Customer Review

51 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars about as good as modern fantasy gets, December 25, 2006
This review is from: The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing, Book 1) (Paperback)
This was an amazing book, beautifully written, full of original fantasy and incredible depth. Kellhus, the descendant of an ancient line of forgotten kings, is called to the holy city of Shimeh by his father, for mysterious reasons. They are both of the Dunyain, an order of supremely logical monks who are trained to silence all their emotions; they have no real magic, but training has given them some neat abilities, including incredible skills as warriors, the capacity of reading men's minds by the nuances of their tones of voice/facial expressions, and calculating the future by means of a probability trance. They can manipulate others so easily that it's sometimes referred to as possession.

Although Kellhus is the first real protagonist of the novel, he disappears for most of the book after his relatively brief introduction. Mainly we follow the doings of Achamian, a spy and a sorcerer who is searching for signs of the Consult, the evil force responsible for the apocalypse two-thousand years before. Most fantasy writing has the *feel* of some particular culture or time period (e.g. medieval, prehistoric, Asian, Western, etc.). This book feels Middle Eastern and a little Asian, and is reminiscent of both the Bible (Old and New Testament) and the Crusades; a new prophet is inciting a Holy War to reclaim the holy city of Shimeh while in the background, Achamian begins realizing that the second Apocalypse may already be unfolding.

Like a lot of epic fantasy, this book has a huge number of names and made up words. There are tons of characters (historical and present), different peoples, tribes, kingdoms and schools. It makes the world seem more majestic, but some might find it tiring. The events detailed are big rather than small; this isn't the tale of a single man's quest for greatness or self knowledge or anything like that. It's a fun read, but it isn't really a light or an easy read. It's also not a *flashy* fantasy book; there's much more plotting and intrigue here than real magic. Those who like fantasy books that focus on some central character gradually coming into his/her powers from an early age might not find it to their tastes. In the realm of epic fantasy, however, it's superb.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in