The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks

The Blinding Knife is the 671 page sequel to The Black Prism. It is the second book in the fantasy Lightbringer four book series by Brent weeks. This story continues the narrative of the seven Satrapies and the Chromeria.  For a fuller explanation of the government and magic system–chromaturgy–see my review of The Black Prism.

The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2)In this novel, the story focuses on developing relationships between Gavin, the Prism of the Chromeria, and the people closest to him–Kip Guile (son), Karris White Oak (ex-fiance), Andross Guile (father), and Dazen Guile (prisoner/brother). Brent Weeks really does some great characterization in this novel. I actually began to like Kip, who was really bullheaded in The Black Prism. Well, he’s still bullheaded, but now he has goals and sticks up for himself. We also meet some new characters, like Teia, a small slave girl who has been sponsored to train and be tested as a Blackgaurd, and gain a deeper understanding of Chromaturgy and secret draftable colors thanks to Kip’s training in the Blackgaurd.

Also partially thanks to that training, the fighting and focus on battle in this novel was more intimate and more involved than in the first novel. Kip trains and plans to try out for the Blackgaurd, the elite force that guards the Prism’s life and answers only to the White (basically the head of the Chromeria). While Kip is training, Gavin is attempting to defeat the bane — a “god” of a certain color. Gavin first attempts to find and tackle the blue bane, which has been causing many oddities such as blue snowflakes around the world. While searching for the blue bane, he is also trying to stop war from happening. During his search, we see a lot more of his relationship with Karris, which was one of my favorite things to read about in both novels. Whispers of betrayal and regret make their interactions electric.

While in The Black Prism there were whispers of color wights (drafters gone mad after they draft too much) answering to a higher calling, this novel actually presents the real threat. The Color Prince, known as Lord Omnichrome, is a polychrome wight–a drafter of many colors who has “broken the halo” on all of them, meaning he should have gone mad from drafting so much light. Instead of madness, he has taken to leading the wights and people who believe that wights can still be sane. This goes against everything the Chromeria teaches, so Gavin has to deal with both the wight banes and the Color Prince in order to attempt to stop a war.

In The Blinding Knife, Weeks does some more amazing work with his light magic system, introducing a new draftable color and new concepts of drafting and alternate theories of wights. Along with those improvements, his fictional world grows even more; we are introduced to Seer Island, a remote location that houses a mystical Seer that sort of helps, in the vague way that Seers do, Gavin search for the blue bane. These aspects, and the excellent character building that Weeks does, make this an even more fantastic book than the first. I could hardly put it down. He even throws in a fascinating card game–Nine Kings–that I really hope he explores more in the next book. This series is one of the best that I have read in a long time, and if you haven’t started reading it, I ask… Why not?!

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