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The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1)

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  36,928 ratings  ·  1,711 reviews
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 hi
Hardcover, 629 pages
Published August 25th 2010 by Orbit
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Dragovak There is but it's not in the traditional sense, in the book it's called chromaturgy. It's explained here:
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Most Interesting Magic System
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 27, 2013 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Weeks fans, fans of epic fantasy
Recommended to Carol. by: everybody
Let's be honest; I've been dreading reading this. Why? Because The Night Angel Trilogy ended up a broken promise. Good beginning, steady decline in the quality of characterization and plotting, and, need I mention, a sexist hot mess? At any rate, Weeks seems to have been going for something different here, or at least something more developed--say perhaps, Epic--and it works much better.

Except it's so damn conscious of being epic that I roll my eyes just looking at it--that heft! The matte blac
So before I began this book I had a lot of misgivings, but by the end, it was as clear as day. The Black Prism was a fun, intense, but most of all engaging introduction to what is definitely shaping up to be one of the coolest epic fantasy series I've read recently.

Gavin Guile, the Lord Prism and Orholom's head priest, has five years left to accomplish five great deeds. Technically the Emperor of the Seven Satrapies, in practice he's little more than a figurehead, but figurehead or not he's inar
FrEEEEEk-in' fantastic!!! This is really all that must be said, but of course I will say more. Many people that review this book will take the time to recap the plot and give you some character intros, so I am taking the lazy man's road and skipping anything remotely informative about the book itself in my review.

Instead, I will tell of how I felt throughout the book. One of the main objectives in reading is to think and feel something, right? A good book will make you think in circles of confus
Crys Harris
I am just less than half way through this book and I am not enjoying it. The writing is fine. In fact, Brent Weeks may have developed a bit more dexterity with his prose since the Night Angel trilogy. The problem, so far, is two-fold.

1) Nothing much is happening. I'm not intrigued, drawn in, excited, or even really interested. There is political intrigue at work, but it isn't compelling. There is magic afoot, but it is hard to be in awe of it. I don't even care where this is headed.

2) I don't c
Mike (the Paladin)
I originally set the rating of this book at 4 stars, but decided it needed to be moved up to the 5 star level. I don't find it as good as many of the books I rate 5 stars, but it drew me in and held me tells a story that beats 4 stars. So, without the much lamented 4.5 that so many of us here pine for, I've rated it 5.

So, I like the book and give it the highest rating possible here (albeit noting it's not at the top of my 5 star pile)...what's so good about it? And, if it's not at the top of the
David Sven
Well paced. Deceptively complex plot, characters and history. Unique and well defined magic system. Intriguing mysteries to be solved. Rewards those who pay attention to detail, which also gives it reread value to catch those details that were skimmed or dismissed the first time round. Held my attention. Surprised me quite a few times. Thoroughly enjoyable.

The magic system in this book, called Chromaturgy, is second to nothing I’ve read to date – and that includes Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy, w
Andrew Obrigewitsch
This book is really tough for me to rate. The story is a flintlock fantasy. With some really brilliant ideas, a very interesting plot, cool magic system and great action.

So what's wrong with it you may ask? (Other than the fact that the narrator made the main character sound like a surfer dude.)

Well the problem with Brent Weeks' writing is that you felt 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 h
I DUNNNOOOOOO. First, I really enjoyed Brent Weeks' other series A LOT, so I was excited about this coming out, and seeing the blurb about the magic system, I was sooo psyched.

I feel like this series was kinda a throwback to like Eddings and Feist and Jordan and those old-school EPIC fantasy series. I have to admit I wasn't really hooked by the characters as much as I would have liked, but overall I ADMIRE what the author is setting up. I guess my biggest beef, other than really not liking the
The Black Prism is the first installment in Brent Weeks' second series called Lightbringer. It's an Epic Fantasy with some of the typical ingredients you would expect, but all is kind of twisted to the author's unique style and your enjoyment of the book will highly depend on how much that style works for you.

In total we're following 7 characters, 2 of them being the main protagonists, 2 with a decent amount of "screen-time" and 3 with only a few chapters.
The first of the two main characters is
I've never read anything by Weeks before & was pretty impressed. His system of magic was interesting, albeit somewhat confusing at times. Actually, I just went with it when people did magic. Weeks tried hard for a rationale, but there were a few too many rules & ways it was used to make complete sense. I assumed he stayed within them, but doubted it at times. Still, that was minor.

