Finally, I get to bring you a review of The Black Prism by Brent Weeks!
Life has been conspiring against me lately, it seems. Firstly I didn’t get around to reading this in October as originally planned. I then made this the last book on my list for November, so it just feels like it has taken FOREVER and a day to get around to.
Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.
When Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.
As I am sure I have already mentioned when reviewing other fantasy books (particularly works by Brandon Sanderson), I love it when “magic” is integrated into a story in such a way that it has some kind of physical element. For example, in the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, the superhuman abilities such as being able to “fly” or have enhanced vision are obtained by ingesting and burning metals; they “fly” by pulling or pushing on other objects in their environment. Brent Weeks has used a similar idea of grounding his magic into reality by dependency on light. Personally, I think I like this aspect as it creates moments of weakness and if planned well, this conflict can really add to the plot.
Kip is devastated when his hometown ends up embroiled in war. To make an example to other rebel towns, the town is destroyed by the newly anointed King Garadul of Tyrea. Kip barely escapes with his life, but it is not just the burning of his home that turns his world upside down. Kip is a drafter, and when he makes a last stand against the King’s men he is saved by his father, the most powerful man in the world. Kip is dragged into his new life as the Prism’s… ahem… “nephew” and he begins to learn how to channel his abilities in a world rapidly descending into war once again.
I think the book had the right amount of action to keep things moving forward at an appropriate pace. If anything, the narrative around points in which battles are fought is drawn out longer than the rest of the book, but given that the conflict is a major part of the story, this is understandable. It is here that a lot of the magic is used so ample description of how it works is required. Given that each colour has it’s own properties/abilities, this does need explaining.
Kip is a young man… a teenager really. He is the son of a single mother with a drug addiction, physically unfit and has spent the majority of his life being taken advantage of. In theory, this should have made him a likeable character for me; he is far from perfect and frankly has low self-esteem… I’ve been there. There was just something missing with Kip for me. It isn’t that disliked him… I just didn’t like him either. I can’t say I felt attached to any of the characters in this book, if I’m honest, and I think this is where I feel somewhat let down.
The plot and concept of magic are interesting and whilst I can talk about what I like about these, as a whole, I can’t say I really enjoyed the book. It was readable but lacked the necessary spark. I may pick up the next book at some stage if I’m bored… but I won’t be gutted if I don’t finish the series either. It’s rare that I finish a book and find myself sat on the fence… which is where I find myself now.
I by far prefer the NightAngel series, which I read years ago now.
Apologies this is so short and sweet, but I am having a hard time writing about something in which I have very little feeling towards. I’m frustrated if anything that I didn’t love it having waited so long to read it… but never mind. We can’t like everything.
Have you read any books by Brent Weeks? Do you agree with any of the points I’ve made? Do you disagree?
Roll the Dice was published on November 28th, so I think I can speak for all book bloggers in congratulating Wayne for all his hard work. You can breathe a sigh of relief because it has all paid off!
Just how hard is it to get that first draft manuscript into a published novel? I was given the opportunity to ask the author about his experience…
“Both processes: writing a novel and retaining a publisher were time-consuming, circuitous, thrilling roller-coaster rides with uncertain twists and turns. I landed on terra firma and delighted to share the emotions of those rides. I overcame the obstacles and now revel in the ultimate victory for an aspiring author—my novel Roll the Dice will be published November 28 by Fiery Seas Publishing.
My novel’s main protagonist is Tyler Sloan, a rock star who exits the stage to campaign for the United States Senate. Sloan has a complicated and difficult relationship with his father Mike, who was a nationally famous politician. The novel has plot lines with intrigue, corruption and sexual tension between Sloan and his young, attractive media advisor Bree Baker. A quick plug—the novel is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and in selected bookstores.
The first novels I remember reading were Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. I love that genre, but the “write what you know” cliché is accurate. I have no knowledge of that world; or the nuances of crimes and police work that Michael Connelly skillfully explores in many of his novels. I do not hold the passion to create a fictional world such as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.
I have been an attorney for more than two decades and volunteered in my first political campaign when I was 17. Before I graduated college, I was the campaign manager for a successful Los Angeles City Council campaign. I managed another victorious campaign and served on the staffs of those two Council members, including as Chief of Staff. I later served on two government commissions and in other roles in politics and government.
