The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks

details
Title: The Blood Mirror.
Series: Lightbringer #4.
Writer(s): Brent Weeks.
Publisher: Orbit.
Format: Paperback.
Release Date: July 18th, 2017 (first published November 16th, 2015).
Pages: 736.
Genre(s): Fantasy.
ISBN13:  9780316251327.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★.

Previously in the Lightbringer series:
The Black Prism by Brent Weeks.
The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks.
The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks.

thoughts

Expeditions. Journeys. Adventures. Innocent at first, epic in the end. The characters who go on them—closely followed by the reader—learn life lessons through trial and error, while encountering the unexpected, as they walk down the roads fate have paved from them. Through these characters, readers experience the inexplainable: the intimate yet distant emotions for someone embarked on an unsolicited mission of self-discovery. By learning their motives, by gauging their willpower, by understanding their reasons, readers become one with the characters and fear the end of their stories. The journey, however, remains the most rewarding of experiences and only some writers know how to make it invaluable. Author Brent Weeks delivers the fourth and penultimate installment in the Lightbringer series as he digs deeper into the psyche of his characters before they are set loose in the grand finale told in The Burning White.

What is The Blood Mirror about? Following up on the events occurred in The Broken Eye, the story continues to explore the diverging paths of our heroes amidst the rise of the White King’s armies. Deprived of his freedom and trapped in his own contraption, Gavin Guile faces his father’s persecution and slowly withers into madness. Now married to Tisis and supported by the Mighty, Kip Guile looks to stop the White King’s ascension while also dealing with an intimate and sexual predicament serving as a psychological obstacle. Having now attained unimaginable ranks, Karris White has to embrace her new role and keep her empire from falling into ruin. Ranking up as well, Teia has to juggle multiple alliances and not succumb to new powers that may turn out far more devastating for her than ever before.

“Look at your mistakes long enough to learn from them, then put them behind you.” — Brent Weeks

The Seven Satrapies has never been this close to seeing gods emerge and deaths increasing exponentially through war than now. Unlike previous books, author Brent Weeks looks into scrutinizing each of his characters as they endeavor in their personal impasses. Emphasizing on the improbable growth that they’ve made since the beginning of their escapade, the story looks to set the table for the events to come by bringing these characters to realize that their toughest battles might not be on the outside but within themselves.

Being the fourth book of a five-book epic fantasy series, it almost felt like this time around, things needed to take on far different pacing to allow the characters to simmer in their new roles and environments. What kept things flowing lied in author Brent Weeks’ clever and cunning writing style which allowed him to both express internal and external thoughts for each point of view. With it, he is able to infuse his signature humour tinged in sexuality, while also highlighting each of the characters’ individual traits.

Speaking of which, Kip Guile’s point of view springs to mind as his story arc is mostly centered around his relationship with Tisis and a sexual condition afflicting her called vaginismus. Knowing his character and his blatant yet hilarious tendency towards sexual innuendos, this new obstacle simply felt like an inevitable prophecy in his life as he tries to make the most out of his arranged marriage. While the banter remains impeccable as per usual with author Brent Weeks’ characters, it should be noted that his repartees between certain characters are awe-inspiring, especially that which concerns Gavin and his father Andross.

While plot progression is relatively limited, there is one element that shines brighter than any Luxin: the magic system. This being a coup de coeur from the beginning, it continues to be expanded and stretched in unpredictable directions, coating the already existing world with layers of complex mechanisms that bring characters to discover, understand, and utilize their powers in ways that reflect their own personas. And it is how author Brent Weeks assures an interconnected bond between mind, psyche, body, and will that makes his magic system unmatched and magnificent.

The Blood Mirror is an intimate character examination establishing each of the heroes’ plight amidst the brewing warfare within the Seven Satrapies.


EXHIBITA

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Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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25 comments

  • If Sanderson hadn’t dominated the fantasy scene with the metallurgy of his Mistborn books, I suspect that this luxin magic would simply be blowing everyone’s mind. Weeks has put a lot of thought into this magic system and along with you, I absolutely loved it.

    I am so glad you’ve liked these books. I was very uncertain how they would go down with you and while they’re not MY babies, I do admit of a certain personal fondness for them that goes beyond “I liked these books”. Which I think means I can say that you have a wicked treat in store for when you read the final book. It was good and built on these exactly as a good author should have.

    My only issue was with the sexual problem. But that goes along with just how viscerally Weeks writes about the body and I simply don’t like that kind of thing. No real problems just a preference to not read about blood, sexual and gross biological things…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tell me about it. I’ll probably introduce myself to that metallurgy magic system later in the year but man, any fantasy reader will probably find Week’s magic system so beautiful without any second thoughts!

      I’m glad to be able to share this love for Week’s Lightbringer series with ya. It deserves so much love and I can absolutely imagine an incredible cinematic universe created based on this but I hope, if they ever do it, that they don’t mess it up.

      Hahahah I understand. Something tells me he won’t go as much in detail as he did here in the final book. This one really felt like he just wanted to include a heavier romance angle to his series and prove the world that he could do it… 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  • Insightful review, as always, Lashaan! 😀

    I’ve only read the first installment and enjoyed it very much indeed. My only problem with it was the length- I had a bit of a luxin sickness by the end, or a reading fatigue 😜 and it seems that all installments are similarly long. I’ll be getting around to read the second book over the next few months, but not before I finally write a review of the first! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I absolutely understand with the lengths hahah It’s why I gave up on the idea of reading them one after the other. It would’ve drained my soul way too quickly for my taste. 😛 Thanks for the kind words, Ola. I appreciate it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • What’s with you and this constant onslaught of highly rated Lightbringer books?!?! It’s as if you’re mocking me for not having started the series yet. Have you no shame? 🙂 On a serious note, though, I love seeing how much you’ve enjoyed this series. I keep pushing it higher up my list of books to read and hope to start the series in the next month or two. And I’m really looking forward to it. Thanks much for another great review, Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahaahah a subliminal message for a certain man named Todd to pick up The Black Prism? 😉 Maybe I’ll even get around to reading the final book and REALLY put you to shame in your progression within one of the greatest fantasy series I’ve ever read. 😀 Thanks for the kind words, sir. I appreciate it a lot!

      Like

  • I must confess that I’ve not read a Brent Weeks book, but I am intrigued, especially by the magic system he’s developed over the course of the series. I love that the book delves into the psyche of his characters and give us an intimate insight into their lives, it makes me all the more curious to learn more. I’ll have add this series to be tbr. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well Lashaan I think it’s the first time ever that I have read a review about a fantasy book talking about vaginism! And when you mentio humor and sexuality, that’s so not what I expected based on the cover. Yes yes I know: never judge ….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahaah well, Sophie, the entire book isn’t about it, and since you’ve seen my reviews of the previous books, you know it’s much more than that! 😉 I felt like the author wanted to show his skills in writing more “sexual” content within a fantasy world and he achieved it, somewhat. 😛

      Like

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