Holy infodump, Batman. The Broken Eye is not a short book. Despite that, it never feels slow. The massive page count notwithstanding, a LOT happens in this book. This isn’t some Shyamalan story where there’s just one big twist near the end. No, readers are constantly fed new information. And it’s not necessarily new information to the characters. It’s new to some characters; the ones whose POV we get throughout the story. So, young people. All these older folks who have been playing the Game of Thrones for a long time are already aware of this stuff.
It’s honestly kind of hard to review this book spoiler-free because of all that. So, let’s carry things over from my review of The Blinding Knife and talk about the characters. Everything The Blinding Knife did, which it did well mind you, The Broken Eye does better. With all the different perspectives, it’s really hard to nail down a single person as the Main Character. First, it seemed like it was Kip, but then Gavin started being a badass, and now we’ve focused more on Kip again. Plus, Teia’s time and influence in the story continues to grow.
Like I said last time, Kip’s character arc is very much a coming-of-age story. He started this series as a somewhat bright but uneducated and untraveled village boy. Now we’re starting to see what the clay that is his childhood will be molded into. A soldier, a warrior, a leader. And thank Orholam he got more mature. It becomes pretty clear throughout The Broken Eye that Kip has the potential to be a great man. He just needed the experience to grow into one.
Teia, on the flipside, goes through her own struggles. While Kip’s problems are mostly physical and emotional, hers are more mental. She’s living in the same world as all these other characters, but at the same time, she’s not. There are aspects of what’s happening only she can see. Dark secrets she stumbles into that could hurt her friends if they find out. And all the stress that comes with keeping such secrets.
While all this is going on, the other characters are still getting developed too. Some had more or less facetime than in the previous books, but no one gets neglected. Every character is just that, a character. Nobody gets demoted to being a background piece, which is fantastic.
This is the best book in the Lightbringer series so far. A very powerful middle point and one of the best in any series I’ve read to date. I’m a little skeptical about the next book because the 2nd-to-last entry tends to be the weakest in series like these. But it’s come a long way from the initial skepticism the first book gave me, so we’ll see.