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The Great Ordeal: The Aspect-Emperor: Book Three (The Aspect-Emperor Trilogy) Hardcover – July 12, 2016
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
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“Terrifying and astonishing. Here is world-building on the grand scale it should achieve. Here are emotions and stakes driven to a pitch that will squeeze every reader breathless.”
- Ian C. Esslemont, author of Dancer's Lament
“With The Great Ordeal, the penultimate book in The Aspect-Emperor series, Bakker begins to betray the final mysteries of his cosmos, feeding and goading readers more than in any of the preceding novels… Page for page, this volume was a most haunting pleasure to read.”
“The worldbuilding is once again top notch. Bakker’s richly detailed narrative creates an imagery that virtually leaps off the page. The Middle Eastern setting of the western Three Seas remains a welcome change from the usual generic medieval environments found in most fantasy sagas… Indeed, Bakker’s creations remain head and shoulder above all other SFF settings on the market today… A compelling read that sets the stage for everything Bakker fans have been hoping for for so many years!”
- Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
“The Great Ordeal is a stunning addition to the series, go and buy it as soon as it is available. Seethes with intelligence, action and revelation and is a worthwhile continuation of the smartest epic fantasy of our generation.”
- The Wertzone
About the Author
R. Scott Bakker is a student of literature, history, philosophy, and ancient languages. His previous books include the Prince of Nothing trilogy: The Darkness that Comes Before, The Warrior Prophet, and The Thousandfold Thought. The Aspect-Emperor series is a sequel series that includes The Judging Eye, The White-Luck Warrior, and The Great Ordeal. He lives in London, Ontario.
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Not sure what Bakker intended when he wrote this. If he intended to write a philosophy textbook, then he deserves 5 stars, otherwise 2 stars is very generous.
As a reader of the preceding books in the series, I was severely disappointed by :
The constant ruminating of the characters
The fussiness in enumerating the detail of each setting
The overly prolonged background stories
The poor separation of flashbacks from present day
The introduction so many new characters in a series thats more than 4 books old.
Overall this book was written as a movie script with more attention paid to world building than the actual continuation of once great series.
Fascinating ideas and characters, an exciting plot and tight, well-crafted prose that has continued to improve with every book. Buy it. It has almost nothing in common with other books in this sales silo (a good thing in my opinion). This level of work should be promoted and rewarded.
(It is the antithesis of the phenomenon described here: www[dot]rifters[dot]com/crawl/?p=6515
The great ordeal picks up where the white luck warrior left off. There's another underground 2 underground treks in their book, a bizzare Magic helmet, a crazy child doing crazy things, and Kelhus ex machina at one point. Way way too much philosophizing about the nature of being and mind and the history of the Nonmen.
There are also slaughter and magic and seized and betrayals. So that's good.
It definitely sets up the continuation of the series and advanced plot but I find I care less about most characters than I used to.
I'm not sure Bakker is aware to any degree of how he uses italicization throughout his story line. It's positively distracting. Like Terry Pratchett and his interminable footnotes and David Weber's use of the phrase "at any rate", Bakker uses italicized words and phrases way too much. Thing is, the story is good enough to carry most, if not all, of what he's trying to emphasize without needing to italicize. You'd think a good editor would've caught it.
Other than that criticism, truly good stuff.
It's as if the author feels that every sentence has to have some sort of deep profundity. (Hint: it doesnt have that). It's giant chore to wade through the thicket of verbiage and psedo-philosophy. Christ, his writing has just gooten worse over time. He's far more obtuse than the malazan stuff, even. And it's a real shame, because it seems like a good story and some really interesting observations along the way. But he needs to shut up and let the story out.
I will probably read the next trilogy, just because I want to see where it ends. Sunken cost fallacy, I know. I would not reccomend this writer to anyone though.