The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer #4) is the fourth volume in the Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks.
The Lightbringer Series is rapidly solidifying itself as one of my favorite fantasy series of all time. To say that I was eagerly awaiting this fourth fantasy book to find its way to my doorstep would be a radical understatement.
It goes without saying that this fantasy book review may contain spoilers for the first three fantasy novels in the Lightbringer Series, so if you have yet to read those titles I strongly advocate diving into those first!
If you’re not familiar with how I conduct my book reviews, I typically just deliver the general gist of the book to give you an idea of whether or not this novel might be to your liking. I refrain from analyzing specific plot details that would spoil the reading experience for you.
The Blood Mirror review is meant to be a preview trailer, not a plot summary. I only include spoilers for previous novels if the novel is a sequential installment in a series. In this case, The Blood Mirror is book four of the Lightbringer series, so if you haven’t read any of the prior books… beware!
In short, The Blood Mirror review DOES NOT contain any major spoilers for the plot of The Blood Mirror. Enjoy!
What reading genre is The Blood Mirror?
The Blood Mirror is considered to be a part of the epic fantasy reading genre.
How does The Blood Mirror compare to other fantasy novels in the Lightbringer series?
Now that I am wholly engrossed into the magic system, as opposed to when I was first reading the debut of the series The Black Prism, I am finding myself getting more and more absorbed into this series with every novel.
At first, it was a bit bothersome when I would lose track of the plot because I did not thoroughly comprehend all of the obscure, little intricacies behind the sophisticated luxin magic system.
Having read nearly two thousand pages into this fictitious world, I can say with outright confidence that I am virtually an expert on chromaturgy!
This baseline proficiency has done wonders for me buying into the story.
I did not squander nearly as much time backtracking as I was prior, which not only expedited my reading experience but opened up ample time to for me to pick up on subtle context clues and conduct thorough story analysis on the fly.
How is the plot of The Blood Mirror?
Once again, Brent Weeks purposefully arranges for the reader to anticipate the story to go one way but then effectively flips the story in a manner that no sensible person would have ever suspected.
These grand revelations had me salivating like a starving, haggard little street hound at the ramifications these plot developments would pose to my favorite protagonists. It had me wondering how the overall course of the story would transform as a result.
These plot twists I speak of do not just befall a single character, mind you, but befall all characters of significance. Just when I think Weeks has exhausted every option left on the table, bam! He does the unthinkable!
How does the protagonist Kip fare in The Blood Mirror?
Kip plainly abandons the old shell of himself behind over the course of The Blood Mirror and starts to incorporate various characteristics of his predecessors… the illustrious Gavin Guile and even his proclaimed nemesis, Andross Guile.
Kip steadily emerges as the young leader that we all vigorously craved from Gavin Guile in The Black Prism.
He is no longer the sarcastic, self-deprecating unruly brat that we were introduced to. He strips away these elements holding him back from greatness and embraces the idea of becoming something more with the backing of his comrades.
This metamorphosis makes his character arc one of the more alluring parts of this novel.
How does the protagonist Teia fare in The Blood Mirror?
Another one of my favorites, Teia, adds an entirely new dynamic to this novel.
The most captivating element of her character arc is the moral dilemmas she is forced challenge head on.
With each of these ethical conflicts, Teia provides sound reasoning for both courses of action presented to her. Sometimes, even I cannot identify which decision is considered the “good choice” and which is considered the “bad choice.”
These moral predicaments have grievous implications for her impending future, certain decisions even teetering on the thread of life or death.
There are certain sticky situations where, from an omniscient perspective, even I would not have been able to come anywhere close to some of the intricate schemes she cooked up.
All in all, it was a bit of warped delight to see how Teia responded to these devious obstacles.
Is dialogue a strong point in The Blood Mirror?
Dialogue is a staple of the Lightbringer series. Luckily for us, dialogue still reigns as one of the cornerstones of The Blood Mirror. The phenomenal characterization and written dialogue play off one another.
The clash of personalities is accentuated with every character interaction. These battles of wit make for some interesting conversation, allowing the reader insight into the thoughts and motives of each individual persona.
I was laughing out loud during some of the back and forth between the Mighty and Kip. The dialogue underlined their unity and friendship. It gave the Mighty a charming quality about them. This allure kept me coming back to The Blood Mirror wanting more.
How long of a read is The Blood Mirror?
The Blood Mirror is a fairly standard length for an epic fantasy novel.
This novel comes in at approximately 178,000 words, totaling in at exactly 736 pages. After crunching the numbers, the average reader will take a little less than 12 hours to read The Blood Mirror from start to finish.
This is an average time investment for a fantasy novel of epic proportions. If you have got to this point in the Lightbringer series, you should have a pretty good idea of whether or not a novel of this length is for you.
The length of the novel should not have a large influence on whether or not you purchase this book.
What are the dominant themes in The Blood Mirror?
A dominant theme in The Blood Mirror is identity crisis.
In The Blood Mirror, characters are confronted with serious dilemmas that will permanently change who they are. These harsh predicaments usher in an identity crisis. Throughout The Blood Mirror, these protagonists go back and forth to resolve who they are to become.
The theme of identity crisis is a prevalent theme in the character arc of Teia. As aforementioned, her story is unfortunate event after unfortunate event.
These unlucky circumstances press her into reconsidering her own morals. She must decide whether or not the greater good of the Seven Satrapies is worth the sacrifice of her own ethical principles.
It is difficult to judge what fate she will ultimately choose from a reading standpoint. This makes a palpable difference in the overall appeal of her storyline.
