Friday, November 22, 2013

The Black Prism, The Lightbringer Series, Book 1, by Brent Weeks

The Black Prism, The Light-
bringer Series, 
Book 1, Paper-
back Edition.

Book Review by Sharon Powers.

    Welcome to this week's posting and review of The Black Prism. The Black Prism is Brent Weeks' first book in the new Lightbringer series.

 Brent Weeks is also the author of the poplar Night Angel Trilogy that includes (1) The Way of Shadows, (2) Shadow's Edge, (3) Beyond the Shadows; and the prequel: The Perfect Shadow (a novella). 

   A New World: Brent Weeks has created a new world,--far different than that in the Night Angel Trilogy--a world based on "Chromaturgy." Chromaturgy is a magic system based on colors and light. In this new world, a typical magic user can use a given color (as long as there is light) to draft, or create, seemingly out of thin air, objects made of "luxin."

Brent Weeks, author of
The Night Angel Trilogy,
and the new Lightbringer Series.
This magic use comes at a cost--it shortens the life of the magic user. For a magic user, or "drafter," over-use of drafting (or just drafting for many years), causes the "halo [to] be broken" (meaning that the white part of the eye has color encroaching into the whites). When the "halo has been broken," the drafter goes crazy and turns into what is called, a "color wight;"...sadly, at this point, nothing can be done for them, so traditionally, the drafter commits suicide before they let this happen to themselves. 

    The Lord Prism is the one person in every generation who can draft all colors. He needs to be able to draft all seven colors because in "[n]early every generation huge natural disasters wiped out thousands...[and the] Prisms prevented that. Gavin, the current Lord Prism, could feel what was out of balance long before there were any physical signs, and fix it by drafting the opposite color." [Loc. 471]

    In this new world, the Lord Prism, "ostensibly the emperor of the Seven Satrapies,...." [Loc.481] lives in the dual island nation of Chromaria, surrounded by "The Seven Satrapies." Each Satrapy is related to one of the seven colors and exists as semi-independent state, governed by a Satrap. 

"A little residue of whatever color they
drafted ended up in their eyes. Over the
course of their life, it would stain the 
entire iris red...or whatever their color
was." In color wights, its iris was shat-
tered like crockery smashed on the floor.
Little fragments glow even in the whites
of the eyes. Here is the iris of a "subred"
drafter with the iris stained entirely red.
[Kindle Ed. loc. 113.]

    As the book opens, we are introduced to Kip, in the dead of night, scavenging a long quiet battlefield for remnants of "luxin"-created weapons and armaments. Kip stumbles upon a lone and seemingly abandoned manacled prisoner. Releasing the prisoner, Kip discovers he is a color wight and Kip becomes afraid. The man looks oddly at Kips eyes, seeing that they're blue, and laughs. He questions Kip and tells him strange things. He asks him, "Would you believe me if I told you there's a prophecy about you?" The prisoner also tips off Kip by telling him that the soldiers would be coming to destroy Kip's village soon, because, as the prisoner says, the soldiers are looking for something valuable that belongs to the Satrap.  

    Kip returns to the village, already under attack. He watches his friends get killed and narrowly escapes death himself...only by--shockingly--for the first time in his life, drafting luxin. He drafts green luxin spears and kills the soldiers chasing him. He makes it to his secret cave and to his mother who tells him he's been a disappointment all his life. She makes him swear to kill King Garadul, hands him a beautiful box with a magnificent dagger inside and says, "Put it in his rotten heart," and dies.

    Next, we meet the Lord Prism, Gavin Guile; he wakes up in his palace bedroom as papers are pushed under his door. Upon examining them he finds a letter telling him: "I'm dying, Gavin. it's time you meet your son Kip.--Lina." Then he thinks, "Son? I don't have a--."

Chromaria, dual-islands, situated within the Cerulean Sea
and surrounded by the Seven Satrapies:
Atash, Blood Forest, Ruthbar, Paria, Abornea, Ilyta, and Tyrea.
   Although the relationship between the Lord Prism and Kip is important, Brent Weeks begins weaving other threads into the story making it more complex and intriguing as we read. King Garadul is at the fore of the story since he is raising an army to wage war. The Lord Prism also has another relationship from his past haunting him, one with Karris White Oak. Also, early on in the book we are introduced to a mysterious and hallucinogenic prisoner who keeps trying to escape his prison cell--who is he? Why is he in solitary confinement? Will he get out? 

    We begin to see the threads of espionage, familial discord, and the Black Guards attempt to serve the Lord Prism. We wonder where the overweight and naive Kip fits in this colorful and exciting story--and his newly acquired ability to draft. Weeks shows us the unhappiness of the country people trying to recover from the war that devastated the land. With all this going on, shockingly, the Lord Prism's most guarded and hidden secret is discovered by Karriss White Oak...the revelation of which could cause the Lord Prism to lose everything. Then...on the very last page of the book, The Lord Prism, Gavin Guile, learns something so shocking that his time to accomplish anything could run out. 

What I Think About This Book:
    Whew! How does Brent Weeks do it? Holy mackerel! The cast of magnificent and "colorful" characters in this book alone is worth the price of admission. Secrets abound. You can't help cheering...and turning page after page, after page, until...well, until the last page. You will be crying like a little girl wanting more, more, more. You will not be disappointed with this book.  Buy it. Read it.

Take the What Color is Your Magic Quiz

I went to Brent Weeks web site and took the Magic Quiz.

You can do it too--it only takes a few minutes.

My results: I'm a yellow magic drafter!

Take the quiz at Brent

    As I have been drafting this book review (no pun intended), I have been reading the sequel to The Black Prism. The sequel is entitled, The Blinding Knife, Book 2, of the Lightbringer Series. I can hardly wait to review this book for you, too. I'll get that one to you just as soon as I can. I want us all to be ready to read Book 3 when it comes out (probably sometime in summer of 2014)...the title will be: The Broken Eye. For more information, you can visit Brent Weeks website: .

My book rating for this book:
4.5 stars out of 5 stars:

Other vendors have recorded ratings for this book:
4.4 stars (360 Reviewers): Amazon
4.22 stars (1,140 Reviewers): Goodreads
4.10 stars (645 Reviewers): Audible

Book Information:
Pages: 679
Publisher: Orbit (August 25, 2010)
Kindle Ed.: X-Ray Enabled
Kindle Ed.: Lending not enabled

    I hope you have enjoyed this book review of Brent Weeks' The Black Prism. I hope you are reading something interesting...if you are, let me know how you are enjoying it.

Until next time...

...many happy pages of reading!


_________________________________________________ - The Black Prism; - Brent Weeks; - The Seven Satrapies Map; - The eye of a "subred" drafter; - The Broken Eye - 4.5 stars; - 4.4 stars, Amazon; - 4.22 stars, Goodreads; - Audible Reviews; - Book information; - White Rose.