6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
One of the best fantasy books I've read in a long time,
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This review is from: The Darkness That Comes Before: Book 1 of the Prince of Nothing (Paperback)
'The Darkness That Comes Before' is without a doubt one of the most detailed fantasy books I have ever read and has an incredibly rich world with dozens of factions and rivalries whether they be political, the classic good vs evil or family. The multiple converging storyline's and sub-plots will keep you gripped whilst the richly imagined world in which the book takes place will draw you in until you could almost believe that the world R Scott Baker has created is actually real.
I bought this book because after a while reading the same old 'Good Vs Evil' and 'Boy and friend grow up to be incredibly important' type books which always had the bad guys being totally evil and the good guys being totally good became very boring. I still like that type of fantasy from time to time but eventually the cynic in me ruins things by pointing that real people are never that heroic, if you'ver ever felt like this then 'The Darkness That Comes Before' is the perfect antidote.
This is not to say that every character in the book is selfish but rather that they make mistakes, they sometimes do things out of self-interest and even the heroes at times have to succumb to 'The End justifies the means' philosphy in order to achieve their goals much as many in the real world have to.
The large cast of characters which include a Prostitute, monk, Emperor and nobles to name a few are also by no means stereotypical; indeed they subvert many of the conventions of the genre and in so doing make 'The Darkness That Comes Before' a breath of fresh air in a at times stale genre.
In short if you've got tired of reading Aes Sedai smooth their skirts in 'The Wheel of Time' or you can't take the thought of reading about anymore elves or dwarves without feeling suicidal then you should definitely read 'The Darkness That Comes Before'. It's every bit as epic as Lord of The Rings and the world R Scott Baker has created feels just as well imagined as Tolkien's middle earth. If however you're a bit of a fantasy romanticist you should probably buy something more 'conventional' like Robert Jordans epic 'The Wheel of Time' or Raymond E Feists excellent 'The Riftwar Saga'.