The Black Prism

The Black Prism

Paperback - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals.

But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.
Publisher: New York : Orbit, 2011, c2010
Edition: 1st mass market ed
ISBN: 9780316068130
Branch Call Number: FAN WEE
Characteristics: 787 p. : map ; 18 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

SPPL_Aura Mar 14, 2018

I have at times taken a vacation day when the new book in this series is released. Enough said.

CMLibrary_akeller Feb 15, 2016

I had a hard time getting into this book at first. It was slow and I was so confused by the magic system. However, I stuck with it and I am so glad I did! It eventually picked up speed and I got to the point where I couldn't put it down. The characters come across as flawed and human and capable of some really cool things. The magic system took some getting used to, but it was unique and interesting to try to visualize. Not to mention, there are many twists and turns you will not see coming. I would highly recommend this book and I urge you to keep reading even if it takes a while to get through. It's well worth it.

Feb 03, 2015

This novel was a great read. I think it is better than his Night Angel Trilogy. The book never had a real lull and there is a great plot line with vast depth in the character. Also, the system in which magic is utilized and created is fascinating and well built.

Jan 02, 2014

This book has great characters, amazingly detailed geopolitics, and brilliant ploting. It deals with issues of culture and identity in an insightful way, has a magic system whose creativity and consistency rivals Brian Sanderson's, and has a grey-gray morality that forces us to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of every faction just as we do in real life. Oh, and it's also a really fun read. Weeks is one of my new favorites.

Dec 18, 2013

This was a fun book to read. I was surprised, honestly, at how fast I got through it. I had thought that the size would take a but more time, but I was unable to tear myself away once I got going.

The Prism is a complex character with flaws that I really appreciated. There were a few moments throughout the book that really catapulted the character development forward and many surprises that kept him from becoming boring. The snippets of back story that are sprinkled throughout the book also add depth without overwhelming the reader with the characters history.

Karris was a great character. She was a strong and powerful woman, not the typical damsel in distress that needs the big, strong man to save her. I appreciated that she was able to be feminine while still being a force to be reckoned with.

Kip was awesome. This is a kid that everyone can feel for. He is a strong character that you find yourself rooting for nearly immediately. General Danavis, Liv, Ironfist, and the White were interesting characters that added to the story. I do wish that some of them had been featured a but more but I also understand the reason why they were not. I am hopeful that as the series continues these characters will be developed further.

I think the author did a solid job of building a world that was unique while still being easy to fall into. Some fantasy/sci-fi authors create such complex and overwhelming worlds that it is hard to get into the plot while learning about the world, terminology, and the unique aspects. Weeks introduced the world at a slow enough pace to allow the reader to dive in without losing the details.

Sep 17, 2013

This book goes beyond the traditional portrayal of an epic battle between good and evil. The primary hero lives a lie, the evil mastermind speaks the truth. I enjoyed identifying with Kip as he slowly learned about himself. I look forward to reading the rest of the story in the next two books.

unbalancedbutfair Sep 25, 2012

A very good book. A compelling plot, using characters with real depth. A book about decisions and consequences. Loyalty, lies and repercussions. A book about brothers. All set in a Mediterranean style world with its own religion and politics. The magic system is interesting, and is itself embedded not only in engineering and fighting, but in politics and religion and more subtle forms of power. And Weeks explains all of this without ever boring or lecturing the reader and without straying from the plot. 2 early twists worth praising are the use of a main character who is not a physical paradigm and the existence (and use) of gunpowder. I enjoyed this book immensely, as in "stayed up when I should have been sleeping or working to finish reading it" type of enjoyed.

Jul 05, 2012

Brent Weeks is a master of words. I would highly recommend this and his "Night Angel" trilogy. The story is well written and fast paced you become connected to the characters that move the plot faster than you can imagine.

Oct 25, 2011

This is a fresh take on the epic fantasy story. Very well written believable characters that drive the plot, rather than being driven by the plot.

Highly recommended.

Mar 22, 2011

Brent Weeks follows up his "Night Angel" trilogy with the first in his new series “The Lightbringer”. While his writing style is similar to that of his previous series, Weeks makes a conscious effort to create a whole new world that is populated by new and different characters. The Black Prism follows in a similar vein with a complicated plot and lots of action and fighting. Refreshingly, this swords and sorcery series limits itself to human actors and refrains from introducing improbable monsters and magical beings. The world of the Chromeria is a unique creation with an interesting back story,

The characters in this novel are still somewhat two dimensional and have a recognizably middle-American 21st century voice. The protagonists are very likeable and the antagonists are more basic still and agreeably disagreeable. Nonetheless, Weeks' characterization in this novel is more complex and varied than his previous series. Although he still has a propensity to fall into over the top action the nearer he gets to the end of the novel, overall the action is more restrained and relevant to the plot. The author's plotting is also more sophisticated and surprises the reader several times with believable twists and turns.

This book will be enjoyed by mature fantasy readers and by those who enjoyed his first trilogy. Brent Weeks is a writer who continues to develop and I look forward to the next book in the series.

View All Comments


Add a Summary

QueenJenny17 Apr 29, 2011

Gavin Guile is The Prism. He lives in a world where, maybe, 50% of the population can transmute a color they can "see" into something tangible. Most of these people can only "see" one color and therefore "work" with only that color. Fewer can "see" 2 colors, and less can see 3. The Prism can see all colors and work with all of them, from sub-red to superviolets. The work is called "drafting" and the product that comes from the drafters body is called "luxin". (I'm explaining all of this because I struggled with the concepts the first third of the book.) The Prism is sort of a religious figure but his ultimate purpose is to keep the world in balance. If one country/group of people starts to use too much red than red will get weaker and green (it's opposite) will get stronger. Lastly there is suppose to be only one Prism per generation.

The book takes place 16 years after the Prisms' War between Gavin and his younger brother, Dazen. Probably because both brothers are Prisms and struggling for power. (As true to his style of writing, Brent Weeks, doesn't divulge the entire story at the beginning.) Gavin wins the war and everyone thinks that Dazen was killed. Instead he's a prisoner in an elaborate jail under the Prism's room.

At the start of the book Gavin receives a note that it's time to meet his son, that he didn't know he had. ???? Gavin has to "decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret (s) that could tear his world apart."

Overall a excellent book, on par with Brent's Night Angel series. I'm anxiously awaiting the next book.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at VIRL

To Top