He’d thought he had five years left—now he has less than one. With fifty thousand refugees, a bastard son, and an ex-fiancée who may have learned his darkest secret, Gavin has problems on every side.
All magic in the world is running wild and threatens to destroy the Seven Satrapies.
Worst of all, the old gods are being reborn, and their army of color wights is unstoppable. The only salvation may be the brother whose freedom and life Gavin stole sixteen years ago.
Reviewer: Michael Cummings
This was one of my most anticipated books this year. If you’ve enjoyed Weeks’ other works, then you’ll understand why. Even knowing from our interview with Brent this summer that he planned on making the Lightbringer series a tetralogy, you can’t help but start the next book in a series with some trepidation. Will it stand up to past excellence? Will it suffer second book slumps? In other words, is this a coasting book, or will there be actual depth to it?
The Blinding Knife takes us back into the world of Gavin and Kip and all of the other colorful characters of the Chromeria and Blackguard. Between a mounting war against the Color Prince, and dealing with the aftermath of the False Prism War from 16 years before, Gavin has his work cut out for him. Of course, readers of the first book in the series, The Black Prism, know that there is a lot more to that story than I can share without a big spoilers warning. Readers continuing the adventure should know that there are still ample surprises in this volume, and although we are given more background, its not always where we want it. This, of course, is the author’s prerogative, but some of the mysteries can leave the reader wanting. Without revealing any spoilers, the entire ancient mythology and metamorphosis of the wight left a discordant feeling with me. From what we knew of the world so far, the concept of avatars just seemed at odds. It felt out of place and without context, making the color gods meme was a little confusing. It made sense in its own limited context, just like wights made sense as an extension of breaking the halo, but the blend of those two left me a little out of sorts, making it a distraction in this book.
So what did I enjoy? I still loved Kip – as a fat kid who grew up to be a fat man, I’m partial to the rotund polychrome, stereotypical as he can be. You can lament that he’s got Harry Potter syndrome, but that’s because Harry Potter had Magician’s Apprentice syndrome himself – a magically capable youth in the role of student is going to fall into a trope or two along the way. Weeks does a good job when we’re sitting on Kip’s shoulders to show us the world Kip thinks he’s seeing, even when every other character just sees a capable, headstrong Guile. Weeks tackled a few thorny subjects, including slavery, as well as introducing us to a card game who’s rules we learned alongside Kip. The conflicts Gavin faces internally, maintaining the facade of the perfect leader and Prism while really fighting against his own self doubts and insecurities was refreshing.
The Lightbringer series isn’t as dark or deep as the Night Angel trilogy, but fans shouldn’t be put off by that. Weeks tells a compelling tale, and fans of epic fantasy will still find themselves with sleepless nights as they try and finish just one more chapter.
A special thanks to Orbit and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book, and the medium to do it in.