The Broken Eye continues the spectacular Lightbringer series from the New York Times best-selling author of The Black Prism and The Blinding Knife. As the old gods awaken and satrapies splinter, the Chromeria races to find the only man who can still end a civil war before it engulfs the known world. But Gavin Guile has been captured by an old enemy and enslaved on a pirate galley. Worse still, Gavin has lost more than his powers as Prism - he can't use magic at all. Without the protection of his father, Kip Guile will face a master of shadows as his grandfather moves to choose a new Prism and put himself in power. With Teia and Karris, Kip will have to use all his wits to survive a secret war between noble houses, religious factions, rebels, and an ascendant order of hidden assassins called The Broken Eye.
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First, I'll just say that I've been a huge fan of Weeks from the first chapter of the Night Angel trilogy, and I still hold that the Blinding Knife is one of my favorite reads of all time. He weaves an awesome story with humor, subtle plot clues and twists, and realistically flawed and dimensional characters. So many authors in this genre talk about clever characters, but Weeks actually creates them! Andros/Kip/The White are all deviously smart, and you actually see that firsthand. Weeks also is amazingly subtle about huge moments and plot-changing questions. This is what I love about his books. For example, Kip's actions in the first two books are debatably some of the most astounding examples of drafting that have been described in the whole series. But their significance is downplayed, and it is only later that you realize just how amazing some events are.
However, I was left somewhat disappointed by this book. People call it a filler book, not sure if I agree with that. What got me was the "character development". Kip grows up, Gavin (Dazen) matures a bit. But what it amounts to just seems to be complacency. All of a sudden Kip just begins capitulating to Andros instead of rashly fighting back? That is not the Kip we have come to love. By the end of the book, it seems like he just lost his spunk and became another pawn on the board, rather than someone who is playing the game. Gavin does the same thing too. Once described as the person who bends the world to his will, in his big moment to fight and save himself, he just decides to complacently take unjust and ruinous punishment? That's not the Gavin we've come to love either. The two most moving and entertaining characters all of a sudden give up their tenacity and seem to lose their world-dominating will. That fact just left me sad. There is room to grow who they have become, but where we are now I think Kip and Gavin are far less moving than their former selves just a half book ago.
Finally, the ending. The last 20 minutes or so throw some cool twists, but the end-of-the-book, all-or-nothing, life-and-death display of drafting that Kip performs in this third installment was... a wheel? The first two books, Kip does seriously impressive things when pushed to the edge. And now, after his training, coming into his powers, and newfound knowledge he is far less impressive than he was at the close of the first book. Went from Green Golem army killer, to pirate ship destroying and god killing super drafter, to making a yellow wheel kinda fast. What?
In all, I really enjoyed the first half of the book. The second just left me... well sad. Still a great read, and I'm only negative because the first two were so impressive. Absolutely worth reading, and I will be actively googling "lightbringer book 4 release date" obsessively for the next year or two just as I did for this installment.
It took a chapter or three to get into the book. Once I realized the plot was not only about Kip but the entire family I had a hard time turning it off. The characters were complex. Devious, tough and malevolent loyal, caring and uncertain. No one character was all good or all bad, so I was surprised with a few outcomes. The magic was never simple, it was involved, consequently I did not miss a word. Simon Vance is one of my favorite narrators, so I'm accustomed to his voice and he did not disappoint. There were a few laughable moments but for the most part this story was gritty, violent and very interesting.