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The Judging Eye (Aspect-Emperor) [Hardcover]

R. Scott Bakker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 Feb 2009 Aspect-Emperor (Book 1)

A score of years after he first walked into the histories of Men, Anasûrimbor Kellhus rules all the Three Seas, the first true Aspect-Emperor in a thousand years.

Wielding more power than even the greatest sorcerer, Kellhus now leads a holy war deep into the wastes of the Ancient North, intent on destroying the stronghold of Golgotterath and preventing the Second Apocalypse.

Meanwhile his wife and consort, Esmenet, struggles to rule not only his vast empire, but their murderous children as well. And Achamian, who lives as a Wizard in embittered exile, undertakes a mad quest to uncover the origins of the Dûnyain.

But Achamian, of all people, should know that one must be very careful what one seeks . . .

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 437 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Press (19 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590201698
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590201695
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 16 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,557,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'[R. Scott Bakker is a] class act like George R. R. Martin, or his fellow Canadians Steven Erikson and Guy Gavriel Kay. He gets right away from the 'downtrodden youth becoming king' aspect of epic fantasy in his very impressive first novel - THE DARKNESS THAT COMES BEFORE. No clunky analogy of medieval Europe here. Odd, fascinating characters in a world full of trouble and sorcery' '10 Authors to Watch' SFX --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

First he was the Prince of Nothing, then the Warrior-Prophet. Now Anasurimbor Kellhus is the Aspect-Emperor. But is he a living god . . . or a demon from hell? --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bakker once again produces brilliance. 14 Mar 2009
This is a brilliant book, every bit as good as the first trilogy. Now I have read many reviews that the first trilogy was to difficult to read or at time there was just to much Philosophy. Personally I thought the first three books were spot on but for those who didn't and read the series and are a bit nervous about starting this sequel, fear not The Judging Eye is a bit more mild in those regards.

This however doesn't take away how brilliant the start to this series is, the writing is amazing, I think the only author who bests Bakker with his writing skill is Erikson but the writing styles differ enough to set them apart. The story line has come along a great deal as one would expect based twenty years after the previous books, the main characters are all there plus some amazing new ones and thick and juicy plot lines for them.

I will give one warning however, if you have just noticed this novel here on Amazon and think it sounds great, DO NOT BUY! You really need to read the first trilogy to even Begin to understand The Judging Eye. If you're interested and you should be, I envy you. I would love to go back to when I read the first trilogy just experience the story for the first time again.

Enjoy! You're in for a hell of a ride.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A most entertaining and welcome addition to Scott Bakker's 'Prince of Nothing' trilogy.

This book follows the independent tales of Kellhus and Drusus Achamain (Akka) in a period of time that follows Kellhus becoming the God-like, Aspect-Emperor. In addition, the book focuses some attention on Kellhus's wife Esmenet and, in what appears to be a major developing side story, their son, Kelmomas.

The book is extremely well written and easy to follow, with chapters alternating between the different characters stories. Chapters tend to end leaving you wishing for more and eager to get back to that particular tale.

I enjoyed this book much more that Bakker's trilogy ending 'The Thousandfold Thought', which seemed to me to contain a great deal of philosophical discussions that I personally found somewhat difficult to follow and understand. By comparison this novel was more 'story' and thus easier to understand and a joy to read.

In addition to a well written story with great characters the book features (as per all previous Bakker books) an excellent glossary of character names with a brief description of their roles. It also has a great map of the area involved. And last but not least there is a brief summary of the story of 'Prince of Nothing' trilogy so you won't be totally lost if you don't read the initial trilogy.


Bakker is back; this is as fine a continuum as I could have hoped for to one of my favorite fantasy/adventure series. I can hardly wait for the next installment. Easily 5 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Totally Immersive Experience 9 Sep 2010
By Neilo
There's no mistaking that R. Scott Bakker has talent. In the Prince of Nothing trilogy he created a rich, dark and complex epic fantasy world with enough originality and vision to suck in even the most experienced fantasy readers. Despite the first trilogy seeming to end rather prematurely I decided to revisit his world for a fourth time with The Judging Eye.

