Last time I talked about the plot, I provided a little bit of background about the story before I launched into one of the main characters, and why their perspective was pivotal to the story. There’s one more who I consider of the utmost importance even though there’s at least 10 different perspectives throughout the series.
Let me introduce another main character: Kip.
From the first chapter of the first book, The Black Prism, we know that Kip has a druggy mother: “But Ram didn’t have to feed his family; his mother didn’t smoke her wages” (Weeks 1, The Black Prism). He is fifteen years old, with the following quote putting the reader in perspective of where Kip fits into the history of the Seven Satrapies: “And it had been sixteen years since the final battle – a year before Kip was even born” (2).
We find him in the beginning of the first chapter scouring fields old farmland, which had been ruined from the past battles. Where there used to be figs and grapes, there were now burnt homes/barns and craters as the scars from cannon fire. Here, we find Kip looking for solid Luxin to sell, yellow being the most valuable (2).
This is a beautiful introduction to not only one of the main characters, but it leads the reader into learning about the oncoming war, where old religion resurrects to battle the new (or, old gods versus the Prism and Spectrum: Orholam’s main supporters).
Not only that, but Kip deserves to be the first character we see in the books. As we read later on in the series, Kip is what the people believe to be the new Lightbringer, which everyone calls Diakoptes, or “Breaker.” Here are some clues to prove his purpose (skip if you don’t like spoilers):
- He’s a superchromat, meaning he’s extremely color-sensitive, which is rare for men, usually on the order of “one in tens of thousands” (145). This is an important fact because as Gavin mentioned, “if you can see heat…there’s a good chance you can draft it” (146). This is the reader’s first clue Kip is rare. For him to draft green and sub-red, two discontinuous colors, makes him probably a discontiguous bichrome, even more rare.
- Kip failed the Thresher, but at four minutes and twelve seconds. Most normal people last around a minute, and even though Kip failed, it was only because someone handed him the rope to pull, interrupting the test. His results are in comparison to his “father,” Dazen who never grabbed the rope. This tells us how stubborn/determined Kip is (279). See his realization on page 574, 587. See the start of his self-inflicted nickname, turtle-bear.
- Gavin reacts strangely to Kip’s Thresher results, realizing that Kip is a polychrome (286). Readers get more proof later, hint: page 472, 575. For the real evidence, look to The Blinding Knife, page 20. We get final proof that Kip can draft all colors (The Blinding Knife 356)!
- killed the king
- rhea library understudy
- Janus Borig – the Mirror who reflects only truths – tells Kip that he will not be Prism (207). She reveals to him later, while dying, “I know who the Lightbringer is now” (285). It’s assumed she means him since he’s the only one around, and he’s the one whose purpose she’s been trying to divine. Look at page 352 for confirmation.
- Will breaker
- According to Blackguard tradition, those who train to join or have joined get a new name, according to the tradition of Lucidonius and his men. As Cruxer – another trainee – said, “So what’s he done? Arm-breaker, Will-breakder, Rule-breaker, Nose-breaker…Chair-breaker…we dub thee Breaker” (263). We learn later that Breaker is a nick-name for Diakoptes or Lightbringer.
- Still haven’t figured out what this power is relative to Kip’s skill set, but in the middle of battle, “Whoosh. The world looked beyond real. Kip realized he was seeing the whole spectrum at once” (519). This is the only time he does this, and I imagine it’s a similar skill to the Prism. This is also one of the times he drafts without lenses on, which he has done more than once.
- “Kip’s dagger punched straight into the back of Atirat’s head,” (608) which takes care of the old green god that birthed from the green bane. This also marks one of Kip’s major accomplishment: the murder of a god.
- “Magic was useful for everything,” said Kip as he reflected on its multiple uses while he was stranded in the jungle (65). It’s the location that forced him to invent shoes with a flexible sole, leaving “an open connection between his feet and the bottom most layer of the sole so that he would be able to adjust the grip of his shoes immediately” (65). Then he did a waterskin (67), fireplace (69), a sunshade (78), blue bandages (80), cocoon shelter (78), cloth/clothes (82)… I think it’s particularly funny that he asks himself, “Am I a genius of magic, or not?” Because this is the exact point we’re arguing.
- This is a similar point to #11 because he drafts himself boxing gloves, but he takes it a step further to invent luxen-body manipulation. His first experiment was to speed up his kicks (170-171), but it slowly expands to include running faster, jumping farther.
It’s around this point in the series, where the characters firmly believe Kip is the Lightbringer and will defend him at all costs.
Other people believe that the old figure, Lucidonius, was the Lightbringer who already came, and as we find out from Kip’s later run in with Lucindonius in the library (around p. 522 in The Broken Eye), Lucidonius was the Lightbringer – although a perverse evil alternative compared to Lucidonius and lightbringer that society likes to acknowledge, seeing a much more rosier version.
According to Glossary, Lucidonius is the “legendary founder of the Seven Satrapies and the Chromeria, the first Prism. He was married to Karris Shadow-blinder and founded the Blackguards” (Weeks 773, The Broken Eye).
This brings up the question of how many lightbringers can we have? Are they always as good as the people have been led to believe?
What kind of lightbringer will Kip turn out to be?
Blackguard – a group of warriors that defends the Prism and Spectrum
Mirror – a type of person that can reflect a person’s history through ingraining luxen through art
Weeks, Brent. The Black Prism. New York, NY: Orbit, 2010. Print.
Weeks, Brent. The Blinding Knife. New York, NY: Orbit, 2013. Print
Weeks, Brent. The Broken Eye. New York, NY: Orbit, 2014. Print