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The Thousandfold Thought (The Prince of Nothing, Book 3) Hardcover – February 2, 2006

3.7 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Prince of Nothing Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the shattering climax to Canadian author Bakker's magnificent fantasy saga (after 2005's The Warrior-Prophet), the Holy War army has finally reached the gates of the holy city of Shimeh. The warrior-prophet, Anasûrimbor Kellhus, learns that the Thousandfold Thought, a great "transition rule" that promises to transform the two warring faiths of Inrithism and Fanimry, offers the only way to bring peace to the world of Eärwa and avoid a Second Apocalypse. Amid all the bloodshed and battle, Kellhus continues to respect his friend, the sorcerer Drusas Achamian, despite the conflict that arises when Kellhus takes "the whore Esmenet," hitherto Achamian's woman, as his consort. Esmenet's wavering love between the two men lends poignancy and personal depth to an epic story notable for its lack of melodrama. A large and varied supporting cast of heroes and scoundrels add further emotional realism. The Prince of Nothing trilogy is a work of unforgettable power. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

In the shattering climax to Canadian author Bakker's magnificent fantasy saga (after 2005's The Warrior-Prophet), the Holy War army has finally reached the gates of the holy city of Shimeh. The warrior-prophet, Anasurimbor Kellhus, learns that the Thousandfold Thought, a great "transition rule" that promises to transform the two warring faiths of Inrithism and Fanimry, offers the only way to bring peace to the world of Earwa and avoid a Second Apocalypse. Amid all the bloodshed and battle, Kellhus continues to respect his friend, the sorcerer Drusas Achamian, despite the conflict that arises when Kellhus takes "the whore Esmenet," hitherto Achamian's woman, as his consort. Esmenet's wavering love between the two men lends poignancy and personal depth to an epic story notable for its lack of melodrama. A large and varied supporting cast of heroes and scoundrels add further emotional realism. The Prince of Nothing trilogy is a work of unforgettable power. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY The Thousandfold Thought concludes with a tour-de-force set piece in which Bakker cuts back and forth between the battle for Shimeh - which must count as among the greatest descriptions of sorcery in war ever recorded - and each of his main characters as Readers will be grateful for the Encyclopedic Glossary, a nearly 100-page-long treasure trove of essential information about everyone and everything in The Prince of Nothing. An absorbing read in its own right, it's an indispensable reference guide for vo REALMS OF FANTASY 'Few fantasies come more apocalyptic than R Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing sequence' THE GUARDIAN; '[R. Scott Bakker is a] class act like George R. R. Martin, or his fellow Canadians Steven Erikson and Guy Gavriel Kay...very impressive.' --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Prince of Nothing, Book 3
  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press; 1st edition (February 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585677051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585677054
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #494,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott Schiefelbein VINE VOICE on March 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the first two novels in R. Scott Bakker's "Prince of Nothing" series -- his weaving of action, humor, sex, and metaphysics into a fully-realized alternate universe demonstrated astounding dexterity and full-fledged commitment to his story. I can't imagine the permutations this story must have gone through as Bakker wrestled with a plot that was truly epic in scope, not to mention his philosophical, slightly archaic diction.

I eagerly dove into "The Thousandfold Thought," anxious to see how Bakker was going to wrap up this announced trilogy. In some respects, the plot of "TTT" is straightforward: the otherworldly Prince of Nothing, Kellhus, has led the Holy War to the threshold of its goal -- the plains outside the city of Shimeh. What ensues is, for approximately the last 20% of the novel, a battle between invader and invaded that rivals anything since the Battle of the Pellenor Fields from Tolkien's "Return of the King." It's hard to say who is more terrifying -- Bakker's battle-hardened human soldiers or their sorcerer allies. Nobody writes a more powerful, more dazzling battle scene than Bakker, and that's high praise indeed.

But much of "TTT" is given over to metaphysical debate as Kellhus confronts his father, the sorcerer Drusas Achamian confronts the truth of Kellhus and his love for his former wife Esmemet (now Kellhus' lover), and the barbarian Cnaiur confronts his former lover and tormentor. Plus, "minor" characters plot, scheme, and kill as they seek to twist the Holy War to their own ends.

To be honest, I am not all that interested in philosophy, so much of the metaphysical stuff Bakker obviously adores was lost on me. Bakker writes it well, but I am not the correct audience.
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Format: Paperback
This novel, and really, this entire trilogy, could have been marvelous. Bakker possesses an excellent sense of prose, which, while occasionally pretentious, is nonetheless utterly engrossing. It had many likeable characters, including quite possibly the best underdog (Drusas Achamian, who is not quite the underdog he thinks he is, may remain one of my favorite characters of all time) I have ever seen. The plot is many-faceted and strong.

Unfortunately, Bakker seems to have confused his protagonist with his antagonist. Anasurimbador Kellhus, as many have noted, is an atrociously bad character. His ability to control others to a point where they become reverent of him by doing what seems to be nothing more than making them cry, pointing out their own little contradictions and shortcomings, borders on the absurd. In addition, he possesses more than a few sociopathic tendencies, harming our favorite characters as he sees fit with about two lines (in a 1000+ page series) of remorse.

This would have been all well and good; not every character needs many shortcomings, and there are sociopaths in the world. Unfortunately, Bakker made the atrocious decision to turn Kellhus into the series' protagonist, simply in how he is written and described in the narrative. Bakker chooses to try--unsuccessfully--to convince us, and, perhaps, himself, that he is one of The Good Guys, come to save our world and yadda yadda yadda.

I may read the others, but only because I hope to someday see the characters I care about take down the one I don't. I hope Bakker comes to realize, even if he continues to focus on Kellhus, how he has written him and stops trying to convince us how incredible he is.
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Format: Paperback
I was a tremendous fan of the first two books of this series--especially "The Darkness that Comes Before." However, with "The Thousandfold Thought" it seems that Bakker may have bitten off more than he can chew. I found myself barely paying attention half the time as I read because either we were treading ground we'd already tread before, or we were following characters and factions I knew so little about I hardly knew what was happening.

The entire final battle scene is really just a blur in my memory. I may as well have read the words "people are fighting" hundreds and hundreds of times. Perhaps this says more about me than about the book, though.

Still, there was a bit too much of Achimian's anguish about Esmet and Kellus. Really, how many times did we need to hear how weird it was to see her with him? This was especially grating after Kellus had just ordered a massacre in a recently conqured city. No tears for the dead innocents, but lots of tears for himself.

But what I found the most unfathomable was Achimian's behavior at the end. I really can't say I understand his motivations for any of the actions he takes. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just leave it at that.

Like so many other reviewers of this book, consider me disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
I lost myself in the world of the first two books--this one was simply jarring! To disjointed, to many characters with names to difficult to keep track off, and to many unanswered questions to be anywhere near satisfying as a "conclusion". I was never able to re-enter the world and simply enjoy the story! Constantly having to look-up names in the glossary was so much helpful as distracting.

Unless there's more to come, what was the point of the No-God? the bird, etc. While so many other authors of epic fanatsy simply keep the story going ad-infinitum (gouging their paying public?), I looked forward to a trilogy that actually was a trilogy, but this "conclusion" without a conclusion was just as frustrating and in many ways, more disappointing.
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