Book Review: The Black Prism: Lightbringer #1 by Brent Weeks

The Black Prism
Lightbringer Book 1
By Brent Weeks
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
Release Date: August 25, 2010

The Black Prism marks a new series for fantasy writer Brent Weeks, this one called the Lightbringer series. In the first volume, Gavin Guile is a powerful and imposing emperor who is also the Prism, but he finds out that he has a son, and he has to protect him from his enemies. Weeks’ strength is definitely in world-building, and this book proves no exception, featuring a unique magic system that relies on colors and the perceptions of color to indicate the strength of a mage. Kip is the previously mentioned bastard son of Guile, and starts off with a unique voice in the narrative.

Description is another of Weeks’ strengths, and he integrates it well with the plot, characterization, and dialogue. For fans of epic fantasy that isn’t pseudo-medieval or sword and sorcery inspired, Weeks is another great writer to add to your TBR file. If you’ve enjoyed the books of Brandon Sanderson, Tad Williams, and Steven Erikson, you’ll enjoy this series. However, as with many epic fantasies of this scope and nature, the authors devotes a lot of time for “getting to know you” type of character scenes that serve as establishing why we should feel sympathy for a particular person. Although he starts out strongly, Kip is average in this regard. Although I felt for his plight and his situation, he didn’t grab me as much as I hoped he would.

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