By Brent Weeks
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| ISBN-10: 0316068136
| ISBN-13: 9780316068130
| Mass Market Paperback: 800 pages
| Publisher: Orbit (September 1, 2011)
| Cover Artwork: Design by Lauren Panepinto
| Cover illustration by Silas Manhood
| Cover figure by Shirley Green
| Source: Personal Copy
| Rating: 5 Stars
The Story. This is another one of those epic adventures that defies simple explanation. It is also another one of those tales which will challenge the fine line I walk between interesting you, the potential reader, while remaining spoiler free.
You see, this is a story about secrets. Some small, some large and some that could literally be world shattering. Of course it is much more than that. There is a truly unique magic system based on the use of every color in the rainbow. There are battles, politics, love and loss, friendship and betrayal. But mainly it is about secrets and the price that is paid to keep them.
My Thoughts. I am a huge fan of Brent Weeks and if anything this book has reinforced that status. I had the chance to review his Night Angel Trilogy a number of years ago and I'm afraid I gushed through all three reviews. (Four if you count the summary.) The only minor gripe I had was a perceived lack of worldbuilding. Not that it needed it really but folks who crave extensive, detailed, unique worlds were bound to be disappointed. Guess what? I can not say the same for this world. Extensive, detailed and unique doesn't begin to cover it. This world has all that plus a generous dose of fascinating. But that, as cool as it is, is not the main reason why I am such a fan.
No the main reason is the characters. Those flawed, multidimensional characters that Brent Weeks creates so well. You want to hate them, but you can't. You want to love them, but you can't do that either. You never know what they will do next. Could be something compassionate, generous, kind but turn the page and it could be something horrible, cruel, demented. And trust me in this, you will turn page after page after page to see just what happens next. Intimidated by the fact that this book is 800 pages? Don't be. I read this faster than some of the 400-500 page books I've read lately and loved every suspense filled minute of it. Brent Weeks knows how to put his characters through the wringer and just as soon as they come up for air, he does it again. I highly recommend liberal amounts of caffeine. Oh, and have somebody remind you to eat, or better yet, just have them shove the occasional sandwich in the hand not holding the book.
Was there anything I didn't like? Well, sorta. I am not a fan of cliffhanger endings and this book definitely ended in a cliffhanger. Now I understand the logic behind cliffhangers. TV has been doing it as long as I have been alive. Irregardless I hate them, with a passion. I honestly do not think they are necessary. Give me a story I can enjoy, with a satisfying ending and I will be just as quick to snag the next book simply because I want to read more about the world and my now favorite characters. End it with a cliffhanger and I finish the book with a feeling of frustration because I want to know what happens and I want to know now, not a year or ten from now. This is the whole reason why I started Dragons, Heroes and Wizards. So I could read and review whole series without the fear of frustrating cliffhangers ruining the experience. (And that is also the reason why this book is being reviewed here and not there, because the series is not complete yet). But what can I say. Sometimes if it is one of your favorite authors, you break your own rule.
Conclusion. If you don't mind cliffhangers I can't think of a single reason why you would not love this book. For that matter, book two, The Blinding Knife has been released and even better, I have gotten my hands on a copy so I'll be jumping right into it soon. Book three, The Broken Eye is tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2014 and there will be a 4th concluding book sometime in the hopefully not too distant future. I do however suggest that you DON'T read the blurbs prior to reading the books themselves. As I understand it, the blurbs are full of spoilers. Best source of information on the series is from Brent Weeks himself. He thoughtfully hides the blurbs but you can still read them (and a few chapters of each book) if you choose to.
This story contains an original well thought out magic system with clear boundaries and limitations, flawed characters you can both love and hate, often at the same time. In addition there is a beautifully crafted world you can lose yourself in plus so many twists and turns you can't bear to put the book down for fear you are only one page away from another wow moment. Brent Weeks has done it again. He has created a future classic with a finesse, style and grace that is a sheer pleasure to read. I think it is even possible that he will someday replace chocolate.
Amazon Rating 4.4 out of 5 stars
(351 Customer Reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
|Kindle: The Black Prism
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Epic Fantasy Book Review of The Black Prism (Lightbringer: Book 1) by Brent Weeks - Reviewed by Mulluane - on September 16, 2013 - Rating: of 5 Stars