The Burning White: Book Five of Lightbringer (Lightbringer #5)

After the battle, while still on a Chromeria ship, Kip and Gavin meet with Andross Guile. Kip realizes that Andross is a color wight and moves to confront his grandfather. Kip draws the Blinding Knife and stabs Andross in the shoulder. Gavin tries to intervene but can only redirect the knife into his own body. Gavin falls overboard, and Kip jumps after him.

They are quickly picked up by the Bitter Cob, led by pirate captain Gunner, a crazed cannoneer who was on a ship Gavin had earlier destroyed; the Blinding Knife has grown into a huge gun-sword. Gunner decides to keep Gavin and the gun-sword, throwing Kip back into the ocean as a tribute to Ceres.

Andross discovers he is no longer a wight.

Kip is picked up in a small boat by Zymun, Gavin and Karris’s long-lost illegitimate son.

Gavin wakes to find he can’t draft, is completely color-blind . . . and a slave rower.





Book Three: The Broken Eye


Kip and Zymun are adrift at sea until Kip escapes and swims his way to shore. He struggles to survive, withstanding dehydration, injury, and hallucinations for several weeks as he attempts to return home to the Jaspers.

Ironfist and the other Blackguards have returned to the Chromeria, where Kip is presumed dead. The Spectrum meet to decide what to do about the war and Gavin’s absence; Andross is made promachos, commander in chief of the Chromeria’s military. Teia is recruited by Murder Sharp, a skilled paryl assassin for the Order of the Broken Eye. Karris, who is now married to the Prism, is removed from the Blackguard to become spymistress for the White.

Upon his homecoming, Kip tells the Spectrum and Karris that Gavin is still alive and forges a tenuous alliance with Andross. He trains and studies under Karris and reunites with his old Blackguard squad: Cruxer, Ben-hadad, Big Leo, Teia, Ferkudi, Winsen, Goss, and Daelos. Andross grants the group access to restricted libraries so they can research heretical Nine Kings cards and the Lightbringer, a long-prophesied savior of the satrapies, hoping they’ll gain information to win the war. The group meets and befriends Quentin Naheed, a humble and brilliant young luxiat and scholar.

Back across the ocean, Gavin—color-blind and unable to draft—is a galley slave on Gunner’s pirate ship. His oarmate is an old prophet nicknamed Orholam. After months of sailing on the open sea, Gavin is freed by Antonius Malargos, a na?ve young Ruthgari noble. They sail for Rath, a large port city in Ruthgar, where Gavin is handed over to Antonius’s cousin Eirene. She imprisons Gavin and plots with the Nuqaba of Paria (who possesses the orange seed crystal). They decide to spare Gavin’s life but plan to burn out his eyes.

Teia confesses to Ironfist and the White that she had been stealing for her owner, Aglaia Crassos, and that she has been ensnared by the Order of the Broken Eye. Under the White’s orders, Teia becomes a double agent for the Chromeria, infiltrating the Order; she immediately undertakes various missions to prove her loyalty to the Order. Teia soon gets a message from Karris that someone is planning to kill Kip, and she hurries with Cruxer and Winsen to try to help their friend. They save Kip and kill the Blackguards who were trying to assassinate him.

While meeting with Andross, Kip learns that his grandfather knows about Zymun, who is on his way to the Jaspers, and that when he arrives, he will be named Prism-elect—unless Kip can find Andross’s missing Nine Kings deck, as well as the originals Kip saved from Janus Borig’s house.

Kip, after confessing his feelings to Teia and telling her about Tisis’s proposal that they marry, goes down to the Prism’s training room and finds the lost Nine Kings cards in a punching bag. When Kip accidentally absorbs all the cards, he falls dead and enters the Great Library, where he meets an immortal: Abaddon.

