Book Review: Black Prism by Brent Weeks

“Black Prism” by Brent Weeks is an epic dark fantasy that will pull you under and not let you back up.

Set in a unique fantasy universe filled with “drafters”—individuals who can separate light into physical forms known as “luxin.” These drafters pay a terrible price for the ability to pull these magical substances from light. Slowly their eyes fill with the color they can draft until they “break the halo” and go mad.

Enter our heroes. 

Kip is an unlikely main character. Fat, untallented, and poor, this son of the late, local drug addict grew up without a father. It’s clear from the start that Kip is more likely to fall over his own two feet than save the day. But from humble beginnings the most beautiful growth can develop.

Gavin is the polar opposite of Kip’s bumbling youth. Gavin is the most powerful man on the planet—the drafter of all colors known as the Prism. Once challenged by his brother, also a drafter of all colors that many now call the “False Prism,” Gavin won a war to claim his right to the top job and he won’t let anyone stand in the way of the five impossible goals he’s set for himself.

The world Weeks has constructed is as detailed and immersive as it comes. Told with brutal, unrelenting attention to detail, this story doesn’t pull any punches. From killing characters to upending our understanding of their world’s history, the plotting on this piece kept me continuously guessing and second guessing. 

The breakneck pace does get a little exhausting by page 620. And there are some graphic descriptions that squeamish readers might not appreciate. That said, if you’re into world building, politics, action, adventure, and fantasy, this book will not leave you disappointed!

You can find the book here!

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