Review: The Blood Mirror
As with previous posts about Brent Weeks’ Lightbringer series, I’m going to tell you again that you can’t start in the middle of the series without being lost, nor would you want to, it’s a great series, go to book one and start there…yadda yadda yadda. Or else here be spoilers.
Ok, now that’s out of the way. Let’s get to the good stuff.
I don’t know how Weeks consistently ratchets up the tension, weirdness, and worldbuilding with each novel, but here we are at book number four, THE BLOOD MIRROR, and you shouldn’t be surprised by this point that it’s yet another big book of epic fantasy goodness.
A lot has happened in the first three books, so fortunately there’s a refresher prologue to help get us in the right frame of mind so Weeks can launch us into the story from page one (there’s also an extensive glossary for reference). If you recall the final, explosive events in THE BROKEN EYE, you’ll remember that Kip is married and the Mighty leave the Chromeria, Karris has become The White, Teia has joined an assassin’s guild, and Gavin is imprisoned by his own father. And you’re left wondering: what in the heck will happen next?
The answer: All sorts of awesome stuff.
Let’s start with Gavin and the horrible situation in which he finds himself. I admit that in the first book when he had imprisoned his brother only to kill him, the entire storyline seemed superfluous. Here we are finally see the purpose of what at first seemed pointless. Everything you read in a Weeks book always has a purpose. His entire storyline in THE BLOOD MIRROR is twisty, enlightening, and often troubling–we have yet to see all the ramifications.
Karris must step into her new role as The White, and faces it with humility and strength. She’s easy to empathize with, but also admire at the same time as she has to deal with all the horrible things falling apart around her. Father-in-law Andross Guile may not be a PoV character, but he’s a huge influence to the story and affects every PoV character.
It was fun to watch Kip come into his own as he and the Mighty, along with new bride Tisis. They want to make different in the war against the Color Prince, so they go to Tisis’ home country to the front lines. Despite Kip having fought an immortal, killed a king, killed a god, and escaped the Chromeria, he finds his biggest challenge yet: an arranged marriage. His wife if beautiful, smart, and admires him, but there are problems in the bedroom, namely something unexplainable with Tisis’ physiology. This issue isn’t something I’ve seen addressed in a book before, and it’s fascinating to see how Kip and Tisis navigate their fledgling marriage having to deal with such a potential relationship-ruining obstacle (not to mention Kip’s feelings for Teia). Seeing them work together, and watching Kip learn more about himself and grow into a man is a gratifying culmination of everything he’s learned in the series.
Liv continues to chafe at the Color Princes’s rule and is on her way to become a god, herself.
And Teia. Poor Teia. Who stays behind while Kip leaves with his new bride. And who must navigate the horror of life as a double-agent between the Chromeria and the assassin’s guild. Like Kip, Teia comes into her own, but in a way that we worry for her life.
Weeks only gets better with time. His characterization grows ever deeper. His settings more fully realized. The magic more strange and creative. The pitfall with THE BLOOD MIRROR, however, is that it’s a transitional book. We know there will be one more book and he spends the this entire book setting up the characters in preparation for the final push in the war between the Chromeria and the Color Prince–and of those enemies in the shadows. But I don’t mind because everything Weeks writes has a purpose.
- Recommended Age: 16+
- Language: A scattering of the harsher, but not excessive
- Violence: Yes, some detailed death scenes and battles
- Sex: Yes, with details