8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Fantasy that you can read in public without feeling embarrassed.,
This review is from: The Darkness That Comes Before: Book 1 of the Prince of Nothing: Prince of Nothing, Book 1 (Paperback)
Ignore the detractors who say this work is inaccessible. The same people gave up reading Lord of the Rings. What is worthwhile is never easy. I would agree it is sometimes difficult to sort and understand all the references to names, cultures, races and places. However, it is truly worth the effort and the books are supplied with a 'Character and Faction glossary' if you get lost.
I read an interview with R Scott Bakker on Sffworld and there is one thing he said that sticks in my mind. "Here I was, this egghead with a small deal in a small market, casting about looking for ways to reach those I thought would love the book: world-junkies (such as myself), and those who'd abandoned epic fantasy when they went to university."
I loved epic fantasy in my youth and for years I read fantasy almost exclusively. As I got older I realized I was missing out and migrated and expanded my reading interests and also started to feel that the majority of fantasy output was clichéd, unimaginative copies of Tolkien, and largely childish drivel (David Eddings and Terry Brooks spring to mind).
I started to feel embarrassed that I ever found this stuff so enthralling, and try as I might to find good adult, intelligent fantasy, I found the task impossible. For a long time I left the genre to the spotty adolescents, battling with their hormones and trying to find the meaning of life in the words of Gandalf.
It was the work of George RR Martin that showed me that there were authors out there writing intelligent and entertaining fantasy that could still appeal to people over twenty. So to me the work of R Scott Bakker is very special. Intelligent fantasy writing with philosophical undertones, it does come across as a modern Lord of the Rings. I wouldn't burden Bakker with the platitude of `best fantasy author since Tolkien'. However, I would say that hell of a lot of thought has gone into the Prince of Nothing series and Bakker's characters are deep and a pleasure to read. If you are an aging fantasy fan looking for something that gave you the same feeling of place that you felt when first reading Lord of the Rings all those years ago, then I thoroughly recommend that you try this series.