So...I've finished Book 4.
What a journey! Karris' decisions as the White and her inner checklist of things to do were awesome to read about. I didn't like Karris both as a character and how she was written in most of the previous three books - too much emphasis on how 'bad-ass' she supposedly was but delivering little, too much emphasis on how perfect in almost every way she's supposed to be, and treating Gavin and Kip pretty poorly. However in this Book she really comes to her own and finally lives up to the reverence the other characters always seem to give her. I loved the scene where she gets tired of Andross' shit, knocks him over and holds him at knife-point. Her looking out at Gavin's boat right as she writes him off for dead was tragic in a good that's-so-sad way, not in a bad omg-why-don't-you-just-find-him way.
Teia getting further and further embroiled in the Broken Eye was gut-wrenching. It was so frustrating when she didn't get to report to Karris for so much of the early part of the book! We can see how she struggles with her orders and her morals as she's ordered to kill innocents and not-so-innocents. Her killing of the Nuqaba is the first time that her character was truly scary to me. Denouncing the Nuqaba to hell, letting her life-blood gush out of her wrists, making sure that the Nuqaba had absolutely no control over her own body all while staring her in the eyes was chilling. Despite all her justifications on doing it, Teia's actions have irrevocably changed her. One thing I liked about Teia's arc was while her relationship with Kip was definitely still hanging around her, aside from her first few chapters she doesn't think too much about it. She left the Mighty at the end of The Broken Eye to do her job, and that's just what she does. It will be very interesting to see how she brings down (or attempts to bring down) the Broken Eye in the final book - she has done a pretty good job of getting them to underestimate her so far.
Kip and the Mighty's storyline was very fun to read. While Kip has still has the self-doubt and self-hate that is part of his character, actions speak louder than words and his actions as both a commander and a warrior in this book are of a true hero. Kip has grown so much since the beginning of the series. At this point, is I doubt he's even overweight at all and it's all in his head. There's no way a anyone can go through a year of Blackguard training, get almost starved to death and then fight a battle for a year and still be fat. We can also really see Kip's Guile-ness when he deals with the Council of Divines. He doesn't just take charge, he throws his power around, he humiliates, he takes total control. I could easily see Gavin or Andross do something similar, so amazing character building there. One thing I also really, really like is Kip realising that his infatuations with various women have been very short-lived. He realises that while his bond with Teia was strong, it was in the end not for a very long time and comparable to his obsessions over Liv and Isa. He wasn't bound to Teia at all.
The relationship between Tisis and Kip was obviously a focal point of the novel. A lot of time was spent on it. This was one of the biggest surprises of the novel to me, I thought that Kip ending up with Teia was a certainty, with Tisis travelling alone to Ruthgar. And honestly, it was worth it. Kip and Tisis' relationship was one the most well-developed and life-like relationships I've ever read. The beginning was so incredibly cringey and awkward from both of them, while at the end they feel so comfortable with each other. I felt like shouting at Kip for being so oblivious when he was working on that rope-spear which was so obviously a symbol of his feelings for Teia, the only rope-spear user he knows. I'm a little bit confused as to how Tisis knew that Teia uses a rope-spear...I actually went back to the previous book and couldn't find any scene where Tisis see's Teia's rope-spear? Anyway, when Tisis' problem is finally fixed and they consummate the marriage a year late it was a very tender moment. Drawing out the problem all the way to the very last chapter of the novel was a little frustrating though, I would have liked to see Kip and Tisis work together for a bit after that final hurdle is cleared. Although maybe that was the point - to see a working and loving relationship between a man and a woman without explicit sex. I'll admit that I was very confused when Kip refers to them 'making love' a few times without mentioning that the problem was fixed. I can't wait to see them work together in the final book. Tisis and Teia's reactions to each other when they inevitably meet is also going to be very interesting.
Gavin's imprisonment answered many questions but I seeded so many new questions too. We finally got some confirmation that the Blinding Knife creates Prisms. However who exactly knows what the Blinding Knife does and how Prisms are made? How did a Black Drafter somehow become a Prism? If Koios is a black drafter how come he isn't a Prism? What exactly are the properties of Black Luxin? This one is so incredibly frustrating to me. While there are many mysteries hinted at in the novel like Immortals, origins of magic and White Luxin, Black Luxin is the one that everyone seems to know about but we as the readers never get to find out. All the knowledgable people conveniently hold back their information even though there isn't too much of a reason for them to do so. Andross literally says he's an expert on the matter and then says 'he doesn't have time for a lecture'? Argh! Really annoying. Away from that, who are the 'dead men'? Did Dazen really imprison Gavin and the dead men are lying, or did Dazen imagine the whole thing? There is something nefarious going on here. Dazen's struggle with his past as well has his relationship with his Father was very well done. Dazen's story is so full of twists and turns I have absolutely no idea what he's going to do in the next book.
