ease your sense of tedium. That said, if you are a fantasy fan, look forward to reading this and make sure to get onto it because it is top notch epic fantasy storytelling.

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review 2013-12-16 12:47
A Blindingly Superior Sequel
The Blinding Knife - Brent Weeks

A superior novel to the first for certain, The Blinding Knife develops and improves the characters, world and ideas of the first book to an extent that is fully worthwhile. However, the ultimate payoff is not yet seen in this novel and there are the odd rough patches where the glimmer of storytelling magic fades a little. For all of that, if you want an epic fantasy novel with solid characters, a tormented main protagonist and magic galore then this is something you must read.

In this novel we have the introduction of what several of the previous plot points mean and the ending, while not fully rewarding, opens up a whole new Pandora's box in this fantastical world. Kip, the bastard son of Gavin Guile, discovers the monster that his grandfather Andros Guile, truly is and on the other hand Gavin Guile fights with the fact that he is slowly losing his power, his life and the woman he loves. That all said he might have the issue of a war between his Chromatorium forces and the massive amount of colour wights that exist, among them some characters the reader was led to care about in the first novel.

If you're into the length of fantasy epics and enjoy getting lost in a magical world then I think this is the book for you to check out. I can state that I do not believe it is of the quality of some epic fantasy that I have loved. But it has one of the more interesting main protagonists and in my eyes, one of the strongest magic systems I have seen. For the combination of ingredients, I say that it has to rate highly on my list of top fantasy series...

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review 2013-10-06 05:05
The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1)
The Black Prism - Brent Weeks

After more than a month of making very little progress, I'm giving up. I think I'm done with this book and, to an extent, done with Brent Weeks. (Oh, wait. Is that a ToS violation? Oh, wait again. This isn't Goodreads... and yet I have no idea what BookLikes' ToS are.)


Prejudices are hard to put aside when you know you don't like what the author has previously written. With that said, this book isn't as bad as I thought. It's actually much better than The Way of Shadows. (That's a compliment, btw.)


So I am marking this as "read" as a note to myself that I will not be returning to reread at a later time.


—     —     —     —     —


Even though I hated Weeks' Nightangel series (that name will never not be hilarious), a friend suggested I should do away with prejudices and general distaste for Weeks' writing and give this book a chance. You won't regret it, he promised. I better not, was my response.

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