The Blood Mirror Review
Finally, after finishing my reread of The Blood Mirror, I am caught up on the Lightbringer series and ready to dive into the Burning White! So, here is my review of the penultimate book in the Lightbringer series.
I recall being disappointed, last time, after reading this book. I felt like the end of The Broken Eye set the stage for some epicness that was never fully realized. And, unfortunately, that impression lingered, here, and I've rated this as the lowest book in the series.
But what worked? Who would have thought that the best part of any book would be of a man locked in a room for essentially the entire book? Gavin, former Prism, has now spent nearly two thousand pages in captivity, and one would expect it to get old. But, Gavin is so awesome, and the revelations that come from his self-exploration (as well as that of the dead man) are so intense that you want to just skip ahead to get back to Gavin. Andross, of course, tends to be a highlight, and it's especially rewarding when you see the occasional scenes where he has a glimmer of humanity shine through.
Kip took a huge step back in The Blood Mirror. His characterization has been uneven throughout, but I didn't mind for the most part because he showed steady growth. He was finally accepting who he was and who he could be by the end of the previous book. And, the ending--the flight from Chromeria and having a group being dubbed "The Mighty" felt like there was some epic task that they would achieve in this book. But, in The Blood Mirror, nothing felt big. Kip regressed (OMG, I'm fat and dumb. How could a big-boobed woman love me? Also, we can't have sex because vaginismus is happening and you are being clubbed over the head with it). His story felt small, and even through there were a couple of big fight scenes, Kip fell out of favor with me. Not to mention the GIANT INFO DUMPS to teach us about the Blood Forest (most of which has no bearing on the story).
Teia and Karris were fine, but just not particularly exciting. I kept expecting some resurgence of the gods that Kip had encountered, but none of that happened. It was more just Karris getting used to her job, and Teia getting used to hers. Teia did get a good section in Paria that showed her badassitude, but I was mostly just bored with her. With Karris, it was incredibly weird in that everyone else in politics seemed to disappear aside from Andross. Where did the Colors go? What about Zymun? He showed up and then vanished, except when he'd get an occasional mention in Karris' thoughts.
I was struggling to put into words why this book just didn't resonate with me, and I think I've figured out it. There was far more showing rather than telling throughout. There would be pages and pages of just following a character's thought process and logic. What if I did this? Let me remind you of my past. What if I did this? Or this? I would just much rather that the character did the thing and we would be able to understand their motives because of what they've been through and because of who they are/have become. Some thought exploration is fine, but not hundreds of pages of it. This is where you could really see that a trilogy got drawn out into a five-book series after getting popular. It doesn't quite reach the level of Jordanism, but at times it felt close.
I did give this a three star because, ultimately, this was still an interesting outing (though less so than the others). I am just crossing my fingers that this was acting more like a prelude to some of the same AWESOMENESS that we saw in the first three books.