By the time I got to The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks earlier this year, I was fully immersed in this world and on a MUST KNOW basis with the characters and their states of affairs. Any reservations lingering from my slow read of The Black Prism were extinguished somewhere near the end of The Blinding Knife, and made obsolete by the reading of this third book in the Lightbringer series.
The Broken Eye begins in chaos, as you might expect. With Kip and Gavin both tossed overboard and left for dead at the end of the previous book, a great deal of fretting was done over the state of their life threads. Had they been snipped? Were they drowned? Dead? WHY WAS THE BOOKSTORE TAKING SO LONG TO GET A COPY OF THIS BOOK FOR ME TO READ? I was completely at the mercy of my imagination while I waited for the third book in this series to arrive at my local Books A Million, who seem to get only the second book of most series, completely disregarding the first and any others that might have followed in its wake. Needless to say, it was an exercise in patience, but I finally got my hands on the book and dove in to find out what fates were doled out to characters I was deeply concerned for.
The Chromeria has been led to believe by Andross Guile that Kip and Gavin are dead, a new Prism must be chosen, and in the interim he assigns himself as promachos. Meanwhile, out to sea, Gavin is taken captive by pirates, and fat, flailing Kip is picked up by his nasty half-brother, Zymun, who believes the only way to get what he wants is to wipe out all who stand in his way, including his brother. In the meantime, the Color Prince continues his efforts to overtake the seven satrapies, having already swallowed two into his ranks. As Kip escapes Zymun’s clutches and makes his way back to civilization, Andross’s claims that the Prism is dead find themselves contested when Kip returns and claims his father is still alive. But until Gavin is found, the Chromeria must have a new Prism at its head. Andross begins priming Kip for the position, promising to raise him up if he hands over the Nine Kings cards that were stolen from him, and pitting against his half-brother in a deadly game that promises to end Kip’s life if he doesn’t comply.
The thing about Kip the Lip is that he’s come face to face with death so many times since the world around him started falling apart, he’s not nearly as terrified as he should be of the future. And to make matters that much more confusing, his Blackguard brethren have begun researching The Lightbringer, several of them whispering behind their hands the one thing every boy daydreams about: What if Kip is the Lightbringer, if everything he’s suffered and endured has been preparation for his rise to messianic greatness? As the pieces begin to fall into place, it seems more and more likely, but seeing that nothing in his life has ever deigned to go right, Kip isn’t sure he can allow himself to believe the truth.
Meanwhile, Gavin’s losing his colors one by one. Blinded by his own secrets and lies, and destined for execution, nothing can save him now but the truth he’s buried so deep inside him even he no longer knows what’s real and what’s false. Add to the mix Karris’s precarious position within in the Chromeria, and Teia’s troubles with a secret guild of paryl-wielding assassins, and you’ve got an action-packed read that’ll leave you breathless right up until the last page.
I have come to love this series more than I can express. The character struggles, their trials and triumphs, have endeared me to this imaginary group of people in ways I never anticipated while reading The Black Prism all those moons ago. And I’m dying to lose myself in The Blood Mirror, the fourth installment, but I have to wait until July to read it because it’s only out in hardcover right now, and all my copies are paperback, and OCD dictates all the books are in the same format on my shelf, or it’ll be chaos.
The Broken Eye is the first Lightbringer book I gave five out of five stars without the slightest hesitation. I am fully invested in these characters now, and I cannot wait to see where Weeks takes us next. Hopefully I’ll have a review ready sometime in early August for The Blood Mirror because I cannot wait to read that book.