The Broken Eye (Lightbringer #3) by Brent Weeks is the third installment in the Lightbringer fantasy novel series.
Since the sequel The Blinding Knife exceeded my expectations, it did not take long for me to find my way back to this fantasy novel series. And boy oh boy, did Brent Weeks deliver!
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 Broken Eye 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 Broken Eye is book three of the Lightbringer series, so if you haven’t read any of the prior books… beware!
In short, The Broken Eye review DOES NOT contain any major spoilers for the plot of The Broken Eye. Enjoy!
What reading genre is The Broken Eye?
The Broken Eye is the epitome of what a novel in the epic fantasy genre looks like, just like the other novels in the Lightbringer series.
Do you need to read the prior two Lightbringer novels to understand The Broken Eye?
The Broken Eye builds heavily off of the events of the prior two novels in the Lightbringer series. There are multiple references to past events and characters that were disclosed in both The Black Prism and The Blinding Knife.
So the short answer is yes, you do need to read the first two Lightbringer novels to understand The Broken Eye.
But if you would rather just read the summaries of these two novels and jump right in, there is no one stopping you. I would strongly advise against this because you would be missing out on some great fantasy adventures. But at the end of the day, you do you!
How is the characterization in The Broken Eye?
In terms of characterization, the third volume distinguishes itself from the previous novels in that certain secondary characters shine in the spotlight and take on more of a formidable role as compared to their accessory appearances in The Blinding Knife.
The primary protagonist this go around is not Kip or Gavin, but Teia.
Admittedly, this came as a bit of a shock to me at first. As I continued turning the pages, however, I found myself beginning to savor her character ascendance more and more.
Seemingly with each chapter she was able to come into her own and solidify a position of prominence in the character carousel. Teia and Kip undoubtedly reign supreme in this tale with the sustained, nigh on perpetual, presence of their first person perspectives.
How does the increased role of Teia and Kip influence the overall reading experience of The Broken Eye?
It was a sincere delight to accompany these two along their individualized campaigns because of how painstakingly personal the reader is able to get with these characters in spite of the mammoth bulk of the plotline.
The number one instance of the intimate reader-to-character connection is seen most notably in Kip.
Weeks demonstrates with flying colors the dichotomy of playful wisecracking versus heartfelt emotion in Kip, which makes for a strikingly captivating character.
The duality of man is harped on, emphasizing that humans often appear to be one way on the surface when underneath there may be a whole lot more to the story than meets the eye.
Does the increased role of Teia and Kip influence the rest of the characters in The Broken Eye?
With the additional passages surrounding Teia and Kip came substantially diminished roles for other characters, some roles of which I was profoundly surprised to see minimized.
Liv, Koios and even the mighty Gavin Guile himself saw far less of the limelight this time around.
Considering that Koios was one of the chief antagonists of the prior two novels and that Gavin Guile was my personal favorite character going into the third volume, I would have obviously liked to see more from these characters given the circumstances.
Then again, this phenomenon may just be one of those signature calculated ruses of Brent Weeks that plays into the grand scheme of things. After all, Weeks does have two more books to work with!
How is the plot structure of The Broken Eye?
Although I had petty qualms with the character continuity, Weeks delivered on the plotline of The Broken Eye in typical Weeks nonchalance.
Every plot twist left my head reeling, wondering incessantly how I was not able to suspect it earlier. Weeks certainly knows how to write a storyline and keep the reader gawking at what could possibly happen next.
It almost seemed as if every other chapter was culminating to some sort of cliffhanger, which is remarkably challenging to do in a 795 page novel.
Even with the length, reading The Broken Eye was a pleasure. I attribute this pleasure mainly to the effortless fashion in which I was able to immerse myself into the story. And that wasn’t even the best part!
How long does it take to read The Broken Eye?
The Broken Eye is certainly one of the longer novels in the Lightbringer series.
This novel is a little more than 257,000 words in length. The page count is 864 on the dot. This novel is certainly not for the faint of heart. The average reader will take about 17 hours in total to read through The Broken Eye.
If you have gotten this far in the series, I would not let a couple extra hours dissuade you from giving this book a shot. On the other hand, if you have a hard time committing to one novel, this extra time investment may be something you want to consider.
How does The Broken Eye compare to the rest of the novels in the Lightbringer series?
As aforementioned, The Broken Eye is definitely a longer read compared to the rest of the fantasy series.
I am not entirely sure this excess length was necessary. There were certain sections in this novel that fell flat for me. Although these tedious sections were short-lived, they were what held me back from rating this novel a perfect ten out of ten.
Nonetheless, when the action was rolling, it was rolling in full force.
The climactic points in the novel all revolved around physical engagements. It is almost as if Brent Weeks heard my prayers. He delivered on all my pleas for action from the previous novel, The Blinding Knife. This emphasis on combat made the Lightbringer series a whole lot more interesting.
Needless to say, I am excited for what Brent Weeks has in store for us with his next two Lightbringer volumes.
What are the dominant themes in The Broken Eye?
A dominant theme in The Broken Eye is good versus evil.
In the world of the Chromeria, it is difficult to draw the line between good and evil. In most cases, characters do not lie wholly one way or the there. More often than not, characters lie in the grey area between good and evil.
No protagonist is morally pure in The Broken Eye. As much as we would like to regard them as virtuously unstained, these protagonists have done wrong.
