Author: Brent Weeks
Genre: High Fantasy
Length: 629 Pages
Release: August 2010
I had this book on my shelf for two years before finally picking it up. And I have no idea why I waited so long. The timing was never right, I suppose.
This is a fantasy novel with a magic system based on colors and being able to draft the colors that are visible to you. Not everyone can draft and those who can have varying skills and degrees of knowledge. The Prism is someone who can draft all seven colors.
Brent Weeks has an easy to read writing style that really lends well to this type of story. I have a few issues with how he writes, because I find certain aspects of the style distracting, but I do think he writes well and has created an interesting world here. And it's a really fast read. Once you get started it just really flows. There are some first person intrusions from the various characters who have a perspective, which I found distracting since it would pop up in the middle of a third person paragraph. Weeks is also rather fond of using ?! in dialogue, which I find somewhat lazy. It should be obvious through context if a question is an exclamation. Those things aside, I did really enjoy the writing.
The story itself is somewhat slow, taking a while for the plot to really move. But through all of that time the characters are being built, so although the plot was stagnant for long stretches (or nearly) I never found it dull.
Gavin Guile, the Prism, is definitely my favorite character. Sometimes I'm not sure if I should like him or hate him, which makes me love him even more. I just found him fascinating and utterly charming, which I think is the goal, so great job to Weeks for making that work. Gavin is very multifaceted and even now, after having finished this first installment in the series, I have more questions than answers about him.
Second to Gavin in my list of favorites is Karris. When she was first introduced I found her a little bland and annoying, but she quickly grew on me. I looked forward to her chapters almost as much as Gavin's and enjoyed learning more about who she was and who she had been.
The rest of the characters were ok at times and annoying at others. Kip could be hilarious and then flip to extremely annoying, so I hope that his character levels out somewhat. And Liv...I really have no positive thoughts toward her. I don't find her all that clever or that interesting. The side characters, such as Ironfist, outshone these two.
The overall plot surrounding the Prism and prophecies and war was very interesting. There are lots of politics involved, which I tend to really enjoy in fantasy. By the end everything is a twisted mess and I have no idea how the rest of the series will unfold after this, but I look forward to making the journey through it.