Book Review: The Blinding Knife (The Lightbringer Series Book 2) by Brent Weeks (published by Orbit)
After absolutely loving the first book in the series, The Black Prism (read my review here) I couldn’t wait to read The Blinding Knife. I loved this one too, but not quite as much as the first. It picks up immediately after the end of book one on the ships that escaped Garriston. The Prism, Gavin Guile, must find somewhere for a lot of war refugees to live. But first, he must battle a sea monster…
Then, in his usual charming manner he convinces a ‘Seer’ on a distant island to house the refugees and sets about blasting the coral reef with luxin (the physical substance that drafters can magically harness from light) to allow the boats to pass through to a newly built harbour.
Having dealt with that issue, he realises that he perhaps hasn’t got as long to live as he had hoped, and there’s quite a few other issues he needs to deal with. His son, Kip, has been sent away to learn about the magic system Chromaturgy and to train to become a Blackguard (the elite bodyguards who protect the Prism and the head of magic guild, the White). But no one believes him capable of succeeding. His grandfather, the conniving, power crazed Andross Guile, makes Kip’s life as hard for him as possible insisting he play a card game called Nine Kings. Kip dedicates a lot of the book to learning about the game, and learns of past famed people and also a hint of what is to come.
Meanwhile the Color Prince and his army of color wights is advancing south nearer to the Chromeria (the seat of Government / religion in the Seven Satrapies) and preaching a religion that attacks and undermines all the Chromeria’s teachings. They are also ‘growing’ color banes, Godlike beings that have allowed the luxin to take over their human bodies to remake them, and have incredible power over their colour. The Prism must try to stop them, but is hindered by his father, Andross, who wants to lead the Chromeria’s army and ignore his son’s advice.
But before Gavin can push back the Color Prince, he must deal with the man in the prison, and find time to reconcile with the woman he loves... Phew! There was a lot going on in this book – and it was a chunky one at 700 pages – but I really enjoyed it.
I had a couple of niggles, though, namely that there is a lot of detailed explanation about the magic system early on when Kip is learning about it which, for me, got a bit Too. Much. Information. and went over my head as I lost interest. Also, I got a bit tired of Kip being described as ‘fat’ over and over again – I geddit! And I found Gavin’s perving on women a bit cringy.
However, the one thing that made this book drop from five to four stars for me was the swift end of the man-in-the-prison plot line. That really surprised me in book one, as I love a good twist. Gavin’s decision seemed sudden and I wanted more after spending so much time with the man-in-the-prison as one of the POV narratives is his. I thought this story would definitely play out across the series – the man pursuing his terrible revenge etc. But obvs not…
Otherwise, it ended on a great cliffhanger, and I’m now keen to read book three!
My rating: 4/5
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