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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The colours of magic
The author of the popular Night Angel trilogy of fantasy novels here launches a new trilogy. The lightbringer.

It runs for seven hundred and thirty five pages, and ninety eight chapters. There's a map of the land where the story takes place. And, being the first volume in a trilogy, it ends on a cliffhanger.

In the world of this story, magic is very...
Published on 1 Oct 2011 by Paul Tapner

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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite on par yet...
Earlier this year I read the `Night Angel Trilogy' by Brent Weeks. I have to say that it is one of the very best fantasy trilogies I have ever read. I felt things for those characters I have never felt before in a book - I really felt I knew them and cared about what happened to them. And that for me is rare. In addition to the lifelike characters, the story was...
Published on 1 Oct 2010 by M. J. Aplin


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The colours of magic, 1 Oct 2011
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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The author of the popular Night Angel trilogy of fantasy novels here launches a new trilogy. The lightbringer.

It runs for seven hundred and thirty five pages, and ninety eight chapters. There's a map of the land where the story takes place. And, being the first volume in a trilogy, it ends on a cliffhanger.

In the world of this story, magic is very colourful. Literally. Power comes from various colours, and those who can control the lights can wield it. Some are better at this than others, and the most powerful is the prism.

The current prism has the name of Gavin Guile. Their power, though, means that they only live for a rather short amount of time. Something he is very aware of.

But his world is shaken when he receives word that he has a son whom he was previously unaware of. This is Kip, a portly and somewhat put upon boy. He and his father meet on the day when Kip's world is changed forever.

Whilst Gavin tries to stay in power, Kip trains in the use of his. But with turmoil about to come, their worlds miht never be the same again.

And in a dungeon, a mysterious prisoner has a plan...

This is pretty grim at times, punching no punches in depicting the horrors of war and violence, but it's never gratuitous.

The magic system is interesting.

But the whole thing never quite feels as if it's breaking much new ground in the genre.

Nevertheless, the main characters are all quite interesting. Things happen because of their choices rather than because of the requirements of the plot. And the relationship between Gavin and his newfound son, plus his lost love Karris, is really very well written.

Something does happen a third of the way through also which does catch you by surprise and adds an interesting extra twist or two to the plot.

But this is very readable and very good fantasy. And that ending will make you desperate to know what will happen next. So whilst it's not quite five star work it's very good entertainment for fans of this genre, and I will be back for volume two.
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61 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting magic system, 27 Aug 2010
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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After emerging onto the fantasy scene with his Night Angel trilogy, readers have wondered what Brent Weeks would hit back with as a follow up. Yes, we knew that he could envision an epic world, yes we know that he could create descent characters and yes we also knew that he could write an adventure to keep you glued over the subsequent novels. However, the real quest that the readers wanted answered was: Is he a one world, one series author and would his next project expand on his creativity?

What unfurls is a rich new tapestry where Weeks takes magic into a new direction where colours rule in a different way to Gemmell's (in his novel Knights of Dark Renown.) The characters are memorable and whilst a certain amount of this first title is world building and setting the subsequent releases in the series up, it doesn't feel like an info dump and really does bring the world to the reader through the eyes of the character Kip . If you know a fan of fantasy, then this title will get you extra bonus points. It's fresh, it's vivid but above all else the politics alongside the action, both melee and magical really draws the reader into the novels snare. Great stuff.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magical powers will never be the same!!, 15 July 2011
I have read Brent Weeks the Night Angel Trilogy which was good read where some of the concepts were amazing but when i read The BLACK PRISM i was more or less expecting the same assassin theme. i was completely wrong!! this book is awesome and not the kind of awesome kids these days throw around but in its true meaning that i was left in awe... this book has introduce a new way of magic and will leave a mark in fantasy history!! MUST READ for anyone who loves fantasy or the NIGHT ANGEL OF VENGEANCE will come for you!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different Science Fantasy Novel, 12 Jan 2012
I found this book a little hard to get into at the beginning, but once I got my head around the different concept of the fantasy I discovered a new world that was well worth visiting. Look forward to the follow up books.The Black Prism: Lightbringer: book 1 (Lightbringer Trilogy)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good start to a new trilogy, 13 Nov 2011
Interesting start to a new trilogy from Brent Weeks, lots of twists and turns getting built into the storyline from the start. Keen on seeing how the story goes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read, 3 Jun 2011
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Having read the Way of the Shadows trilogy, I picked up this book. Solid enjoyable characters with a fairly simple to follow storyline. Brent Weeks does seem to have a bit of an obsession with colour being linked to magic, as this was also the theme in The Way of the Shadows. Storyline progress tends to start slowing around halfway through the book and I didn't find myself as glued to it after that, which was disappointing, however it wasn't a slog to finish it and look forward to the rest of the trilogy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, couldn't put it down., 28 July 2011
I just finished this book this morning, and boy was it a good read.
The magic system is rather innovative, and it gave the entire book a nice flavor. I loved the characters, and the story was very well told.
It had a bright sense of humor, full of sarcasm and thick irony. I especially enjoyed the segments where we hear Kips internal dialogue or suddenly blurping out something he only should have thought.
In ways, I think that this is Brent Weeks best work, it's widely different from his earlier books, the Night Angel trilogy.
A great book, and if you enjoyed the Night Angel trilogy, you'll enjoy this, even though the two series are miles apart.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite on par yet..., 1 Oct 2010
By 
M. J. Aplin "Fantasy-Faction" (Weston Super Mare, Somerset, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Earlier this year I read the `Night Angel Trilogy' by Brent Weeks. I have to say that it is one of the very best fantasy trilogies I have ever read. I felt things for those characters I have never felt before in a book - I really felt I knew them and cared about what happened to them. And that for me is rare. In addition to the lifelike characters, the story was absolutely brilliant. Brent Weeks managed to hold about 7 sub-story lines that could each in themselves be considered a `main story line' as well as the main characters story. It really is an incredible piece of work and if you have not read it... do so!

