Title: The Burning White.
Series: Lightbringer #5.
Writer(s): Brent Weeks.
Release Date: October 22nd, 2019.
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.
The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks.
It took me forever to finish this book. Was it the absence of an engrossing and ever-evolving universe? The lack of complex and morally gray characters to root for? The failure to develop a never-before-seen magic system that expands with the narrative? The omission of an overarching tale of faith, righteousness, and salvation? The inadequacy of capital revelations and plot twists when you least expect them? If there’s anything that Brent Weeks’ Lightbringer series does right, it’s all that and so much more. The reason why it took me forever is quite simple. I couldn’t grasp the idea that I held between my hands the beginning of the end of one of the greatest epic fantasy series of all time. Every time I tried to crack open this massive tome, I couldn’t read a word without reliving the unbelievable journey of all these characters over and over again. It’s only when I reconciled myself by the potential satisfaction that a beautiful ending could bring that I tackled this beast and come out with a euphoric sense of completion.
What is The Burning White about? Picking up where the story left off in The Blood Mirror, every key character is now on a mission that could change the rules of the game in a decisive fashion. Where the story kicked off with Gavin Guile as the man bound to change the world, with enough power and respect to seduce a populace as to his ability to fulfill prophecies, he now finds himself in a predicament like none other and is off to save the Seven Satrapies once and for all. With the end of magic no more than an ultimatum waiting to happen, the mystery behind the Lightbringer is the answer sought by all. In what is the war to end all, this final chapter brings an epic conclusion that will shock and awe as destiny plays out before us all.
“Some say, ‘Who you are is what you do.’ They’re wrong, but not all wrong. What you do forms who you are. Then who you are forms what you do. It’s a vicious cycle, or a virtuous one, depending. One act doesn’t undo all of who you are, but a thousand acts make you who you are. So it’s simple, though not easy: stop creating the wrong you.”
— Brent Weeks
It is difficult not to speak about the characters in this tale without raising to a standing ovation. The journey in itself would never have been the same if it weren’t for every single one of them. They are the vessel for the reader in this epic quest for truth and power. Whether it’s Gavin or Kip, they all showcase an unbelievable amount of growth by endeavouring through some of the most traumatizing experiences possible as they all continuously end up questioning themselves on their place in the world and their purpose in life. As per usual, their banter is hilarious and brings a heartwarming sense of familiarity in the presence of these characters. However, this tome pushes them into philosophizing far more than ever before as their decisions are critical to the faith of their loved ones and the rest of the world. Author Brent Week’s expertise in characterization also brings him to polish these characters with incredible attention to detail. They are never simply heroes or villains. They all bathe in a sea of morally-grey decision-making and forge their legacy through their actions rather than just beliefs.
While this tome continued to deliver in terms of plot progression, twists, and turns, it also focused heavily on theology and philosophy to offer these characters the chance to pave their own way towards condemnation or redemption. With incredible usage of foreshadowing, author Brent Weeks also successfully builds towards the ending he envisioned for this series and capitalizes on his mind-numbing magic system, mythology, and prophecies. Having been completely immersed in this universe, succumbed to the charm of these characters, and enamored with a desire to see how it would all come to an end, it was a pleasure to watch the author’s vision of this story unfold. The final act in itself is beyond anything I would’ve seen any author dare explore but offered a godly resolution that delivers on all fronts. It wasn’t just about finding out who the Lightbringer was but what its purpose is.
The Burning White is the embodiment of perfection disguised as an epic fantasy finale to the tremendous Lightbringer series.