The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

Title: The Black Prism
Series: Lightbringer #1
Author(s): Brent Weeks
Publisher: Orbit Books
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 23rd 2014
Pages: 661
Genre(s): Fantasy
ISBN13: 9780316246279
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★


Imagine yourself staring out the window, breathing in the quiet peaceful night thinking that there isn’t a single thing you would change about that moment. The embrace of serenity veils you with a blanket of invincibility. That is only until a ray of sunshine sneaks into your life and gradually warms you with hope and conviction. This brand new source of comfort enlightens your mind with  a truth you had not yet learned of your own volition. It’s in a moment of epiphany that you succumb to its seduction that you understand that nothing in life is ever fully understood, everything is a process that brings you to discover the subtle and hidden wonders of the world.  Some might say it is emancipating to find solace in being content with what you have, but when you find out that things can get better if you let it come into your life, why not let it shimmy its way into your bubble and help you fancy life in ways you never could’ve fathom?

The Black Prism was the warm and gentle ray of sunshine for me today. With one of the most mesmerizing and full of life world-building in the history of fantasy, this action-packed story is bound to transport you on a colourful and visual experience like none other. This is the story of Gavin Guile, the Prism in the Seven Satrapies. While he might be the most powerful man in the world, his secret makes him the most vulnerable person alive. Upon discovering the existence of a son born in a far kingdom, his life flips upside and down and forces him to consider this offspring in his plans as the high priest and emperor. What follows is an adventure riddled with societal, political and magical ramifications, but also an adventure that will leave you stunned by its creativity and vision.


If there’s one reason why you should pick up The Black Prism and make it your priority in life, it’s the world-building. Drawing upon the colour spectrum, Brent Weeks builds one of the most cinematic and vibrant magic system that has ever graced fantasy literature. The basic idea is that magicians, called drafters, can use the light to create what they all call luxin. This luxin can take on different shades from the visible spectrum depending on the drafter and the presence of said colours in their immediate environment. This luxin, with various properties based on the colour drafted, can then be used to conjure things for transportation, protection or destruction. Drafters however are usually limited to a certain colour, making it much easier to understand why the Prism is the Emperor of this world. With his ability to draft any colour and to split light into every colour, he is easily the most powerful person out there. With such a complex magic system, you can only imagine the infinite possibilities that can be exploited and developed with this concept throughout the book. At first it’s not easy to grasp all of the details of this system, but starting off clueless and slowly learning the loops is half the fun throughout this story.

What makes this even more satisfying is the incredible cast. Every single character in this story is authentic, flawed and complex. None of their stories are simple and every story is interconnected in some way with one another. While the main character might be Gavin Guile, there are several other point of views that are seamlessly interspersed throughout the story, and one that deserves to be mentioned is Kip, son of Gavin Guile. This little fifteen year old chubby kid is genuinely hilarious and extremely loose-lipped. Irrelevant and constantly picked on throughout his life, the sudden attention and importance laid upon him puts his awkward and teenage ways on a pedestal and turns him into one of the most entertaining and ridiculous character ever. His innocent and ignorant self is also actually a representation of the reader’s own experience of this story as they both learn about the politics, the culture and the magic at the same time and figure everything out one piece at a time.

The Black Prism had everything you could ask for and more. Its peculiar narrative style (a blend of first-person and third-person) and its clever and rhythmic rotation between action sequences, plot-twist and world-building makes this a must-read for all fans of fantasy literature. I’m already dying to read the next book in the Lightbringer series.



Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada and Orbit Books for sending me a copy for review!



