The Burning White by Brent Weeks

details
Title: The Burning White.
Series: Lightbringer #5.
Writer(s): Brent Weeks.
Publisher: Orbit.
Format: Hardcover.
Release Date: October 22nd, 2019.
Pages: 992.
Genre(s): Fantasy.
ISBN13:  9780316251303.
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.

thoughts

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.


EXHIBITA
2
Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for this copy!

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31 comments

  • Soo… did you like it?? 😉
    A very enthusiastic review, Lashaan, which reminds me that I still haven’t read beyond book 1! 😀 I’m very happy to have you confirm that the whole series keeps its high standards throughout – your thoughts echo Bookstooge’s on the topic, and I guess I have no other choice but to order the second book 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  • Glad you enjoyed this so much. It’s been quite interesting to see you go through this series at a relatively quick pace (as opposed to as each book came out) and I must admit that it has primed the pumps for my re-read whenever that happens in the future.

    While Weeks’ theology is pretty explicitly Christian, I wondered if it was noticeable as such to people who don’t pay that much attention to such things. Would they just consider it world building and not realize the foundations it was actually built on?

    For whatever Weeks writes next, for my own selfish reasons I hope he keeps it to a trilogy. With an average of 2 years between books, a longer series will kill me to wait that long until it’s finished. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am already super excited to go through this again in the future. It was such a fantastic series that always had something amazing to offer as you progressed through it.

      I wonder as well how people perceive the religious foundation on which it seems to be built. I’ve noticed people despise the ending too simply because it was too easy for them but it just seemed like the right direction for what was built up in this series.

      I am completely with you. Now that I’ve finished the Lightbringer series, anything else by him would instantly be on my radar but if they aren’t released an acceptable interval, it’s going to be painful! No wonder you prefer waiting for the whole series for certain authors before diving into them hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just went and checked and I read the Black Prism back in ’10. So while I just finished The Burning White in ’19, it really does seem that it is almost time to add this series to my tbr. Aye yi yi, where does the time go!?!?

        I think the “easy” ending definitely falls under the purview of the theology of the series. God isn’t as hands off as everyone seems to think, and that definitely follows the tenets of Christianity 🙂

        The only problem I have with waiting is knowing that I’m not currently supporting the author. Sure, they get a bigger boost all at once from me, but I wonder about the time betweens…

        Liked by 1 person

  • Since I’ve had the first book of this series gathering virtual dust (it’s an ebook…) on my equally virtual shelf for quite some time now, and since I’ve come to trust your enthusiastic reviews, I know it’s time for me to pick that book up and finally start reading 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  • O..M..G…HOW ON EARTH DID YOU FINISH 992 PAGES! THIS IS LITERALLY A TOME! And it looks like you truly enjoyed the ride. Brilliant review, Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

  • This isn’t the first time, and likely won’t be the last, that I apologize to you for quickly glossing over your review, just skimming enough to get the gist of it. I didn’t want to learn anything about the series I don’t already know so I can discover it as I continue reading. But I’m very happy to see it continued to satisfy all the way to the end. Though a bit different, I understand some of what kept you from finishing faster (beyond the door stopper size of the thing!). I grew up loving stories of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Fritz Leiber. And so one year I bought the entire series of books and slowly began reading. But it would sometimes be years between books because I didn’t like the idea of there no longer being one of these stories to look forward to. Then I had a real epiphany. Wouldn’t it be even worse to die before getting the chance to enjoy them all? Since then I’ve been slowly reading through the series, granted still slowly, but not nearly as slowly, and hoping as you did that they continue to satisfy. And now I can confidently add to my list finishing this series, knowing it doesn’t let up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha no problem at all! I appreciate that you still took the time to check this review out and to share your thoughts on it nonetheless! I do hope that your time with this series will be as fruitful as mine. I was a fan by what was built from the start and just couldn’t wait to follow these characters in their respective journeys full of growth, tragedies, and revelations! 😀
      Hey, I actually never heard of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. I just looked it up and it sounds like a lot of fun. 😮 There’s even a comic book adaptation of it with Mike Mignola as the illustrator on it! 😮 I’ll have to look into it too now that you seem to love that one as much as I love this Lightbringer series! 😀

      Like

  • Great review Lashaan! Actually so great that I really want to read this series of books, and especially that I finally created a list of “recommendations” for books/movies/series/etc to check out next time I go to a library! 😀 Such an easy thing to do but you know procrastination… (I think? 😂) So now these books are on the first line of my list, how exciting is that? 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hell yes!!!! I’m glad to hear Notion has got you organized! 😉 I really hope you have an amazing time with this series and that the first book and the whole magic system will have you drooling for me. 😀 I’m definitely excited to see what you’ll think of this series once you get around to it! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  • Wow! Your absolute love of this makes me think I should finally try a Brent Weeks series. Every time I finish a book and look for something new I forget about him until I’ve started something. I’ll be sure to choose Weeks next time I’m on the hunt for a good new fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Woow amazing review, Lashaan!! 😍 I already knew I wanted to start this series and seeing that you liked the last book so much, convinces me even more! 🥰 I love and hate the feeling of knowing you’re going to finish a book or a series you’ve liked a lot, I had the same feeling with Lotr, be prepared 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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