Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer #3), by Brent Weeks

Friends, you know my bar for epic fantasy is feet-tinglingly high. By which I mean, I hate 75% of it, find 10% of it somewhat passable, 10% reasonably good, 4% excellent, and maybe 1% utterly astounding. Three books in, Lightbringer is still a one-percenter. How does Mr. Weeks continue to impress me? Let me count the ways:
  • Many complex, dynamic characters with layers of back-story. Usually I'm impressed if this is more than the main, say, 2-4 characters. In Lightbringer it's, like, half the cast of characters.
  • A wide range of POV characters, and it actually works. In fact, I might even go so far as to say it's kind of critical.
  • Multiple (YES!! Like MORE THAN ONE!!) amaaaaaazingly ass-kicking female characters that defy tropes & stereotypes.
  • Really, really excellent writing. Gorgeous & poetic without getting flowery, & whirlwind snappy when necessary.
  • The Bechtel Test. 'Nuff said.
  • New spins/fresh takes on what seem at first like old tropes; he doesn't use many, but when he does, there is a narrative purpose that quickly becomes apparent.
  • Some of the best dialog I think I've ever read.
  • Characters you just can't pin down. You kind of love them and kind of hate them, and just when you think you get who they are and what their narrative purpose is, everything is turned upside down.
  • Large-scale narrative planning that is clever, artful, and occasionally makes you think back two books & go, "Oh, SHIIIIIT."
  • You will never stop guessing.

My only regret? That I didn't know going in that the last book is scheduled for 2016. :P

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