The Black Prism

Hardcover, 628 pages

English language

Published Sept. 11, 2010 by Orbit.

ISBN:
978-0-316-07555-8
Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:
464590422

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4 stars (83 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 him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

9 editions

A Beautiful Combination of Worldbuilding and Heroism

5 stars

The Black Prism is a great start to new Fantasy series. When an author takes the time to build a world organically, it shows. You start with the fundamentals and build a society around it, instead of starting at your conclusion and forcing everything to fit. Brent Weeks mastered the fundamentals with his light-based magic system, which is brilliant in both its application of the spectrum (with our modern scientific knowledge) and at how a medieval society could interact with such complexity. Additionally, the society and religion that is built around this magic is deep and realistic, and suffuses every element of the story.

Which leads me to the tale itself, told through the eyes of a number of narrators but primarily through Gavin Guile and Kip. The use of someone at the top of the ladder (both magically and society-wise) and another at the bottom results in a story …

Review of 'The Black Prism' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Is it better that the guilty should perish, or that the innocent should live?

This was my first exposure to Brent Weeks and I knew nothing of this book before I started. I liked the story but I can't explain why I wasn't able to give it a higher rating.

Right out of the gate I'm hit with a complicated and really interesting magic system that utilizes lights and colors to craft material, objects, weapons, bridges, etc. The properties of each color are unique and how to use the colors for good, or evil, is slowly explained. Life revolves around those who can bend color to their will. This is not your typical magic system and takes some time to understand it, and even to the end the reader learns more about the characteristics.

As I look for reasons why I didn't rate this book higher it's not because of …

Review of 'The Black Prism' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

While I still have issues with the glossing-over of slavery, I'm overall pretty happy with this story. My initial concerns over the slow reveal of the magic system's intricacies are gone, and I'll agree that the author did it right; there's enough in place to make everything sensible, while still having lots of reveal in later books. I like the reversal of the Mass-Energy Equivalence equation as a magic system, and I look forward to seeing where this goes.

Review of 'The Black Prism' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Fantasía con ambientación oriental (o al menos eso logra conseguir la portada) y un sistema de magia original y bien montado ya son razón suficiente para mi para leer este libro, pero el autor logra unos personajes simpáticos y nada predecibles sobre una historia con los suficientes giros para que te enganche, pero todos con suficiente sentido como para que no chirríen en ningún momento.
Solo me falta decir que cuando iba por la mitad, ya había pedido la segunda parte, y que las últimas 100 o 150 paginas me las he acabado leyendo del tirón.

Review of 'The Black Prism' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

A good read. I enjoyed the setting and the characters, but it kept reminding me of Warbreaker by Sanderson, which is a book I really enjoyed. Then I would be slightly disappointed when it went its own direction.

--- EDIT---
Just reread this book. It was even better the second time, particularly in light of the subsequent books.

Review of 'The Black Prism' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This review is like none at all I just realized. So I will need to re-read this soon and write a real review for this to convince you to read this book.

The idea of two powerful brothers and one keeping the other a secret prisoner ... => just great I am looking forward to sequels.

One of the best magic systems all around. Magic is based on the spectrum of colors of light. Plus a great cast of characters, Gavin Guile has to be one of the coolest heroes in recent fantasy.

Review of 'The Black Prism' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I really enjoyed this one. I think Brent Weeks' writing has improved a bit since the Night Angel Trilogy (also good). I think there could have been a bit more character development for the female characters, but beyond that, I loved it. Unique magic system, plot that wasn't terribly predictable, some main characters outside the traditional tropes, and just a very fun read. Read it in one day, though multiple sittings, and I plan to re-read both it and the night angel trilogy sometime in the near future.

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