60 thoughts on “The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

  1. Wow what a beautiful opening Lashaan!!! Seriously 🖤 and viable characters and a successful magic system, sign me up! Weeks is on my list of must read authors, although I admit with my current TBR I am guilty of being intimidated by the size of his work. Maybe I will just take the plunge the next time I visit BN as his books are some I always end up looking at! Stellar review, and I do mean stellar!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was really inspired in the moment. Took me forever to finish this book too, but I also really didn’t want to finish it. It was just so much fun packed into this massive book. And when I realized what the magic system was? It was game over. Fell in love with this one so much. I honestly can’t wait to check out the next book. I really hope you’ll enjoy this as much as I did whenever you get the chance to read it Danielle! ❤ Thank you so, so much for your kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoa….This review took things to a new level my friend. I think I haven’t seen you as positive about a book as for this one, and I really love the way you wrote this. Now of course I need to go and check this one out myself (makes mental not to go and buy this ASAP). The premise for this combined with the world building is something that really sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing this: awesome review! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s what often happens when I enjoy something with all my heart hahah I make it hard for anyone who reads what I thought of these 5 stars stories to not want to try it out for themselves. If you do find the time to read this, I do hope you’ll love it as much as I did. Thank you again for your kind words and for reading my review, Michel! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your review!! 😍Your intro is perfect, can’t describe how much I liked it…! It’s written in such an elegant and simple way, I actually wish it was longer 😂 the book sounds really cool and how you decribe it with so much passion makes me want to read it even more! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad you liked it. I think the series just gets better 🙂
    It is also one of the few “auto-buys” in hardcover too. Sadly, each book is taking longer and longer to release, so the next one in the series, The Burning White, isn’t going to come out until ’19. And we don’t even know if that is the last book or the pen-ultimate book. Sometimes being a fan is hard 😦

    At least you aren’t having to wait for each book now though. You have 3 more novels already released ahead of you. Lucky dog! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That definitely sounds promising. I agree, it definitely merits the auto-buy hardcover treatment. I don’t mind the wait to be honest since I’ve got plenty of other books to read in the meantime, and even less if the span in between books is under 5 years. So far, it seemed like there was a new book in the series every 2 years. And with a final product that is bound to be always good, the wait is worth it. 😀 Can’t wait to jump into the next books!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I wasn’t impressed with stuff I’ve heard about Weeks’ first series, I know it was supposed to be highly readable, but did not sound very original. This review makes me think his second series might be worth taking a look, the magic system looks especially interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen mixed reviews for his Night Angel trilogy, but it still sounded like something worth exploring at least once to me. But the Lightbringer series? This was way too much fun and had a lot of world-building going on. Pacing might be an issue for some, but I enjoyed every page of it. It reminded me a lot of the Green Lanterns premise, but even more debt. Which was a huge plus for me. Thanks for reading, sir!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m assuming you’ve had the chance to try out his Night Angel trilogy? I have a feeling that his Lightbringer series is on a whole other level. It turned out to be so much fun. A binge of it once its completed sounds like a colourful and exciting experience. 😛


  6. Awesome review! ♥️♥️ Your passion slays me! Makes me want to run out and read the book. Love the idea of light being the basis of the magic system. And Kip’s character used to help the reader navigate the world is brilliant. Thanks for the introduction to Week’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Dani! I’m glad that this review had that effect on you. It’s what you have to do though. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it, but you’ll have to be ready for the long ride. The pacing might not be for everyone though, but it’s way too rewarding on all other fronts to complain about such things for me! 😀


    1. Hahaahh I’m really glad that your curiosity is piqued for this one! It is well worth checking out and so much fun too. I do hope you’ll get the chance to try it out for yourself someday, Stephanie! Thank you so much for reading! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That magic system sounds beautiful! Admittedly I don’t read a lot of fantasy so I’m not expert, but that sounds like such a unique way of writing magic. I imagine the descriptions must have been beautiful too.

    I love when an author approaches something familiar in a way that is totally brand new. It’s so inspiring as the reader. Like you said – I opens something up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is! It is indeed a wonderful concept that was fully blown open. And since it’s only the first book, I can only imagine how much bigger it can get further into the series! Can’t wait to see where things will go from here. If intrigued and interested, it needs to be checked out! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You make a really good case for the book, like, I can’t believe I don’t already own this book as a matter of priority!… It seems like it truly hit the spot and what you describe- I want! *thumbs up*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes. Anyone who loves fantasy should really give this one a shot and find out if it’s something they’ll pick up and continue on with the series or move on from. It’s real good!! 😀 Thank you for your kind words, Dani!


    1. Thanks Asia! Fascinating, huh? 😀 Nop. I wouldn’t qualify this as fast-paced at all. It takes time before the plot gets into the juicy stuff and has you hooked into the series as a whole. Everything is shown slowly and steadily. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s