Paperback, 743 Pages
Adult/ Epic Fantasy
By: Brent Weeks
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 1/2
“You might want to think twice before you try to use a man’s conscience against him. It may turn out he doesn’t have one.”
When I first transitioned into reading Adult Fantasy novels, it was a bit overwhelming because there were a ton of books to read and although I have read a fair share of those books, there are some authors that I haven’t experienced the book of. Brent Weeks was one of those authors that kept popping to me in all the recommendations list so I knew I had to try his books at some point.
The other thing that made me really excited for this was the magic system. I am such a big fan of hard magic systems (Those that follows specific rules) and that’s why I love Sanderson works. In fact, the magic system in this one was compared to Sanderson works and I can see why. I will explain more in the rest of the review but I kind of felt that was over-rated unfortunately!
The first thing I am gonna talk about is the elephant in the room when it comes to Weeks. I have seen reviews that say he is sexist and that he writes like a horny 15 years old and I kind of agree. It wasn’t annoying for me to the degree that I will stop reading bit it was certainly there. Personally, I felt that the author does have a talent when it comes to writing as evidenced by chapters 78-79 but this talent is kind of shadowed by the obsession of describing breasts and naked females which honestly doesn’t add much to the narrative. I am also surprised that all readers noticed it but the editors were kind of okay with it, because if these elements were removed it would have made for a much mature voice! In the Acknowledgment section the author says he doesn’t understand females and being fit and yet these are things he dived into in this book so reading the acknowledgment was kind of weird for me! Some of the dialogues felt unnatural too and sometimes I would read a page and then notice I haven’t absorbed much and read it again and judging from the other guys who read this in the fantasy book guild, it was a problem for most of us. On the good side, I felt it was easier to read than I expected for an adult epic fantasy novel!
“Maybe when you were born on the top of the mountain you could pretend the mountain didn’t matter, but those who climbed it and those born at its base who could never climb at all knew differently.”
The characters are good, there are more than one POV and I enjoyed most of them, Kip was kind of annoying but he’s 15 years old so I am gonna give him a break. Gavin and Dazen were very interesting, the female characters Karris and Liv are also good but as I mentioned were besmirched with all the weird descriptions of boobs and periods. I felt the females in this world need to be beautiful and this trait defines how good they are too, so a thin female that is not very fertile is not a good female. The characters do grow through the story which is good and I hope this growth continues!
The world-building is good, it is the best part about the story, when I heard Sanderson had a story with a color magic system (Warbreaker) I expected something that is closer to what I got in The Black Prism. So yes, I c agree with people who said that the magic system is reminiscent of those of Sanderson. On one hand, the magic system was a bit confusing and not very well explained, I mean I finished the book and there is still a ton of things I don’t understand but on the other hand, I like the way it was integrated to the story so that it does not overwhelm the reader with info dumps! I think I always wanted a magic system that is related to colors and this was the closest thing to what I have in mind. I hope my understanding of it improved in the next books. I once saw this listed in a books with magical school setting list and it is not very accurate but I think there was an opportunity to integrate that setting into the story to explain the magic system more!
The pacing is toward the faster side, the chapters are relatively short which is my favorite combination. I did feel that the book was still longer than necessary and the story could have been told in less than 700 pages. There were good plot twists that I did not expect and I really enjoy and as someone who is good at predicting those, I found this aspect to be one of the better things in the book!
“Moments of beauty sustain us through hours of ugliness.”
Summary: I enjoyed the book but I still couldn’t see why it is loved this much by other readers. I had mixed feelings about the writing but enjoyed the characters, world-building and the pacing. I am still interested in the series so I am gonna give book 2 a chance before deciding what to do with the rest of the series but I really hope it gets better because I wanna like it!