This book was a lot better than 'The Black Prism' in my opinion, and everything that I think the first book should've been.
In 'The Blinding Knife', the story picks up almost immediately on from the previous book in the aftermath of the battle of Garriston. The Prism, Gavin Guile, has to find a new home for the Tyrean refugees, while at the same time trying to cope with the fact that he has lost Blue and is therefore dying now, rather than in 5 years as was expected. In the mean time, he sends Kip to train and try enter the elite Blackguard to toughen him up, and Liv tries to adjust to life in the Colour Prince's army.
In the first book, I felt that not a lot happened and the characters were kind of jarring and unrealistic. In this book however that it completley different. First of all, a lot happens. There's still some of the political intrigue from the first book, but there's a lot more drama and suspense and mystery to keep you guessing and hooked throughout.
The characters felt better and more developed as well, predominantly Kip. In 'The Black Prism' I thought Kip was a little... bipolar, in that sometimes he was quite smarmy and witty and other times just moaned on and on about how pathetic he was. While his overall personality hasn't changed, I felt that he was more consistent in his personality, and no longer moaned on and on about his patheticness - he felt more real. And over the course of the book he obviously grew and developed as a person which was great to see, and you can see him growing into more of a hero.
There were also some nice additions to the cast of characters, firstly in Teia, Kip's training partner in the Blackguard training class. There was also Cruxer, a prodigy and good hearted boy also in the training camp. We also saw a lot more of Andross Guile, Gavin's father, who was a delightfully cruel antagonist character that was lovely to see.
Overall, I felt that the book was a lot better, as Weeks has managed to settle in to the story and characters a lot more. This book was a lot more gripping than the first one, and left me greatly intrigued into what will happen in the next book. It also included a useful glossary and appendix explaining various terms and aspects of this world that was not in the first book and I felt was incredibly useful to help readers understand certain aspects of the world, particularly the magic side, without having to stop the main story in order to describe it all. Overall, a great improvement.