The Judging Eye: One (The Aspect-Emperor Trilogy)

The Judging Eye: One (The Aspect-Emperor Trilogy)

3.7 7
by R. Scott Bakker

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Widely praised by reviewers and a growing body of fans, Bakker has already established his reputation as one of the smartest writers in the fantasy genre--a writer in the line stretching from Peake to Tolkein.

Now he returns to The Prince of Nothing universe with the long-awaited The Judging Eye, the first book in an all-new series.

Set twenty years

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Widely praised by reviewers and a growing body of fans, Bakker has already established his reputation as one of the smartest writers in the fantasy genre--a writer in the line stretching from Peake to Tolkein.

Now he returns to The Prince of Nothing universe with the long-awaited The Judging Eye, the first book in an all-new series.

Set twenty years after the end of The Thousandfold Thought, Bakker reintroduces us to a world that is at once familiar but also very different than the one readers thought they knew. Delving even further into his richly imagined universe of myth, violence, and sorcery, and fully remolding the fantasy genre to broaden the scope of intricacy and meaning, R. Scott Bakker has once again written a fantasy novel that defies all expectations and rewards the reader with an experience unlike any to be had in the canon of today's literature.

Editorial Reviews

In The Darkness That Comes Before, The Warrior Prophet, and The Thousandfold Thought, R. Scott Bakker unspoiled the history of the Prince of Nothing. In Just Another Judgment Day, he picks up the story 20 years after the conclusion of the original trilogy. Once again, heroic myths, violence, and sorcery converge in a fantasy that transcends the genre.
Publishers Weekly

Twenty years after the events of 2007's The Thousandfold Thought, nations unite in a holy war to prevent the No-God's apocalyptic resurrection. Aspect-Emperor Kellhus seems a benevolent messiah, but may be only a power-hungry demagogue. Exiled wizard Drusas Achamian's quest to expose Kellhus as a fraud could be a bitter cuckold's folly or the world's best hope. The Empress Esmenet juggles belief in her husband's godhead with grief for his lack of human attachment. Her bitter, abandoned daughter Mimara-an ex-prostitute, like her mother-begs Achamian to teach her sorcery, though the Judging Eye curse sends her visions of damnation. Bakker's lush language sometimes achieves poetry, but his plotting is less original; minor and nonsexualized female characters are conspicuously absent; and new readers will struggle with the intricate politics and history. (Jan.)

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Library Journal

Twenty years after the events described in "The Prince of Nothing Saga" (The Darkness That Comes Before; The Warrior Prophet; The Thousandfold Thought), the Aspect-Emperor rules a New Empire forged of war and prophecy. Yet new turmoil arises as the Emperor's fitness to rule and his divine descent are called into question by some factions and punished as heresy in others. Bakker's attention to detail and his depiction of a society modeled after those of ancient Asia should attract fans of the trilogy. Complex characters and intricate plotting make this a good choice for most libraries.

—Jackie Cassada
Kirkus Reviews
First installment of a new epic fantasy trilogy, set 20 years after Bakker's Prince of Nothing series. Anasurimbor Kellhus, the Aspect-Emperor of the Three Seas, has gathered a vast army to prevent the Second Apocalypse. Forced to join this holy war, conquered King Sorweel finds himself unwillingly affected by Kellhus's overpowering charisma. Meanwhile, Empress Esmenet maintains a shaky hold on the imperial court, threatened by assassins, religious dissent and her seven-year-old son Kelmomas, a murderous psychopath gifted at covering his tracks. In a distant land, Drusas Achamian, the exiled Wizard who still resents Kellhus for taking away Esmenet, seeks the enigmatic Aspect-Emperor's birthplace in hopes it will shed light on his motivations. Not much actually happens in this book. Bakker's poetic, almost baroque work appeals to a cerebral, patient reader willing to stick around and see what he has in mind. (Hopefully, that reader has already completed the prior trilogy; the synopsis included here is not entirely sufficient.) The author spends more time developing intricate philosophies and emotionally resonant characters than in advancing the plot, which concludes with a Mines-of-Moria sequence that, while extremely atmospheric, still feels like a cheat for such an accomplished writer as Bakker. Best left to his devoted fan base; others may not have the stamina.

Product Details

The Overlook Press
Publication date:
Aspect-Emperor Trilogy
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
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File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet 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 began with The Judging Eye and The White-Luck Warrior. He lives in London, Ontario.

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The Judging Eye (Aspect-Emperor Series #1) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Hyperion1110 More than 1 year ago
I'm a strange reader. I tend to read authors I've read before, and tend to be weary of those I have not. So, when I picked up Bakker's "The Darkness That Comes Before," I was pleasantly surprised. The story was fascinating (especially for a student of Classical and Medieval histories, and philosophy), the characters believable, and the storytelling excellent. Bakker had me hooked from the first few pages, so much so that I bought the remaining two books in the trilogy becfore I finished the first one! Suffice it to say that I was a Bakker fan before reading "The Judging Eye" :) This book is different from the first three I read. While set in the same world, the "feel" of things is noticably different. Bakker made the story a bit less philosophical (both in plot and writing style), but no less interesting. As others have noted, with this book, Bakker spends less time in the characters' heads than in this Prince of Nothing series. This had the effect of making the story seem like a more typical fantasy story--but that is a naive interpretation. Bakker's story is completely his own. Fans of the Prince of Nothing series will enjoy this book. And, perhaps more importantly, those not previously familiar with Bakker's work will find "The Judging Eye" an engrossing read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the very beginning of "The Darkness that Comes Before" I knew that this wasn't going to be a quick and easy read. And if that's what you want in your fantasy stories, simple words and grammar, then I suggest you stick to your teen fantasy. Yeah, I had some trouble with sentence structure, causing me to re-read a few sentences to make sure I caught the jist of what Bakker was writing. But I enjoy finding an author that makes the mind work while the story goes on. Maguire, Martin, and now Hair all offer more than 'a quick read'; their fiction is deeply imaginative, captivating, and addictive. But Bakker's "The Prince of Nothing" series is like freebasing the methamphetamine of adult fantasy fiction. I hadn't heard about Bakker before I devoured George R.R. Martin's "Game of Thrones" series, and when I finished it, I was left jonesing for more. Then I came across "The Darkness that Comes Before" on the shelf of a Goodwill. Man, what a score! It only took me the first few pages to bind my eyes to the story. The characters are so beautifully developed before us and I found myself seeing these people with details that I would otherwise leave out, caring about their emotions, and feeling their pain, love, and happiness, the world that Bakker creates, the separate regions, different cultures, and abilities that never seemed far-fetched to me. The constant development of norms and beliefs, frequent swaying of enemies fighting for a common goal, and the heartbreak of lovers stolen are so crafted as to make it all undeniable. Awesome to the last page and painful to have finished, the first two books of "The Aspect Emperor" series are every bit as good as his first trilogy, "The Prince of Nothing". But, readers finding "The Judging Eye" or "The White Luck Warrior" really should put those on hold and start this saga from the beginning. The character development and lay of the land are so very important to understand. I fear that even the most educated readers out there would have a hard time with the story of Kellhus, Achamian, and what the Dunyain monks are all about without having read his first three. Bakker is at the top of my list of serious adult fantasy; only second to Tolkien.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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.