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The Black Prism (Lightbringer) Hardcover – August 25, 2010


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The Black Prism (Lightbringer) + The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer) + The Broken Eye (Lightbringer)
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Product Details

  • Series: Lightbringer (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (August 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316075558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316075558
  • ASIN: 0316075558
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (497 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With this complicated fantasy about family politics, bestseller Weeks (The Way of Shadows) moves into familiar territory. An unloved, orphaned boy is the offspring of someone important; twins assume each other's identities; an aged ruler clings to power. Weeks manages to ring new tunes on these old bells, letting a deep background slowly reveal its secrets and presenting his characters in a realistically flawed and human way. Gavin Guile is facing his final five years as leader of a magical college whose members turn colors of light into various materials. Seeking to rectify the lingering wrongs from the war against his twin, Dazen, he is instead forced to acknowledge a bastard son, face down a corrupt governor, and stop a challenge to the state religion. Frequent perspective shifts keep the reader guessing as to who is heretic and who is hero. Author tour.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Brent Weeks is so good it's starting to tick me off."—Peter V. Brett, New York Times bestselling author of The Desert Spear

"Weeks manages to ring new tunes on...old bells, letting a deep background slowly reveal its secrets and presenting his characters in a realistically flawed and human way."—Publishers Weekly on The Black Prism

"The Blinding Knife is a wonderful work of high fantasy with engaging characters facing the perfect antagonists, set in a creatively-wrought and increasingly chaotic world brimful of imaginative magic and interesting politics. Weeks holds fast to the traditions of his genre while adding a compelling new flavor."—The Ranting Dragon

"One of the best fantasies I've ever read."—Staffer's Book Review on The Blinding Knife

More About the Author

Brent Weeks was born and raised in Montana. After getting his paper keys from Hillsdale College, Brent had brief stints walking the earth like Caine from Kung Fu, tending bar, and corrupting the youth. (Not at the same time.) He started writing on bar napkins, then on lesson plans, then full time. Eventually, someone paid him for it. Brent lives in Oregon with his wife, Kristi. He doesn't own cats or wear a ponytail.

Customer Reviews

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next one.
Heather N
While I wait for the next, I will go back and read the author's other series.
Kathy E.
Fantastic world building, good magic system, and amazingly good plot.
William Kerney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

163 of 175 people found the following review helpful By William Kerney VINE VOICE on August 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book. While I had issues with the Night Angel series (assassins were essentially supermen in that world), the plot, plot twists, and some of the characterization was good enough to add him to my list of authors to read.

The Black Prism, well, is even better. Fantastic world building, good magic system, and amazingly good plot. Best high fantasy novel I've read this year, hands down. Some parts of the plot figuratively floored me, and he definitely doesn't move the characters OR the plot in the direction that you anticipate after the first 150 pages. In this regard, it's similar to the Night Angel series: the reader builds up an expectation of how everything is going to pan out, and then he shakes it all around, and beats you over your head with your own expectation. It's frustrating not being able to talk about it here, but I hate people that blow spoilers for me.

I think it accomplishes a light-based magic system better than the one used in Brandon Sanderson's Warbringer - though that novel had an appeal all of its own as well.

Highly, highly recommended.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Poisoned Blade on September 5, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
An Original Story in a Very Original Fantasy Universe where magic is based on the color spectrum. Brent Weeks, author of The Black Prism and The Night Angel Trilogy, is known for his creative world building, twisting storylines, and characters who act like people, rather than generic fantasy adventure archetypes.

Story:
One thing is certain, this story is NOT FORMULAIC...

A generation ago, The Great Prism War was fought. Two brothers, both powerful mages, built armies and battled each other to become The Prism. The war ended when Gavin defeated his brother Dazen. Now, a count with grandiose, aspirations declares himself a king and builds an army. His first act is to destroy the small town of Rekton, who failed to supply men for his rebellion. Kip, a chubby farmboy, and Liv, a student at the magic academy, are drawn into the conflict. Just when you start to figure out what is going on, the story twists and turns...

World:
This is an original Medieval Fantasy Universe, that takes place in The Seven Satrapies. Each Satrapy functions as an independent country, but is under the watch of a central government. This government has three branches: The Prism, The White, and The Colors. The Prism, a religious figure and powerful mage viewed as an avatar for the god Orholam. The White and The Colors are like Senates, and they maneuver with each other for political power.

Magic:
Magic is based on Chromaturgy, the act of creating physical objects in the world based on light. (Similar to the Green Lantern) This substance is called Luxin. The magic users who create Luxin are called Drafters. Most Drafters can only use one color. A small percentage of Drafters are Bi-chromes and can use two colors.
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46 of 56 people found the following review helpful By MollyKanHas on August 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
For the unawares, this is the start of a new series from author Brent Weeks, who wrote the highly acclaimed Night Angel trilogy. (The trilogy has my own personal acclaim as well. Hmm, that doesn't sound right.) I know some of us (ahem, me) were excited at the possible prospect of a new series that followed old and new characters a couple of decades later in the timeline. And when I first heard about the release of a new book, I immediately assumed this was the case. I admit to a big wave of disappointment when I heard it was in an all-new world with all-new characters. I even sulked a bit. (Okay, a lot.)

But guess what isn't a disappointment? Go ahead. Guess.

Well, that's true, but I was actually referring to The Black Prism.

The Black Prism follows the Prism Gavin Guile (the Prism is the religious leader-like the Pope) as he attempts to complete five great purposes before his death in five years. The world is composed of the Seven Satrapies, and the Chromeria where drafters-magic-users-are trained in service of the Satrapies, the Prism being the most powerful drafter of all. Sixteen years ago, the Prism fought and defeated his brother in a civil war to attain his title, and now the satrapy Tyrea, who sided with the losing brother, is attempting to declare independence. In Tyrea, Kip's hometown is destroyed by the cruel new king, and the ungainly, hapless young man becomes a part of the powerful events that are about to shatter the Seven Satrapies.

It would be too easy, too uncomplicated to say that this book is awesome, and it wouldn't do justice to Weeks' craft. But I'll say it anyway. This book...IS AWESOME!! There have been too many times where I have opened a new series in a new world by an author well-known for one particular fantasy world.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Micah J. Hill on November 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I guess I am a victim of my own expectations for this novel. I loved the first two books of Night Angel, but felt the trilogy lost strength in its finale. Weeks was brilliant when writing a small number of characters in gritty, brutal situations. However, as the story progressed to the typical epic fantasy level of kings and kingdoms and more complex magic/world building, Weeks writing lost steam. And unfortunately this is where Black Prism continues.

Strengths: Gavin Guile is a very interesting character. In one chapter you will like and admire the man and in the next those feelings turn to loathing. His protrayal is highly dichotamous but believable. It will be interesting to see who he really is as the series unfolds. Kip on the other hand is less likeable. He is the fantasy cliche of small village boy who is really more than he seems. However, he is not the fantasy cliche in that he is fat, awkward, not all that smart, and lacks much of any quality to make you root for him. I cant decide if this is refreshing or if I really didnt enjoy his chapters.

Weaknesses: the magic system. People called prisms have abilities to take various colors of light and turn it into luxin, a plastic like substance. Different colors of luxin have different properties. Its not that the idea isnt creative, it just felt that the execution was lacking. For some reason, I wasnt able to suspend belief and buy into the magic. Instead it was awkward and distracting. Pages are spent delving into the "magic" of luxin rather than delving into characters and plot. I prefer the magic system to be subservient to the character development and plot of a novel, not the other way around.

I admit I may have enjoyed this book more if I didnt go into it with such high expectations.
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