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Bakker's The Prince of Nothing series
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 9:34 pm    Post subject: Bakker's The Prince of Nothing series Reply with quote

Hi guys!

When I held a poll which was to determine the best "ongoing" fantasy series, I was expecting some surprises. But one series in particular received a vast number of votes, especially from people here!Wink R. Scott Bakker's The Prince of Nothing garnered so many rave reviews that I knew I had to inquire about this one. For, like most fantasy fans, I had never heard of him or his books. Several people were more than a little surprised by his series' presence in our list of top "ongoing" series. Hopefully that will change soon!

The first volume is titled THE DARKNESS THAT COMES BEFORE. To put it simply, this is an impressive debut. One of the very best debut novels I have read in years. An intelligent work, in every run of the mill. Which is probably satisfy purists in a way that is seldom seen. Bakker has created something quite special. But the philosophical and religious aspects of this tale will indubitably prevent the series from becoming mainstream. Which, in the end, might allow it to retain its uniqueness in the fantasy genre.

THE DARKNESS THAT COMES BEFORE is a rare cross between Dune and The Lord of the Rings. It's obvious that Frank Herbert's epic has been a major influence on Bakker, both in form and on a deeper level. The format also follows that of the Dune books. But fear not, this is by no means a Dune rip-off. Bakker, although influenced by the master, has created a truly original universe.

Not since I've read Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World in the early 90s have I come across a work that resounds with such depth.

One of the only problems with this novel is that the pace is at times very slow. That wasn't a problem for me, because I could still appreciate the content, the worldbuilding, and everything else there is to like about this book. And the author has a lot of groundwork to initially set up, especially with the characters. But this could be a problem for a number of people, especially those who like a lot of action, fight scenes and brisk rhythm.

As I mentioned, this is an intelligent work, one that will appeal to readers who need more than the fluff produced by a majority of fantasy writers today. Philosophy and religion play a big role in this tale, which imbues it with a depth that is seldom encountered on the current market. The Darkness that Comes Before is for a mature audience. As a matter of fact, I think that only such an audience can appreciate the novel at its just value.

This could well be the beginning of a saga that could become a "must read!" work. . . We will have to wait and see if it lives up to those high expectations.

I'd love to hear from other people who have read this novel, and hear your thoughts on the subject. As for me, well I'm wondering how can this one be flying low under the radar...Smile Can't wait to start reading the sequel!!

For those who are interested in learning more, you can read the full review on the weblog, as always...

Patrick
www.fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read the book after reading a recommendation from Steven Erikson (who I in turn read because of recommendations from Donaldson), and I enjoyed it even though, as you said, it goes a little slow in places. The style also seemed a little less accessible than most, but I'm still looking forward to future volumes in both Prince of Nothing and the full Second Apocalypse series.
I've been meaning to read The Warrior-Prophet for a few months now, and I hear that Thousandfold Thought may be due for an october release. That one will complete the Prince of Nothing trilogy; I don't know how long it will then be before he begins the second volume (titled "The Aspect-Emperor" and expected to be a dualogy, IIRC).
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really good books. I picked up Prince of Nothing for the same reason Murrin did.

It's definately not for the kids. Partly because of the pacing (definately not short attention span theatre), partly for the depth (think a cross between Martin and Zindell), but mainly for the violence and sexual content. Xerius and the other Ikureis would almost make the Lannisters blush.
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting redundant... simply IMHO the second best current written epic fantasy series being at the moment only behind George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, and slightly of Erikson's Malazan series.
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys!

I have admit that I had very high expectations for this book. How could it be otherwise, when just about everyone told me that this sequel is much better than its predecessor? And the author himself set the bar rather high with The Darkness that Comes Before. But in all objectivity, I must say that The Warrior-Prophet did not live up to those expectations. Don't get me wrong. I thought it was a good and fascinating novel. But in my opinion, the book suffers from a number of shortcomings that prevent it from achieving greatness.

