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The Darkness that Comes Before (Prince of Nothing Series #1)
     

The Darkness that Comes Before (Prince of Nothing Series #1)

3.9 79
by R. Scott Bakker
 

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Strikingly original in its conception, ambitious in scope, with characters engrossingly and vividly drawn, the first book in R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series creates a remarkable world from whole cloth—it's language and classes of people, its cities, religions, mysteries, taboos, and rituals—the kind of all-embracing universe that has thrilled

Overview

Strikingly original in its conception, ambitious in scope, with characters engrossingly and vividly drawn, the first book in R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series creates a remarkable world from whole cloth—it's language and classes of people, its cities, religions, mysteries, taboos, and rituals—the kind of all-embracing universe that has thrilled readers of Stephen R Donaldson and George R.R. Martin.
It's a world scarred by an acopalyptic past, evoking a time both two thousand years past and two thousand years into the future, as untold thousands gather for a crusade. Travelling among them, two men and two women are ensnared by a mysterious traveler, Anasurimbor Kellhus—part warrior, part philosopher, part sorcerous, charismatic presence—from lands long thought dead. The Darkness that Comes Before is a history of this great holy war, and like all histories, the survivors write its conclusion.
With this stunning debut, R. Scott Bakker is poised to become one of the next great fantasy writers of his generation. The Darkness that Comes Before proves again that epic fantasy can be intelligent, majestic, and terrifying.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590201183
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
09/02/2008
Series:
Prince of Nothing Series , #1
Pages:
608
Sales rank:
126,695
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

R. Scott Bakkeris a student of literature, history, philosophy, and ancient languages. Hisprevious 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 includesThe Judging Eye, The White-Luck Warrior,and The Great Ordeal. He lives in London, Ontario.

