Book Review: The Black Prism

After attempting numerous times to get through book 3 in the Mistborn series and failing miserably in the process I was on the lookout for another fantasy series to read, one that would get me hooked just like Mistborn book 1 did.

I opted for Brent Weeks’ Black Prism book 1 in the Light Bringer series and I am pleased to say that I absolutely loved it.

This is how you do magic

The magic system that Weeks has created is incredibly detailed and in my opinion, made a lot more sense than the one found in the Mistborn series (loved that one too by the way). In this series, magic is called Drafting and its powers come from the colour of light. Red drafters, for example, can use fire magic, whilst green is for wild magic. The abilities that the drafters have are fantastic fun. At one point one of the main characters crafts an entire structure out of light. A drafter when they use their power creates a residue known as Luxin which depending on the colour can be used to create all sorts of things including weapons and armour. Drafters are often limited to only being able to draft a few colours, however, one drafter is able to draft them all and that person is the Prism.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot but it follows the misadventures of a young boy called Kip, the illegitimate son of the worlds most powerful magic user and emperor the Prism Gavin Guile.

Weeks builds his world masterfully and introduces the lore and past events in a very organic manner. There are no info dumps here, instead, the reader learns about the world through the eyes of Kip and Gavin. One is a complete novice whilst the other is the master of the world. The contrast gives us a complete and detailed overview of the world and the history of it.

Kip is a really likeable character. A fat kid who’s been bullied a fair bit and had to put up with an abusive mother but despite that his spirit hasn’t been broken. He knows whats right and wrong and is willing to fight. In short, he’s no pushover and the banter he has with some of the other characters had me laughing out loud.  Gavin too is a great character and Week’s backstory of him (with a surprising twist) is a lovable rogue albeit one with incredible powers.

Overall I loved this book and didn’t want it to end. However, I’m a bit cautious. I loved Branden Sanderson’s Mistborn book 1 but then I got onto book 2 and it became a serious grind for me. (I’ve still not managed to finish book 3 in that trilogy) I’m hoping that the second in the Light Bringer series won’t do something similar. I’ve heard good things about the whole series so book 2 will be winging its way to me soon.

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