So what do we know about Black Luxin? It's connected to memory loss, but how does that memory loss work? Does the act of drafting it instantly remove random memories, or do you have control over if and which memories you lose? It is constantly connected to madness, and it does seem like the two drafters we know about, Dazen and Koios are a little insane. But is that 'madness' just another way of discussing the memory loss? Black Luxin has something to do with stealing powers, but how? Does the victim have to die, and if so how must the victim be killed? How did Dazen become a Prism? What is the difference between 'living' and 'dead' Black Luxin, if there even is one? Why is Koios is using Black Luxin in his slave-necklaces and not any other colour?
The Blinding Knife
What does the Blinding Knife really do? We got confirmation on it making Prisms, but how? It can't be true that only a Prism can survive being stabbed with it, because Andross survived and he seems to have benefitted from it. What does getting stabbed by it actually do? It sapped Gavin of his colour-sight and his drafting, but stabbing Andross actually removed his wight-ness. In fact, did it give Andross the ability to draft super-violet? If so how it determine when to give power and when to take it away? Is it's original purpose to return colour wights back into drafters, by removing the excess Luxin or whatever happens to wights when they break the halo? It does seem like the ceremony of the Freeing should be done by using the Blinding Knife, instead of a normal knife. If the Blinding Knife can only be used by a Prism, how come both Zymun and Kip managed to use it? Does it do different things when used by a drafter compared to being used by a Prism? The Blinding Knife has Black Luxin in it, but also a lot of White Luxin - that has to have something to do with how it works, but how? How does it keep changing shape?
The Dead Men and Dazen's brother
How much of what the Dead Men told Dazen is true? If they lied why are they lying to him? It seems ridiculous that so much time be spent on Gavin's exploits in the first two books only for him to be a figment of Dazen's imagination. I always thought it was unbelievable that Gavin could survive sixteen years in a cell by himself with nothing to do and not go completely insane, but attributed that to the fact that Gavin was a person with incredible mental fortitude. The sheer amount of time spent on Gavin' character in the first two books leads me to believe that the Dead Men are lying. If the Dead Men are lying about that, then what else are they lying about? Are they truly Dazen will-casting his personality on Luxin? That seems unbelievable and nothing like the will-casting we were introduced to in Kip's Arc. Did Dazen really kill the White Oak brothers on purpose to steal their powers? Dazen seems like a good person both now and in childhood, something collaborated by both his mother and father, so it seems unlikely he would do such an evil thing on purpose. What, then, is the purpose of the Dead Men? In the final chapters Grinwoody mentions something terrible living under the Chromeria, which fits the Dead Men. The one in the Black cell does certainly seem strange, since we can't see it, it has a different personality and spoke in a weird-ass language that apparently can't be expressed phonetically. If the Black Dead Man is different, does that mean the rest of them are actually what they say they are? Even if they are what they say they are, couldn't they be lying anyway, since their purpose was to drive the prisoner mad? So many questions!
Woah, a long post and it's been a while since I lurked these forums. I loved this novel!
Yes Koios may very well have been messing with Gavin/Real Dazens head.
Alternatly Gavin taught Koios how to draft black. When Koios started drafting it removed his memories of being taught by Gavib.
I don't think Koios is working directly for Gavin but indirectly. As in Gavin taught Koios so that Koios would start war, which Gavin would use to his advantage to gain power and become Promachos, which we know is one of his goals. Koios forgets that he is actually doing exactly what Gavin wants. Gavin forgets that he taught Koios and forgets that he wants him to start a war. But Gavin knew he would forget and was betting on his future self to be able to seize the opportunities the war provides when it starts.
Intersting theory about Koios having incorporated a black seed crystal. It would make Koios more intersting. But I would expect to see Koios using black luxin a lot more then just to make a few necklaces.
was there any reasons given as to why kip wouldn't try viewing his turtlebear tattoo?
Might be recursive. Kip is still doing the things that make up the Turtle bear tattoo. It does pop up a couple times, during battle or when he's doing something important. So he views the tattoo, and sees himself... viewing the tattoo. Only way it would be useful is if he could see things he's GOING to do, and that seems to violate the necessary free will bits.
very good point i hadnt thought of that thanks :)
Kip won’t view the turtle bear tattoo is because it is a trick card. A card made by Janus Borig as a trap/weapon against anyone who stole her cards. Kip used this trick card against abaddon. Kips true card is lightbringer.
I'm not sure that this is true. Kip had two cards on his hand at the moment and he didn't view neither lightbringer card nor turrtle bear tatto. I looked at it more like a decission for him...to decide who he is in some way. But he just went for lightbringer card cause he saw Abbadon was scared of that card and he used it to "attack" him and take the cloak with other cards...I think that cards embedded into the cloak will come to play during Gavin's and Teia's journey. At least one most important is missing. I wonder if Kip will steal back cards that Andross took from him. It was big bummer as I listened to the audiobook cause I hoped that Kip will learn a lot from the cards....and throughout the entire book he just learn how to walk stealthy through the forest. :/
English is not my first language and i don't really know proper spelling for some of the words exclusive to the books. :)
Another great book from Mr. Weeks. Sadly it shows that it is one book split into two. I can't wait to see Kip viewing those cards and learning from them like he did with this one sneaky stealth forest guy. I think it's time to learn from Tremblefist's card how he actually killed 500 men at one night :0.