As an attorney, I draft legal documents, but needed guidance to write fiction. It is not a skill set taught in law school. I attended UCLA Extension courses on fiction writing. I would encourage any aspiring author to attend classes, review online material, read books or view YouTube videos of a host of tutors, my choice is best-selling author Michael Levin, who skillfully explains the writing process.
The most important recommendation is to simply keep writing. The goal is to write daily. Just keep going. I jotted down notes of interesting phrases, observations, and people I met. Exaggerate, combine, twist, mold and mangle these qualities for your novel.
Writing the book consumed years of my life. I never suffered from “writer’s block,” but my legal practice is a time-consumptive occupation. I rewrote Roll the Dice many times; it was an illusion when I thought the work was completed.
When I thought the novel was completed, I entered the manuscript in online book contests. I survived the initial cuts in Amazon’s CreateSpace contest, but did not proceed as far as I hoped. With my confidence muted, I did some research.
I went online and to the bookstore to acquire ideas on fine-tuning a novel. I rewrote it, tightened it, reduced a character or two, combined or eliminated scenes and once again, thought I was ready. The novel was completed. It was done.
My first real success was when the manuscript was named one of the year’s best unpublished manuscripts in a Kirkus Reviews contest. The novel was completed. Now it was done.
I had a fortuitous meeting with a friend, a former executive at two major studios. I described the plot and main characters and asked for his input. He suggested one substantial change; that the deceased father of my protagonist Tyler Sloan be alive and become a major character. This one change added significant conflicts throughout the book. I rewrote it again. Once again, I was now certain the novel was done.
I sought out a literary agent. Cue the drumroll— the Rejection Process began. I reminded myself that the best-selling authors of our time were rejected. John Grisham was rejected by 16 publishers and J.K. Rowling nearly matched it with 15 rejections. The Beatles were rejected numerous times. One Decca Records executive passed, and informed their manager Brian Epstein, that “guitar groups are on their way out.” Good call.
I only needed one agent and braced myself for the expected deluge of rejections. I was not disappointed. One rejection was humorous. An agent took some time to write on my query letter which was on my legal stationary, that he would, “never represent an attorney as an author.” No profanity, but his comments were laced with insults as to the honesty of my profession. That agent was likely to be pleased to reject: Grisham, David Baldacci, Scott Turow, Meg Gardiner, Linda Fairstein and countless other attorney-authors. You have to smile.
More than one agent expressed an interest and I retained New York-based, Linda Langton of the Langton Literary Agency. Linda is perfect; supportive, smart and patient. I was once again certain the novel was complete.
Linda was pleased, but believed the manuscript needed an editor to be commercially viable. After the editor’s comments, I once again rewrote Roll the Dice. One bit of advice to all aspiring authors; accept the input of a skilled professional. I gladly accepted Linda’s advice and the editor greatly enhanced the manuscript. With her guidance, the manuscript was transformed into a finished work. The novel was now ready to be published.
I was very fortunate to have a skilled literary agent who located Fiery Seas Publishing to publish my first novel. I have enjoyed a varied career in politics and law; however, the satisfaction of a publisher believing in my work ranks among my most satisfying career achievements.
I admit that even holding the book in my hand, there are times when I would revise certain sentences or phrases. However, the novel is now complete.”
About the Author:
Wayne Avrashow was the campaign manager for two successful Los Angeles City Council campaigns and a Deputy/Chief of Staff to those two elected City Council members. He served as a senior advisor for a successful city-wide referendum in the City of Los Angeles, co-authored ballot arguments on Los Angeles County-wide measures, served as Chairman for a Los Angeles County ballot measure, and was a Los Angeles government Commissioner for nearly twenty years. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Yaroslavsky Institute, a public policy institute founded by long time Southern California elected official, and now UCLA professor, Zev Yaroslavsky.
His background in politics, government, business, and law provides unique insight into the machinations and characters that populate political campaigns.
Wayne is a practicing attorney who specializes in government advocacy, real estate, and business law. Formerly, he was an officer in two real estate development firms. As a lawyer-lobbyist, he has represented clients before numerous California municipalities and in Nevada and Idaho. He has lectured at his law school and taught at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. He has also authored numerous op-ed articles that appeared in daily newspapers, legal, business, and real estate publications. In addition, he is the author of a self-published book for the legal community, Success at Mediation—10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys.