Kip is also faced with an identity crisis of his own. He is torn between being the leader his friends need him to be, fulfilling his duties as a husband to Tisis, and still retaining the remnants of the old Kip.
All avenues have their own set of benefits and repercussions, complicating the identity crisis even further.
This internal battle is a reigning theme in the character arc of Kip. It adds to his overall development and reminds the reader that not all heroes are mentally invincible.
Friendship is another major theme in The Blood Mirror.
The interesting thing about this theme is that the reader is offered both ends of the spectra: utter solitude versus loyal companionship.
As you can probably recall from The Broken Eye, Teia stayed behind when Kip and the Mighty fled the Chromeria. To make matters worse, she is devoid of all contact with any of her allies in the Chromeria to avoid jeopardizing her mission. She is on her own.
Her solo mission has debilitating effects on her psyche. As the novel progresses, the adverse effects of her isolation become more and more prominent. It is the steady deterioration of a tenacious mind.
Kip, on the other hand, is surrounded by loyal friends that consult with him on his every move. Every time Kip doubts himself or his abilities, there is a strong support network to pick him back up.
His loyal companions, The Mighty, are an integral part of the character development of Kip. They urge him to become something more than he ever thought he was capable of.
These contrasting perspectives provide insight into the significance of friendship in our daily lives. Friendship is a universal human notion. This emphasis on friendship adds an additional layer to The Blood Mirror that makes the story more than just a fantasy tale.
How did The Blood Mirror make you feel while you were reading?
If you have been following me for awhile, you know that I am a big fan of the Lightbringer series. Thus, I was eager to jump back into this series as soon as The Blood Mirror was released.
This eagerness became delight as I was once again thrust into the world of the Chromeria. I was excited to reacquaint myself with my favorite protagonists and tag along on their dangerous quests.
Certain storylines invoked particular feelings as I was reading.
For instance, as I mentioned in the themes section of this review, Teia finds herself in utter solitude throughout The Blood Mirror. Her isolated suffering appealed to my empathetic side while I was reading.
My heart ached as I listened to her describe her emotional afflictions with no one to share the burden.
The storyline of Kip made me feel vastly different. Watching him leave the old shell of himself behind in favor of becoming a leader in his own right was inspiring. My heart rarely ached during his sections of the novel. My heart fluttered.
Although I only made mention of the storylines of Teia and Kip, other character arcs also invoked strong emotions while I was reading. I just pointed these two out in particular to show the extent to which my emotions fluctuated.
I reveled in the emotional turbulence of The Blood Mirror. Few fantasy novels can invoke such a level of emotional investment. The emotional upheaval of this novel distinguishes it considerably from other books in the fantasy genre.
How is the ending of The Blood Mirror? (NO SPOILERS)
Weeks concluded The Blood Mirror in quintessential Weeks fashion, resolving the plot beautifully with an implausible cliffhanger that had me itching to see how everything transpires in the long awaited finale of the Lightbringer series: The Burning White.
The ending made reading all 736 pages well worth the time investment. It is a conclusion that all readers fantasize about. I can recall literally the entire day just asking myself, “How did I not see that coming?!”
Would you recommend The Blood Mirror to children?
Whereas before I would recommend the earlier novels in the Lightbringer series to all teenagers, The Blood Mirror is a different case.
The Blood Mirror still has violence just like its predecessors. With this new edition to the Lightbringer series, there is another area of concern other than violence.
In this novel, sex is graphically depicted as opposed to previous novels. This new development made me weary as to recommend this novel to younger teenagers.
I would personally advise exploring other options if you are looking for a fantasy novel for a younger teenager. The Blood Mirror is geared more toward a mature audience compared to the earlier novels of this fantasy series.
Is there a follow up novel to The Blood Mirror?
Yes! The Blood Mirror is volume four of a five book fantasy series. This fantasy series is titled the Lightbringer series.
The follow up novel to The Blood Mirror is the final installment of the Lightbringer series. Book five of the Lightbringer series is titled The Burning White and released in October of 2019.
If you are interested in The Burning White and would like to know some more information about the finale, check out my non-spoiler review of The Burning White. There are some surprising developments that may just pique your interest.
The Blood Mirror Review Recap
Weeks was able to write a shining jewel yet again with The Blood Mirror. If the Lightbringer series was not one of my top fantasy series already, it certainly is now!
The unforeseeable just keeps on coming and the characters just keep on getting more and more compelling.
The dialogue and characterization complement each other marvelously. The themes in The Blood Mirror also help to invigorate the plot, making it more than just a story. It is the perfect storm of all of these literary elements.
All in all, I cannot wait to crack open the finale The Burning White!
If you are interested in purchasing a physical or audible copy of The Blood Mirror, check here for the latest price at Amazon.
Browse through the list of other fantasy books I’ve reviewed here to start your next reading journey.
“To realize in an instant that you aren’t going to have the life you’d hoped for, but not waste a moment complaining, instead acting instantly to save what good you can? That’s more guts than I’d have had.”
“But mercy ceases to be a virtue when it enables further injustice.”
“Once a man is convinced to believe the impossible, it’s impossible to make him disbelieve it.”
“It’s easier to build a new culture on the graves of the dead than around the homes of the living.”
“The most important part of seeking victory is defining it first.”
The Blood Mirror Review Rating: 8/10!
Back of the Book Blurb
Stripped of both magical and political power, the people he once ruled told he’s dead, and now imprisoned in his own magical dungeon, former Emperor Gavin Guile has no prospect of escape. But the world faces a calamity greater than the Seven Satrapies has ever seen… and only he can save it.
As the armies of the White King defeat the Chromeria and old gods are born anew, the fate of worlds will come down to one question: Who is the Lightbringer?