I must say after all of those twist about Dazen it was really hard for me to root for him. I wonder what is true and what is false. But this dead man in black prison is probably one of those immortals and because o him I don't know if i believe that all the others were just Dazen's hexes. I wonder if Dazen can use blinding knife to get his drafting back.
Kip grown as a character but his "Kip almost..." " I'm fat..." is getting old...especially when we consider that he is probably not fat anymore after whole year of fighting and all that.
I guess it's time for him to learn how to draft black and white cause after what Andross said about creating the bliding knife and when we look what kip did with magic throughout the whole book it's pretty clear that he should be the one to create amazing items....especially when we hear his thought when he revives the wooden ceiling.
King Iron fist....after what happened to him in this book I guess it's just the matter of time before Paria will join forces with Kip. And looking at what Kip does it looks more and more like there are 3 seperate sides in this conflict.
One thing I waited whole book to read about that didn't appear are thought of Andross and Karris about Kip in blood forest. I don't know if they don't know what he does cause they don't have spies there or is it just something that will appear in the next book. Well I guess it's a given that we will get spectrum meeting during which the satrap of the blood forest or whatever will urge Karris and Andross to make him stop cause he handled all of those lords in council of divine like the bi***es they were.
Now waiting again....is there any clue how long we will have to wait for the last book? I really hope it's less than 2 years cause let's face it Brent already wrote it whole and he just needs to polish it.
It would seem black luxin has a few different properties. It can steal other drafters’ colours. It can also cause madness/memory loss. However I don’t think Black Luxin is inherently evil. It’s like saying red/subred luxin is bad because it makes you angry. You have to be able to control it. It would seem Gavin (real Dazen) tried to use black luxin as a scalpel to remove memorials but it can only be used as a blunt axe so he lost some memories he didn’t want to. I don’t think the victim has to die to steal their colours but it’s easier that way. Can’t have loads of ex drafters walking around telling people how the prism is stealing their powers but leaving them alive.
The dead men in the prisons were will castings apart from the last prison, the black prison, which I think was a djinn, possible abaddon. It would seen the real Gavin has been dead all long. Living Black Luxin has the ability to steal powers and transfer them to yourself while dead black luxin merely stops you drafting. I think White Luxin can be used to transfer colours to other people not just yourself. Kois is using black luxin in the necklaces because he thinks none of the gods will be able to fight it.
I don’t remember it saying only a prism can survive being stabbed with the Blinding Knife. However it would seem even charecters in the book don’t fully understand how it works, including Andross. I think stabbing someone with the knife does different things depending on where the dials/knobs are set. It can remove luxin/colours from a drafter, it can also transfer colours to a person. The longer the drafter is stabbed the more it removed until you can’t draft at all. But if you are stabbed for a short while then it only lose some of the luxin in your blood/eyes which gives you extra life, this is what happened to andross. It would seem andross also gained some colurs from having been stabbed.
Is Teia on course to become the next prisim? I think when the Blinding Knife stabs a normal prisim it steals their light splitting ability. However as Gavin (real Dazen) was a Black prisim it merely stole his colours not his light splitting ability. Hence for the first time we have a Blinding Knife with all 7 colours but no light spliiting abiliy. Gavin (real Dazen) has the knife while on the same boat as Teia who has been sent to kill him. Teia is already a light splitter so if she was stabbed by the Knife she would become a prism.
I don't trust any of the Dead Men, and I definitely don't trust Andross enough to believe he is telling the full truth. He likes to combine truths and outright lies, or withhold essential information. He may be Kips father, because the prophecy "cleave father and father and father and son" makes more sense, since he's cleaving the "father/son" relationship Gavin and Kip have, as well as the relationship between himself and Gavin. I do think Gavin is slightly mad, and likely killed the real Gavin early on when drafting the black. He definitely built the prison to trap djinns/"Gods" (one for each color, and the black djinn asking how much he learned from Mot seems to point in this direction, but it IS Brent Weeks, so who knows?).
My guess is Andross put Gavin in the last prison as bait for Grinwoody. I think Grinwoody plans to have Gavin absorb "Orholam" with the Blinding Knife and become a god--thus having a god under his control. Hopefully Gavin realizes he can draft white before that happens. I don't think Teia will kill Gavin, but Kip may have to. Teia may end up killing Kip as she becomes more and more entrapped in the Order/her own sense of justice when she learns he has been enslaving people. I think the old man is grooming Teia to take over the Order eventually.
Just a few thoughts. Didn't answer too many of your questions but I had to get my theories out there!
Teia and Gavin are bith subchromats however their are subchromats in different way.
Teia expalins her subchromacy as being more akin to colour confusion, she can't defferieate between blue and green or beween different shades.
Gavin describes his subcromacy as being like true colour blindess. He can only see grey but he can see lots of shades of grey.
I too am giving Andross the benefit of the doubt. He is not good but not wholy evil either. He is very selfish and very clever though.