As for Brent Weeks, HUGE kudos goes to him and a million thanks for writing a fantastic story!
In book two of this trilogy, Weeks’ writing takes a huge leap. It seems to get better with every book. In this book, I see improvement in both his style and his voice, and hell, I have to admit, he’s teaching me about my own writing and where I need to improve. This is why I love reading books written by talented authors. Not just for the enjoyment, but also for the learning experience.
I also have to admit, The Blinding Knife broke my heart. Why? Because of what happens to Gavin at the end (not giving it away!) It’s not just what happens to him, it’s also that he proves to himself and to the reader that he really does love Kip despite what he tells Karris. The most beautiful part of this story, for me, is the relationship between Gavin and Kip. He knows Kip is not his son and yet he does everything he can to make the boy feel like he has a father, like he is legitimate and wanted regardless of who his mother was. In this book, you really get to see Gavin’s pain and everything he’s suffered – heartbreak, pain, injustice – in order to do the right thing, even though he does end up making huge mistakes. Kip is still my favorite character, but in this book, I really fell in love with Gavin which is why the end was so heartbreaking for me.
Another aspect of Gavin’s story that I loved was the mended love between him and Karris. I’ve found myself often times rolling my eyes during romantic scenes in books simply because either the dialogue or the action was so cheesy, I felt like saying: “Okay, I’m going to throw up now!” But I never felt like that in this book. The tender scenes between Gavin and Karris were witty and funny and altogether real and true to the characters.
As for Kip, there wasn’t one part of his narrative that I didn’t like. From his struggle to become a blackguard, to his unpleasant meetings with his grandfather, to his growing affection for Gavin, Kip’s character matures significantly. He goes from being an illegitimate, awkward boy to becoming a man and a blackguard warrior despite the odds and despite the “cards” that are literally stacked against him. What I really loved about Kip in this book was the way he handled Andross Guile, the way Gavin should have handled him, by not taking his crap. This was one thing that made me really frustrated with Gavin. Gavin is too nice to his father, too kindhearted to do what he should do and that is to “free” him. He has the power to do it and yet he never does, which is why I particularly loved Kip’s line: “You’re old. How long before you die?” That cracked me up! When he said that, I thought: “That’s exactly what I was thinking. They need to kill that old bastard!” I also had a sneaking suspicion about Andross the whole time, what Kip figures out in the end, what his grandfather really is. It makes the end of the book that much more exasperating. It makes you go: “Nooooooooo, I don’t want that to happen! The bad guy has to die!” So frustrating! =o)
The other bad guy, or should I say bad girl, was a character like Andross that you just love to hate. Aglia, the slave owner. The whole time while Tia was getting beaten, I kept thinking: “I want something really bad to happen to Aglia.” And in this case, I was very happy when it did. =o) Thank you, Brent!
I think the only thing I didn’t like about this book was Liv’s story. I don’t know why, but I found myself skimming through Liv’s narrative and everything with the Color Prince. I know the narrative is necessary to move the story forward and to relay more information about Zymun (whose identity I knew from the beginning, it only made sense) but I still found it really boring. It could be because I don’t like Liv or the Color Prince. The Color Prince is right that the Chromeria is corrupt but the way he goes about solving the problem is wrong. I just felt like Liv, being Corvan’s daughter, should know that, but she doesn’t. She’s too easily seduced by the Prince’s poisonous words. It was frustrating.
There was one last thing I kept thinking about at the end of book two … actually two things, two unanswered questions. One was from the first book. Why does the Wight send Karris to Tyrea to be a spy when she knows very well that it will get Karris killed? Why did she do that? So far, that question hasn’t been answered. The other question is: who is the lady in the marketplace that Tia sees murdered? What is the significance of that scene? I’m hoping book three will answer these questions.
Overall, though, this was an excellent read. It was well-written and engaging and all I can say is thank you Brent Weeks! I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE THIRD AND FINAL BOOK!!!!!
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