|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
Many centuries ago, the world was nearly destroyed by the dark wizards of the Consult, and the High King's family was wiped out--or so it seemed. Then from the wild, uncharted north comes a mysterious and extraordinarily powerful philosopher-warrior, Anasurimbor Kellhus, descendant of the ancient High Kings. But the return of the king's bloodline is little cause for rejoicing. For Kellhus's appearance may signal the overthrow of empires, the destruction of the sorcerous schools, the return of the Consult demons--and the end of the world.
The Darkness that Comes Before is a strong, impressive, deeply imagined debut novel. However, this first book of an epic fantasy series is not accessible; it reads like a later volume of a complicated ongoing series. Author R. Scott Bakker has created a world that is very different from J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, yet in depth of development comes closer than most high-fantasy worlds. In addition to providing five appendices, Bakker attempts to make his complex world clear to readers by filling the prologue and opening chapters with the names of characters, gods, cities, tribes, nations, religions, factions, and sorcerous schools. For many readers, this approach will have the opposite effect of clarity. It's like demonstrating snowflake structure with a blizzard. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Canadian author Bakker's impressive, challenging debut, the first of a trilogy, should please those weary of formulaic epic fantasy. Bakker's utterly foreign world, Eärwa, is as complex as that of Tolkien, to whom he is, arguably, a worthier successor than such established names as David Eddings and Stephen Donaldson. Bakker creates an extraordinary cast of nationalities and races involved in an enormous holy war set off by an unseen prophet, Maithanet. (Appendices help keep the history and personalities straight.) He casually drops for half the story an increasingly important character, Anasûrimbor Kellhus (aka "the Prince of Nothing"), who finally returns without a breath of exposition. The amiable and wise sorcerer spy Drusas Achamian binds the myriad narrative threads together. Drusas's love for Esmenet, a too-experienced prostitute, provides some tenderness amid the abundant slaughter. In the book's most harrowing scene, which fans of gentler fantasy will find too graphic, Esmenet is raped by a creature who, despite its human appearance, is likely demonic. If this ambitious novel lacks the beauty of Tolkien as well as the sense of pure evil that suffused Middle-earth with genuine terror, its willingness to take chances and avoid the usual genre clichés should win many discriminating readers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Mr Bakker is a phenomenally good writer and his intellect shines through in a most appealing way. The story is original and epic in scope, and the world he has created may not be... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
This is definitely not a quick or easy read, but an armchair late night experience - the experience is worth the effort.Published 1 month ago by it's okay
It's funny how many of the 1-star reviews think Robert Jordan is a good writer. That's probably a good litmus test for whether you'll hate this or love it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Xtofyr
I am posting my thoughts on the 3 books in the series. Afterall it reads as 1 story spread over 3 books.
This is not light reading. Read more
Loved this book the first time around, halfway through a second read now and it's still great. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes the fantasy genre.Published 2 months ago by kyle Duncan
Horrible author. I read the rave reviews and made the mistake of purchasing all three. Do not buy anything from this author and now I will always question ratings from Steven... Read morePublished 3 months ago by jacques
Like a Frank Hurbert of Dune, Bakker leverages a deep understanding of history, politics, and religion to animate realistic motivations of this layered and fantastical story. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brian Richard Karas
The first half of the book wandered and didn't immediately suck me in, but as the world opened up and the plot unfolded I found it harder and harder to put down. Read morePublished 6 months ago by N. Holtschulte