R. Scott Bakker

Riselka

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From another thread:

Whoa, take it easy! They guy's just been through Jordan, Brooks and Goodkind. Jumping straight at Martin, Erikson, and especially Bakker might give him a shock. A good one, but shocking nevertheless.

I suggest Donaldson as a warm-up.
This comment made me so curious that I went out and bought "The Prince of Nothing" trilogy. The synopses on the book covers look quite intriquing, and the quotes by reviewers on the books make them look quite promising - as well as comments here, and reviews on amazon's website.

Sooooooooo ........

What have I gotten myself into here? :eek:
 

Rane Longfox

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You bought the whole trilogy in one go? That strikes me as very risky. Bakker is very much a love/hate author- there's no guarentee you'll enjoy it. His characters are particularly annoying after a while.

Lets hope you enjoy it;)


For future reference, I would advise ignoring quotes on the cover - they're always going to be good, and also take the amazon reviews with a pinch of salt, they're also notoriously unreliable.
 

Riselka

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Thanks for the input, so far.

I've read the Proloque of the first book, and I have to say that, if it's a harbinger of what the writing style is for the entire trilogy, I quite like Bakker's writing style.

Maybe it's got something to do with Bakker being Canadian, like myself.

I try my best to "read between the lines" of remarks on book covers, and amazon reviews, and tend to make good choices ... most of the time. Hopefully, I've made the right decision here.

As for buying the entire trilogy at once, I had a gift certificate that had to be used up, and didn't see anything else that I was all that interested in. After reading some of the remarks here about Bakker's series, it made me want to try it out. And since his books just don't seem to show up in the used book stores, or thrift stores around here, I figure they must be of the ilk that are so good, no one gives them up.

I find that, when it comes to Sci-Fi / Fantasy books, it's very difficult to find used copies of the really good books, because everyone that has them, holds onto them.
 

Stenevor

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By coincidence I finished the trilogy earlier today. I had a bit of a love/hate thing with it. Theres a lot to like but by the end I was getting a bit tired of some aspects of it.
I dont want to give anything away but just for a few things to look out for, I loved all the Seswatha/Mandate dream sequences, Kellhus and Achamian are great characters, its for adults - if you are at all prudish you will probably not like it, its undoubtedly well written and the world does seem to all fit together nicely(this could be partly due to the similarities with the crusades), there isnt a big reliance on magic - a couple of skirmishes and one big battle . I wasnt so keen on the endless stream of names, most of whom only appear in the battle passages(I gave up trying to remember them all), theres a lot of philosophy and I was getting sick of it(I read a lot while at work and dont have time to ponder these things), it is unrelentingly dark - hardly anything nice happens at any time, Cnauir just got on my nerves after a while and I was hoping he would die.

If all the detail is getting you down a bit theres a glossary at the end of each book, the one at the end of The Thousandfold Thought is 150 pages on its own. Lots more I could mention good and bad but I wont go on as Im bound to let a few spoilers in.
 

Thadlerian

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I consider R. Scott Bakker quite unlike any other SF/F writer encountered so far. Bakker writes of what Fantasy should really be about: Ideas.

You've read the prologue, right? Is that the one about Kellhus staying with the trapper, learning how to control the man's feelings completely with words and gestures, with rationally understanding the man's scope of perception?

This is what Prince of Nothing is all about. This, and much more. Bakker does not just give us ideas rarely encountered in fantasy, but characters as well. I shouldn't talk too much about them, but Achamian and especially Cnaïur are brilliant creations as well, their emotions and motivations perfectly rendered.

Through three books you will follow Kellhus as he, one by one, encounters the rest of the characters in the series, and how his being affects and changes them. With Kellhus being the only truly rational person among great numbers of proud, scared, emotional, angry, normal people. Except Caïur, who's... oh well, you'll find out.

You'll love Achamian, though. I can't see how it's possible not to.

The only problem I've encountered with Bakker is that he, like his lesser contemporaries like Erikson, Martin, Miéville, Goodkind, etch., as the story progresses, seems to get kind of taken with graphic descriptions of violent actions which, after a while, seem to occur simply because of... well, because.

My point in that quote was that if you jump from Brooks/Jordan/Eddings straight to R. Scott Bakker, you might simply die. But that doesn't matter, because you'll be born again.
 

Rane Longfox

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Achamian was undoubtably the best character in the series, or at leats the most enjoyable. His characterisation is stunning, certainly. It's his world-building and descriptive writing that suffers a bit.
 

purple_kathryn

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I've read the first 2 books and I will at some point get the last one (Im trying to curb my book buying)

I did eventually get into them but I just didn't like the way he wrote the female characters,
 

Revelation

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It's good stuff, except I wish Bakker would cut down on all the Oprah introspection hes got going on. When I was reading it, it seemed that 2 of the 4 main characters were spending 90% of their time crying and wallowing in their misery. I understand life is tough, there's a war on and people are dying, but jeez, man up.

Oh and I hated Achamian. Not as much as Esmenet, but there it is.
 

Locksmith

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It's good stuff, except I wish Bakker would cut down on all the Oprah introspection hes got going on. When I was reading it, it seemed that 2 of the 4 main characters were spending 90% of their time crying and wallowing in their misery.
I thought the same - it seemed odd to me that there was so much weeping! I enjoyed the books and was glad I read them, but I had a hard time identifying with or empathising with any of the characters. I find this changes the way that I engage with books, often to the detriment of my enjoyment.

Nonetheless I enjoyed the series, although there were some bits where I wished things moved along a little quicker or that the philosophy was toned down a little.
 

Thadlerian

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I thought it was cool to read a fantasy book in which the characters had the courage to cry and generally show emotions. Rather than just put on the stoic, stony face and gaze into the horizon. After all, Bakker's setting is quite brutal and traumatic.
 

vurtomatic

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Halfway through the first volume and I couldn't complete it. Too much introspection. I prefer Erikson a lot more, better balance.
 

Riselka

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I'm well into the first in the series now, and still quite liking Bakker's writing style. It's definately a book that needs to be bitten off in small pieces and digested a bit though.

I agree somewhat with the introspection remark, but it's very well done introspection. Possible the best I've ever read.
 

cape_royds

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Bakker's writing style irritates me (I find it overstyled and leaden), but as Thadlerian wrote, his ideas are very interesting and original, and are what kept me reading on.

The characters are also fascinating: Kellhus, Cnaiur, Achamian, etc.

My favourite is Achamian, but I think that Cnaiur is the most impressive creation by the author.

After reading two volumes, frankly I'm not much fond of Kellhus, and more and more I sympathize with Cnaiur!
 

urchin

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His writing is quite heavy going at first but once you've got used to it his books become as addictive as ones you loved immediatley.:)
 
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