Brent Weeks “Black Prism” Books, Book Reviews

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At the heart of a world similar to the late Middle Ages is a unique system of magic – chromaturgy. It is that gifted people are able to draw colors from everywhere – and the more colors and shades are subject to man, the more power in his hands. Sometimes Prisms are born – people capable of extracting all colors. Such is Gavin Gail, the most powerful man in the Seven Satrapies. But he keeps a terrible secret – and this secret threatens to come out and shake the foundations of the world when Gavin meets his illegitimate son Kip, also magically gifted.

Brent Weeks
The Black Prism
Genre: heroic fantasy
The release of the original: 2010
Translator: N. Nekrasova
Publishers: Exmo, fanzon, 2022
Series: «Fantasy World. The best modern fantasy “
Age rating: 16+
640 pp., 6000 copies.
“Light Bearer”, part 1
Looks like:
Brandon Sanderson, Buresvet Archive series
Robert Jordan, Wheel of Time series

Brent Weeks writes about people – but most of all as a writer he is interested in the worldview, gradually absorbed by chaos. And the reader learns about the events taking place in the book through different characters in turn. So he has a complete picture of what is happening – there is not the slightest chance that someone will be an unreliable narrator, there is no deception. “Black Prism” is completely devoid of any literary game. In the best tradition of heroic fantasy, Weeks tells the story of a world where power is concentrated in the hands of an ambitious, talented man who makes incredible plans and has the power to carry them out.

Brent Weeks’ large-scale plan includes five books. And already in the first volume it becomes clear what the scope of this story is. It is no coincidence that the author is compared to Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan. And in terms of intrigue, cruelty and plot twists, he can give a head start to George Martin himself.

Not surprisingly, the characters here are quite disliked. It is easy for the reader to choose who to sympathize with and for whom to worry, due to the fact that the story is told by very different characters, but none of them will really sink into the soul.

And although Brent Weeks is no stranger to a sense of humor, it is worth preparing for the fact that the humor in the pages of this book is cynical, and the characters are not kind to each other or to themselves. However, there will be a place for long conversations, and for large-scale battle scenes, and even for love.

To some extent, Weeks is moving from classic heroics to epic. The fact is that the world is more important here than each individual; he lives and will continue to live, even if each of the heroes meets his end in the pages of the cycle. So readers who want to see the world through characters rather than characters through the world may be disappointed.

It is worth noting the translation – moderately accurate, moderately poetic. The translator diligently conveys all the colors of the world, because the world of Prism depends on the colors directly. Each character has his own voice, each part is painted in its own way, so the reader will not lose anything, choosing a Russian translation – just gain. The dynamics of the language are well presented: the whole book is a movement, nothing stands still. Colors flow.

The result: bright scenes, variety of heroes and intricacies of intrigue, themes of power, peace, war, values ​​of life and magic… A special impression is made by the final twist – unexpected and therefore to some extent painful. This is the most powerful hook, forcing the reader, who has already turned the last page, to look back, completely rethink the plot events and continue to look forward to the next book.

The only luck

This Weeks novel was nominated for the David Gemmel Award 2011, which has long been considered the main award in the genre of heroic fantasy. In general, Weeks’ books have been nominated for various awards 14 times, but only one of his novels has won. In 2013, The Blinding Knife, the second part of the Light Bearer series, received the same David Gemmel Award.

No more than an hour before sunset.

The celebration of the Sun Day will begin as soon as the last ray of the sun goes out over the horizon. Whether attacked by heretics, pagans or the faithful, they would still not fight on Sunny Day. The Sun Day was sacred even to the gods banished by Lucidonia.

If they can hold the attackers during this hour, they will have a chance.

<…> One day. One hour. Four minutes to determine the course of the war.

Brent Weeks Black Prism

Is it worth reading?

For those who miss the classic large-scale heroic fantasy and who have already finished Sanderson and Gemmel on the shelves, of course.

Good luck

original world

original magic system

battle scenes

excellent translation


questionable morality

unpleasant characters

About the author


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