This week has been a little bit slow on the reading front, as I have had a few other things to catch up with. To that effect, I didn’t get my November Reading List finished. I shouldn’t forget that reading six books constitutes my upper limit in any one month… plus I went away Christmas shopping for a few days. I think I am too hard on myself sometimes.
Over the past couple of days, I have had the creative bug so I’ve been using the time to work on setting up a bullet journal for next year. There are so many different examples out there that it is hard not to get inspired. I’ve set up the key, index page, plus I’ll have a couple of spreads to record the books I am reading (2018-2019), as well as a spread for blog milestones and for any writing competitions I enter. Next, I have completed a cover page for 2018 with a place to write my goals for the year, and my current WIP is a cover sheet for January.
If anyone has any recommendations for me for things to include in my journal, please leave a comment for me! I’d love to know how your journal works for you.
Also, further to publishing my Reading List on Friday, I have now added an additional book. I applied to review a book as part of a Blog Tour, courtesy of Fiery Seas Publishing. As a result, I have added Triple Cross Killer to the list of books to read this month!
I finally managed to finish The Black Prism by Brent Weeks last night! *victory cheer*
It feels like it has taken forever but I finally got there! I’ll be taking the time to review this next week so I hope you can check that out!
I have also made a very small start on Remember For Me by Diana Tarant Schmidt; by that, I literally mean a few pages… but a start is a start!
When I saw Too Like the Lightning come up on one of my daily emails from Bookbub, I knew the name was familiar. When I looked into it, I realised that it was a book I had requested to read via Netgalley and was declined for! I’ve not let that put me off though – the book does sound good! All the better for being able to get a copy of it at a discounted price!
Living on A Rainbow is a book that explores the impact of mental health and that is something I think we could all benefit from educating ourselves a little more about. The author approached me about it and having read the sample on Amazon, I knew this was something I was going to enjoy.
Kings of the Wyld is a book that I came across in discussion with H.P in relation to my Reading List: December 2017 blog post. He advised that this was a book he was going to try and read by the end of the year. Whilst there is no chance I am also going to achieve that, it is something I am adding to the list for future reading!
So next week I am taking part in another blog tour, so look out for that post on Tuesday!
On Friday, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on The Black Prism by Brent Weeks, including what I think of this different style of magic system.
On Sunday I’ll wrap up the week as usual!
Guys… I hate to break it to you, but IT’S DECEMBER!!! How did that happen so fast?!
This year seems to have gone quickly for me – well, the second half at least. This year didn’t get off to the best of starts. On the plus side, it was the foundation of finding a hobby in blogging so I cannot complain too much! You have to take every positive you can get!
Never have I managed to read so many books in one year, and I’m proud I’ve stuck to my challenge. I have five books left to finish my 60 book challenge (after finishing The Black Prism, it’ll be four), and I’m confident I can do it!
I was hoping to be a little closer to my target. I have ended November still reading The Black Prism by Brent Weeks and I am yet to touch F.ormerly by Dane Cobain, which is the last book on November’s list. I’ve had a bit of a slow month I guess, which isn’t a problem… but I’ll be carrying this book forward as a result.
Clara Eros thought her life was ending with Alzheimer’s. She was mistaken. A war between good and evil has raged for as long as humanity has existed, and the balance of power between its forces has always remained equal. But that longstanding balance has begun to shift, and the survival of mankind may be at risk. What is the source of this duality, and how do the proponents of light and darkness use humans to further their cause? When Clara Eros awakens with no memory, her questions are fundamental: who is she; and why is she here? The answer she receives is predetermined and singular: she has been recruited to fight a battle against the reign of darkness. But is Clara just a pawn in a much larger game? Once her transformation is complete, Clara finds herself, in body and mind, as a younger, stronger version of the person she can no longer remember, and now she must search for the common thread hidden within malevolence and turn the tide in a war where humanity is succumbing to chaos and brutality. Will she be strong enough to bring humanity back into the light?
I was grateful to be approached by Diana with a request to read this book. Whilst having an element of fiction, it touches on a sensitive topic of Alzheimer’s, but I’m glad it is being brought to the forefront of discussion. I am looking forward to seeing how the theme is portrayed, and who knows, maybe I’ll get an idea of what my gran experienced in the last few years of her life.
Jewel Harper, a junior specialist in a successful bounty-hunter group, returns from a routine mission only to find a new contract already prepared – a private contract to rescue a brother she didn’t know she had. The mission takes Jewel to a few different homeworlds — and into some trouble. She will learn that pretty much everybody knows more about her family than she does.
