Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks
“Gavin Guile is dying.
He’d thought he had five years left–now he has less than one. With fifty thousand refugees, a bastard son, and an ex-fiancée who may have learned his darkest secret, Gavin has problems on every side. All magic in the world is running wild and threatens to destroy the Seven Satrapies. Worst of all, the old gods are being reborn, and their army of color wights is unstoppable. The only salvation may be the brother whose freedom and life Gavin stole sixteen years ago.”
Blinding Knife picks up right where Black Prism left off, Gavin guile is left with thousands of refugees looking for a new home now that the Color-Prince has used his army of fanatics and color wights to wrest control of a nation from the sway of the Seven Satrapies. It doesn’t take long for the action to ramp up in typical Brent Weeks fashion, giant sea serpents, gods being reborn, and a group of students with a new kid to pick on.
Our young protagonist Kip has been ordered to join the Blackguard, an order of assassin/bodyguards for the highest ranking members of the Satrapies, namely the Prism and the White. Unfortunately for Kip, a fat, awkward teenager is not the optimal recruit. We’re introduced to new characters such as Cruxer and Teia who offer the friendship young Kip has needed and deserved his whole life.
Gavin Guile, the Lord Prism, is dying, his colors already beginning to fail him. His life falls apart piece by piece throughout the novel and watching the once most powerful man in the Satrapies deal with these issues is engaging and fascinating to read.
Liv has joined the Color-Prince’s army, betrayed her friends, allies, and her own father all for what she perceives as the right choice. Her sections were some of my favorite as we took a look at the enemy’s plans and lifestyle through a figure still shrouded in some doubt.
Even now, a week after I first finished the book I can say that Blinding Knife has jumped to my Top 3 all-time favorite books. It was the type of book that left me catching bits and pieces that I admired and wanted to work on in my own novel. It was a book that taught me how to write by virtue of it’s own magnificent writing and I highly recommend this series for any fanas of epic fantasy. While it doesn’t offer nearly as many twists and surprises as Black Prism did, Blinding Knife instead chooses to focus on the ramifications of these secrets and surprises and what happens when they slowly get taken apart piece by piece. That being said, the resolution to perhaps the biggest twist of Book 1 was a little disappointing to me, or more specifically – anti-climatic. I wish something more in-depth and exciting had happened, however, I do understand the events that did transpire was realistic in it’s renderings.
Some of my favorite bits of the book can be found in Kip’s coming-of-age and mastery of his drafting talents, the introduction of new colors to the drafting spectrum, the new game partially based on Magic: The Gathering, and of course, the ending which left me screaming in frustration at having to wait for Book 3 to come out, tentatively titled Blood Mirror.
Go get this book if you havent already. If you haven’t read Black Prism yet despite my earlier review, which seems impossible but if you haven’t, pick that up and read it next. Trust me, you’ll love it.