REVIEW: The Black Prism (The Lightbringer Series) by Brent Weeks

The Black Prism - Brent Weeks

This series was recommended to me by someone who thought it an improvement over Brent Weeks last work, The Night Angel Trilogy. And as I was planning to read another of this author's books, here we are.

 

Like The Night Angel Trilogy, the book shows the Point of Views of a handful of people, who each get their own (third person) chapters.

 

The story opens with a self-proclaimed king, laying a town to ash and killing everyone in it to set an example. Needless, to say, one of the books important characters (a boy named Kip) lives in said town, and things go from there, revealing a world rift with complex politics and complexer magic.

 

And the magic is the thing that stands out, in line with the development of recent years to make magic more 'realistic', or perhaps better said, subject to rules. I won't explain the entire system here. It's enough to know that it's all based on turning various colors of light into matter, it's practitioners are called drafters, and if you use to much in your life time you go crazy.

 

There is one person who can ignore all these rules, however. The Prism, grand hero of the past war and described to me by other readers as a Mary Sue. I don't really feel that he is, though. While it's true he can do pretty much everything, there are plenty of people who hate his guts, nor does he succeed at everything he attempts. Plus there is a major plot twist involving him, that further dampens this.

 

I found Kip, the boy and newly discovered drafter, far more annoying as he seems to have no impulse control and makes the dumbest decisions just so the author can create drama.

 

And that is where the book falls apart for me. Especially near the end there are several things that make no logical sense, but happen anyway because the plot cannot advance otherwise. I wish the author had put some more thought into that.

 

Final verdict

Despite the few gripes I have, the overall story is solid and interesting, as is the world depicted. I will definitely read the next book in this series.