K's Reviews > The Black Prism

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
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Apr 12, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: action-adventure, 5-star-favorites, epic, favorites, hero-quest, kick-ass-female-lead, romantic, political, sword-and-sorcery, witty
Read from October 21 to 25, 2012

Seven years, seven great purposes...

Seven words to describe this first installment of the lightbringer trilogy: original, heroic, exciting, casual, funny, tragic, epic.

There are several things I loved about this book. First, the casual voice. Since the time of venerable master Tolkien, so much of epic fantasy has been written in equally venerable and suitably heroic language. Nothing wrong with that per se, but I enjoy the lighter atmosphere that is infused by the language. It brings the characters down to earth and introduces an element of humility to events that are often momentous.

Secondly, the characters are vivid, and the stakes are really personal for each of them. They have history, they have personality, they are lovable for their flaws as well as their virtues (to me, at least). They do things that are unimaginable and yet perfectly in character. They are trying desperately to hold onto a world that is spinning ever more out of control. And I feel for them.

Lastly, there is a good balance of intrigue and action, and the pacing is just right. There is always something happening even when nothing is happening.

Are there problems? Yes. I had trouble imagining the action scenes, especially in the beginning. The details and descriptions are just so technical that I found them hard to follow. But this seemed to get ironed out by the mid-way point, and I found that the action flowed much more naturally after that. In the end, it certainly wasn't bad enough to ruin the book, so I'll go with a 4.5 star rating.

Bring on the Blinding Knife!
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