Get a free audiobook

The Black Prism

Written by: Brent Weeks
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 21 hrs and 26 mins
5 out of 5 stars (187 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

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 preserve 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 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"Brent Weeks is so good it's starting to tick me off." (Peter V. Brett, New York Times best-selling author of The Desert Spear)
"Weeks manages to ring new tunes on...old bells, letting a deep background slowly reveal its secrets and presenting his characters in a realistically flawed and human way." ( Publishers Weekly
" The Blinding Knife is a wonderful work of high fantasy with engaging characters facing the perfect antagonists, set in a creatively-wrought and increasingly chaotic world brimful of imaginative magic and interesting politics. Weeks holds fast to the traditions of his genre while adding a compelling new flavor." ( The Ranting Dragon)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    151
  • 4 Stars
    28
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    137
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    138
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome!

I've physically read this book previously and truly enjoyed it. I very much enjoy Brent Weeks' style and totally unique version of the fantasy epic tale. when i decided to purchase it on audible I was a bit apprehensive but i shouldn't have been. Holy moly what an excellent performance by Simon Vance! He has enough range to give each character a distinct speaking voice while narrating in an expressive tone. The battle scenes had me on the edge of my seat. Thank you Brent Weeks for giving us this amazing story which has completely captivated my imagination. Thank you Simon Vance for bringing this story to life in a while new way. And thank you Audible for just being generally awesome!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

wtf

that scene with his mom was disgusting. what loser would let anyone talk to him like that. terrible writing to destroy your mcs character. what a little wimp.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

enjoyed the crap out of this!

Brent Weeks is a fantasy king. a Brilliant followup to the Night Angel Trilogy. Simon Vance shows why he is Audiobook Royalty.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

Love the series. The books are amazing and so was this audio version. Can’t wait to hear the rest.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

thrilling

great cadence in the voice. would recommend to everyone.
it feels like you are being tucked into bed and read to by your favourite uncle. complete with voices and soul.
I love it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great fantasy!

good book, cool characters, awesome powers! can't wait for book 2 to see how the story progresses

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Masterpiece.

This book is a skillfully crafted journey full of twists, lies, and magic that leaves you wanting more. Throughout the book I was constantly questioning motives and mysteries that kept me engaged throughout. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of fantasy and I cant wait to read the next!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A prismatic story of adventure

Brent weeks combines adventure and humour, Simon Vance never disappoints. Fantastic story and performance #Audible1

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing! :)

This audiobook, alongside others in the series, have brought me hours of unequaled enjoyment. The plot is fantastical and captivating, and the characters feel well developed. Highly recommend! :)

#Audible1

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

BRENT WEEKS IS AMAZING

if you loved the night angel trilogy this is even better somehow! Brent weeks has really grown in his craft and is maturing as a writer

#Audible1

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LornaDavis
  • United States
  • 2016-09-19

original and entertaining

I am late to this party and I guess from reading previous reviews that it is a lucky thing since I got to start right out with Simon Vance (one of my favorite readers). Actually, I found this book by looking up books read by him. I often do that with readers when I can't find something that seems to interest me. I am only about half way through the first book but the originality of this book reminds me very much of the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. Not because the story lines are similar so much but the fresh idea and spot on execution of the storyline. It begins with 2 storylines that mesh up in about 15 chapters and then just keeps getting better as it goes. Based on all the reviews for the rest of the books I am looking forward to many more hours of these wonderful books. How did I miss this series? If you are on the fence, think no more, just hit the button. It is well worth your time and credit.

48 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sam
  • 2016-07-18

Simon Vance Finally!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Black Prism to be better than the print version?

Absolutely, Simon Vance is one of my favorite narrators without a doubt.

Any additional comments?

I was incredibly excited that Week's got them to go back and have Simon Vance do this one. The other narrator made the characters flat and boring. Simon Vance made these books something special in the sequels and it's great to not have to suffer through the first one to get to the rest of the series anymore.

47 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-12-13

Nice first book. slow start

I'm a fantasy junkie and put there somewhere in the mix of top 20 books I've listen to. If you like gritty war fantasy (think Cooke or Abercrombie) then you'll like this book. it starts off really slow but once it gets going (about 3/5th of the way) it really can keep you captivated for hours. If you haven't read a lot of fantasy I recommed something better, but if you're a junkie like me and running out of options then this is well worth the money and time. if you haven't listen to acclaimed books like the Stormlight series, Black Company, First Law series, etc. then go listen to those first. if you have mowed through most of these "slam dunk" options then give this a go. lots of magic, and the hero isn't a super-stud that is perfect in everyway. this hero has tons and tons of flaws. Likewise, the villains have many redeeming factors. definitely a gray novel.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DJK1986
  • 2016-08-26

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the reissue!

Would you listen to The Black Prism again? Why?

I definitely will. I love Brent Weeks and I love Simon Vance. I have read the print version of this book multiple times and I have listened to the Blinding Knife and the Broken Eye several times as well because of the nuances in the story and performance. Unfortunately, I was only able to listen through the original audiobook version of the Black Prism once, and I think I only persevered because I had already read the book and loved it. The original narrator was horrible!!! As others have stated, he made Gavin Guile sound like Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. I kept waiting for him to say "Dude" at the end of each sentence. It was painful and it was one the first books I got from Audible. At the time I didn't know I could return books, so that version is still in my Audible library taking up space. Such a waste of a credit! But this version ... I will listen again and again.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Black Prism?

