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Review – The Blinding Knife October 2, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 3.5 stars, Fantasy.
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Title: The Blinding Knife

Author: Brent Weeks

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: September 11, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0316079914

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

Gavin Guile is dying.

He’d thought he had five years left—now he has less than one. With fifty thousand refugees, a bastard son, and an ex-fiancée who may have learned his darkest secret, Gavin has problems on every side. All magic in the world is running wild and threatens to destroy the Seven Satrapies.

Worst of all, the old gods are being reborn, and their army of color wights is unstoppable. The only salvation may be the brother whose freedom and life Gavin stole sixteen years ago.

Review:

As the Color Prince marches onward, Gavin loses another color. He sends Kip to the Chromeria. As Gavin tries to ready the Seven Satrapies for war, Kip begins to train for life as a Blackguard.

Let me just start by saying this was a long book and it felt like a long book. It had a complicated plot that was hard to keep up with at times. In the end it was worth it though. There was a lot of scheming on both war fronts. The plotting on both sides was worth keeping track of. If you read the first book, then you were already familiar with the elaborate magic system in place. It was still another complicated web to keep in order.

There were a myriad cast of characters and it could have become confusing but Weeks manages to pull it off successfully. The story was written from a lot of different perspectives yet it still comes together seamlessly. The action picks up towards the end of the book which is a relief.

Kip was resilient and despite being overweight and out of shape, he perseveres through his Blackguard training. He’s insecure but manages not to show it. He also manages to get lucky which is key to his success.  He really won my heart in this book. The way he didn’t quit despite being on the bottom of his class showed how tough he was.

Kip did make a friend in Teia. I really liked Teia. She accepted her life as a slave yet she also fought for her freedom. How she managed this juxtaposition was puzzling but she still managed to convey this. Teia remained optimistic despite her harsh life. She had a lot of brains and she could fight. If anyone deserved to be a Blackguard it was Teia.

I’m not sure I liked Gavin in the beginning of this book. He was pig-headed and a bit too slick for me. He had a tendency to look at the big picture and ignore the people close to him. I guess it proved what a complicated character he was.

I think the reason the book was so long was because there was a lot of things that needed to culminate. It was worth it in the end yet at the same time there were points in the book that seemed to drag on.  Another thing that left a bad taste in my mouth was the abrupt end. There are cliffhangers and then there are cliffhangers. I felt like this one was one of those that deliberately left the reader hung out to dry.

This book is still a good read and worth the time to take. The characters and plot are engaging. The magical system is unique and intriguing. I’m still interested enough to keep on going with this series. I guess the cliffhanger worked!

The Black Prism January 24, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 3 stars, Fantasy.
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The Black Prism

by Brent Weeks

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.

Since I read the Night Angel Trilogy first and I loved it, I eagerly delved into Weeks’ next book. I ended up comparing the two more often then not and not often too favorably.

I thought that The Black Prism’s plot was a bit too complicated. I found myself plodding through the first 60% of the book and I was forcing myself to get through it. Trying to navigate through the plots twists and turns was like trying to play a mental game of Twister with myself.

The characters weren’t as fully developed as the characters were in the Night Angel trilogy either. I thought that many of them lacked depth and I wanted more out of them by the middle of the book. In fact, I was so dizzy with the way Weeks switched from character to character without fully fleshing them out I nearly cried out with frustration.

The magical system in the book is interesting yet at the same time it gets overly complex. There are so many things to keep up with in this book, it was hard to really keep pace with where the elaborate plot and the sub-plots were actually going.

Around the 60-70% mark I started to get into the book. The characters seemed to stop diverging into sub-plots and I could finally see a culmination of sorts.

I did like the twist in the book. It was surprising and unique. I also think I’ll read the rest of the series since the end of the book really grabbed me. I’m just very unhappy with the first half of the book.

3 of 5 stars