Moving onto this book...

To understand the plot of the Black Prism you need to understand a little bit of science. As you may or may not know - Color originates in light. In light there are gradients of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Ultra-Violet - basically the colours of the rainbow. In the Black Prism, a percentage of the population known as `Drafters' have the ability to draw upon these colours and mould them with their will. Each colour has its own properties that allow its various usage; for example red is volatile and good for fire, yellow is strong and therefore good for buildings and so on.

His new series `Black Prism' is about `Gavin Guile' who is `the' most powerful man in the world. Known as `the prism', he has the ability to draw magic from every coloured spectrum of light. Since the dawn of time, within each generation there has been just one Prism. It has been his job to rule, control and provide religious service for the inhabitants of the seven satrapsies. Most recognise him as the single representative of the god Orloham, on earth. Gavin is a powerful, attractive and highly intelligent individual. Women love him and men respect/fear him.

Unfortunately for Gavin, the Prism only tends to live for 7 years after taking the job of `Prism', although there have been cases where the Prism has survived 21 years (multiples of 7) but never any more than that. Gavin has been in control for 16 years and therefore has just 5 years left. Knowing this he set himself '5 great purposes' that are slowly revealed to us throughout the book. The majority of these are `impossible goals' that will stretch Gavin's abilities to their absolutely maximum and as it stands - no one would believe them possible to accomplish in such a short time.

Around 16 years before the start of the book there was an unprecedented war. We are told that Gavin Guile had a brother `Dazen' and both has staked claim to being `The Prism'. With only a single man having ever been trusted to be high priest, emperor and peace keeper - all in one - things were not going to change. Neither men faltered 16 years ago and as a result, the two men built up armies of supporters and fought a battle in the satrapy of `Tyrea' that eventually lead to Gavin defeating and killing Dazen.

We are quickly introduced to `Kip', the bastard son of `Gavin' who has been born in `Tyrea' from a drug addict mother. At the time `Kip' must of been conceived, the Prism was with another woman `Karris White Oak'. Although it would not be earth shattering if the satrapies found out - it is something that Gavin wants to keep quiet and his supporters recommend killing him... At the same time there is word from `Tyrea' that one of the `Satraps' (Rulers of the Satrapy) has declared himself a `king' and is now looking to build an army and challenge the Prism's rights of power.

---

It might all sound a little bit complicated... and that is because it is. Although Black Prism doesn't really have a huge amount of story lines. It is very, very complicated for the first 200-300 pages... I must admit that I struggled with it a little bit. The magic system is so unique and the different ranges in ability are so complex that you really need to pay attention - perhaps even write things down. At first it did bother me, but in all honesty, with so many books following simple, over-used themes and magic systems - once I got past it and felt comfortable with the system it was a breath of fresh air...

