Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1)" by Brent Weeks

Cover from Goodreads
I'd been told multiple times if I liked good fantasy, I ought to try Brent Weeks, specifically his Night Angel Trilogy. Somehow, I managed to never find these books on my thrift store jaunts, and I refused to pay very much for a book I may or may not enjoy. Until I finally gave in and bought a Kindle, as detailed here, and suddenly, this book became affordable.

My first impressions were kind of blah- there always seems to be a "chosen one" peasant boy hidden in the countryside that will change the course of the world. Luckily, the other characters were much more interesting, especially the man known as the Black Prism (or Gavin Guile), a magically elected leader of the Chromeria.

The Plot:
Kip is a country bumpkin who barely escapes from his town with his life. His mother tells him he is the Black Prism's son- Gavin Guile's son. Gavin Guile knows his time as Prism is limited to five years, but fully intends to complete his five goals by then. But Kip isn't exactly part of his plan...

I'm a sucker for magic systems- and this book's was definitely well developed. Magic users gain their power from sunlight, particularly the different spectrums. The Black Prism is someone who can control and use all spectrums of light, making him very tough to defeat. Unfortunately, many of the magic users who have used their magic for too long (or too often), become color wights- more powerful magic users often described as soulless and without mercy.

Kip reminded me a lot of Samwell Tarly from A Game of Thrones, not particularly part of the heroic ideal. I appreciate the fact that there are realistic characters in this book, but the similarity was a bit striking, although Kip grows up a little as the book progresses.

Gavin Guile- his name says it all. He's a tricky man who slides through life with his magic and charisma, but he's definitely not without his flaws. He also doesn't get everything he wants with a snap of his fingers- despite being Chromeria's leader, there is much political maneuvering for him to attempt with his council. Politics is a welcome addition to any fantasy, and the author managed to integrate it smoothly without it seeming pointless or boring.

If you're a lover of adult fantasy, you'd be remiss not to give The Black Prism a try. It is estimated to be the beginning of a four book series, the third of which is coming out this August, and I'm not expecting any gut-wrenching cliffhangers (a major deterrent to any series reader). I recommend this book to those looking for intriguing magic systems and realistic characters in a believable fantasy world.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars for a well thought out and unique Epic Fantasy.

Content: Violence, mild sexual content, and mild cursing. This book is intended for adults, but it could be read by Ages 16+.

Page Count: 788 pages in the Kindle edition

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