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review 2017-01-07 13:16
Lightbringer series
The Black Prism - Brent Weeks

This is a well written Fantasy story. By the end of the first chapter I had got to know the main character and the world we were in and it had thoroughly grabbed my attention. It has a fairly complicated magic system having to do with colored light, so that aspect takes a while to absorb (or did for me), but once it becomes generally familiar, the title makes complete sense.

 

Like most first books in a Fantasy series, this one builds the world and the magic system is revealed in stages, as is the usual mock-medieval world it happens in. It was a good read though and I'll probably continue the series in time.

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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 2016-07-15 22:26
Pretty standard Fantasy...but with a bit more
The Black Prism - Brent Weeks

 

This book has a pretty standard fantasy story line: Young boy, who thinks he is nobody and treated as such by everyone he knows, finds out he is special due to his birth or has powerful magical abilities and is thrown into the danger and politics of the elite in his world.

 

So we are all familiar with this tale. I mean...isn't this also the plot of Harry Potter? So Kip is introduced to us in the middle of his town being razed for defying a local King looking to gain power and land. Kip is ordinary and not so special, except in the fact that he is fat and dumb, and not worth much of anyone’s attention, according to him. He is a bastard, raised by a drunkard mom, and has no idea about the identity of his father. He then finds out he is the son of the most powerful drafter in the world and that he too can draft, and he is pretty strong. We also meet the Prism, who has a HUGE secret and a secret mission that drives him and all of his actions through the book. He is pulling the biggest con in existence, and you can’t help but admire and root for him. .so there are several threads of secrets and lies and action going on. I liked the two main characters. Kip was very relatable. And the secondary characters were all interesting....so even if things became a bit predictable...you did not mind so much because the characters made it enjoyable. In the end…the book is about relationships, and how secrets and lies can lead to mistrust and misunderstanding. And those lead to disaster.

 

To me what made this stands out a bit more than anything is the unique type of magic that was introduced. I am always happy when writers think out of the box with sources of magic, like Brandon Sanderson with his metal magic in the Mistborn books. This series uses color magic. Some people in this world are born with the ability to draft. And they can either draft one color, two or more, or in a very unique case, draft all the colors and that person is designated "The Prism" because of course that makes them very powerful. So he is the defacto leader/emperor of the land. With limits of course. This kind of leader will need checks and balances.

 

What colors you can draft and how many, also determines your social class within the magical society. Monochromes are less than Bichromes who are less than Polychromes, etc. So everyone has a place, and everyone in their place, which is one of the major conflicts explored in the book. The magic is also tied into a God, who is thought to have gifted people with these abilities. So there is religion and religious zealotry involved as well.

 

What I also liked is that this magic has a huge price. Drafters don't live long. Drafting slowly kills them, and at some point they burn out and they either die by their own choice to prevent going mad, or go mad and end up overdoing it, and turn into a colorwight: an unbalanced, deformed monster. Magic is not some never ending resources that solves everything...it has a heavy price.  I kind of prefer book with this idea, because if magic is this unstoppable force...a story can becomes boring and even more predictable.

 

But overall...I enjoyed this book a lot. It was pretty solid, and I liked everyone enough to continue the series.

 

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review 2016-06-20 00:00
The Black Prism
The Black Prism - Brent Weeks Boring AND irritating.
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review 2014-11-15 00:00
The Black Prism
The Black Prism - Brent Weeks An excellent 5 star epic fantasy, a 788 page book not for the faint hearted. Some of the longer descriptive passages had me skimming but the characters are excellent with their own amusing inner voices.
description
Kip is an an unlikely hero, a bullied overweight fifteen year old from a remote village. However it turns out he is a light drafter and bastard son of the Prism.
description
Gavin Guile is the handsome 'Lord Prism' capable of magnificent feats of magic but with a huge secret hidden away.

'There was a time when he had used it to pray. No more. If Orholam was real, he was busy, he was asleep, he didn't care, he was taking a shit. Time was different to Orholam, they said. That would explain why he'd been doing it for Gavin's entire life.'
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k06jBvBQwKQ
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