The Black Prism by Brent Weeks – Review

Cover- The Black Prism

Published: August 25, 2010 (1st Ed.)

Publisher: Orbit

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 661 (Paperback)

My Rating: 5.0/5.0


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. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

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 always thought the idea of light and color based magic sounded a little cheesy, but after seeing so many rave reviews for the Lightbringer series, I decided that I had to at least give it a try. Can I just apologize for making judgments? This was one of the most interesting and laugh out loud funny books I’ve read in so long! I was constantly grinning and laughing about one character or another’s antics and it was an absolute joy to read.

The whole premise of the light magic is incredibly fascinating and has a good logic to it. The Prism (Gavin Guile) can wield all colors in the spectrum from sub-red to superviolet and doesn’t have to worry about overextending himself to the same degree that other “drafters” do. He’s more of a religious symbol than a political power, though he does have significant influence over the other colors and keeps a balance on the amount of color drafted. Other drafters can be monochromes, bichromes, or polychromes, wielding one, two, or multiple colors respectively. They can overuse their power and break turn into color wights which are basically varying degrees of madmen and are killed as soon as possible to keep order and prevent chaos from reigning.

The plot was rich- an abundance of action, a plethora of plot twists, and you would not believe the subplots and the games within games. It’s truly a thing of beauty. The best plot twist didn’t happen at the end of the book, but rather in the first third. It was one of the most mind-blowing revelations that I’ve EVER come across in my many years of reading. HOLY CRAP IT WAS AWESOME. I read the rest of the book with an entirely different mindset because it changed everything I thought I knew. For this alone I think fantasy readers should give it a go.

The actual characters, their choices, and actions are what really made this book so on point. The Prism is likable and charismatic and the man has a seven year plan, which is respectable. Everyone should have goals. Karris White Oak is one tough chick- she bounced back from relationship rejection to become a powerful fighter and drafter in the Blackguards. Kip though might be my favorite because he’s the one that kept making me laugh. His lines were spectacular, for instance, “Oh, the little brother comparison. Just what every man wants to hear from a beautiful woman. I’ve just been castrated”. That’s not even the best one because I forgot to tag the best one (silly me). Liv Danavis is also amazing and it’s great to read a book where there are two awesome female characters and they aren’t immediately lovestruck. I could go on, but I’ll spare you people.

I hope that anyone out there who was initially skeptical of this book will give it a chance like I did and find it to be enjoyable at the very least. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series and did I mention that The Blood Mirror comes out later this year?? Well, it does, so I can go ahead and binge read if I feel like it! I would like to do an in depth analysis or discussion post about some of the characters or the storyline of this book (and others) – perhaps I’ll find the time to do that soon!


5 thoughts on “The Black Prism by Brent Weeks – Review

  1. This book is so fantastic, just like the rest of the series. Kip is just amazing and inspirational and I love him. I can’t wait for you to continue reading (especially once you reach “The Broken Eye”), for as much laughter as this series gives, the heartbreak is soon to follow…



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