The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
The Lightbringer series, book 1
Listened on audiobook Dec 29, 2016 – Feb 2, 2017
No spoilers this time around. Safe to read.
The Black Prism is the first book in the currently-four-book Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks. I had heard of the author before, but I hadn’t read anything by him until now.
Let me tell you man, I’m a fan. From what I’ve heard, his writing is polarizing in a way that you’ll either like his style or you won’t. Well, I like it. I really like it, actually. After I finish this series, I’m going to go hunt down his other one.
This series follows the Prism, a man named Gavin Guile who can fracture light into its individual colors and then draft those colors into physical matter called luxin, which can then be used like any other building material. This magic system is unique in that the more the wielder uses it, the faster it brings him or her to death. I’ve never read about a system that kills someone as they use it before. Other people in this world can use the magic as well, but most can only draft one or two colors. Some, superchromats, can draft more than that, but only the Prism can draft them all. I love the way Weeks described the magic system – I understood the mechanics of it without having to think much about it. It just flowed naturally into the story.
This book follows Guile along with three or four other characters, shifting perspectives as needed. I think this is the first time I’ve read a multiple POV book where I was interested in each character. None of the chapters were boring, none of them left me wondering if they were necessary. Each character contributed to the storyline and each one was understandable if not likeable.
Another main character in the story, Kip, Gavin Guile’s bastard son, was probably my favorite character. He was just so funny. An overweight teenager, his story begins in a small village where he’s being bullied daily by other boys living there. The story takes off quickly, him coming to interact with the other main characters and not feeling sure of himself while he does it. So what does he do? He resorts to humor to help himself cope. Kip is hysterical and I feel like I’d find him as a good person if he were to magically appear in front of me as a real human. Sure, he has the mind of a stereotypical hormonal teenage boy at times and the reader sees that when reading from his POV, but he’s not wholly crude and him noticing girls is also dotted with humor. He was just entertaining to read all around and I really enjoyed it.
The Black Prism aside from having humor and fantasy elements also has war and political intrigue elements. The Seven Satrapies, the land where this story take place, has a bloody past that’s not quite settled, leading to tension and torment and warfare. Each Satrapie has a unique culture that’s highlighted throughout the book, lending to the world’s fullness and development. And there’s a magic school! Well, it’s there. The book isn’t focused on it, but it’s there. Still enjoyable to read though. :”D
Overall, I loved this book. I loved this book. The audio narration just made it all the better, too. This is the first time I went out of my way to find out the name of the narrator and see what else he’s narrated so I can listen to him more. The version I listened to was narrated by Simon Vance. I know there are other narrators for this book who apparently aren’t that great, so if you decide to try out the audibook, get the Simon Vance version!! 😀 Oh my gosh, I’m smitten.
Favorite book of the year so far, I think. It’s tied with A Court of Mist and Fury. It was just so wonderful. I need to get a physical copy so I can reread it and love it and scribble in it and love it and love it.
Rating: 5/5 stars