The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer 2) by Brent Weeks

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The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer 2) by Brent Weeks

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Category: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: A very epic - both in action and length - fantasy that takes readers deeper into the brilliant world that Weeks created in The Black Prism. Great action, great characters and lots of politics and manipulations to keep the reader on their toes to the very last pages. Superb reading.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 688 Date: September 2012
Publisher: Orbit
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1841499079

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Gavin Guile thought he had five years left to complete his seven great purposes. But now it seems he has less than one. He might be the Prism - the most powerful light drafter in the Seven Satrapies, capable of drafting huge amounts of light without risk of losing his mind to the colours - but he's lost blue. He can't see it or draft it.

If anyone finds out, Gavin's position as Prism will be in real trouble, and now is not the moment for political unrest. The Colour Prince and his armies are waging a war that the leaders of Gavin's world - the Spectrum - refuse to acknowledge. Gavin has been fighting on the front line, but without their support he knows it's a losing battle.

Meanwhile, Gavin's illegitimate son, Kip, is having problems of his own. He's been tasked by his father to get into the Blackguard - an elite fighting force. But not only is Kip fat and ungainly, his grandfather, Andross Guile, is determined to make his goal impossible in any way he can.

Like all epic fantasy books I've ever read, I had a bit of trouble getting back in to this at first. In the year between this and the previous book, I'd forgotten most of the characters, most of what happened, and most of what was set up to happen next. Unlike other books I've read, Weeks doesn't include a summary of events, the book equivalent of a 'Previously on...' sequence. And this is good, I think - it suggests a confidence in his reader's intelligence (undeserving in my case) and throws you straight back into the action.

And it wasn't long before my memory was jogged, and with so many new characters, it wasn't like you were overwhelmed with too many things to remember at once.

Like all good second instalments in trilogies, The Blinding Knife takes us deeper into the world that Weeks has created, giving the characters new avenues to explore. With the battle loss at the end of the last book, the world is much changed as well, with considerably more threat resting on the shoulders of those characters who fight to protect it.

And with Liv's switch in sides, we now see a lot more of the Colour Prince, learning about his side of things and the methods he's prepared to use to reach his goals. Again it's the politics and the manipulations of the characters that really stand out - above and beyond, in a way, the fantastical magic systems and their uses.

At six hundred odd pages it's another long book, but there's never a dull moment. The jumping between characters and the introduction of a first person perspective that doesn't get explained until about two thirds of the way through is a bit jarring at times, but never enough to throw you out of the narrative completely.

All in all, another superb instalment in what has been so far an excellent series. I can't believe I will have to wait another year before I can find out what happens next!

My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.

Fans of huge tomes of epic fantasy with multiple character stories might enjoy The Map Of All Things (Terra Incognita) by Kevin J Anderson.

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