Author: Brent Weeks
Category: High Fantasy
Publication Date: September 11th, 2012
The Blinding Knife is a sequel to The Black Prism and leads off from where the last book ended. A war has begun and the Color Prince will stop at nothing to bring down the Chromeria.
In a weird way, this almost felt like the first book in a series. The reader is still learning about how the magic works and a lot of the world is introduced. Add that to the writing being much more mature than in The Black Prism and that first book almost feels more like a prequel than a first book.
The writing in this book, compared to The Black Prism, is better in a few ways and still lacks in others. Things like how luxin works is explained a little more thoroughly but not in a, “oh here is a whole chapter explaining it” info dump sort of way. The author does a great job of having Kip learn new things through out so that we get to learn gradually with him.
Characterization also gets markedly stronger. Gavin and Kip get developed more as does Andross Guile and there are a few new characters, namely the slave girl Teia, that are developed well from the start. It was fun to see more of Guile Sr. and learn where Gavin/Dazen got his cleverness from.
The biggest thing holding this book back is there feels like there are a few plot points that were originally planned to be significant, specifically regarding Gavin’s brother and Ana (a student at the Chromeria briefly introduced in The Black Prism) and then falls to the wayside or abruptly just stops. It is difficult to get into too much about it without spoilers, but the couple of moments we are talking about are pretty obvious.
Also, there is a notable lack of anyone doing anything about the Color Prince until the very end. The book spans over several months and in this time the Color Prince is marching through one of the Seven Satrapies laying waste to just about everything in his path. But the Chromeria doesn’t even really talk about what to do about it. There is a scene where the agree to go to war but….with the Color Prince rampaging around already wasn’t this a foregone conclusion? Perhaps this is a commentary on how democracy breaks down sometimes, particularly in the presence of corrupt officials.
Which leads us to the final point….
The villain, the Color Prince, is interesting to say the least. While the point of view we can see him through, Liv , is a terrible and confusing character, the Prince seems to have not only a just idea of taking down the corrupt Chromeria, but it feels as if our main characters are on the wrong side in this war. The Chromeria, with the exception of a few individuals, is filled with corruption and selfish, even hostile, people. Don’t get it wrong, the Prince is still evil. To convince one city to bow before him, he catapults women high into the city every fifteen minuets to scare them into surrender. He is harsh but is his cause evil?
The beginning felt like the last book and I was afraid that this one was gonna be as slow as it. This book picked up when Kip trains and and battles with his grandfather so there were some good things. I enjoyed learning about more powers and about how they work unlike the first one.
Except for his harsh and downright villainous actions sometimes, the Color Prince has a right to be trying to overthrow the establishment. I agree with his reason of the corruption and outright lies the Chromeria uses. Saying all that, ya he is evil in the way he is going about it.
The ending gives me hope for the next one and I am looking forward to hope fully a series that can only get better!
It has been years since I read these books and I remember always kind of thinking that the first one was my favorite because it felt so different from the rest of the series. Now I realize why that was.
The writing is so much more developed starting with this installment that the first one almost feels like a different story. All in all, I feel like I need to rethink my feeling that The Black Prism is my favorite book because apparently I am judging them by different standards than I did several years ago!
Though this book did have its problems, this actually makes me really excited to move on to re-reading The Broken Eye and re-evaluating it.