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Publisher's Summary

This fantastic new recording was released in September 2016 and comes from the acclaimed narrator of The Lightbringer series Simon Vance.

The start of a brand new trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of The Way of Shadows.

Gavin 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. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals.

But 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.

©2010 Brent Weeks (P)2016 Little Brown Book Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    93
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    57
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    19
  • 2 Stars
    6
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    2

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    80
  • 4 Stars
    45
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    11
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    10
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    10

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    90
  • 4 Stars
    48
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    17
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    3
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    1
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Love the print book...audio not so much.

What did you like best about The Black Prism? What did you like least?

I truly enjoyed this book in print and was looking forward to a good listen. The narration is definitely not one of Audible's best efforts and I was relieved to see Simon Vance will be narrating the next two books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great story ruined by robotic narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes- if Simon Vance was reading it!

What other book might you compare The Black Prism to and why?

Brent Weeks reminds me of Branfon Sanderson

What didn’t you like about Cristofer Jean’s performance?

You may as well have the kindle robot read aloud. Worst ever voice. No inflection. Terrible timing. It was like listening to someone read it when they don't actually understand English. The syntax, timing, and colour was missing. Just awful.

Could you see The Black Prism being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Probably a bit complicated for the screen plot wise but I could see Charlie Hannum as Gavin/Dazen

Any additional comments?

Great story which I have read 3 times and will never listen to again from this narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Slow start with great characters

i wish the narroater would be half as hyped about the story as I am :)
but he still does a fair job and brent weeks delivers as in the night angel :)

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great story..very fresh and interesting

loved it.. plot was awesome.. speed of the plot was great...and very fresh approach to fantasy...

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  • chris
  • south africa
  • 05-12-15

Good story but very stilted delivery ruins it

Good story but very stilted delivery ruins it
The narration sounds as if it was designed for children and reminds me of the Simpsons😝

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  • Josh
  • ALFRETON, United Kingdom
  • 03-23-15

Wooden.

Good story, etc. Unfortunately, I felt like I was being addressed by a plank of wood. Poorly performed.

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Unexpected gem

This was the first novel of Brent Weeks I had read and I loved it. The magic concept and epic scale of the story had me from the beginning, I bought it as an audiobook to listen to on a nine hour road trip and couldn't stop listening till it had finished. It is not just the usual fantasy story of a young person finding their power to save a world that is falling but a full cast of equally important characters that you quickly come to care about and root for. I have listened to it twice now and I am hanging out for the final instalments in the light ringer series.

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A colourful extravaganza!

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks is full of colourful magic, that sends people crazy when used too often, and turns them into colourwights. Gavin Guile is the prism the rarest of all magic users as he is able to use all colours of the spectrum. Kip is Gavin' s natural son. A brilliant narration by Christofer Jean.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Story, Poor Naration

Would you listen to The Black Prism again? Why?

I will listen to it again, I'm sure. This is a wonderful story full of vibrant, realistic characters and some of the best world building I've ever seen. That said with this performance, vibrant characters feel wooden and charismatic, subtle leaders feel like bullies. The reading takes away from the wonderful story. If your tossing up between the audio book and the book, take the book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Gavin Guile forever, thought in this reading the performances of female characters where much more vibrant, so possible one of the women.

Would you be willing to try another one of Cristofer Jean’s performances?

No. At times I had to physically check I hadn't somehow switched to the robot voice reading from my e-book. He did however provide nice expression with the female characters. The men either felt like wood blocks, robots, or their voice and their character where so misaligned that they ended up feeling off.

Any additional comments?

Read the Book, or if you can stand it listen to the audio book. The story is wonderful, and even with the horrible narration I'm sure to listen to it again.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Bruno
  • North Shore City, New Zealand
  • 04-29-14

Brilliant!

