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The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer) Hardcover – October 25, 2016
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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"Brent Weeks has a style and immediacy of detail that pulls the reader relentlessly into his story. He doesn't allow you to look away."―Robin Hobb
"The Lightbringer series is great fun. Nobody does break-neck pacing and amazingly-executed plot twists like Brent Weeks."―Brian McClellan, author of Promise of Blood
"His plot feels like an orchestrated chess match between genius grandmasters."―Publishers Weekly on The Broken Eye
"The Blinding Knife was even better than the The Black Prism (and that's saying something!)"―B&N.com on The Blinding Knife
"Brent Weeks is so good it's starting to tick me off."―Peter V. Brett, New York Times bestselling author of The Desert Spear on The Night Angel Trilogy
"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 epic fantasies I've ever read."―Staffer's Book Review on The Blinding Knife
"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
"...A solid, entertaining yarn."―The Onion A.V. Club on The Black Prism
"Weeks has written an epic fantasy unlike any of its contemporaries. It is a truly visionary and original work, and has set the bar high for others in its subgenre."―graspingforthewind.com
"One of the best Fantasy books of 2012!"―A Dribble of Ink on The Blinding Knife
About the Author
Brent Weeks was born and raised in Montana. He wrote on bar napkins and lesson plans before landing his dream job years and thousands of pages later. Brent lives in Oregon with his wife, Kristi, and their daughters. Find out more about the author at www.brentweeks.com or on twitter @brentweeks.
Top customer reviews
First off, I feel I must warn potential readers that Blood Mirror is not, in fact, the last book in the Lightbringer series, as I thought, but rather the second to last. Undoubtedly, this unknown fact (to me) somewhat soured my experience of the book as a whole and, undoubtedly, I am somewhat to blame for not double/triple-checking the series length BEFORE reading. After all, fantasy authors do, unfortunately, have a habit of stretching things out once they have a hit on their hands. Weeks having changed it once from a trilogy to a quadrilogy(?) already, I thought this series was safe. Locked in. Apparently not. But, I digress. To the actual *penultimate* book itself.
Despite the initial grievance, this is not a bad book. Indeed, there is a lot of good stuff here, a lot of creativity, a lot to admire. The magic system, the fun interplay (for the most part) between the characters, the surrounding mythos of the world--all of that is still here. Some of it is expanded upon or, even, improved.
Kip, in particular, sees vast improvement in this installment. Previously, I must admit that I have always disliked this character and his POV chapters and I bemoaned it when the series began to shift away from Gavin and more toward his whinging (albeit fake) bastard. He was annoying and unfunny in a particularly painful, cringe-worthy sort of way (and not in the cute, adorkable way that Weeks was obviously trying very, very hard to evoke). In this book, however, his maturity grows in leaps and bounds and the evolving relationship between him and Tisis is one of the Blood Mirror's stronger points. So, yes, I actually found myself liking a few of Kip's POVs this time around, which was something of a shock.
Karris and Teia, meanwhile, are both serviceable. Neither have any WOW moments, but they both have stuff to do and that stuff is generally interesting. And that's all I have to say about that.
Gavin, though, is the best, as always,and he remains the primary reason I read this series. As in the Broken Eye, there is too little of him here when compared to the other POVs--but, as I expected this, I didn't mind the focus on the other characters overmuch. With him, the story always crackles on the page, and this book is no different.
I will quibble slightly, however, and say that it is in his plot line you can feel the stretching of these books the most. It's quite clear, as it was in the last, that Gavin's plot is ready to move on, to get going toward the end-game, but because Kip's and the rest aren't, Weeks has to make Gavin's chapters shorter and sparser and, in a sense, very Rand al'Thor-esque (which is both good and bad, as you Wheel of Time fans ought to know).
As for the actual writing, it is, like in the previous three, uneven. Weeks' inner dialogues go on far too long, explain things far too much, spell out what exactly precisely specifically the characters are feeling at all times, and generally illustrate an overall lack of trust in his reader to intuit anything on their own. If not for the cursing and violence, this series could very easily be put in the YA category. Every now and again, though, Weeks will go on these wonderful little runs that are both surprising and beautiful. A paragraph, a bit of dialogue, that is genuinely moving.
But alas, similarly, the tone is also all over the place. One minute characters are making fart jokes, the next they're saying ridiculously melodramatic things like 'I am become death'. Also, a character directly quotes Sartre, somehow, some way, and for some reason.
Basically, with Weeks one learns to take the good with the bad. Great, creative ideas; wildly varying execution of those ideas.
As for the last couple critiques, I fear I must dip briefly into virgin waters. So be warned:
Let's just cut right to the heart of the matter, shall we? Ret-conning. Others here have accused Gavin's backstory as presented in Blood Mirror as a rather extreme form of ret-conning, and I have to agree. At the very least, it feels something as a cheat. We the readers have always recognized the fact that it was a ridiculous notion that fake-Gavin had managed to smuggle real-Gavin into the center of a bustling, paranoid city and imprison him there without anyone the wiser. But the books previous to this one never wavered in the conviction of that notion and so we, the readers, went with it. We accepted it. Hell, we even got several POV chapters of real-Gavin trying to escape.
But now, it turns out that we were all just having a grand shared fictional hallucination--because real-Gavin was actually never imprisoned, he was killed by fake-Gavin ages ago, during their last battle. Mind blown, I suppose, even if it feels as though this was a twist either made up completely on the fly, or well after the second book was written.
There are other revelations made to fake-Gavin down in his colored prison that I won't go into here as, for the most part, they worked. This Fight Club twist was the only one that really had me rolling my eyes. Heavily
Now, on to the much maligned subplot with Tisis and her uncooperative loins. Yes, you read that right. There is a goodly portion of this book, an epic fantasy/adventure, devoted to a young teenage couple being unable to consummate their marriage due to the clenched too-tight muscles of a lady's nethers. Reading the other reviews, a lot of people seemed to have some hate for this one, but honestly I didn't mind it. It dragged on for far too long (penetration is only achieved, in fact, in the very last chapter and on the very last page of the book, which is--to be frank--an odd choice) and it reminded me of a 30 Rock episode wherein Liz Lemon experiences the very same problem, which made me chuckle a little every time the problem was brought up. But overall, eh. It was fine. Sort of weird, not in that this issue exists, but in that so much time and word space was devoted to it. But fine and it didn't ruin the book for me by any stretch.
END OF SPOILERS
So, yeah, basically you already know if you're buying Blood Mirror or not. If you've read the previous three, you're buying it. I'll just add that you don't have to worry about Wheel of Time levels of filler here. Stuff actually happens. There is also no absolutely egregious cliffhanger (ala Dance of Dragons/Walking Dead). And the next book, book 5, has a BUNCH of cool stuff set up to happen. So. Nothing to worry about. Yet. But if a Book 6 is ever announced, yeah. Ima be worried.
Otherwise, my fellow fantasy chums, we all of us settle back in for the long wait. Doors of Stone, Winds of Winter, Stormlight 3, etc, etc, and now another Lightbringer book. So. Here's to hoping the end next promised us is actually that: an end.