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The Thousandfold Thought: The Prince of Nothing, Book Three (The Prince of Nothing) Paperback – September 2, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Mr. Bakker really could have been more charitable with his readers, given what an onerous slog he's demanded from us. He's given us only one sympathetic character, Achamian. The rest range from indifferent (Esmenet, Proyas, and others) to absolutely loathesome (Kellhus). And though Mr. Bakker does provide readers with some food for thought, now and again, I think his political/philosophical musings are by and large going to be familiar territory to modern readers. Can anyone, today, be shocked by the manipulations and cynicism of cult leaders (of which Kellhus is a characteristically revolting example)? I doubt it.
On the flip side there's Mr. Bakker's weird explanation of why the Consult wants to commit mass murder: if they can reduce the human population to a small enough number, the world will no longer have access to the "Outside," i.e. the gods and the afterlife will no longer be accessible to anyone inhabiting the planet. That's just plain bizarre. The implication seems to be that, since it takes a certain critical mass of souls to access the Eternal, a single soul has no worth on its own. That's a fine metaphysical position to take, but it really does require some elaboration, I think. Which we don't get.
All that aside, the book's worth a read. Just don't expect to set it back on the shelf with any particular feeling of satisfaction for having finished it.
This is a very disappointing sequel to the very good Warrior-Prophet. Mainly, what causes problems in this novel is Bakker's continuing penchant for liberally sprinkling pseudo gems of undergraduate level philosophy and psychoanalysis throughout his text. There is so much of it that it hinders reading, as you are constantly re-reading passages to make sure that a) you didn't miss anything, b) did you understand what Bakker was trying to say, and c) often wondering what a load of balderdash his characters tend to spout. We could have done without this, as one might imagine Bakker would trust us enough to understand his characters by now. But, from having read the glaringly sycophantic comments and reviews on his websites, one wonders if he was in part taken in by those who seem to like this sort of writing.
I don't know why he felt the need to do this, as it really obscures what is an otherwise interesting plot, some well worked characters, a world with a lot of potential and scope, but with one monstrous flaw - and that is Kellhus. He is just not credible as a character, nor is he likeable. One man cannot do what Bakker makes him do. If he only had given Kellhus the more limited task of influencing the elites of the Three Seas who would then, always using Bakker's own political and philosophical assertions, have carried their peoples with them, it would have made the reader's acceptance of his abilities easier.
Bakker still has real talent, however. Some loose ends are nicely tied up, particularly those involving Maithanet, the Cishaurim, the spy within the Mandate, and Moenghus.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
But how did it end? The story is fantastic, the characters are well developed and interesting. However, I was left wanting after the last words were read.Published 3 months ago by D. Fogtman
A shining conclusion to the first trilogy of a doomed world, Bakker has crafted an epic story that defies all previous conceptions of the genre. Read morePublished 4 months ago by CHAD W SIMMONS
You read R. Scott Bakker to be challenged, entertained and even disappointed. The ending was plagued with loose ends that disappointed me but I still found great treasures in his... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ann Bernard
Disappointing conclusion to a trilogy that deserved far better. In retrospect I wound not waste my time on the trilogy. A sort of '...and then they were all run over by a truck. Read morePublished 9 months ago by G. Fleming
Bakker has the same knack as Joss Whedon for creating lovable characters and then doing horrible things to them. Curse his twisted, brilliant heart. Read morePublished 18 months ago by N. Holtschulte
Almost a meta fantasy series, aware of the classic tropes of the saviour hero, inverts it such that the inhabitants live the classic story, yet we the reader watch an inhuman anti... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Dimitar Popov
Lacked the interest of first book, showing only how the Prophet acted but rarely his thoughts. Ending was disappointing.Published 22 months ago by buzkie