Authors: Brent Weeks
Perfect Shadow: A Night Angel Novella
The Night Angel Trilogy
The Way of Shadows
Beyond the Shadows
Night Angel: The Complete Trilogy
The Night Angel Trilogy: 10th Anniversary Edition
The Lightbringer Series
The Black Prism
The Blinding Knife
The Broken Eye
The Blood Mirror
The Burning White
First published in Great Britain in 2019 by Orbit
Copyright © 2019 by Brent Weeks
Maps by Chad Roberts Design
The moral right of the author has been asserted.
All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
An imprint of
Little, Brown Book Group
50 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0DZ
An Hachette UK Company
To my wife, Kristi, who is far too practical to have suggested I quit my job to write and far too wise to keep repeating for five years, “Let’s not have a backup plan.”
Yet she did.
&To my stubborn readers, who deserve to be rewarded.*
*I said “deserve to be.” Not “will be.”
In the empire of the Seven Satrapies, some people are born with the ability to transform light into luxin: a physical, tangible substance that exists in one of nine colors. The process is known as drafting, and each drafted color has unique physical and metaphysical properties and innumerable uses, from construction to warfare. Trained at the empire’s capital, the Chromeria, drafters lead lives of privilege, with politicians and powerful families vying for their services. In exchange, they agree that once they exhaust their ability to safely use magic—signaled when the halos of their irises are broken by the colors they draft—they will be killed by the emperor, the Prism, in a ceremony on the most holy day of the year: Sun Day. Drafters who have broken the halo are called wights, and they descend into madness if they are not Freed; those who run from the ritual Freeing are hunted to their deaths. Only the Prism can draft with limitless power, and he or she alone can balance all the colors in the satrapies to prevent luxin from overwhelming the lands and creating chaos. Every seven years, or on a multiple of seven years, the Prism also gives up his or her life, and the ruling council installs a new Prism. If the Prism refuses death, he or she is likewise hunted down by the elite squadron assigned to protecting the empire: the Blackguard.
Kip Delauria is scrounging for shards of luxin on a battlefield of the False Prism’s War outside Rekton. He comes upon a green wight, Gaspar Elos, bound and trying to escape. Satrap Garadul has declared himself king and is planning to lay waste to Rekton; there is an army camped not far away. Kip races to the home of red dyer Master Danavis, who urges Kip to find his friends and run. During his escape attempt, Kip inadvertently drafts. Later he finds his mother, Lina, gravely injured, hidden in a cave with one of his friends. She gives him a rosewood box containing a mysterious jewel-encrusted dagger before dying.