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The Black Prism

Lightbringer Trilogy Book One
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Series: Black Prism, Book 1
Length: 21 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (593 ratings)

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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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Give it time...

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A long road

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Great narration. Poor characters/world for plot

This is a modern fantasy with modern use of terminology and, from my understanding, the author has written some books previously. The writing itself is easy to listen to supported by the excellent narrator. Unfortunately this fantasy does not hold up as it focuses very much on its magic system to the point that at times it rapidly spins its own jargon at you. In addition, the plot is king in this story at the expense of believability. Political/world/characters only serve to forward the plot and unfortunately it doesn't really consider the importance of actions and nuance and effects to everyone around the decision makers. You just have to roll with the plot holes that form, and there are huge ones, despite clearly being within an institution with rules that are swept by with a broad brush and not considered to any extent. As such the level of detail in the characters/world/systems are not realised and failed to be interesting. In addition, characters often made stupid and unreasonable decisions that do not make sense to the characters and are not explained which goes back to the point that everything serves the authors plot.

I would say, if you're in your teens or a young adult and don't mind the crass adult elements, then this is likely going to be a solid read. If you are a bit older and have read and enjoyed titles like Wheel of Time, Kingkiller chronicles, Song of Ice and fire, Farseer sagas etc that focus on character and world building, then steer clear of this book. I endured it so hopefully so you don't have to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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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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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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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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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Excellent listen

Unique world with deep and complex characters. Well written with a fascinating new idea for magic.

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An intriguing fantasy world

The story starts slow but the characters, world and magic law Brent Weeks has created is solid and entertaining. Clearly there are many more secrets to be revealed about the inner workings of this world, but the first book lays a solid foundation for what’s to come.

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  • Galaxie
  • 14-11-2014

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Niklas
  • 08-02-2017

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 :)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • chris
  • 12-05-2015

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😝

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Josh
  • 23-03-2015

Wooden.

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Hannah
  • 11-09-2014

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • magnus stefansson
  • 12-10-2019

amazing

sometimes you just dont know who to root for, it's well written and perfectly performed, cant wait to listen to the next one.
oh and the twists

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jorgen
  • 21-06-2019

amazing plot, but hard too follow

The book jumps between characters alitle too subtely. makes it har to understand who knows what in the end.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-02-2019

Excellent!

I absolute adore the magic system, the narration and the story. Slightly slow start, but good God does it pick up. Love it, love it, love it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-12-2018

Really Good

Listened straight through. really good world building. a lot of intrigue and good amount of kingdom politics that is fascinating. The characters all have distinct personalities and relationships that have a good flavors to the ears. The characters arent stupid and arent superficial parodies and stereotypes that u know already. The superpower color structure is organized and u can easily understand the system But u will not understand it fully in the first half only at the end do u get all the knowledge to get a proper handle on how it works. It doesn't interrupt the story or prevent u from enjoying it.


I'm pleasantly surprised by how good the book is and how it flows.

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  • Thomas Gammelby
  • 09-09-2018

Good, different to night angle but more mature

If you liked night angle you will also like this. new magic system and world with interesting ideas..

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  • Robyn
  • 13-07-2017

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!

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr goodstuff
  • 14-10-2016

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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • G. Steele
  • 08-11-2016

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • GhostMuppet
  • 05-11-2014

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 30-08-2016

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Brent
  • 03-07-2013

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.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 28-02-2013

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 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-12-2019

Beautiful book from my childhood.

Would defiantly recommend this series of books if you are new to reading. This book is beautifully read and is a pleasure to listen to.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Danielle Allan
  • 18-11-2019

Flat

Everything was just very flat, not for me. It was hard to know who the main character was and both were boring for me anyway

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-11-2019

The Black Prism

Very creative and well written story. Simon Vance's narration is excellent as always. Definitely worth a listen.