For those used to Epics, this might not sound like a huge investment, but for those who don't know Brent Weeks, he is what I would consider `a modern day fantasy writer'. He writes in a way similar to `Joss Wheadon' in the sense there is tons of action, no holding back on the gore and the comedy is always there - all be it sometimes a little dark. In fact, what I love about Brent Weeks' writing is that he writes in a way that makes reading `cool'. We all love a good epic, but I get so bored of books that take themselves too seriously... Back to my Joss Wheadon comparison - I used to watch episodes of Buffy or Angel one after the other for 10 hours straight... and it is that same `effortless' style that I love about Brent Weeks. Everything is just simply `fun', if you aren't laughing you are saying `wow'. I read all 2000+ pages of the Night Angel Trilogy within a month and it was because of this style.

What I would say about this book is `DO NOT COMPARE IT TO THE NIGHT ANGEL TRILOGY'. They are separate pieces and set in different worlds. Where as in my opinion each book in the Night Angel Series could have `stood alone' with a few small changes, this is quite clearly going to be an `epic'. Brent Weeks has taken his time creating an absolutely unique magic system, lifelike characters and expansive storyline. Whereas the first 200-300 pages took me about a week to read as my brain was ready to explode - the last 300-350 look me around 2 days. Upon reaching the end of the book I was ready to scream. The book ends with not just a cliff hanger, not two cliff hangers, but a whole range of cliff-hangers, questions and possibilities. The fact the next book isn't out for about another year may just kill me.

The big question Fantasy Fans will have is `Does it live up to `The Night Angel Trilogy' and I have to say to you all "No it doesn't... BUT... It has potential to be better". Although it has taken its time to build a world, something The Night Angel Trilogy did not, the second book will determin whether Weeks has taken a huge leap forwards or a small step backwards. When you set the bar as high as he did with his past trilogy, perhaps beating it takes a little preparation.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Passable plot, interesting magic, but..., 20 Jun 2014
Kip is stupendously annoying. Fat, clumsy and LOVES to cry. Appears to be incontinent, likes to wet himself and will most likely move on to anal leakage in the second book. As if that isn't bad enough, he somehow randomly, literally over a chapter, became an obnoxious and smartass know-it-all who comes up with infuriating one-liners and witty retorts (whilst still crying for no reason and wetting himself). Oh, I almost forgot, he also likes to drown himself, either in an inch of water, a rivulet, a small stream, a lake, you name it. He'll probably try the toilet next, if they even have them in his universe. Oh, and of course, he panics at the sight of rats, screams shrilly and, naturally, wets himself as a result. The list of his annoying traits is by no means exhaustive, and while each of them might, on their own, be er endearing, their combination is beyond revolting.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review: The Black Prism by Brent Weeks, 31 Jan 2013
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What's Good About It

It's difficult to do serious epic fantasy without coming off like a cheap Tolkien rip-off. And, let's be honest, Tolkien wasn't all that great in the first place so being the cheap knock off of something pretty terrible isn't a great thing to be.

Fortunately, it's something The Black Prism isn't.

The totally unique magic system is the book's main selling point. I was fascinated by the idea of different bands of light being used for different types of magic. I'm not a physicist, but from my limited knowledge of light and how light works, it made perfect sense. The whole idea of only being able to draft so much before you `break the halo' and turn into a Colour Wight - a crazed creature dictated by the drives of its colour (e.g. red = angry, passionate, burn stuff; blue = cold, calculating, logical) - is another fabulous one, and they made for excellent enemies, the characters fighting them drawn into the complex emotions of facing something they might become, and fighting something that was once like them.

And Weeks doesn't stray from the emotional challenge. There's poor Kip who watches the girl he fancies die fairly early in the story, followed shortly by his drug addled mother who he loves and hates. Then there's Gavin and his relationship with Karris, one of his body guards, which only becomes a hundred times more complicated about halfway through the story when the reasons behind their difficult relationship are revealed.

The book has a nice climactic battle that feels final enough - leaving enough open to intrigue the reader sufficiently without falling into the LOST school of finales that answer no questions. The characters have developed and grown, but enough space is given for you to feel confident that they can take another two books of this epic length without becoming dull or all being killed off and replaced by new protagonists halfway through.

Overall, I was hugely impressed by this and will be hunting down parts two and three when they come out, along with picking up anything else by Brent Weeks if I see it in the library. And I don't normally bother chasing down authors' back catalogues.

What's Not So Good

It's very, very big. Which doesn't bother me, but I know it intimidates some, and it doesn't make it the easiest book to read on the bus or train. Not even I could fit this in my handbag, and my handbag is a black hole of books and other junk.

Rating: 5/5
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