Overview (No Spoilers):
I’m currently in the midst of not only a book hangover, but indeed a whole series hangover. It has been such a long time since I’ve read a completed series (that isn’t an established classic) and enjoyed almost every part of it. For reference, The Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett, is another series that comes to mind that I comparably raved about. Interestingly and much to his credit, my good friend Cory recommended both series to me.
The Burning White was chock full of multilayered, complex revelations that significantly changed motivations and foundations that had been established for key characters since book one. As I finished the last page, I was filled with the overwhelming urge to begin a reread of The Lightbringer series to now reexamine the finished jigsaw puzzle under fresh eyes. To be honest, I worry that some of the fast paced maneuvering went over my head, leaving me feeling as though there were a lot of loose ends, when in reality it might have been resolved in a subtle interaction I failed to connect a bigger meaning. While this might sound like a complaint that likely compounded my feelings of needing a reread, I can’t say enough how much I still enjoyed the clever complexity of this whole series. I don’t feel like a reread is needed to have the novel feel complete, instead as a way to pick up on the nuances and deliberately vague references that I might have missed during the first pass. I think this series is one of the rare few instances where a second or third read would continue to yield satisfying insights and novel revelations.
I’m an emotional reader, fairly easy to move to tears. The Burning White had me crying in almost every chapter. Sure, there were a good amount of sad tears, but Weeks had me into the waterworks at every reunion and hug, let alone the moments of significance. The constant tears are not only a testament to Week’s writing style but more importantly, the connection his characters had made with the readers over five books.
I can’t even believe I’m going to comment on this last pseudo-complaint and I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible. I love happy endings. The ending will make or break both books and movies for me. The Lightbringer series has been a fairly dark series, filled with death and despair at various points. The ending in contrast seemed disproportionally happy for the hurdles that had to be overcome. That being said, my heart is happy with the outcome but my head whispers that everything was too neatly wrapped with a big bow by the last chapter. Overall, The Burning White was a delightful, action packed conclusion to a series that should apologetically arrest the imaginations of any fan of fantasy.
Additional Insights (Spoilers Abound):
- What happened to the rest of the blinding knives?
- Will pilgrims venture to cross White Mist Reef now that there is only one sea demon guarding the way?
- If there is only one sea demon left, will it be able to balance the banes?
- Maybe I skipped this leap of intuition, however were Andross’ flashbacks we were treated to this whole book in the last card Kip was given?
- Is Andross a prism now? Is that how he became a polychrome?
- How would Kip have reacted if he had viewed Gavin’s card? Or was Andross referring to Dazen’s card? With Dazen reclaiming his name did he have a conversation with Kip about maybe being his uncle? I guess that’s one aspect I was confused about. In book four we thought that Andross was Kip’s father but by the end it seemed cemented that it was in fact Gavin. How did we find out this fact concretely?
- Did Kip ever meet his other Grandfather?
- Wouldn’t Grinwoody have been suspicious how Teia had returned to the Jaspers in the last secret chapter?
- What happened to Gunner after the battle?
- Cruxer’s end was heartbreaking on so many levels. It also seemed out of character that his duty to keep Kip safe would have kept him from blindly battling IronFist. Ugh, it seemed rather pointless. Plus, what happened when the Mighty found out about Quentin’s role in Lucia’s death? How would Cruxer have reacted?
- Did Teia see her immortal protector again? How many other people had them?
- Where were the whales in the final battle?
- What was the significance of the mirror flashback Orholam gave Gavin? Was this how the mirror was burned out that Kip saw during his inspection? Why bring the green wright’s (who Kip interacted with right away in book one) sister into the story?
- Orholam and Gavin’s interactions were the most tedious of the book but they played a role in the finality of this read.
- What role did Kip’s tattoo play?
- Also, at the end Kip wonders if he sees a hint of green on the testing rod. I can’t take credit for this observtion as I read it as a theory on redit but perhaps it was Kip’s version of Orholam’s Wink.
- What will happen to Liv?
- What happened to the Everdark gates? They were mentioned both by the characters and prophesy over and over again, but nothing much happened in the end.
- Did Liv really save Danavis after the battle? What happened to him once the dust settled?