“This world has only two kinds of people: villains and smiling villains.”

Phew! Okay, admittedly, The Broken Eye took me a while to finish. Got distracted by tv binges and then had to reacquaint myself with what I had already listened to. About a halfway through, it started zooming for me and I turned that narration speed up because I was eager to finish it.

First off, if you’ve read my reviews for the previous installments, you’ll know that I love the world-building and the plot. You’ll also know that I started to get irked by the focus on female bodies. It was distracting me from how good the story was. Well, maybe Brent Weeks grew up or his wife or publisher put a leash on him, but that’s almost completely erased from this book. I can handle a bit of focus on the human form, it’s natural, and PORTRAYED a lot more naturally in this one. I’m open to people learning from their mistakes and refocusing their internal narrative away from the way we’ve been conditioned to think/act.

One of my favorite things in The Broken Eye is actually the domination of powerful women. Karris Whiteoak isn’t the maiden in distress, she’s actually on a mission to save dGavin from HIS doom. She’s handling restraining from drafting remarkably well. She’s guiding multiple teens into their power. I was cheering for her by the end of the story. She’s always been a woman to be reckoned with, being in the Black Guard, but she’s a whole new level of power now. The *twist* at the end, wasn’t so surprising, though. I was like DUH, Karris.

Tisis even becomes a player in the game beyond

just being a pretty face. She has motives and she’s actually surprisingly sweet underneath the coy facade she’s put up. I’m excited to see where she goes in this story, good or bad.

Teia starts really coming into her power, too. She’s being tested from all angles and she still manages loyalty to Kip. Their friendship and feelings for each other is such a heartwarming plot line. She is so young and so uniquely powerful, and she takes all the wacky —and at times, heartbreaking— plans that Kip brings forth with such grace.

“Don’t judge a man by what he says his ideals are, judge him by what he does. Look at what the Color Prince has done. They’re wrong, Teia. They’re liars and murderers. It doesn’t mean everything we do is right. It doesn’t mean our house doesn’t need a thorough cleaning. I just don’t think we need to burn it to the ground to do it.”

Honestly, the only woman in this that makes me cringe is Liv. I know it’s partly because she is on the opposing team but I just don’t understand how she can actively fight against her father and is just like… dumbfounded when her father expresses disappointment or counsel against the way of thinking that she’s adopted. But she’s powerful and can be a gamechanger in this series, I’ve just kinda stopped caring about her storyline at this point.

Minor spoiler coming up (don’t read the next paragraph if you’re worried). One thing that threw me off in the beginning was dGavin’s capture. I wanted him to come back avenging halfway throughout the book. The more I reflected, the more I was okay with where he ended up. Do I still want him to come back and avenge the heck outta himself? Yes!!! I’m okay with it being played out though. This book was about humanizing dGavin, humility, and really showing that he IS a good person. I think that we are supposed to have our doubts because of all that he has done in the past but… I’m not convinced. dGavin is a beloved prism for a reason. He has a lot of good in him. And I’m just saying, I woulda been totally okay with him drafting black luxin and obliterating the HECK outta people when they were in the midst of torturing him. He didn’t though. He chose not to. That’s pretty freaking stand up. I can’t say I’d have the same grace in that situation.

KIP. He’s really making progress and I’m so proud. Instead of Kip the Lip, he’s really thinking. He’s working hard even though his original intentions are going awry. He is EMBRACING being a Guile. He’s done apologizing for it or feeling meek or resenting the privilege he is getting from it. Own it. He’s powerful. He’s kind. He grew up in a crappy environment and is now meant to change the world in some shape or form. He is such an earnest character that the deceit really affects him but he pushes through for the true greater good.

“I am of you,” said Kip.”I am Guile as much as you are. True, I have a scrap of decency, but only a scrap. How do you think you can treat a Guile with such disregard and get away with it? Because I am you. I’m as cold as you, I’m as smart as you, and when you push me, I’m as evil and cruel as you. I have a thin film of goodness floating on the top of my Guile, grandfather, but I don’t know how senile you must be to miss just how thin it is.”

Andross… still a brilliant bastard. These webs are getting so delightfully tangled and it’s making my anxiety skyrocket. He’s playing all the right keys and getting away with it all.

Except…………….. that ending. That gosh darn glorious ending. That’s all I’m gonna say. Excuse me, I need to start the next one.

”This is what it is to grow up. It is to live beyond the blind rush of passion, or hate, or green luxin, or battle juice. It is to see what must be done, and to do it, without feeling a great desire or a great hatred or a great love. It is to confront fear, naked. No armor of bombast or machismo. Just duty, and love for one’s fellows. Not love felt, not the love that compelled action without thought, but love chosen deliberately. I am the best person to do this thing, it said, though I may die doing it.“