The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks – A Book Review

Blinding Knife

Blurb:

GAVIN GUILE IS DYING.

He’d thought he had five years left – now he’s got less than one. With fifty thousand refugees, a bastard son and an ex-fiancée who may have learned his darkest secret, Gavin’s got problems on every side.

As he loses control, the world’s magic runs wild, threatening to destroy the Seven Satrapies. The old gods are being reborn and their army of colour wights is unstoppable.

The only salvation may be the brother whose freedom and life Gavin stole sixteen years ago.

Author: Brent Weeks

Publisher: Orbit

Series: The Lightbringer #2

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: 27/08/2013

Pages: 755 (707 of story. The rest is glossaries etc …)

My Chosen Format: Paperback

My Rating of ‘The Blinding Knife’: 2 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon, Audible

Review:

The Blinding Knife is one of those books that just makes me look at the average star rating and ask ‘How?’

Book one had it’s issues and book two seems to have noticed that and just decided that more = better. Even if it’s more issues supposedly.

I don’t have a great deal to say about this that will come off as glowing praise, so I’ll get what little I do have to say out now: I loved Commander Ironfist. He is an awesome character. I also feel there is a character pairing within the new set of Blackguards that will be pretty cool to watch and I look forward to see what (if anything) happens with those going forward. I also love the magic system. It’s detailed, unique and just a breath of fresh air as far as new styles of magic is concerned in the fantasy setting.

Now, on to the less glowing section of the review:

I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll just dive right in with the women. Brent Weeks does not know how to write women. That was kind of apparent in book one and nothing has changed since. Pretty much EVERY woman in this book is motivated by lust and some bedroom action. If they’re not having it with someone, they’re ogling people. Brent tries to make his women badass and independent, then in the next sentence will have them sound petty, lusty and overly reliant on men. There’s a great speech when describing this world’s version of the Amazonian women that gets that across perfectly. five percent ‘we are strong women’ followed by ‘but we’re super-weak, thank god for men’.

Then we have the men (who all act like teenage boys as soon as the merest hint of a breast enters the scene). They have the emotional depth of a teaspoon and seemingly no desire to better themselves from that low point. 

The plot is a bit all over the place as far as new developments are concerned (every time a new development is introduced, an old one, that has been heavily invested in, will just end with abruptness rather than any kind of pay-off). There are also frustrating time jumps that make zero sense to anyone (least of all an editor as they seem to have slipped right on by). One chapter ends with ‘character A’ going to someone’s house, going inside and getting ready to start a conversation. Next chapter has ‘Character B’ doing all sorts of cool stuff and ends with the line ‘days past, weeks past, months past.’ The next chapter picks up with ‘Character A’ starting that conversation he was getting ready to start two chapters ago. One can only assume he was just creepily waiting for an unseemly amount of time to get the ball rolling. Although, Character B was a guy, so he probably saw a breast and got distracted. For months.

There were other minor issues such as pointlessly offensive characters thrown in for two pages to get a bit of cheap heat working towards them, and slightly larger issues such as ‘oh, that makes sense’ being the response to a character explaining why deep-rooted and long-held beliefs don’t make sense (this happened more than once. One character even said, and I quote, ‘oh, that makes sense and stuff’).

A lot of this book just felt like lazy story-telling. I totally understand what it’s like to be telling a story and have an awesome idea that needs to happen in the future. But the currently ongoing plots need to be ironed out before those awesome ideas can make their way onto the playing field.

In The Blinding Knife, Weeks just felt a little too guilty of wanting to show us everything cool that he had under his hat, without getting the stage properly set first. I want to see where the story as a whole goes, and will move on with book three. I just hope the above issues are lessened rather than multiplied to the nth degree.

28 thoughts on “The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks – A Book Review

  1. I know exactly how you feel about the first two books, you have more knowledge on the writing and editing side of things so i can def see you problems with the things mentioned. All i can say is keep going, and that i can hope that you will end up enjoying it as much as i did.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. * long sigh *

    I am a huge fan of this series, so I have to be careful when replying to a negative review 😀
    I didn’t have the issues you had (or even Dave) so I’m not sure I can confidently say that it will get better for you in the next book. My gut reaction is that if you didn’t enjoy the first 2 that you won’t enjoy the rest. But, pointing to Dave again, things really turned around for him at some point. So it could happen for you.

    There’s always hope you’ll change your wrong opinions 😉 hehehehehe.

    Weeks put out a weekly/monthly video series when he was writing this series and in it he talks about trying to balance the chronology and what a chore it was. This is one of the reasons I am not a fan of multiple POV’s, the “when” things happened in relationship to everything else is messy.

    Anyway, good luck in deciding to push forward or abandon it. If you do push forward and still don’t like it, then I WILL confidently say Weeks just isn’t for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed book one and gave it a four star review (I think) I just wish the characters had any kind of direction about them. The ‘oh, that makes sense’ response to everything that effects their world view just makes me shake my head for getting invested.

      I’ll push on as, I really enjoy the magic system and am curious as to what happens next. But you may be right with things not being for me as regards to Weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m proud of you, making it through Book #2! Hell, I didn’t even make it through Book #1. Sorry you didn’t like it more, though. I’ve heard good things, they’re just not things that I’ve seen for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember making it to the chapter that started “Kip was an ass.” And realized I hated the tone of voice and Kip in general. Wasn’t a fan of the writing, either. Plus I had other stuff to read, so I stopped.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yup, I agree with all criticism. Strangely, I’m still inclined to try book #2 at some point, because the magic system and the plot were interesting. Kip is terrible, though, and I heard there’s more of him later on, so I’m on the fence about it – especially because it’s so freaking long 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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