Once again the depth and quality of the prose is top notch and combines his obvious literary skill with his philosophical musings, and again the world is bleak and dark and peopled with rich and well imagined characters.

If I had to find fault in anything it would be in his pacing. It seems to take him a long time to actually get anywhere. The ride is undoubtedly rich and incredibly well imagined, but at the end of the book I found myself tallying exactly what had occurred, and felt that in terms of character milestones and events it was somewhat light. It has that second act feeling throughout, which is fine as long as the trilogy ends with a bang.

But all in all a great, totally immersive experience that seems to be building nicely to an apocalyptic climax. Let's hope he gets the finale right this time as it's a story that deserves to end on a high.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars R. Scott Bakker back on the track 18 Aug 2010
The Darkness That Comes Before is one of the best fantasy books I ever read. Part 2 and 3 of the series were still enjoyable but not as good.
But now is R. Scott Bakker back on the track. His story is still dark and complex but still very imaginative. I can't wait for the sequel, because this new book is only just the beginning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return to the Three Seas 1 Mar 2010
This is a welcome return to the Three Seas, full of high politics and personal drama. We have the beginnings of an explanation of the mystery that is the Nonmen. We have two interesting new characters - Cleric and Mimara - and an arcane defence against Kellhus' power to read thoughts. Resistance to Kellhus is rising from the strangest corners of his Empire. Achamian's Dreaming takes on fascinating new overtones, whilst a standard element of much fantasy fiction - a journey in the dark through the haunted halls of a vanished race - is here rendered with power and precision and imagination. All this, and much much more, make for an immensely enjoyable read.

Two things undermine what is an otherwise excellent sequel to The Thousandfold Thought. First is Bakker's tendency to load his writing down with significance at every turn. Not a leaf can fall in a forest, not a stone can tumble down a mountain, not a character can blink but that Bakker has to imbue a weight of truth and philosophical musing to it. Some of it is good, but it often tends to bog his prose down. And second, whilst we can understand the personal hurt that Achamian nurses against Kellhus, whatever he might think of him Kellhus is fighting the good fight to bring down the Consult. Bakker doesn't really explain why that should be jeopardised, and presumably a man as learned and wise as Achamian would know that too.

These two elements aside, this is possibly his best work to date. Thoroughly enjoyable, atmospheric, intelligent, and often breathless with its pacing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite a feast but still delicious
I found myself wishing the book had more of the philosophy and inner monologue of the previous series but definitely appreciated the fact that Bakker still isn't missing any beats. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Christopher Maynard
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much background, not enough action
I really enjoyed the first two books of the Prince of Nothing series, but thought it was let down by the final book. Read more
Published on 12 Jun 2011 by Andrew Barrett
5.0 out of 5 stars positive surprise
Having been left with a sour taste in my mouth by the previous instalment in the Aspect-Emperor saga, was a bit of 2 minds as I started this book. Read more
Published on 26 Aug 2010 by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars A step in the right direction
ahh...The Prince of Nothing trilogy; a trilogy to be admired rather than loved. As many have said before, the levels of philosophy and psychology often distracted the reader from... Read more
Published on 27 Feb 2010 by P. Mathieson
4.0 out of 5 stars Bakker does it again
Being huge fans of the original trilogy that brought the author to our attention we really couldn't wait to see what would happen with a revisit to the world. Read more
Published on 27 Feb 2010 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
5.0 out of 5 stars New trilogy promises to be as good as the first
The 20 year skip forward in time is initially a shock but it works suprisingly well and gets to us to the meat of the story far quicker. Read more
Published on 27 Feb 2010 by Neil J. Pearson
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulled an all nighter.
I am just glad I read this while on holiday. Its not quite as polished stylistically as the first trilogy, there are a couple of Americanisms in the dialogue that don't fit, but... Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2009 by M. Henderson
3.0 out of 5 stars Sadly disappointing
Being a fan of the Prince of Nothing series I was eagerly awaiting the continuation of the sprawling saga in the war against the No-God. This, however, has almost put me off. Read more
Published on 25 Feb 2009 by The Poisoned Quill
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