Weeks really impressed me with the realistic aspects of the story. Not only did he have complex, imperfect c
5 Stars

Ok I just finished a reread of this fabulous book to set up moving on with the trilogy. Even though I read it nearly two years ago this fresh fantasy from Weeks was still fresh in my mind. Well, I could not speed read through a second time. It is simply too good and enjoyable to skip or skim. I loved this book.

What makes this special? First it is the amazing characters that Weeks has given us to route for and to empathize with that capture your imagination and your heart. Kip, Gavin, Kar
Jan 06, 2015 Lee rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
What did I think? I think that Brent Weeks is a very good story teller, but can get carried away with over doing characters. This book should be a solid 4 stars and I should be excited about going into book 2. However, the over writing of the character Kip was a massive turn off for me. Kip is a fat kid living in a village about to have his world turned upside down. He suffers from a lack of confidence, which Weeks uses to massively overdose us with Kips self loathing and self depreciating. It d ...more
After reading "The Night Angel Trilogy" I was about to give up on Brent Weeks completely, as well as fantasy as a genre and the planet Earth and all my fellow human beings. Alas, a wizard cast a spell on me when I was young and cursed me with "Benefitium-of-the-doubteus Maximus" that compels me to try and try again. So I found myself wrist deep in another one of Brent Weeks' droppings, searching for the West Indian Lilac that causes so many tummy aches in Triceratops.

Black Prism is over-descript
Executive Summary: Overhyped and often very juvenile in places, this book wasn't nearly as good as I was promised, but is far from awful.

Full Review
I really enjoyed The Way of Shadows despite a protagonist I didn't care much for. Largely because of one of the other characters. The rest of that series was far less enjoyable as that character wasn't around as much, and I was forced to deal with a character I didn't like and too many juvenile wish fulfillment scenes.

I found this book to suffer fro
It started off seeming simple, a typical high fantasy novel. The easy style is reminiscent of Brandon Sanderson; like in his books, the characters felt real immediately, as did the world and system of magic. The characters are great. Kip is like a Glee kid, pudgy and awkward and super quick witted, impossible not to root for; watching him blossom into a wonderful man is going to be great fun. Gavin is charm and wit and intensity with a lot of secret insecurities. Karris is brave, Liv is determin ...more

As far as fantasy goes, each new fantasy title that is released is a shiny and promising volume. As such you really cannot judge the book by its cover, but have to delve into reading about the synopsis and reviews from others. What does it have? A strong magic system (like Brandon Sanderson)? Worldbuilding (like Tolkien)? Or strong characters? Whatever you want in the book you really need to hunt and work out if it has those. The Black Prism had a nice mix of appealing characters (if, like with
Finished it. 3stars for the time been, but to let the last 200pages filter thru my brain.

Review it tomorrow.

4th november 2014.

ok its a strange to review, its one of these love it or dont bother finishing it book.

this is my second attempt to read it,

it starts with me thinking i have started book 2 in a series for the first 40pages, get past that then it gets better all the way through till the end.

the author inserts humour, well tries to in certain situations which i failed to get. most of it w
Weston Ochse
Dear Brent,

How's it going?

I'm doing pretty well. You know, working hard, but looking forward to coming home to read some good books. At the end of the day, no matter how bad it was, if there's a good book waiting for you how bad can it be? Oh yeah, and wine. Can't forget that. Good book and good wine.

So I read your Night Angel Trilogy in 2009. Tremendous stuff. It made me a big fan. And that's no small thing. I'm very picky about my fantasy. As far as I'm concerned, my friend Steve Donaldson's w
In a word - Brilliant!

The world we're introduced to in the first Lightbringer book is shaped largely by the unique magic system Brent Weeks has created. Those born with the ability take their power from light and draft in one or more of the colours in the spectrum. The more times a person drafts the closer they get to exceeding the limit of their magic and breaking their halo. When this happens they risk going mad and becoming a wight who are appear to have lost all control and most often become
I loved this book. I didn't really know what to expect from it. It got a lot of good buzz, so I figured it was most likely at least halfway decent. I'd read Brent Weeks' Night Angel trilogy and while it was entertaining, it was very obviously a "first book" for him. Though the books got better as the series progressed, Weeks' inspirations and influences were pretty obvious, and the story was semi-predictable. But oh how he's grown in this, his second series, The Lightbringer trilogy (that has 4 ...more
Pauline Ross
Fantasy Review Barn

This is one of those authors I’ve been meaning to catch up with for ages, and this finally got to the top of my to-read pile. The opening is snappy - short chapters, lots of action, plenty of background detail that just about stops short of info-dump and a magic system that has me hooked right from the start, even if I don’t quite ‘get’ it yet.

