The Black Prism–Brent Weeks Review

I really like cats. Heh, anyway, last night I finished reading The Black Prism. I’ve read other people’s reviews, and they judge it harshly because it isn’t the Night Angel Trilogy. They’re not the brightest crayons in the box, now are they?

Now, some background information on the story:

The book is set in the new world of Chromeria, which is divided into seven satrapies, each with a satraph to lead it. The magic system is intricate, based on seven colours. Drafters –magic users – can use their colour to draft –use – their colour luxin –magic. Sounds confusing, but wait, it gets better.

The luxin is what drafters get when the transform light. Is this reminding you on those science classes with reflection and refraction? It also changes the drafters, and not just by forming a ring of colour around the drafters iris.  The luxin also controls the Drafters personality. Green is wild, Blue is orderly, Sub Red is fiery etc. There is a catch to using too much luxin – each time a drafter drafts, the luxin becomes more part of their body, until the ring of colour around their iris –halo—breaks, and they’re pretty much insane. They are completely influenced by their luxin colour, and are often hunted down. To avoid becoming a colour wight, as these luxin-driven-mad-people are known, most Drafters attend the ever so holy Freeing.

A Drafter can only draft one single colour, where as Bichromes draft two, and Polychromes draft three colours, which is the most sought after. There is only one man that can draft all seven colours whenever he feels the need – Gavin Guile, the Prism and closest link to the god Orloham. Being the Prism means no worries about breaking the halo and descending into madness, although also means that Gavin will die after taking office in a multiple of seven (fourteen, twenty one… Surely you don’t need me to do your timetables!)

The book was quite hard to get into for the first 200 and something pages. If I weren’t a completionist (is that even a word?) I possibly would have stopped reading. But it’s okay! The story picked up and the confusion of this magic system cleared, and that’s when I was actually interested in this fantasy novel.

I’d recommend it to those who have read previous works by Brent Weeks, but can also differentiate that this is a new novel, it’s not meant to be a continuation of the Night Angel Trilogy. Some of the reviews I have read on the Black Prism, people are judging it harshly because there’s no Kylar or Durzo… don’t they deserve a medal! Annoyed

I would think that even regular teenagers that aren’t freaked out by a lengthy novel could manage, there’s minimal swearing (I’ve found more in YA novels, so rest assured) and barely any sex (there’s more vague inclinations).

I don’t feel that I HAVE to own this, however. There’s no compulsion for me to purchase it right now or if I don’t, I will see the devil and he’ll try to steal my heart through my kneecaps. I’ll definitely read the next book, however, but more for curiosities sake than anything.

~T

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