I'm still listening through for the first time, so I may find more moments, but I think the opening scene of the book as read by Simon Vance will always be a favorite of mine. I loved the beginning of this book from the first time I read it, because it reveals Kip's personality and the world he lives in so clearly in what is really a very short (well constructed) passage. I have always loved Kip and found him so easy to relate to. He is every awkward kid I knew growing up and he is me every time I lost confidence in myself. He is convinced he is a worthless failure, yet he always manages to persevere and make things happen. He has no idea of his true worth and potential.

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

In short ... everything. His characterizations, his pronunciations, his feel for the story, his pacing. He has been one of my favorite narrators ever since I heard the Blinding Knife.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Gavin Guile is respected, loved, and feared; the most powerful Prism in living memory ... or is he?I'm not very good at this, but I do hope a movie series is made based on these books ... as long as it is done by someone who respects Mr. Weeks' story.

Any additional comments?

I can't wait to hear the Blood Mirror. I'm counting the days.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • joel
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 2016-08-26

Colourful story!

The magic system is new to me and neat. The characters are enjoyable and grow throughout the entire story! Simon Vance like always is on point and an amazing narrator! If you have listened to the Cycle of Arawn you will enjoy this series as well I think.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ;)
  • 2017-12-21

Started out good and then I got bored.

Why was this such a bore?! This book holds many cool premises but it just falls short.

The spectrum magic is super cool and done well but that's about it for me. The plot arc seems hindered and the characters even more so, also - flintlock guns? Not into it. The world would derive fine from a classic medieval-esque fantasy base since everything else in the book seems to.

I could tell where each and every plot arc was going to go and I hated it. Gavin - super cool mysterious character - completely lined out before halfway through the book. Its the same with all the other characters. I was not surprised once.

Brent Week also tends to over explain character thoughts and interactions and it gets a bit tedious.

... I don't know, I really wanted to like this book but I didn't.

Simon Vance was great though, so five stars to you buddy.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David_in_Tennessee
  • Kingsport, TN USA
  • 2016-07-23

Great beginning - better than I expected

I read the Audible and Amazon reviews as well as blogs and reader sites to narrow my listening choices. If I am going to invest 10-30 hours listening to something I want it to be entertaining or thought provoking or profound. Fantasy novels are for me a guilty pleasure, and the best ones build solid foundations on multi faceted characters. I also am reluctant to take on multi-book series without having a good idea that the series improves upon the early expositions of a magic system or political setting to reward the reader later when it all comes together and the imagined underpinnings provide that exhilarating climax. That said, I am excited to move forward in this series because this was so much better than I expected: a great story with twists anchored by a talented and proven narrator.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ERICK
  • Anchorage, AK, United States
  • 2018-12-24

It is good, but not great

A lot of people will love this book and this writing style. Sad to say, I'm not one of them. I first off found the magic system a bit hard to understand at first. It felt like the author didn't quite find a smooth way to explain it all. The characters are mostly strong, but the main bad guy felt quite stereotypical and not well developed to me. His general is great though. My main problem was the author just didn't connect the characters with me. I felt more like Kip was being fat shamed than being self critical. Which is on the author. That said, Kip is the character I identified with the most. I did enjoy the story arc they were setting up. It was just the problem that the characters just weren't speaking to me. Oh well!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Bill
  • 2017-03-25

Formulaic and rife with stereotypes

What did you like best about The Black Prism? What did you like least?

The voice acting was pretty good.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

--

Did The Black Prism inspire you to do anything?

Yes, be more careful with my fantasy selections.

Any additional comments?

If you like tired tropes, pathetic female characters, disheartening dialogue and rehashing old fantasy stories into something that resembles a teenage fantasy, this is your book. It wasn't all bad; just mostly bad.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Halley
  • 2016-08-05

Thank God For the Re-Issue. Much better now.

Where does The Black Prism rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book (series) ranks among one of the better series I have purchased off of Audible. Great story read by great narrator. If I like the story I hear, I tend to buy the books also.

What other book might you compare The Black Prism to and why?

I would compare The Black Prism with Michael J. Sullivan's Riyria series. A solid story that keeps a hold on you with characters that are both serious and smart asses in all the right places.

What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I purchased The Black Prism about a year ago but returned it as the first narrator didn't seem to put any effort into the characters leaving them all sounding like a California surfer dudes. "Kip. You're like totally my natural born son, dude.". It was the first, and so far, only book I ever returned to Audible

Simon Vance brings the characters to life, giving each one their own personality. I rank Mr. Vance up there with the ranks of Jim Dale (Listen to the Harry Potter Book). I was very happy to notice the change in narrators, which I discovered on accident. I bought repurchased the book right away

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

None yet, I am not completely finished with this book

Any additional comments?

If you bought he first rendition of The Black Prism and hated it I highly recommend you give the new version a try. If you own the first rendition I would try to contact Audible for the newer version. I don't know if they offered the new version to previous owners as I returned it and would not have received a notice

12 of 14 people found this review helpful