But only a few chapters in, and already there are irritants. One of them is Kip. On the one hand, hurray for a main character who’s not
I had heard a lot of things about this book - some good, some bad, some meh, so I went into it with an optimistically open mind. The synopsis sounded interesting enough - I marked the second book in the series as to-read before I even realized this was the first. I wasn't disappointed. This was a fast paced thrill ride with an unbelievably complex yet oh so cool magical system.

First, we'll start with the gripes that I had:

1) The magic system - I know I just said it was cool. I'll talk about the
Alex Ristea
Whoops! Read this in the summer while I was up a cabin away from civilization, and forgot to write a review.

In short: I loved it.

The magic system captivated me, but that's not what makes this book great. I fell in love with the characters and of course, Brent Weeks's absolutely hilarious writing.

I mean, who doesn't want to read about a self-deprecating fat kid as a protagonist?

It's a fast-paced plot with lots of twists and turns, but they are believable enough to make this a fantastic page-turne
I have heard a lot of people say that they do not like this series as much as the Night Angel series, and I can only guess that that this must be a case of unattainable expectations. This is a great book and, so far, a great series. The magic system is incredibly unique and is based off of colors. I read this book in a little less than a day, as I found it very hard to put down. Please give this book, or any book by Brent Weeks, a chance. I promise you won't regret it.

Update: My re-read: This no
Marc Aplin
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 lin ...more
Rebecca Lovatt
Colour. Emotions. Light. Magic.

In a world where colour is the foundation of all magic, The Prism – Gavin Guile rules over all seven satraps as a religious and political figure and as the only one who can split light and draft the entire spectrum of colours. Gavin – knowing he has five years left to live and five great purposes set for himself – hopes to use his power to do something for the greater good.

When Gavin discovers he has an illegitimate son, Kip, in a northern satrapy called Tyrea. How
'You gotta read this! No, really. C'mon, there's a maa-aap.'

Yes, I am one of the sad saps who read to the end of the acknowledgements.

OK, so I'm not entirely certain how I feel about some of the characters. But, I did feel rather attached to one in particular (and even him I'm not totally sure about how perfectly moral he is ... but, mostly he tries), and that counts for a lot. Would I like to read the next one? Yeah, I'd be tempted to give it a go. Only problem I see is if my fave character bo
This is the start of a big-time epic fantasy with superb world building and high magic - which hopefully will put to rest the originality issues from Night Angel - while keeping the same twists/turns page turning narrative.

The first 2/3 was just awesome and i thought the novel could compete with my top 2 fantasies of the year, but the last third was a little more predictable, though the ending recovered the great intensity of the first part. All in all an A++ from me and a top 5 fantasy I would
Sky Corbelli
So, by the end, I liked this book. I thought it was a little silly how (view spoiler), but it didn't break the immersion or anything.

My big problem with this book was the character development. Either I missed it or there just wasn't enough, because I found characters repeatedly making choices that seemed way way
Another first in a trilogy? Why don't I check these things before I pick them up? The second one isn't due out until Fall 2012. Gah. I might have lost all interest by then, happily for me. It's an interesting premise, magic based on the color spectrum but there's an awful lot of emphasis on color that gives me pause. It's not as if they're purple or green people.

So far, none of the characters are all that sterling either. I can't tell if they're working for good or evil or their own ends. Kip,
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Brent Weeks was born and raised in Montana. After getting his paper keys from Hillsdale College, Brent had brief stints walking the earth like Caine from Kung Fu, tending bar, and corrupting the youth. (Not at the same time.) He started writing on bar napkins, then on lesson plans, then full time. Eventually, someone paid him for it. Brent lives in Oregon with his wife, Kristi. He doesn’t own cats ...more
More about Brent Weeks...

Other Books in the Series

Lightbringer (4 books)
  • The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2)
  • The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)
  • The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4)
The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1) Beyond the Shadows (Night Angel, #3) Shadow's Edge (Night Angel, #2) The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2) The Night Angel Trilogy (Night Angel, #1-3)

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“Moments of beauty sustain us through hours of ugliness.” 48 likes
“You might want to think twice before you try to use a man's conscience against him. It may turn out he doesn't have one.” 42 likes
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