Guest Review: The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

August 18, 2014 5 stars, Book Review, Guest Post 15 ★★★★★

Guest Review: The Black Prism by Brent WeeksThe Black Prism by Brent Weeks
Series: Lightbringer #1
Published by Orbit Books on August 25, 2010
Genres: Adult SFF, Fantasy
Pages: 629
Source: Purchased

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.


Audaciously clever tale of might, magic, and intrigue

What I’ve Been Missing? – I took Brent Weeks’ Black Prism on a recommendation from your very own Pabkins here at NotYetRead, mainly because I wanted something fantasy but also something different than the fantasy fare I typically gorge my mind on. I am absolutely stunned by what a great fit this story was for me, but also Pakins’ ability to find me the perfect book every time! I can’t believe I’m only now reading Weeks’ work for the first time, but I swear it won’t be the last. This is a remarkably talented author and a gripping tale.     

Here’s why I love it – There are layers and layers of intrigue and moments that will leave you speechless – there are hairpin turns throughout the plot so once you start you’d better be in for the long haul and hand on for a wild ride. The brilliance in this work is Weeks’ ability to create a symbiotic relationship between plotlines and his characters; each event and twist creates a new level within one or more of his main characters.   The main characters, particularly Gavin, are really well done and in my opinion, exemplify a key component of Week’s style I liken to Yin and Yang; in good there is some evil and in evil there is some good. What matters depends on your perspective, perception, and your moral compass; a perfect reflection of real life.

One more thing – Weeks adds a magic system that feels original and complements the story rather than limits his options – it’s different, so boring readers who only like the same old thing won’t appreciate it, but the adventurers in here will witness it harmonize with plot and characters. If you’re looking for a clean cut good versus evil, action-adventure tale where the good guys prevail then go to the kids section and pick something else. If you want a clever, complex story with wit and audacity then give this a read. I did and it was a clear 4.9 star read for me – a gift from Pabkins (Tabitha) and Brent that I thoroughly loved!!!

The Black Prism (The Lightbringer Series) by Brent Weeks – average rating 4.4 stars on Amazon and 4.32 on Goodreads

Tom Clementson (Motley Chronicles)

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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15 Responses to “Guest Review: The Black Prism by Brent Weeks”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I thought this was pretty decent. I mean, Brent Weeks has got nothing on, say, Sanderson’s epics, but I certainly like the books in this series so far, more than Weeks’ other series the Night Angel trilogy. I’m going to start on the third book The Broken Eye soon, hopefully!
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  2. Wendell

    Sounds like a decent enough epic fantasy. God, there are a lot of those to read right now! I’ll add it to my to be read pile.

    Good to know that you really dig Mr. Weeks style, because I had read so many reviews that didn’t. One of the reviewers I follow described his writing style as “. . . like you are being told a story by a very creative and imaginative 15 year old boy, with no real life experience and not a lot of study under his belt.” After reading that, I can’t say I was real excited about trying him out.

    Oh, by the way, be careful about statements like “If you’re looking for a clean cut good versus evil, action-adventure tale where the good guys prevail then go to the kids section and pick something else.”, since that would mean Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Jordan/Sanderson’s Wheel of Time, and many other epic fantasy series are now relegated to the kids’ section. Those kind of broad statements can really irritate fans. I would know because I’ve received a lot of hate mail for my reviews of the Dark Tower series, even though I mostly loved it. 🙂

    • Tom Clementson

      Know what you mean about generalizations, and I love each of the series you listed and more…but frankly I am sick to death with the same old, same old. The other point of irritation stems from many of the reviewers on Amazon who docked the book because primary characters, especially the Prism, didn’t follow the ‘good guy’ paradigm – more than the allowable flaws in volume and severity.

      All that said – I found something those aforementioned Amazon reviewers will likely hate, hate, hate because the main character is dark, dark, dark – an evil bloke with only the smallest shred of potential good – Broken Empire series. Should wrap that one up tonight.

  3. Tabitha (Pabkins)

    It’s funny if I was the one that recommended it – I don’t remember. I know I own it and the first in his other series. Maybe that was how it happened. And I still haven’t even read it yet. Though a few friends have said to read this series first not the other if I was interested in trying Weeks out.

    Glad you loved it so much and thanks for letting me run your review!

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yeah and I hadn’t even read it yet to boot! LOL Oddly enough I get quite a few normal non bloggy reader friends that ask me for book recs in the genres they like based on a few books I know they have read. It usually works out pretty well. Which always gets me really excited!! Course Tom reads really extensively in Fantasy (but more so the past few years in Indie fantasy which I was really surprised to hear from him and my sister (Tom’s her husband).
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  4. Molly Mortensen

    This book looks so good! How have I not heard of it before? The five years to live has me scared, but I think this sounds too good to pass up. I’m glad you found a new author to love, I hope I have too. We should hire Pabkins out as a book match maker.
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