“By what right do I bend men to my will? Or is there no right, only ability?”
Okay… there’s a lot for me to process here. First, I gave The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks a 3 star on Goodreads. It’s really a 3.5 star to me. And I debated between rounding up to a 4 or keeping it at that 3 rating. Here’s the thing: I LOVE this storyline. I love the world that Brett Weeks built. I love the magic system. I love the spectrum of colors and how each character represent and relate to the colors that they can draft.
So why the 3.5 star? I mean, you see a star in the 3 range and you think it’s a book you could take or leave. Make no mistake, I WILL be finishing this series because I am invested in what happens to these characters… but dear lord, maybe it was because Weeks was shut away writing for months/years on end but I think this man needed to get LAID. Every single time a female character walked in for the first 3/4s of the book, attention was drawn to her breasts, her curves, her butt. I can take a certain amount of attention to the human form, it is natural. But there doesn’t need to be comments every time a female character is around. Why does there need to be mention of Gavin and Kip studiously avoiding looking at cleavage? I get that this is supposed to enhance their “good guy” image, because they refrain, but then… just don’t mention it?? You’re still putting those thoughts out there, you’re just doing an “oh look at me, I’m a nice guy because I’m not taking advantage or sexually harassing you” thing. Yes, there’s a few mentions of women looking at the men. But maybe one mention for every five that a male character makes. And like I said, a remark or thought here or there would not bother me. I can only hope that for the remaining books, Brent Weeks’ wife or publisher or SOMEONE was like “Hey, dude. Tone it down a bit.” Do I think that Brent Weeks is a bad dude? Probably not. Do I think maybe he didn’t realize how sexist some of this comes across as? Yes. I know that in recent years, we have made leaps and bounds in helping generally good people identifying potentially toxic behavior, so I’m giving him a small pass.
The whole bed slave thing is so cringe, too. I’m not gonna totally crucify the dude for it because whatever, it’s a fantasy world. Slavery has existed and still exists in certain areas of the world, and people are always gonna crave power over other people. There’s also characters that realize slavery is wrong and are working towards freeing people from it. But coupled with the constant sexual chatter, it’s not a great look.
Now that my ranting about THAT subject matter is over, here’s what I love. Despite all of what I said earlier, in every other regard, Brent Weeks is an amazing writer. He has built a world rich with possibilities. The good vs evil dynamic is amazing because it is so complex. Who IS the good in this? On one hand, you have dGavin and Kip’s side: people who train and follow guidelines to ensure a safe environment, a democratic government with people from all colors who make decisions. They also have slaves, kill people when they become color wights, and train people to be obedient to their ideals. Then you have The Color Prince/Liv’s side: encouragement to practice and hone your power, belief that you do not need to die when you become a color wight, but embrace it. You are pushed to be proud of yourself and your own “pleasure” instead of being embarrassed by it. You also have a destructive leader who makes decisions for all and used brutal force to do so. Which is right? Neither… both. That’s the duality to humanity. It’s usually not wholly one or the other. We see it in every day life: in politics, at work, at home. Well-meaning intentions go awry. Brent Weeks does a fabulous job with this plot line.
“They made it so that we can’t change it from within. They made it so we must kill to break it. If we be monsters, we’re monsters made in their image.“
Liv annoys many people, and I can say she annoyed me too. ONLY because I don’t know how you turn on your family and friends so quickly. I completely understand why she is enticed by The Color Prince’s ideals and the power. But she goes into war knowing that her father and friends could be a casualty of her actions and is like, oh well.
“Do you know what you can do to an enemy but not to a friend? Stab her in the back.”
I’m curious to see where Kip and dGavin’s storyline goes. I’ve always thought that dGavin treated Kip very well for him not being his rightful son, but to hear him admit that he doesn’t love Kip as his own son was very human and honest of him. Anyone who has a kid knows it a different kind of love. But… people adopt. They form bonds. Deep love grows, it isn’t commanded. I hope that they get there one day. I love the growth from both characters, too. Kip is building his own family within his friends. He’s gaining acceptance because people like him for him, and not just because of dGavin. He’s proud, stands up for himself, and TRIES. Constantly. He may not be the best, but he’s got heart. dGavin has finally stopped being a love wimp and lets Karris (almost) wholly into his life. He’s in the midst of losing his shit but he’s also making progress at the same time.
“They were deeply in love. Smitten. At their age. Sad.”
^made me laugh out loud when dGavin thinks this about two of his friends, such irony.
Lastly… I’m just gonna say, my heart bursts for Ironfist. He’s the best, the purest soul. (Here’s to hoping all you people out there who’ve read through aren’t sitting there like, HAHA IRONFIST KILLS A WHOLE VILLAGE OF DEFENSELESS PUPPIES, YOU SWEET SUMMER CHILD)
I’m not going to go into much more detail even though I’d love to comment on aspects of the last quarter of the book, but there’s just so much potential with how it ended. Where is this gonna go?? Kip and his newfound… friend. dGavin’s current… position. What’s Karris gonna do? Is Liv ever gonna stop being someone else’s puppet and think fully for herself? Is Andross ever going to be a decent human?? (Probably not)
Until next time!