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Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpoints
Nancy Kress
The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice
Todd Henry

The Black Prism

The Black Prism  - Brent Weeks All I can say is "Wow." I hope the rest of the series lives up to the promise of this book, because it's awesome. Twists and turns. Not only was I surprised, I was surprised early and often.

The readers who said they aren't sure who the good guys are -- I personally enjoy that. This book is fantasy, sure, but having characters who aren't perfectly good or perfectly evil makes for a more realistic story.

Also, people seem to be overly picky about mentions of skin color in this book. Dark-skinned people are better at hiding their skills because people can't tell what color they're drafting (your skin lights up with whatever color magic you're about to use), which makes them better warriors. In the initiation ceremony, they use light-skinned models because their skin shows the spectrum of colors more readily. That's a cool use of skin color in a fantasy novel.

The exposition was a little heavy in a few places, but I was glad this didn't turn into another "kid goes to magic school" type of story like the Harry Potter books or The Name of the Wind.

I do have a hard time getting behind whiny characters like Kip, but I'm hoping Brent Weeks ensures Kip grows out of that by Book 2. And Liv is clearly going to become a more important character as the series progresses.

Looking forward to the rest of the story in The Blinding Knife.