Meanwhile, Karris and Ironfist learn where Gavin is and plan to go rescue him. They leave with a team of Blackguards and rescue Gavin from the giant hippodrome, but not before one of Gavin’s eyes is burned out with a red-hot metal rod. When they return, they take Gavin to a chirurgeon they trust to hide him while Karris goes to look for Kip.

Back in the training room, Teia finds Kip’s body. She revives him, but Kip is distraught to find the images have disappeared from the cards. He has stolen Abaddon’s shimmercloak, which he gives to Teia. Kip has trouble sorting out reality from the visions he saw on the cards.

Teia follows Andross to his estate on Big Jasper, where she overhears him meeting with Zymun about Zymun’s future with the Guile family, and then with Murder Sharp plotting to assassinate the White. She reports this to Kip, and the two of them rush to the White’s rooms to find her dying. The day after Orea’s passing, Karris finds herself at the ceremony for selecting a new White—and that she is a nominee.

During the ceremony, Andross removes Ironfist from the Blackguard and publicly banishes Kip and his friends from the Chromeria. They all make their way back to the tower, where Kip and his squad are given uniform blacks, supplies, and a new name: the Mighty. They decide to board a ship to flee the Chromeria, but before they can leave, Zymun orders the newly formed Lightguard to kill Kip and his friends; Goss is killed and Daelos is gravely wounded before they can meet Tisis Malargos at the docks. Kip and Tisis marry, then set sail for Blood Forest with the Mighty, who have pledged fealty to Kip.

Karris discovers that the ceremony for selecting a new White has been rigged using orange luxin hexes, even though the sacred ritual is supposed to be guided by Orholam. When two of the other candidates attack her, Karris kills them and becomes Karris White.

Ironfist finds his brother, Tremblefist, dying. He confesses that he knows Ironfist has been working for the Order of the Broken Eye since he came to the Chromeria. Ironfist then meets with the leader of the Order, the Old Man of the Desert—who is revealed to be Andross’s secretary and slave, Grinwoody.

Meanwhile, Liv Danavis has been hunting the superviolet seed crystal at the command of the Color Prince. But though the Color Prince tries to make her wear a black luxin choker to keep her under his control, she captures the seed crystal on her own.

Gavin wakes up to find himself inside the blue prison cell he built beneath the Prism’s Tower.





Book Four: The Blood Mirror


Teia and Murder Sharp kidnap Marissia, stealing documents from her that were vital to Karris’s rule as the new White. Gavin wakes up to find that Marissia is with him in the blue cell to tend to his injuries. She confesses that she was not only Orea Pullawr’s spymistress, but also her granddaughter. As soon as Gavin is on the mend, Andross arrives and takes Marissia away, presumably to her death.

Karris survives her first meeting with Andross as the White, where he agrees to handle the issue of her killing two men during the selection process. Karris then meets her estranged son, Zymun, who tells her of his traumatic childhood; she swears that she’ll never abandon him again.

Teia has her first meeting with the Old Man of the Desert, who tasks her with getting close to Karris. He tells her to tag someone for him to have assassinated, as a ‘gift’ for her loyalty thus far. This meeting is followed by one with newly promoted Commander Fisk, whom she feels uneasy around after the Mighty find out he was compromised. Fisk tells her that he believes she stayed behind for Kip and that he and the Blackguard will be there for the Mighty when they need him. He also informs her that she will be taking her final vows as a full Blackguard the following day; she is to stand vigil that night. Teia then goes down to the cells to see the prisoners who will be executed on Sun Day to find Quentin, who has been arrested for murdering Lucia during the Blackguard training. She tags him with paryl to mark him for assassination but removes the tag before the execution ceremony.

During Sun Day, Karris condemns High Luxiat Tawleb to Orholam’s Glare for ordering Quentin to assassinate Kip. His execution is followed by Pheronike’s, a spy for the Color Prince; while he burns, Pheronike releases Nabiros, a three-headed djinn that had possessed him. Karris spares Quentin, choosing to make him a slave as an example of the Magisterium’s greed and corruption.

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