At this point, everyone’s probably thinking, how much more can you talk about this series? So, I’ll try to summarize all the characters perspectives as much as I can in order to focus on the question, how do each of these add to the overall plot?
Point Of Views:
1. Karris (in book 1, start chapter 18)
Karris, is a bichrome drafter and a Blackguard, and in this series, we follow her perspective as she learns about the true identity of Prism Gavin. Here, I have to be honest. I saw no point to her POV. She found out about the identity, which added to the overall romance between her and Gavin, but I’ve never been a huge romantic. There was a point that I thought her POV would add tension since her brother turned out to be the Color Prince – the leader of the old religion and new war, but nothing developed from this. Her POV doesn’t get truly exciting until the third book, where she becomes the leader of the Spectrum. I expect her role to grow in the fourth book.
2. Liv (in book 1, chapter 30)
A bichrome drafter, who serves the Color Prince. Her POV took on a huge role that slowly grew in importance because as you read, you’ll learn that she takes you through the perspective of the villains. By serving the Color Prince, she is serving the enemy. I really appreciated this perspective because the villains aren’t always painted human, and having her here, it really gave the Prince some depth and added dimensions to the conflict, besides just that of “war.” Of course, with her becoming a god with the superviolet…she’ll ease take on one of the greater roles in this series.
3. Teia (in book 2, chapter 28)
A used-to-be-slave, Blackguard inductee, and paryl drafter. Honestly, with Teia making such a late appearance, I didn’t expect much of her. She was a late development, but this can be explained considering the trajectory of Kip’s education. When Kip learns about the Nine Kings Cards, he learns about Janus Borig, the shimmercloaks. This is when Teia’s education begins, when she learns that she’s not only a paryl drafter but a lightsplitter. This is where she becomes apart of the team of shimmercloaks, known as the Order of the Broken Eye. Because these are a secret guild whose purpose is built on keeping order in the land, I’m sure they will become immensely important later in the series. Weeks is building himself up for a finale – so much complexity!
4. Dazen (in book 1, chapter 3)
Real name, Gavin Guile – the old Prism elect before he was replaced during the False Prism War. Honestly, I was expecting him to break out. If a man is in prison, and you read about him ready to escape, waiting to escape, you bring along the expectation that he will free himself, so when he was murdered, it’s safe to say I was disappointed. His POV I then saw as filler. His craziness didn’t really do much at that point other than add to the true Dazen’s own craziness, to show how desperate he was that his brother not escape.
5. Corvan (in book 1, chapter 59)
The war general for the true Dazen or current Prism. I don’t think I read too much from his perspective. He was rare. I would have to go back to read his specific chapter, but I feel his POV didn’t amount to much. It didn’t influence the plot a lot, and his own influence doesn’t ramp in importance until he becomes a satrap. And at that point, I would’ve liked to seen his perspective. We missed so much time between when he saved a city and became the husband of a seer. I would’ve liked to seen that. He deals important information, being the main correspondence. (Maybe this would be better as a side story since it doesn’t contribute immediately to the plot.)
6. Ironfist (in book 2, chapter 6)
Commander of the Blackguard (and the most fierce character besides Gavin). This man has had a few chapters for his POV, and although I don’t think it’s necessarily important for him to have the camera, I think his perspective has been helpful for seeing scenes that we need to see in order to develop background. I think the only reason he was used was because he was well-known to the reader and got around easily around Chromeria.
7. Gunner (2-10)
Ship captain. This guy is crazy. Literally crazy. He wants to be famous, legendary, and his perspective gives us some of this insight. But even with commanding Gavin as a slave and releasing him, I feel like Gunner’s perspective, as few as it was revealed, didn’t add to the story. At least, I don’t see the point, not yet.
8. Aglaia Crassos (2-56) – teia owner
Teia’s old slave owner. Her perspective wasn’t necessarily important, but I think it was important to justify the command one of the leaders of the shimmercloaks – Master Sharp. Mostly to help develop his character. Not strictly necessary, but a fun scene to read.
9. Vox (2-59)
Shimmercloak. This is one of those once written scenes, where they’re confusing to read because you haven’t been set up in the setting or character-head orientation. I had to re-read this, after knowing who was who. And knowing that, I think this was mainly set up for the Shimmercloaks – their purpose, and who the people were who killed Janus Borig.