This is a stand-alone story set in the ChaosNova universe. Humans have spread to new homeworlds in a “goldilocks cluster” somewhere in the Galaxy, where the many homeworlds harbour several dominant civilizations as well as various local cultures, ancient and new. This story-verse, borne of forum-based roleplay and collaboration between several authors, holds many more characters and adventures, with varying degrees of connection to the central arc. Some of those stories are being written now, many are yet to be told.
I was excited to be approached with a request to read this book, too. I love the concept of how the ChaosNova universe was created and how it is written collaboratively – it is what makes it unique. It has also been some time since I have picked up any books in the science fiction genre, so I am really looking forward to picking this up!
When Dan Roberts starts his new job at Former.ly, he has no idea what he’s getting into. The site deals in death – its users share their innermost thoughts, which are stored privately until they die. Then, their posts are shared with the world, often with unexpected consequences.
But something strange is going on, and the site’s two erratic founders share a dark secret. A secret that people are willing to kill for.
So I was supposed to read this last month and unfortunately didn’t get around to it. This is a book I have downloaded via Netgalley, and it drew my attention as it features a kind of modern technology that is potentially relevant to today’s society.
I have mixed feelings about social media. Obviously, when used correctly and safely it is a useful tool to keep in touch with friends and relatives. By very nature, bloggers use the Internet and social media in order to get books and their opinions out there. There are people that abuse this technology, sadly. I’ll outright admit that I am against the idea of social media use featured in the book. I’m curious to see if my feelings are justified or not.
Oct. 11th, 1943 – A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.
When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.
This just sounds like it is going to be fantastic – and whilst I don’t like to focus on this when I opt to read a book, I couldn’t help but notice that it has a high rating on Goodreads! Anyone who follows my blog will know I have a lot of interest in history and historical fiction, so this should be right up my street.
Sixteen-year-old Ada Lovelace is never more alive and sure of herself than when she’s hacking into a “secure” network as her alter ego, the Dark Angel. In the real world, Ada is broken, reeling from her best friend Simone’s recent suicide. But online, the reclusive daughter of Senator Lovelace (champion of the new Online Privacy Bill) is a daring white hat hacker and the only female member of the Orwellians, an elite group responsible for a string of high-profile hacks against major corporations, with a mission to protect the little guy. Ada is swiftly proving she’s a force to be reckoned with, when a fellow Orwellian betrays her to the FBI. To protect her father’s career, Ada is sent to ReBoot, a technology rehab facility for teens…the same rehab Simone attended right before killing herself.
It’s bad enough that the ReBoot facility is creepy in an Overlook-Hotel-meets-Winchester-Mansion way, but when Ada realizes Simone’s suicide is just one in an increasingly suspicious string of “accidental” deaths and “suicides” occurring just after kids leave ReBoot, Ada knows she can’t leave without figuring out what really happened to her best friend. The massive cyber conspiracy she uncovers will threaten everything she cares about–her dad’s career, her new relationship with a wry, handsome, reformed hacker who gets under her skin, and most of all–the version of herself Ada likes best–the Dark Angel.
With a deliciously twisty plot, the topical bite of Cory Doctorow’s LITTLE BROTHER, ReWired delves into technology addiction, internet privacy, and corporate/government collection of data, as it vividly illuminates the universally human questions about ethics, privacy, and self-definition that both underpin these socio-political issues and dovetail with classic coming-of-age themes. Ultimately, ReWired is about the daily choices we all make about who we want to be, how much of ourselves we choose to share with others, and the terrifying risks and exhilarating rewards of being ourselves, online and off.
Between reading this Seeker and F.ormerly this month, there is definitely a “technology” theme going on, but I think I’ll enjoy it! I tend to read more Fantasy than anything so it will make a refreshing change. As I have already voiced, I have a bit of mistrust on the use of social media (for privacy reasons) so I’m sure I’ll take something away from this read!
If I manage to read all these by the end of the month, it means I’ll have completed my reading challenge and I’ll have read one extra book too! I didn’t want to be too optimistic and try to read six because:-
That hasn’t worked the last two months
So, now my reading list is sorted… it’s time to panic about Christmas presents…
What book blogger wouldn’t proclaim themselves an avid reader?
If found without a book in hand, send for medical aid!
My name is Rebecca; welcome to my humble little blog.