I read the first in the Lightbringer series, Black Prism, three years ago. I enjoyed it for the most part, but I wasn’t immediately sure if I would continue the series. Eventually, however, I grabbed the audiobook for The Blinding Knife and I’m glad I did because it was definitely a step up.
I’m not sure if Simon Vance’s brilliant narration was the main difference or if the story/writing improved, but I definitely enjoyed book two quite a lot. That said, while I liked the book as a 32 year old man, I probably would have loved it as an 18-year-old, maybe even a 25-year-old. There were a few “slightly juvenile” bits that didn’t work as well for me today that I probably would have enjoyed (or wouldn’t have noticed) when I was a bit younger.
All in all, Brent Weeks did a great job telling an exciting and enrapturing story. I really like Gavin as a character and Kip was a lot less annoying, even pretty likable, in book two.
There was really just one scene that bothered me. I’m going to into spoilers here so stop reading if you haven’t finished the book…
There was this scene where a girl creeps in Gavin’s bed and he thinks that it’s Kariss. When he realizes that it’s not, at exactly the same time that Kariss actually comes into the room to seduce Gavin herself, causing Kariss to flee, he flies into a rage and murders the girl.
Admittedly, Gavin is horror struck and seeks to punish himself, but without much ado, the whole matter is pretty much written off and Gavin is given a reprieve for various reasons, most notably that his colors are out of sync, which may be causing him to behave erratically. Eventually, he apologizes to Kariss and they get married.
From a plotting standpoint, little is actually accomplished with this, because if the girl hadn’t been there, Gavin would have just ended up with Kariss sooner (although maybe this was necessary for Gavin to deal with Dazen). But from a moral standpoint, holy crap, how can everyone just let this go so easily? When our protagonist, who isn’t perfect but is generally pretty moralistic, murders someone, it’s a big deal. I mean, he should probably have gone to prison, but instead he was forgiven in nearly the blink of an eye because the girl was a bit of a “slattern” and he’s the Prism.
As you can tell, I did not like this scene. It didn’t seem fitting for Gavin’s character and it was really pretty insulting towards that poor girl and women in general. I wish it wasn’t in the book because I don’t think it added anything of value. I still gave the book 4 stars, but perhaps it would have been 5 without this incident.