Like his Night Angel trilogy, the Lightbringer trilogy has as its central character an orphaned boy who may have special powers. Although this sounds cliched, in both series Weeks makes things interesting by adding surprising elements to his characterizations of lead and supporting characters.
The main character is Kip, an overweight 15-year-old who is literally the son of the village idiot. They live in a region called Tyrea which is one of the Seven Satrapies which comprise the known world. Tyrea is shunned because it was devastated during a recent war and so anything associated with Tyrea is considered unlucky, backwards and shameful.
The Lightbringer series is built around an interesting, if complicated magic system which is based around using light and a magical substance called luxin to do amazing things. Because of this magical system, the central power structure is called the Chromeria, and is headed by a person called the Prism, who has the rare power to use luxin combined with light of any color. Very few people can use luxin at all, and usually if they can they can only use it with one or possibly two hues.
It turns out that not only can Kip use (or "draft") luxin (in more than one color) but that he is also the illegitimate son of the current Prism, Gavin Guile, who defeated his own brother Dazen Guile 16 years ago during a civil war known as the Two Prisms War. Kip is brought to the Chromeria and so we have a typical "fish out of water" tale combined with the youngster with hidden powers tale.
There is also a fair amount of political intrigue around the governing of the Chromeria itself and when a dangerous insurrection starts up (in Tyrea, of course) The Black Prism becomes a bit of war tale as well.
I don't want to go reveal too many more aspects of the plot, I hope that I have given you a taste of the book and a sense that regardless of what kind of fantasy plots you like (rooting for the underdog, palace intrigue, complicated magic system, big action scenes of battle or the will they or won't they of star-crossed lovers) you will enjoy The Black Prism because all of these themes (and more) are included in its pages.
Apparently, The Black Prism is the first book of a four book series. I have also bought (in hardcover!) and read the second book (The Blinding Knife), which is possibly even better and I am looking forward to reading the third book, The Broken Eye when it comes out later this summer, and of course the final book, The Blood Mirror.
Title: The Black Prism.
Author: Brent Weeks.
Length: 688 pages.
Published: July 23, 2013.
OVERALL GRADE: A/A- (3.83/4.0).