This is my second time reading this, and it is just brilliant. Really refreshing take on magic and all its forms. But what I love most about it is the characters! I highly recommend this as a great listen and highly enjoyable book too.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • narshil
  • 10-14-16

Great Entertaining Intelligent Story

Any additional comments?

seems like this audio book has been re-done, other comments regarding narrator may be pre re-do. Simon Vance performed expertly and brought the book to life i would disregard other comments as they seem outdated.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Robyn
  • 07-13-17

Great series! (new narrator)

I listened to books 1-4 back to back....and as I can't remember where each book ended, I'm going to have to review them as a oner!

Despite listening to 4 books one after each other, I didn't get bored for an instant. Never a sense of padding, or randomness in the plot. Indeed, in book 4 it takes a turn I didn't see coming. With hindsight, there was some foreshadowing, but it was either too subtle, or I was too engrossed to notice it. Love all the characters- even the not so nice ones become increasingly interesting as the series moves on. Just when you think you have it all figured out, a curved ball gets thrown.

Very well narrated too. Earlier reviews suggest a not-so-great narrator....the books must surely have been redone because I'm super-fussy when it comes to narration, and I couldn't fault this. Not quite Rupert Degas, but Simon Vance holds his own.

Really looking forward to the next book in the series......it promises to be a good one!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • G. Steele
  • 11-08-16

A Great Book, Now With A Good Reader

When I first listened to The Black Prism it was a different reading and while I enjoyed the book it was in spite of the reading. Simon Vance has changed that and elevated this excellent renaissance-fantasy into my favourites list.
Guns, magic, lies, monsters, drama, romance - this book has it all. If, like so many, you missed out on Weeks' first series because of the start of The Way Of Shadows then rest assured that this is far more accessible and may even convince you to give the Night Angel books another go.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • GhostMuppet
  • 11-05-14

Enjoyable book, not ground breaking

There are a number of reasons to enjoy this book, and to hate it.

What's to enjoy?
The magic system is pretty clever. I like it that people have varying levels of ability. Some can use only 1 colour, some 2, other more. Not all colours have to be joined together from the spectrum etc. I like that the colours have their own attributes - which can effect a persons personality.
I also like a couple of the characters. Karris comes off as a strong middle aged woman (i would guess here age would be around 40) - strong personality as well as strong of body. I grew to like Kip a little more. I like the fact that he is fairly hopeless and lacks self confidence.
The story was good, if a little unoriginal - bad leader attacks city, good leader defends city. You know where you are going to end up - its just how we are going to get there.

What's not to enjoy?
Some of the characters are annoying or flat. Gavin is super powerful - to the point of being a God. While i could accept that he is amazing at casting - it would have been nice if he was flawed in other ways. But alas, he is also an excellent politician, tactician, orator, good looking with a quick mind. Maybe he will change in following books.
The Bad guys were a little too bad. I am a king and want to bring down the world because i am pissed - yeah, twiddle that tash with maniacal laugh.
The magic system (yeah, I know its a positive). Some of the stuff that can be done is massive. With a little thought and organisation the world should really have been a utopia. Within a couple of days a wall (we do not know exactly how long it is) is constructed from magic with cool features such as adjustable roofs, touch sensitive windows and seal protectors. Wow, 4 days from start to finish.
Short chapters. While this was great at the end of the book (getting the battle from different perspectives in a few pages), it was annoying at the beginning - you are taken from one part of the work to another a little too fast.

I read a few reviews before I started that the narration was pretty poor. I wouldn't go that far. The narrator did vary his voice for different characters and seemed to deliver the light hearted moments well. It wasn't brilliant either - he seemed a little too fast and his natural pitch a little annoying.

All in all,I enjoyed the book, and will read the rest of the series. There just wasn't the spark there to make me feel it should deserve more than a 3.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 08-30-16

Good.

Fun book. Magic good. Builds well. Characters interesting. Not the best book ever but I hammered through it fast so it's definitely the audio equivalent of a page turner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • I 8 Binners
  • 10-03-14

Narrator sounds like a stoned drunkard

Good book but the narrator was just wrong for the book, he would have been better suited for Zombie books.

