Book Review: The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks

Book Review: The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks
This cover and other images taken only for review purposes under fair use doctrine.

Spolier Free Summary: (Note: It’s almost impossible to write a spoiler free summary for the fourth book in a series. If you haven’t read the first three books, read on at your own risk, but know I’ll try to limit spoilers. You can rest easy knowing I won’t spoil any of Book 4’s secrets.)  The Blood Mirror is the fourth of five planned novels in the Lightbringer Saga. Gavin must struggle to escape a prison of his own making. Karris hasn’t lost hope that Gavin is alive, but she has to navigate the crushing weight of her position. This is all the more difficult given her efforts to build a relationship with the Prism Elect. Kip is leading his own raids against the Color Prince, and Teia finds herself in the most conflicting position ever as she begins to work more and more closely with the Broken Eye.

Character:  Fist the good. Without a single point of view chapter, Tisis stole the show. She had a lot of moments here where she demonstrated her strength and patience.  The NEED for those things affected Kip’s sympathy slider, but he’s been awesome since Page 1 of Book 1.  I simply felt that a “secondary” character with this much of a compelling story should earn some recognition. Karris, Kip, and Teia are all awesome. They continue their trend. Weeks does a masterful job of given each character not a simple parabolic arch, but a more natural (yet less mathematically friendly) rollercoaster of development. Teia’s task is nearly heartbreaking, and the strength she’s finding to do it is equally so.

unknownNow for the bad:  I need to cry foul here, and it’s hard to do without spoilers. There’s a plot twist in this novel that I simply have trouble buying off on. This has everything to do with the point of view chapters from book one. It’s one thing to tell me a character is outside his mind, I’ve seen stories to that effect, but the difference is, the “character” in question never had a point of view chapter. I loved the book. I love Weeks, but I expect far better answers in the last book, and would be disappointed if I don’t receive a more satisfactory explanation. Again, my problem isn’t with the plot twist, it’s the manner in which is was executed.

Like all epic sagas, this series is rich in characters, and I expect any fans to have favorites outside of the “main” point of view characters (or even those limited in viewpoint). My above gripe aside, all these characters are real and compelling.

Exposition: I’d say Weeks has this down to an art form. I can’t think of a single “data-dump” paragraph. Yes, we do go into other characters’ viewpoints to receive information, but even then, we learn about events as those characters do things.  I think Liv’s chapters are the most “dumpy” in terms of information, but it was still interesting to see what she was up to.

Worldbuilding:  The world is expansive, but it’s a little bit less real to me than others. I think this is because there are a lot of characters spread in a lot of directions, and I don’t see the scope. So what Weeks earns in the expanse of his world he loses a bit (just a bit mind you) in the visceral nature of the world.

Other books in the Lightbringer saga.

Dialogue:  Some may argue the character dialogue in this book is tough because the characters are pretty similar. I wouldn’t really argue. But I’d read a whole book’s worth of Kip, Karris, and Tiea having a conversation.  Andross is particularly entertaining to listen to as well.  Yes, all of these characters are flippant smart asses, which could make them sound a bit similar if you forced me to acknowledge it, but I like that sort of snappy dialogue, so I don’t care.

Description: Weeks is more vague in this area than most, choosing to only provide clear description on things that matter most in a scene. This may be what’s affected the world building, but if you’re going to be too little or too much, I personally prefer too little.

Overall: I felt like I had to wait forever to get this book. I’m happy to say that when I did, it delivered. Very few series have me waiting for the next piece of info, but this one does. Weeks does a fantastic job of blending intrigue with action, and fans of his books will love this latest edition.

Thanks for reading,