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The Darkness that Comes Before (Prince of Nothing Series #1) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must say I was intrigued at the onset of this novel. It did not possess a prologue filled with chaff and a meandering introduction into Bakker's world. We are presented with what should have been our proximal main character from the start and his subsequent venture out into the unknown world held promise. But then Bakker completely betrayed us with chapter after chapter of dross. It took another 300 or more pages to revisit our assumed hero, and the intervening pages were skimmable if not entirely skippable and unworthy of being read. Bakker appears so inflated of his own story's gravity and self-importance I could hardly take the plot seriously. His over-large cast of characters dilutes his potentially powerful prose and inhibits us from identifying with or even merely liking any of them. I was galled to find his stories brooking comparison with Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. You may as well compare a tabloid journalist who poses as a refined author to a true master of literature. My advice, if you are searching for fantasy full of war and passion, don't bother with Bakker.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I totally got this because of the negative review below that said it's the dirtiest book ever. It's SO not. Though there are a few sex scenes (not nearly as many as the reviewer implied, even allowing for the expectation of exaggeration in a review like that one) they're not prolonged or gratuitous. They're straightforward, not written erotically. That said, I found the story compelling. I enjoyed the sweeping story, and the politics of the Holy War. The characters were interesting, but none of them were actually LIKEABLE, except maybe Achamian. It's a fun read, and will keep you occupied, but ultimately I don't really care whether the characters survive or not.
leparparatrooper More than 1 year ago
The story has more of a middle-east/asia feel. No elves, dwarves, or orcs. Military strategy, political machinations, religious conflicts, and sorcery are the key elements in this page-turner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am on page 164 and am going to look for some other book to read. There has not been any action yet. It's all psychological babble. Scorcers? There has not been any spells cast, no battles. Boring is the word that comes to mind. Don't waste your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a book that I actually picked up based off of the cover (the hardback version). I remember seeing it on the bookshelf and being drawn to the strange writings on the black cover. When I read the description I was curious, but still I was more curious about the artwork. I've never reviewed a book before, but feel that this book deserves to have more word of mouth out about it than what currently exists. I don't feel I need to summarize the book since you can just read descriptions on this website, I'll just give some of my overall feelings on it and the world and the characters. The world Bakker has created is IMMENSE, and yes, the capitol letters are completely necessary. You see how immense it is in the first two books, but it is not until the third book, when you finally get to see an appendix that rivals Tolkien to see just how huge and detailed Bakker's world really is. After the final page of the third book you realize that you've only just scratched the surface and it's a great feeling because you cannot wait to find out more (and thankfully Bakker is supplying us with more, another trilogy, The Aspect-Emporor, and possibly a duology or another trilogy for The Book That-Shall-Not-Be-Named.). The writing is challenging, and I will say at times it stumbles trying to get the ideas across, but the ideas are worth it. The book is incredibly re-readable and almost demands to be read multiple times. As I re-read the series recently I read Kellhus' chapters in a completely new light. It's as if the author wants us to question everything he's written. Do the characters really feel this way? Do they really believe what they say or are they just using lies to manipulate? For those of you familiar with Kellhus you'll understand what I'm saying. Simply Kellhus may be my favorite character in literature. Wait until you see how Bakker explains magic in his world (explained in the appendix of The Thousandfold Thought). It's one of my favorite thing about the series. Another great thing about the book is the brutal realism of it. People have complained about the misogynistic aspects of the story. To them I say, finish the series. But also, think that maybe the women are portrayed this way because historically that's how women are repeatedly treated. It's not a good thing, but it's a truth that the author forces us to face and question. Aren't the best pieces of art those that force us to think and question and/or reaffirm ourselves and our beliefs? If so, then this book does that in spades and a large part of that comes from tackling these issues that offend so many. Again, I digress in what is already just random thoughts. If you like historical books, you'll enjoy this. It's written incredibly well like a historical novel, especially particular sections written from an omniscient viewpoint. The armor/weapons, cultures, clothes, etc will remind many history buffs of Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, etc. If you are philosophy buff, well then you are in for a treat. Issues of free will, nihilism, religion, memes, etc are touched upon (the author has a doctorate in philosophy). Again, it's not always light reading, but again, the best art is that which makes us think. Please, pick up this series and give it a chance. If for nothing else, pick it up for that amazing cover art.
HP_Stolz More than 1 year ago
With a unique story and writing style, Bakker introduces not only a fantastic plot, but subtle elements of psychology and philosophy. Although it is fantasy, in that his world is unique and original, many elements (excluding sorcery, of course) are based very much on the real world and cultures. He introduces some philosophy of why we, as people and societies, do what we do, within his story and characters, making for a very unique and unforgettable reading experience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the freshest and most original concepts for the fantasy genre in years. From the beginning you are drawn into a world not only filled with magic, but one that is rife with political intrigue and religious themes. The characters are powerful and captivating, and the story has you flicking through pages like a lunatic. This is one of the few books I've ever picked up and not put down until it was finished. Absolutely riveting!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story telling here is extremely engaging and interesting if not, aside from a well realized cast of people places and things, wholly original. I was amazed at the pace I found myself finishing this quite long novel. I found most interesting that I often lost sight of which side of Bakker's fleshed out characters to be on, while a few are less realized than others. Based in a complicated, presumably ancient but real feeling world, with elements from real historical cultures (Greek, Turks, Ottoman, Romans etc.) and with mutated ideas from other fantasy writers the story remains intelligent and layered enough to keep it's reader quite interested. After becoming accustomed to the initially frustrating foreign names of people, places and things (some being useless to the tale to the point of distraction), it's quite an intriguing and ADULT tale of deception on the grandest of scales, by, and of sorcerers, saviors, soldiers and society who are gathering for a brewing Storm of Holy War. Bakker should be discovered. I immediately bought the second novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My opinion about all the books writen by Scott Bakker : 1) the books are dificult to read. the english is not outstanding, but the sentense construction is unnecessarilly made complex. Most of the sentenses are broken with innumerous commas and punctuations. 2) World building is too vague. A reader needs to have exemplary imagination to understand the topography. 3) war scenes are too brief. A reader loses interest, instead of having that "edge of the seat" excitement feeling while reading the book. 4)Resemblance to previous context is missing. for example: - Even though scarlet spires is the most powerful school in the three seas, they were wiped off like a bunch of rabbits. what a laugh. LOL In all a very disappointing experience. Thank god, I didnt buy the books but read the books online for free.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just another author who thinks that by "over using" imaginary (tongue twister) names for people and places it some how makes the book a better read... NOT!!! He also grossly "over develops" said people & places!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dark, moody, poetic, and violent.
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Nice, fresh concepts.
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