It might be worth getting it redone Brent for people that are new to your series.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Brent
  • 07-03-13

Wrong narrator - spoils the book

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I struggled to get through this book because I just couldn't take the narrator seriously. I found the book mildly interesting, but didn't have anything else to read so stuck through it. When I saw the sequel was read by someone else, I thought I would give it another go and I am so glad that I did! Suddenly the characters I knew from the Black Prism came to life and I found myself thoroughly engrossed and enjoying the story immensely.
If you don't get on with the narrator and feel the story and characters are bland, stick through it and try the second novel, read by Simon Vance - it really is a fantastic.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andrew
  • 02-28-13

Bland narration

After 3 hours I found it hard to warm to the narrator. There were attempts at characterisation, but I found little in the way of intonation or drama.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Charlie
  • 11-24-12

Poor Performance

Brent Weeks tells an entertaining story in an original setting, unfortunately flawed by poor characterisation, plot holes and occasionally jagged prose. These problems are made all the more jarring by a wooden performance from Cristofer Jean. This poor reading makes what would otherwise be a simple but largely enjoyable book into one well below average.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Grinch
  • 09-08-15

Horrific narrator

Had to return after half an hour of listening as I could not deal with the narrators tedious voices of characters, especially his female ones. May have been bearable if not for that, but he still wasn't a great voice to listen to.
The book itself is quite good, and I am currently very happy with listening to the second book, Thank God they swapped narrators!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Cameron Ellis
  • 12-14-16

Give it time...

A little slow and hard to get into, but give it time and it is like a drug!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • kneaky
  • 05-02-17

Redone by new Narrator

Previous reviews on here where done before the very talented Simon Vance re-narrated this book. If you are even slightly interested in fantasy or magic then you need this series in your library. Unique Ideas and incredible depth make up for a new and exciting world. If you skipped this series over due to some of the negative reviews about voice narrator you should give this another chance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Fred
  • 01-12-17

Great book!

Very entertaining story with great characters. The narrator did an excellent job! Satisfying end that still leaves you wanting more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jose
  • 01-12-17

A long road

slow to get into and ends when you just get hooked! so get ready for a loooooonnnng saga. seems promising though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Louisa
  • 12-14-16

Good quality

Great listen all the way through. Captivating story and we'll read. looking forward to the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jackson
  • 08-27-16

Narrative wins out

Would love to see this book done again. Gavin sounds like his IQ has taken a hit with a very large stick.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jaki
  • 11-05-15

another Brent weeks triumph!

loved it. fresh concept. imperfect but highly likeable characters and no complaints. just the right level of addictiveness. and 22+ hours of entertainment. don't hesitate. loved it. I know i said that already but it was worth saying again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • melanoxylon
  • 10-18-17

realistic people, unrealistic world

I persevered with this book because the characters had realistic flaws, and the storyline built on interpersonal relationships tainted by very well presented and researched personality flaws. This is
Unfortunately the same amount of care was not taken by the author to make either the magic system internally consistent, or the battles and the description of the dynanics of large groups of people realistic.
The internal monologues of the different characters are strangely similar and repetitive.
Overall interesting book, but I was relieved to finish it and won't waste my time on tbe sequels.

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  • Nathaniel
  • 07-24-17

Very slow to start... but WOW when it gets there!

What did you like most about The Black Prism?

The different types of magic and diverse characters

Who was your favorite character and why?

There are so many good characters - all have such strong valuable attributes and some equally corrosive flaws.

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances? How does this one compare?

na

Any additional comments?

Really have to struggle passed the first 30 chapters. But it really is worth the effort. Hopefully the next few books will be just as good and won't need the large quantity of literary foundation.

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  • Ryan
  • 09-09-15

Intelligent

Interesting magic system, likable characters, great ending, can't wait for next book and to see what Kip gets up to