The Black Prism (Hardcover, 2010, Orbit) 4 stars

Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high …

Review of 'The Black Prism' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I have to admit I loved this book way more than I ever expected it to. I enjoyed the Night Angel series from Brent Weeks, but it was just solid fantasy, nothing extraordinary. The Black Prism however wowed me with a really unique magic system based on the spectrum of light, and an intriguing story, where backstory is only revealed slowly.

The main character is Gavin Guile, the Prism, who can draw magic from all colors of the spectrum. The academy of drafters, the magic-users of this world, is called Chromeria, and the Prism is basically the Emperor of the world. Apparently only one such Prism is ever born in a generation, only in his case it isn't true. His renegade brother Dazen also made a claim on being Prism, and so sixteen years ago they fought a drawn-out war called the False Prism War. Gavin won, and since then has been ruling. His life is shaken up when he finds out he has a bastard son, Kip.

Kip is the secondary protagonist, a 15 year old fat boy from a small town which is destroyed by the ruler of the province as they failed to pay fealty to him. Gavin finds him, and his life changes completely.

But they have to go back to Kip's home province, as the ruler is now advancing on the main city of the province, trying to break the Chromeria's power and establishing a pagan religion...

I enjoyed the two female Point of View characters, Karris and Aliviana, two more drafters. Liv is from Kip's hometown and gets to be his mentor at the Chromeria, whereas Karris is a Blackguard, sworn to protect the Prism. She is also the woman who was loved both by Gavin and Dazen.

I don't want to say more, but there are a bunch of story twists that really have me looking forward to the next book. If I have one complaint, or make that two, is that Kip is the weak spot of the book. I found his character unrelatable, completely annoying, didn't understand him at all. He's a fat teenage boy who's completely whiny about women and his reactions to them, and I couldn't follow his thoughts and actions at all. I was always happy when his chapters ended, because everyone else was so much more interesting!

My other complaint is that the whole luxin thing is a bit wishy-washy. I didn't really understand how drawing light makes a weird material show up. Is it like glass? What does it really look like? I have no idea!

Regardless of those two points, I love this book! Excited to read on. :-)