Most fantasy authors do not write their characters in this way because they are afraid to stray away from the archetypical fantasy hero. Weeks went against the grain with his characterization style and it paid massive dividends.
By acknowledging that all of the protagonists are morally flexible, Weeks makes his characters human. Mortal. Real. Nobody in the real world is without flaws.
The story behind the characters in The Broken Eye serves as a reminder that anyone can fall victim to evil. This novel reiterates that good does not always reign victorious.
The unveiling of these hard truths via the theme of good versus evil is one of the distinguishing characteristics of The Broken Eye. It makes the story feel real, even though it is set in a fantasy world.
Another dominant theme in The Broken Eye is the longing for escape.
Certain characters find themselves in precarious circumstances in The Broken Eye. They are backed into corners and humbled when things do not go their way. Consequently, in these deep and dark times, these characters yearn to escape their current predicament.
Being hemmed in by the walls of a prison cell is not the only means to provoke this desire to escape. This longing for escape exists both on a physical level and an emotional level.
The concept of an emotional prison is evident in several characters in The Broken Eye. Their worst enemy is not an external villain. Their own worst enemy is themselves.
In essence, these characters hold the keys to their own fictional prison. These protagonists have the power to satisfy their longing for escape if they would only expand their scope of perspective.
The presence of physical and emotional barriers is a point of emphasis throughout The Broken Eye. It is always a challenge to predict which characters will fail and which characters will prevail in their attempt to escape.
This theme just adds another slab of metaphorical depth to The Broken Eye.
What is the best part of The Broken Eye?
The ending, my fellow fanatics, is the best part.
I will not spoil anything but the conclusion had me legitimately disputing everything that I had ever read in the prior two books and wholeheartedly believing that there is nothing out of the realm of writing possibility with Brent Weeks.
How did you feel while reading The Broken Eye?
Like I said before, the climactic moments of The Broken Eye had my heart racing. The defining action scenes of this novel were certainly a step up from those in The Blinding Knife.
The combat spectacles had me genuinely concerned about whether or not my favorite characters would survive. Although these physical engagements were stressful, it was a good kind of stress.
I must admit, however, that the sheer length of the novel got to me at certain points.
Some of the sections felt drawn out more than they had to be. These portions of the novel made me feel exhausted, almost like reading The Broken Eye was a chore rather than a pastime.
This is a feeling you never want to have while reading. Fortunately, these dreary passages were short-lived.
Witnessing the marked contrast between the development and downfall of certain characters made me feel introspective.
Being exposed to these divergent perspectives seemingly from chapter to chapter was eye opening. I was pleased with the amount of effort Weeks put in to illustrate this disparity.
Watching particular protagonists grow and develop was the easy part. The tough part was seeing the downfall of some of my favorite protagonists firsthand.
Often times, the true nature of a character is revealed when they are knocked down and stripped of their essence. The unveiling of the raw character of these protagonists made me connect with the protagonists even more.
In summary, The Broken Eye was an emotional ride, from start to finish.
What is the follow up novel to The Broken Eye?
The Broken Eye is the third volume in a five book fantasy series named The Lightbringer. The follow up novel to The Broken Eye is titled The Blood Mirror.
If you would like to hear a review on this follow up novel, check out my non-spoiler review of The Blood Mirror here! There are some surprising revelations that may tip the balance if you are on the fence.
The Broken Eye Review Recap
The Broken Eye is another robust edition to this fantasy saga, making a considerable case for the Lightbringer series cracking my personal list for top five fantasy series of all time.
Some new characters take the spotlight in this novel, a refreshing change from what I was used to in the prior two volumes. The action definitely took a step up from its predecessors.
Although this particular novel is a close second to The Blinding Knife in my eyes, it is well worth the read.
To continue along the Lightbringer series, explore the latest text and audiobook prices of the The Broken Eye on Amazon.
Looking for other books like The Broken Eye? Click over to My Top Fantasy Books for a vast selection of other novels that might pique your interest.
“This world has only two kinds of people: villains and smiling villains.”
“This is why there are few prophets. We end up dead a lot. The truth is offensive to men who love darkness.”
“This is how tyrants fall. By destroying their people, they destroy themselves.”
“I am of you,” said Kip.”I am Guile as much as you are. True, I have a scrap of decency, but only a scrap. How do you think you can treat a Guile with such disregard and get away with it? Because I am you. I’m as cold as you, I’m as smart as you, and when you push me, I’m as evil and cruel as you. I have a thin film of goodness floating on the top of my Guile, grandfather, but I don’t know how senile you must be to miss just how thin it is.”
“The man who is content to live alone is either a beast or a god.”
The Broken Eye Review Rating: 9/10!
Back of the Book Blurb
As the old gods awaken, the Chromeria is in a race to find its lost Prism, the only man who may be able to stop catastrophe, Gavin Guile. But Gavin’s enslaved on a galley, and when he finally escapes, he finds himself in less than friendly hands. Without the ability to draft which has defined him . . .
Meanwhile, the Color Prince’s army continues its inexorable advance, having swallowed two of the seven satrapies, they now invade the Blood Forest. Andross Guile, thinking his son Gavin lost, tasks his two grandsons with stopping the advance. Kip and his psychopathic half-brother Zymun will compete for the ultimate prize: who will become the next Prism.