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39 Reviews
5 star:
 (17)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (7)
2 star:
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top class stuff
Despite reading complaints regarding the highly detailed and complex world created by Bakker which stated his book was quite hard to get into i bought it because of the promise of a darker, more mature fantasy than normal. I was not disappointed. Bakkers writing and the world he creates have a depth and subtlety which are all to rare in the fantasy genre and the...
Published on 13 Aug 2005 by Longbelly

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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dour
R Scott Bakker's "The Darkness That Comes Before" is reasonably well-written. However, it is to my taste at times rather ponderous and unremittingly dour. Fantasy fiction is without doubt my preferred genre and I have read many many thousands of pages. Some of it is light-weight fluff, some of it seems to want to "out-Tolkein" the Master.
Bakker, however, seems to...
Published on 18 July 2007 by MKJ


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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing!, 28 July 2005
By 
J. F. J. Larner (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Darkness That Comes Before: Book 1 of the Prince of Nothing (Paperback)
This book simply blew me away... The plot is incredibly rich and the world amazingly detailed, a mind-blowing feat of imagination and creativity. The characters are many and varied, and entirely believable, the writing beautiful and insightful. This series and this author have set a new standard for fantasy fiction... quite simply one of the best books I've ever read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth the effort, 18 April 2009
This review is from: The Darkness That Comes Before: Book 1 of the Prince of Nothing (Paperback)
R Scott Bakker doesn't mess about. He comes at you with strange and varied philosophies from the beginning. It makes him a fresh and original voice in the fantasy landscape. Be warned, certain readers will struggle with some of the more abstract content, but those who persevere on their quest will ultimately be rewarded. And others might be put off by some of his darker themes, but he has so many shades within his darkness, that you begin to realise life just isn't as black and white as you thought. Hand it to the man. If you want something in a similar vein that's an easier, more British read, check out the spellbinding A J Dalton's Necromancer's Gambit Necromancer's Gambit: Book one: Book One of the Flesh and Bone Trilogy
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great start and a good find, 9 Jun 2005
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This review is from: The Darkness That Comes Before: Book 1 of the Prince of Nothing (Paperback)
I found this while looking for a Sci-fi book to buy a mates dad for his birthday.
It is a great read with well developed charachters that by the last page left me wanting to no more and anticipating the July launchof the back follow-up.
It has the scope of a Tolkein novel but is easier to read whilst also being more adult in its content and style. No fairy tale this but a well woven tale of struggle incorporating various people and non-people who you start to have an affinty for and I suppose in a way believe in.
A cracking start!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been great, but ended up being rather turgid and unconvincing, 3 Jun 2012
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M. Cooper (London) - See all my reviews
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I really wanted to like this; Bakker does good work with the world-building, there is some political intrigue and a sense of history. However, he spoils that with over-writing and cod-philosophy that adds nothing to the book apart from weight.

What ruins the book, though, is Kellhus, the central character, who is utterly unconvincing as the almost entirely flawless warrior-monk, who can tie even the most impressive people round his little finger with a mix of charm, epigraphs from the Little Book of Zen and a highly dubious ability to read facial cues. So unconvincing is Kellhus that the writing seems more wooden when he is around and the reactions of other characters to him appear entirely unwarranted.

Bakker has been compared to Steven Erikson but this lacks the sense of truly epic scale and the humour of the Malazan books. This would not be too much of a problem were it not for the badly conceived and executed protagonist.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eventually rewarding, 22 Mar 2010
By 
Mr. G. Battle (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Darkness That Comes Before: Book 1 of the Prince of Nothing (Paperback)
This first entry to the fantasy Prince of Nothing books is clearly a primer for the events to come, full of detailed character introductions and back history. The plot follows the build-up to a Holy War, following a multitude of factions and countries as they vie for power. Although the start of the war is chronicled within this chapter most of the action is referred to, rather than experienced. This is very much a character piece and one character stands out since his arc is more exciting, mysterious and likeable than the others. Since the time spent between characters can be over a hundred pages, there are times where the politicking and ancillary characters are an obstacle to the enjoyment of the novel. It's very well written with flashes of greatness, however Bakker doesn't play any cards early in this first novel which makes it hard going for most of the time. Readers will want to pick up the next instalment, although I imagine not with any urgency.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fantasy with a different twist, 11 Aug 2004
very good book, if you're looking for something different than the usual ( jordan, brooks, goodking, etc.) sort of fantasy plots out there, this is one to try. starts off slowly, ( first 100 pages or so) but then it gets going with interesting characters, twisting plots, and what seems like a very promissing series. not an easy read, so those of you that like to finish a 600 pager in 1 day may pass. but if you dont mind complex ideas / plots ( erikson type) than do give it a shot!
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No lighter moments to brighten the gloom, 24 Aug 2006
By 
Mrs. K. Brown (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Darkness That Comes Before: Book 1 of the Prince of Nothing (Paperback)
This is well written, but I personally found it all a bit long-drawn out and pretentious. I made my way to the end of the book because I wanted to know how it all ended, but it was tough going. Its a dark, depressing world with very little to lighten the gloom, which is fine if that's what you want to read, but it just wasn't for me.

I was about two-thirds of the way through the book before I felt I'd grasped all the different elements of the world and finally got into the story. In the end, I'm not sure that all the effort was really worth it.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a really good read, 20 Feb 2007
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This review is from: The Darkness That Comes Before: Book 1 of the Prince of Nothing (Paperback)
I have been rading fantasy fiction for the best part of thrity years and I love it when I find a new author. This book was a little daunting to get into and I feared it would be overly pschological but by about the third chapter it really gets going. The battle scenes are gritty and gory enough for my taste and the characters are very real, no easy heroes or really obvious bad guys just a good mix of good and bad in all of them. This makes the sense of menace which comes when the evil appears much greater. I am looking forward to the next one.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read ., 19 July 2004
Thoroughly enjoyed this book once I got past the first couple of chapters at least , which I must admit was a bit of a struggle . The storyline is interesting and the characterisation is solid with one exception (and that will hopefully develop in time ) . Overall an excellent read with a bit more depth to it than the standard fantasy fare available on bookshelves at the moment .
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic take on history, 1 Sep 2006
By 
Mr. Peter Parsons (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Darkness That Comes Before: Book 1 of the Prince of Nothing (Paperback)
Take the story of the first crusade. Add a false prophet, a wizard and a harlot and mix together with a bucket full of outlandish names, a few strange creatures and enough padding to fill a mattress. What you are left with is the Prince of Nothing series. Having said this, it remains an enjoyable read albeit with a tendency towards seediness.
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The Darkness That Comes Before: Book 1 of the Prince of Nothing
The Darkness That Comes Before: Book 1 of the Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Bakker (Paperback - 26 May 2005)
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