9 Aug 2015

The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks


Author: Brent Weeks

Series: Lightbringer #1
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: August 25, 2010

Rating: 4/5 stars

Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals. 

But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

I wanted to move from YA Fantasy to Adult Fantasy and heard such good things about Brent Weeks in general that I couldn't pass this one up. I am a huge fantasy fan and this book does not disappoint on that front. 

I thought the beginning was a little slow; there was a lot of world building and character development smushed into the first 30% of the novel. I thought the magic system was pretty complex but well developed and explained. Although, I do have to say I am not quite sure how I should be visualizing the magic and it is a bit confusing in that sense. I wasn't too sure about the idea of the "Black Prism" but I think it all works pretty well for the overall setting of the story and what has the potential to be next.

I thought there was just enough point of views to understand the story while not bombarding the reader with characters. I think I liked Gavin the best with Liv and Karris close seconds. I think the women in this were written ... fine, not great, but fine. I liked that they were more likely to have magic than males -- and more of it as well, but they were basically stereotypes and I am not sure if it will get better or worse in the coming story.

I think my biggest problem with it is that it wants to be on the same level as an Epic fantasy but just doesn't get there. It has the elements but not the exact execution. I did enjoy it however, but I do suggest taking breaks in between to digest everything you have read because there is a lot of information tucked inside these pages.

Overall: 4/5 stars. The characters are solid and well-developed and have interesting qualities and story arcs that make you want to learn more about the characters past, present, and future.

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