The start of a brand new trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of The Way of Shadows.
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.
©2010 Brent Weeks (P)2011 Hachette Digital
After 3 hours I found it hard to warm to the narrator. There were attempts at characterisation, but I found little in the way of intonation or drama.
I struggled to get through this book because I just couldn't take the narrator seriously. I found the book mildly interesting, but didn't have anything else to read so stuck through it. When I saw the sequel was read by someone else, I thought I would give it another go and I am so glad that I did! Suddenly the characters I knew from the Black Prism came to life and I found myself thoroughly engrossed and enjoying the story immensely.
If you don't get on with the narrator and feel the story and characters are bland, stick through it and try the second novel, read by Simon Vance - it really is a fantastic.
Brent Weeks tells an entertaining story in an original setting, unfortunately flawed by poor characterisation, plot holes and occasionally jagged prose. These problems are made all the more jarring by a wooden performance from Cristofer Jean. This poor reading makes what would otherwise be a simple but largely enjoyable book into one well below average.
The world and magic system were akin to the worlds built by Brandon Sanderson
Don't want to spoil the story.
No but not irritating. I enjoyed it.
Internet Application developer who also enjoys good quality SciFi/Fantasy, board games and future Taekwondo black belt.
There are a number of reasons to enjoy this book, and to hate it.
What's to enjoy?
The magic system is pretty clever. I like it that people have varying levels of ability. Some can use only 1 colour, some 2, other more. Not all colours have to be joined together from the spectrum etc. I like that the colours have their own attributes - which can effect a persons personality.
I also like a couple of the characters. Karris comes off as a strong middle aged woman (i would guess here age would be around 40) - strong personality as well as strong of body. I grew to like Kip a little more. I like the fact that he is fairly hopeless and lacks self confidence.
The story was good, if a little unoriginal - bad leader attacks city, good leader defends city. You know where you are going to end up - its just how we are going to get there.
What's not to enjoy?
Some of the characters are annoying or flat. Gavin is super powerful - to the point of being a God. While i could accept that he is amazing at casting - it would have been nice if he was flawed in other ways. But alas, he is also an excellent politician, tactician, orator, good looking with a quick mind. Maybe he will change in following books.
The Bad guys were a little too bad. I am a king and want to bring down the world because i am pissed - yeah, twiddle that tash with maniacal laugh.
The magic system (yeah, I know its a positive). Some of the stuff that can be done is massive. With a little thought and organisation the world should really have been a utopia. Within a couple of days a wall (we do not know exactly how long it is) is constructed from magic with cool features such as adjustable roofs, touch sensitive windows and seal protectors. Wow, 4 days from start to finish.
Short chapters. While this was great at the end of the book (getting the battle from different perspectives in a few pages), it was annoying at the beginning - you are taken from one part of the work to another a little too fast.
I read a few reviews before I started that the narration was pretty poor. I wouldn't go that far. The narrator did vary his voice for different characters and seemed to deliver the light hearted moments well. It wasn't brilliant either - he seemed a little too fast and his natural pitch a little annoying.
All in all,I enjoyed the book, and will read the rest of the series. There just wasn't the spark there to make me feel it should deserve more than a 3.
Good book but the narrator was just wrong for the book, he would have been better suited for Zombie books.
It might be worth getting it redone Brent for people that are new to your series.
The narration is absolutely wooden, with very little expression or attempt to differentiate the characters. He makes one of the key characters - Gavin Guile, a man of great political and magical power - sound like Keanu Reeves. He makes life-and-death situations sound exactly as exciting as inconsequential conversation, even when characters exclaim, curse, scream, or shout. The poor delivery is particularly obvious when the text specifically uses one of these words, and the narrator just speaks the dialogue in his usual flat monotone.
As the action picked up towards the end of the book, it began to become more interesting. There was a little character development, and some of the plot threads finally began to come together and give rise to interesting consequences. But it was too little, too late for me - I listened to the end only out of a sense of obligation, to see if the story would go anywhere.
Ultimately, it's difficult to say whether I found this book dull because it's poorly-written or because it's poorly-read. I found the constant self-deprecatory internal monologues to be infuriating at times, but I'm not sure whether that was because the characters annoyed me or because it was read in such a dull, monotonous fashion. I might try the second book in the series, as it's read by one of my favourite narrators, Simon Vance - perhaps that will settle the question.
I am finding the narrator just shy of camp and quite monotonous. With a different narrator I might be enjoying it more but it's doubtful I will finish this one. The concepts are interesting but there is too much focus on the mechanics; background and characters lack substance. Sorry Cristofer.
"Great Story, Poor Naration"
I will listen to it again, I'm sure. This is a wonderful story full of vibrant, realistic characters and some of the best world building I've ever seen. That said with this performance, vibrant characters feel wooden and charismatic, subtle leaders feel like bullies. The reading takes away from the wonderful story. If your tossing up between the audio book and the book, take the book.
Gavin Guile forever, thought in this reading the performances of female characters where much more vibrant, so possible one of the women.
No. At times I had to physically check I hadn't somehow switched to the robot voice reading from my e-book. He did however provide nice expression with the female characters. The men either felt like wood blocks, robots, or their voice and their character where so misaligned that they ended up feeling off.
Read the Book, or if you can stand it listen to the audio book. The story is wonderful, and even with the horrible narration I'm sure to listen to it again.
"Love the print book...audio not so much."
I truly enjoyed this book in print and was looking forward to a good listen. The narration is definitely not one of Audible's best efforts and I was relieved to see Simon Vance will be narrating the next two books.
"Great story ruined by robotic narration"
Yes- if Simon Vance was reading it!
Brent Weeks reminds me of Branfon Sanderson
You may as well have the kindle robot read aloud. Worst ever voice. No inflection. Terrible timing. It was like listening to someone read it when they don't actually understand English. The syntax, timing, and colour was missing. Just awful.
Probably a bit complicated for the screen plot wise but I could see Charlie Hannum as Gavin/Dazen
Great story which I have read 3 times and will never listen to again from this narrator.
"A colourful extravaganza!"
The Black Prism by Brent Weeks is full of colourful magic, that sends people crazy when used too often, and turns them into colourwights. Gavin Guile is the prism the rarest of all magic users as he is able to use all colours of the spectrum. Kip is Gavin' s natural son. A brilliant narration by Christofer Jean.
This is my second time reading this, and it is just brilliant. Really refreshing take on magic and all its forms. But what I love most about it is the characters! I highly recommend this as a great listen and highly enjoyable book too.
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