Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Review: THE BROKEN EYE by Brent Weeks

Rating: 5/5 stars

**This review contains major SPOILERS for The Broken Eye. You’ve been warned.**

This might be my favorite book in the series so far. I didn’t much care for the pirate aspect of it, but with Kip’s amazing character progression and all the shocking revelations and that literal jaw-dropping ending, I think I still like this book the best.

So we start with Gavin being now completely colorblind and a slave on a pirate ship manned by Gunner, and Kip has been rescued on another boat manned by Zymun. These scenes in the beginning were my least favorite part of the book (and the series so far) because, for some reason, I struggle with pirate stories.

And then Gavin knowingly drafting black luxin? I wonder what the parameters are to draft black luxin because it seems that it’s tied to being in a very difficult place emotionally.

So for the chapters about the Nine Kings cards, who is looking at the cards? For the chapters with the same card titles, is it different people looking at the same cards, the same person looking at different cards with the same name, or the same person looking at the same card at a different time period and thus seeing a different picture? I had originally thought that those chapters were showing what I would see if I looked at a card but I have since come to realize that they are about someone (who, though?) looking at the cards and explaining them. Is it Kip looking at all the new cards from Janus?

I looked up Diakoptês in the character list at the back of the book and it said the name means “breaker” and is a name or title of Lucidonius himself or of a similar figure to Lucidonius, who some people believe was the Lightbringer. I was becoming more and more convinced throughout the story that Kip is the Lightbringer because his nickname is Breaker. There are just so many coincidences. And then lo and behold, Kip is revealed to be the Lightbringer. No one was surprised about that; we’ve seen it coming since the beginning of the last book at least. I mean the series is called Lightbringer, and it’s not going to be about a character that we haven’t met yet three books in. I love Kip’s progression in this book. Especially compared to the first book, he’s a completely different person now.

There are so many great character arcs during this book, honestly. In chapter 51 when Ironfist and Tremblefist battled during training and Ironfist learned how much his brother loves him, that was so precious. I loved that part. And then Liv was able to see her father and connect with him again, that was really nice to see. And I’m glad she realized that drafting superviolet all the time was such a crutch to her.

A lot also happened with Teia. We now know that she is a light splitter! And she’s still part of the Order, so I’m very curious to see how her membership with them will affect her friendships and alliances in further books. I really didn’t like to see Murder Sharp interact with her though; he gives me the creeps. I wonder if we will ever find out who is the Blackguard that is working for him.

Another interesting character is Quentin, who we discovered was the one who shot at Kip in the alley and ended up killing Lucia instead. I hate that he betrayed Kip. I knew a betrayal would happen at some point but I’m still sad about it. (I wrote this snippet as a note to myself after the fact, not even anticipating the major betrayal to come at the end of the book.) We never got to see Quentin and Kip together again after we found out this information though, and I feel like Kip never knew that Quentin betrayed him, although I guess if he did see all the cards then he would know. But Quentin doesn’t know that Kip knows, so I would love to see some kind of interaction between them again in the next book.

Let’s talk about Gavin for a bit. He really had a rough time in this book, first losing his ability to draft and going colorblind, then becoming an oar slave, then being held prisoner by the Nuqaba, and then being blinded by a white-hot poker! OW! Seriously, just imagine your eyelid being pried open while you’re strapped down to a table, being forced to look directly at the sun, and then having a burning metal rod stabbed through your eyeball. Tssss. It hurts to even think about.

Karris, on the other hand, had much better luck in this book, despite being alone for most of it. She became the new White, much to Andross’s chagrin. I didn’t really expect this to happen but I’m not at all surprised. In fact, I’m quite pleased that she did gain this new position of authority. I think this will add some great tension in the next book as she butts beads with Andross and becomes the third Guile in a high place of power.

The most shocking revelation of all this book was chapter 97. First of all, it starts with the unexpected: Grinwoody is Ironfist’s uncle. Didn’t see that coming, but okay, let’s move on. But wait, Ironfist is working with Grinwoody. He brought a secret box to him from the White’s room. But he wouldn’t betray anyone at the Chromeria, right? Inside the box was the black seed crystal, and thus we find out the true meaning of the Blackguards: to guard the black. But this still isn’t what it looks like; it can’t be. Then the ultimate punch in the face: Ironfist is working for the Order of the Broken Eye, and Grinwoody is its leader.

I was literally so shocked at that scene that I dropped the book right after that moment and had to get up and pace my apartment for twenty minutes just to process everything. The betrayal. I never would have expected it to be Ironfist, but I guess it makes sense that he’s the most likely suspect because he can play his part so well, but still. Everyone trusted him. And even the Order was starting to doubt him, so maybe this means that he actually can be trusted by both sides.

This huge revelation leaves me with a lot of questions. Does Andross work for the Order as well since Grinwoody is his slave and they seem very close? Does Andross even know? How did the Order of the Broken Eye start and how did Grinwoody become its leader? Andross is smart enough to be in the Order but he likes to be in control. I just don’t see him actually working for Grinwoody or the Order because then he would have to take orders and he doesn’t like that, so I’m going to guess that he doesn’t have any idea about Grinwoody’s secret life. I desperately hope we find out more information about Grinwoody’s true identity in the next books.

And I will say it again, the relationship between Tremblefist and Ironfist is so real and precious. Ironfist truly cared about his brother and I loved being able to see that raw emotion. Tremblefist died in his arms and asked him the question that will lead me into the next book: which man are you? Who do you serve?

I theorize that Ironfist will help out the Order in the next book but ultimately result to betraying them and being Kip’s protector against them and then die because of that betrayal. He seems to me to be at least somewhat loyal to both sides, which will only end badly for him because a man cannot serve two masters.

And lastly, that final epilogue. So many implications in less than a page of text. Real Dazen is trapped in the cell he made for real Gavin. Trapped by his father, presumably (although I want to question if it really was Andross because that was only Gavin’s assumption, but who else could it be?). What’s going to become of him now, stuck down there and not even able to draft? People knew he came back, so what will they think happened to him?

I cannot tell you how excited I am to start The Blood Mirror. After The Blinding Knife I was like, surely it can’t get any better. And then The Broken Eye happened, and now I’m like, surely it can’t get any better. Well, I still have two more books. How is The Blood Mirror going to break me next? Surely it can’t get any better.

“In every darkness, there is hope for light. For light cannot be chained.”

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