In my opinion, the ending truly saves this one. I had grown disillusioned with the whole Warrior-Prophet and the Holy War. But the last hundred pages or so are great!Wink This an ending that no one can see coming, and it sets the stage for the final volume of the trilogy. And I will sure be lining up to get my hands on it!

Though I consider this book to contain a few shortcomings, The Warrior-Prophet nevertheless shows many signs of brilliance. Like its predecessor, it is not for everyone. I believe that most "mainstream" fantasy fans would have difficulty getting into this series. But for purists, it is a book to read!Smile

For the full review, check the weblog. And I know that many people were waiting for this one to come out in paperback. Well, it's already out in Canada, so you can buy it at amazon.ca...Smile

Patrick
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been told to pick this up countless times, as I enjoyed Erikson's Malazan books as well as Donaldson, but everytime I go to teh bookstore, something else gets in teh bag, one of these days I need to force myself to getg inoto it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:36 pm    Post subject: Ordered Reply with quote

I have both of these books coming to me via Ebay. I am currently winning a signed advanced readers copy of Warrior Prophet:)
I have heard so many rave reviews and now that i am without Erikson until Feb 2006 i need another amazing series of fantasy.

I am currently reading Dune due to Fizz^^ recommendation and its is great so far but i am a fantasy nut at heart.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last week I ordered the signed hardcover of the Warrior-Prophet. It's still not actually out here yet, so that'll not be getting sent for another week or so (release is 7th July).
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I the only one who felt "The Darkness That Comes Before" was hard to get into? Sad

I gave it a try last week but Bakker's style just didn't grab me at all. Some interesting ideas, but perhaps not as accessible as some authors. Still, I'm willing to give it another chance at some point.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Am I the only one who felt "The Darkness That Comes Before" was hard to get into?


This is a common a common opinion; admittedly the introduction is rough, but IMHO pays off immensely to stick with it.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys!

Well, I have just received word that The Overlook Press has given me the "go ahead" to organize my R. Scott Bakker contest. In the beginning, the prize was to be a copy of The Thousandfold Thought. Which, everyone would agree, was a neat enough prize. But Overlook has decided to set the bar a little higher, granting the winner a complete hardcover set of The Prince of Nothing trilogy. Hence, the lucky winner will received The Darkness that Comes Before, The Warrior-Prophet, and The Thousandfold Thought! Now that's something! Very Happy

Check the blog for more details. . .

Patrick
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Pretty good contest.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys!

I just wanted to let you know that Scott has accepted to do an interview with me. As always, feel free to submit your own questions, for I make it a point to include the best questions coming from the fans! Very Happy

As for the Bakker contest, I will announce the name of the lucky winner next week! So there is still time to participate! Good luck! The name of the Erikson contest winner should be announced soon as well.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Patrick
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you ask him to pull some strings with Santa and get me The Thousandfold Thought for Christmas?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey syl...if Bakker goes to Vancouver in Jan. and i get to go up and see him, i'll get you a SIGNED copy!!! Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to let everyone know that the name of the lucky winner has been drawn! Very Happy

Patrick
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys!

I just posted the incredibly interesting Q&A I did with Scott. . . Very Happy Great stuff in there!

Enjoy! Twisted Evil

Patrick
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Well first off, you should know that I don’t write fantasy - only hacks write fantasy. My books are about the triumph of the human spirit which just happen to have everything you would find in The Wheel of Time...

lol. Good interview.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Thousandfold Thought is blowing me away. Shocked Shocked Shocked

The story itself is fantastic, though, as Syl mentioned - this is not for the kiddies. Lots of violence and lots of sex, including some pretty graphic incest and rape and other sorts of such stuff.

I haven't finished the book yet, though. Partly due to busyness and lack of reading time - but partly because I discovered that there is an encyclopedia in the back and I keep getting lost and engrossed in it.

Bakker's world might be the best crafted one I have run across other than Middle Earth or Dune. The history back in the encyclopedia has me captivated. Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just started reading this series...So far so good.
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