10. Samila Sayeh (2-63, 3-53)
Color wight. Okay, I’m going to be honest. I love this perspective. In the story so far, all color wights are bad and evil, and having this perspective in combination with the color prince, who speaks for the defense of not killing people once they break their halo…this proves that maybe the Color Prince has some grounds on what he’s saying. Maybe he’s not as wrong as we thought. Maybe we should doubt the Chromeria. After all, they’re killing people before they even break the halo. Maybe they’re not as innocent as we thought.
11. Blackguard commander (2-65)
I don’t even know who is talking, which is weird because for most of the book, we’re in a third person perspective, and all the sudden we get this random first person POV. That must mean it’s important, right? Or, is it because we’re closer to the character’s thoughts, we’re supposed to think what he thinks? The commander is contemplating the line between normal and wight-like. When is luxin-body modifications okay? The Chromeria says no. The Color Prince says yes. Who’s right? Maybe that’s the point of this chapter.
12. The master (2-91) – andross guile?
Another perspective I’m not sure who it is, but there’s a few clues. With the gloves, the cloak, and the constant heat-vision/red-luxin, I have a good hunch it’s Andross Guile – the red wight. This was kind of cool not knowing who it was, not getting much of a chapter, and seeing a nice contrast compared to the logical blue wight, Samila Sayeh. It also shows us how Kip has something Andross wants.
13. Zymun (3-7)
A young, prideful drafter and Karris’ son. He doesn’t seem too important yet. And I kind of would prefer him not to have a perspective. He keeps struggling for power, and even though he can draft nearly all the colors, he hasn’t quite gained a good position yet. People keep rejecting him because of his personality. I would prefer if he stayed that way – as a way of the author rejecting him as well, but I have a feeling he’s going to come back. It seems like there might be a battle between him and his half brother Kip.
14. Darjan (3-13)
I believe this is someone who used to be an old God because they speak of Atirat needing them as a pure drafter for her command. But then they go to another color to draft and become something wight-like. In the back, Weeks defines her as a “legendary drafter during the time of Lucindonius and Karris Shadowblinder” (766). Is this meant to give us a glimpse into the old religion?
15. Arys Greenveil (3-31)
Sub-red on the Spectrum. Another Master Sharp moment, when he kills the sub-red leader on the Spectrum. Kind of cool to see this woman’s perspective considering how much Gavin made fun of/depended on her weaknesses, but I feel like this just reinforces Sharp’s behavior. Always working a job. Mostly emotionless, shameless.
16. Quentin (3-60)
A luxiat, or priest of Orholam. This gives us some insight into Quentin’s own goals. And my gosh, here we learn the luxiat want the special knife back, the one that steals colors from drafters. But instead of just stealing it, they ask Quentin to shoot Kip to get rid of the heir. Is this… Now I’m going to have to read back on what happened to Quentin. I remember the two were close, but I don’t remember him shooting a bullet or aligning with Kip. I’m going to have to read back.
17. Shimmercloak (3-62)
This is like the origin story of all things Shimmercloak, and I enjoyed it. It was kind of cool to see the “science” of how it was done. And now we see why the knife is so important. It’s the color-taker, and apparently it has more power than we think. If it can take the Prism’s powers, can it give them back? Can it grant anyone the power to be Prism?
This series is already so complex. Weaving a story about not only a culture but a battle between beliefs, this is surely one of the most complex stories I’ve read in a long time and deserves to be called something along the lines of an epic, if not that.
I think one of the strengths of this series was not only its story complexity but choice in perspective. A lot of the characters chosen here were based directly on their perspective, meant to develop both sides of the war – good and evil, and then twist our minds enough that we’re confused on which side is truly good.
In summary, the main lesson to take away would be on how can you use characters to truly develop sides that aren’t really good/evil but more two differences. I especially like the evilness of wights and then a back-and-forth argument, using multiple perspectives of different wights.
Of course, these only reflect my opinions and are open to debate. As I encourage all readers, everyone should take the time to reflect and analyze what they read in order to learn techniques that may or may not work for them.
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