The Black Prism

The Black Prism

Book - 2010
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When Gavin Guile--high priest and emperor, the most powerful man in the world known to all as the Prism--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.
Publisher: New York : Orbit, 2010.
ISBN: 9780316075558
Characteristics: 629 p. :,ill., map ;,25 cm.


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Jun 19, 2019

I am an avid fantasy and scifi reader and what I love most is when an author can combine great characters with thoughtful world building. This always helps me really lose myself in the world and thinking throughout the day what life is like in this world. In my opinion Brent Weeks knocks it out of the part with both.

The characters are all flawed in a way that makes my drama loving heart soar in anticipation and growing dread. The plot sets itself up to be grandiose in scale but still shows how it effects people on a personal level. The magic of the world is detailed enough to allow you to understand it at the same rate our fish out of water character does and often connect the dots quicker then they can. But drops so many hints of things that they haven't figured out yet with magic or what its limits are.

All in all I was enthralled from the end of chapter one on and ended up putting the rest of the series on my reading list right away.

Sep 16, 2018

It took me several months to conquer this beast. I would read about 50 pages, then put it down, read a different novel, then go back to this one. The one word that describes Weeks' novel is EPIC. The world is huge, the magic system well thought out, and his characters exceedingly well developed. Everyone had clear goals and reasons for their behavior. As the story progressed, we really understood how light drafting worked and the hierarchy of the Chromeria as well as the seven satrapies. There's a lot here, which is probably why the book was almost 800 pages long.
Here's the things I liked. I really enjoyed the magic system with the light drafting- creating luxin of the different colors of the prism, and how each color was responsible for different strengths and character traits. Of course, those who could draft more than one color were better than those who could only draft one. The Prism can draft them all. The detail that Weeks put into the creation of different things out of luxin was very well done. I could easily imagine Gavin drafting a boat or Kip drafting spikes. Gavin himself was by far my favorite character. He had such depth- he was constantly at war with himself and wondering if he was doing the right things- but deep down, he was a good person.
I did NOT like Kip. He was so self-deprecating that it got to the point where I skimmed over his sections. He's clumsy and fat and his mother never told him she loved him. WE GET IT. We don't need to be reminded of these things every single time we read from his perspective. Also, the story felt bloated in parts. I ran out of steam about halfway through and it took some doing to pick the book back up.
Overall, Weeks is a master of words and the story was very well done. I will most likely read the next, after I've had time to come down from this one.

SPPL_Aura Mar 14, 2018

I have at times taken a vacation day when the new book in this series is released. Enough said.

CMLibrary_akeller Feb 15, 2016

I had a hard time getting into this book at first. It was slow and I was so confused by the magic system. However, I stuck with it and I am so glad I did! It eventually picked up speed and I got to the point where I couldn't put it down. The characters come across as flawed and human and capable of some really cool things. The magic system took some getting used to, but it was unique and interesting to try to visualize. Not to mention, there are many twists and turns you will not see coming. I would highly recommend this book and I urge you to keep reading even if it takes a while to get through. It's well worth it.

Feb 03, 2015

This novel was a great read. I think it is better than his Night Angel Trilogy. The book never had a real lull and there is a great plot line with vast depth in the character. Also, the system in which magic is utilized and created is fascinating and well built.

Jan 02, 2014

This book has great characters, amazingly detailed geopolitics, and brilliant ploting. It deals with issues of culture and identity in an insightful way, has a magic system whose creativity and consistency rivals Brian Sanderson's, and has a grey-gray morality that forces us to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of every faction just as we do in real life. Oh, and it's also a really fun read. Weeks is one of my new favorites.

Dec 18, 2013

This was a fun book to read. I was surprised, honestly, at how fast I got through it. I had thought that the size would take a but more time, but I was unable to tear myself away once I got going.

The Prism is a complex character with flaws that I really appreciated. There were a few moments throughout the book that really catapulted the character development forward and many surprises that kept him from becoming boring. The snippets of back story that are sprinkled throughout the book also add depth without overwhelming the reader with the characters history.

Karris was a great character. She was a strong and powerful woman, not the typical damsel in distress that needs the big, strong man to save her. I appreciated that she was able to be feminine while still being a force to be reckoned with.

Kip was awesome. This is a kid that everyone can feel for. He is a strong character that you find yourself rooting for nearly immediately. General Danavis, Liv, Ironfist, and the White were interesting characters that added to the story. I do wish that some of them had been featured a but more but I also understand the reason why they were not. I am hopeful that as the series continues these characters will be developed further.

I think the author did a solid job of building a world that was unique while still being easy to fall into. Some fantasy/sci-fi authors create such complex and overwhelming worlds that it is hard to get into the plot while learning about the world, terminology, and the unique aspects. Weeks introduced the world at a slow enough pace to allow the reader to dive in without losing the details.

Sep 17, 2013

This book goes beyond the traditional portrayal of an epic battle between good and evil. The primary hero lives a lie, the evil mastermind speaks the truth. I enjoyed identifying with Kip as he slowly learned about himself. I look forward to reading the rest of the story in the next two books.

unbalancedbutfair Sep 25, 2012

A very good book. A compelling plot, using characters with real depth. A book about decisions and consequences. Loyalty, lies and repercussions. A book about brothers. All set in a Mediterranean style world with its own religion and politics. The magic system is interesting, and is itself embedded not only in engineering and fighting, but in politics and religion and more subtle forms of power. And Weeks explains all of this without ever boring or lecturing the reader and without straying from the plot. 2 early twists worth praising are the use of a main character who is not a physical paradigm and the existence (and use) of gunpowder. I enjoyed this book immensely, as in "stayed up when I should have been sleeping or working to finish reading it" type of enjoyed.

Jul 05, 2012

Brent Weeks is a master of words. I would highly recommend this and his "Night Angel" trilogy. The story is well written and fast paced you become connected to the characters that move the plot faster than you can imagine.

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QueenJenny17 Apr 29, 2011

Gavin Guile is The Prism. He lives in a world where, maybe, 50% of the population can transmute a color they can "see" into something tangible. Most of these people can only "see" one color and therefore "work" with only that color. Fewer can "see" 2 colors, and less can see 3. The Prism can see all colors and work with all of them, from sub-red to superviolets. The work is called "drafting" and the product that comes from the drafters body is called "luxin". (I'm explaining all of this because I struggled with the concepts the first third of the book.) The Prism is sort of a religious figure but his ultimate purpose is to keep the world in balance. If one country/group of people starts to use too much red than red will get weaker and green (it's opposite) will get stronger. Lastly there is suppose to be only one Prism per generation.

The book takes place 16 years after the Prisms' War between Gavin and his younger brother, Dazen. Probably because both brothers are Prisms and struggling for power. (As true to his style of writing, Brent Weeks, doesn't divulge the entire story at the beginning.) Gavin wins the war and everyone thinks that Dazen was killed. Instead he's a prisoner in an elaborate jail under the Prism's room.

At the start of the book Gavin receives a note that it's time to meet his son, that he didn't know he had. ???? Gavin has to "decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret (s) that could tear his world apart."

Overall a excellent book, on par with Brent's Night Angel series. I'm anxiously awaiting the next book.

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