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. Yet Prisms never last, and Gavin knows exactly how long he has left to live.
When Gavin 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.
This was a re-read for me in preparation for The Burning White, the fifth and final book of the series, coming out on October 22nd. In doing this re-read I realized I had never reviewed any of the books in this amazing series and I could not let that stand.
That magic system! I have to say that The Black Prism has my 2nd favorite magic system of all time, behind only Mistborn. My favorite thing about it is that it is so easy to visualize the use of it. The people who can use magic in this world are called drafters. I am not gonna go into it here in depth because I want you to discover it for yourself, but the use of “luxin” was masterfully done and made for some intense, action packed battles. Magic is also tied into the shared religion of this world and that alone weaves in an extra complexity to the narrative. I also loved how luxin was used in ordinary day to day work. It wasn’t just a battle magic like so many stories tend to have, it encompassed every aspect of life. This magic system is truly unique.
In my first read through I was quite annoyed by Kip, one of our 3 main POV characters. However, I absolutely loved him this time through. Brent Weeks’ portrayal of how someone with a lot of insecurity would act and think is very realistic and relatable. Kip has also been through a lot of trauma and bullying which I also thought was portrayed very well. This time through, I found Kip to be an inspiration as he moved forward in his character arc and grew despite the struggles he still has with his image and trauma of his past. He is also just really funny at times and can be the comic relief when the darker things are happening in the story. He is probably my favorite character in this series now.
I loved Gavin Guile and the scenes depicting him using luxin as the Prism were some of my favorite scenes in the book. I like that Gavin has a lot of doubt about the rightness of his actions even though his main goal is to make the world a better place. There are times where I was annoyed and frustrated with his decisions, but they made sense at the same time so I could respect them. Gavin’s secrets have secrets and I can’t wait to explore them again!
I really enjoyed the villain in this one. In the small moments that we get with him I found myself agreeing with some of the things he was saying. Some of what he said made sense even if his solutions or methods may not be right and that makes for a complex and interesting antagonist.
There was also just an air of intrigue and mystery throughout The Black Prism that I found fascinating. There were so many little things hinted at, so many clues as to what is going to happen and I am excited to read through and discover even more than I did the first time through.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a great magic system and characters that are deep and complex. This is one of my favorite series and as I continue to re-read I will be posting my reviews of all the books in the series.