The Blinding Knife is the second novel in Brent Weeks‘ The Lightbringer series.
Kip is training to be a Blackguard, while Gavin, the Prism, and Karris are away to make sure the refugees have somewhere to live. But Kip’s grandfather, Andross Guile, has his eye on Kip and is making Kip and his friends’ lives miserable. Gavin tries to rally his people for the war against the Colour Prince, but omits that he has also lost the ability to lose the colour green aside from his previously lost blue. And the Colour Prince isn’t playing around.
Man, this novel really doesn’t pull any punches. Maybe it’s because Brent no longer has to explain chromaturgy and luxin in as detailed a manner as in the first, but there’s more use of colours, more battle and more strife. The Colour Prince’s identity is revealed, as is his accomplice (which is really surprising) and you get a bit more insight into the story between Gavin, Dazen and Karris.
Kip is still a bit whiny at times, but that’s just how he is and how he’ll probably always be, but he’s manning up. And he’s making friends, after losing his only one in the previous book. We see Kip grow – and regress at times – and we cheer for his success. We see Gavin struggle and we cheer for his success and that he may find some rest. We see Liv being wooed and we hate her. Okay, that might be a bit much, but she really turns into someone I don’t like and I liked her in the first book, before she turned her back on Kip.
Kip in my mind is my second favourite character, just behind Gavin Guile, and he’s earned it plenty in this new book. He’s shown remarkable strength of mind and character while still retaining his inferiority complex and his vulnerability. But he works hard to better himself and he shows care for his peers and his betters. The hopelessness he feels about being a bastard and being hated by his grandfather, to his relief that his friends are okay and his stubbornness about getting into the Blackguard all make Kip so very….Kip. He’s likeable, although he at times makes mistakes – some times huge mistakes – and you feel for him.
Gavin is the charmer, the man who rules the world that is about to crumble because of the war. The secrets he harbours are many, and his back is up against the wall when he starts losing his colours. Will he be able to save his people and stop the Colour Prince from upending the world? And will he be able to live to see his work completed?
Weeks does well in introducing new characters, and enriching the world that he’s created. He also gives more ‘screen time’ to characters who didn’t have a big role to begin with. I was never bored when reading this book, only annoyed sometimes, but that was whenever we went back to Liv. She’s just…..I can’t even express my dislike in a suitable manner.
The end of this book came quite abruptly and I must say it caused a lot of frustration because I so didn’t want it to end there. Not like that. Not at that moment. But I guess that’s Weeks’ strategy: make sure your readers are hooked, give them a whiff of doom and dread and then make them wait eagerly for the next book. Well, it worked. And the title will make sense near the end of the novel, which ends on very sad and hopeless notes. I just can’t wait for The Broken Eye!