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The White-Luck Warrior: Book 2 of the Aspect-Emperor Paperback – 2 Feb 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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  • The Thousandfold Thought: Book 3 of the Prince of Nothing
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Product details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (2 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841495409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841495408
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 4.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A powerful, engrossing, ferociously intelligent novel that sees Bakker at the very top of his game. It leaves the reader on the edge of their seat for the concluding volume of the trilogy, The Unholy Consult (THE WERTZONE (5 star review))

The worldbuilding is once again top notch. Bakker's narrative is richly detailed, creating an imagery that leaps off the page . . . The White-Luck Warrior is everything Bakker fans could hope for (PAT'S FANTASY HOTLIST (8.5/10 rating))

A wonderful sense of pace, some great action sequences and above all else the reader will have a title that really will satisfy the fantasy fan within. A great title all round and one that really has left the final book in the series as one where everything is to play for. Great stuff (FALCATA TIMES)

Book Description

The second volume in the ambitious and compelling Aspect-Emperor fantasy series

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As was the case with The Judging Eye two years ago, I would like to thank R. Scott Bakker for giving me the opportunity to be the first reviewer to get a crack at The White-Luck Warrior. Usually, I refuse to read books on my computer screen because it makes my eyes bleed. But for the second installment in The Aspect-Emperor trilogy, I was happy to oblige!

Here's the blurb:

As Anasûrimbor Kellhus and his Great Ordeal march ever farther into the perilous wastes of the Ancient North, Esmenet finds herself at war with not only the Gods, but her own family as well. Achamian, meanwhile, leads his own ragtag expedition to the legendary ruins of Sauglish, and to a truth he can scarce survive, let alone comprehend. Into this tumult walks the White-Luck Warrior, assassin and messiah both, executing a mission as old as the World's making ...

The White-Luck Warrior is a story filled with heart-stopping action, devious treachery, grand passion and meticulous detail. It is both a classic quest tale and a high fantasy war story.

Given that The Judging Eye had all the hallmarks which made the first trilogy such a great reading experience, minus what many considered its shortcomings, I felt that it featured a Bakker writing at the top of his game. Still, many opined that the philosophical aspects and the inner musings were what essentially made the Prince of Nothing stand out from the rest of the SFF pack, and were thus a bit disappointed by the first volume in The Aspect-Emperor. So where does The White-Luck Warrior fit in in terms of style and tone? I would say that it is somewhat in between the Prince of Nothing and The Judging Eye. The absence of interior action, as Bakker put it, made for a much better paced novel in The Judging Eye.
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I'm not sure if Bakker was being meta but this book really feels like the oft-quoted "slog of slogs". While "the judging eye" felt pacier than the previous books, this one seemed to redress the balance. I think this is partly due to the chapters being very (overly) long, meaning we only drop in on each of the three main stories a handful of times. There are very few stories centred around the centre of the empire, for example, although it still covers a lot of ground.

Negatives aside though there are still many great moments. Cleric is one of the most tragic "elves" I've read about and the Quirri storyline feels like a fantasy version of "Requiem for a dream". Sorweel becomes a lot more interesting/likeable in this installment too, which is a relief, and the next generation of Anusurimbor's become ever more fascinating and entertaining. I also enjoyed the sranc battles which were epic and coldly clinical, allowing Bakker to give an overview of the situation rather than get up close and personal with the characters. This was also the first book where I noticed Bakker often emulates the style of the "iliad" when describing these battles, with lots of "so and so, son of thingy, famous for the X" which is a nice efficient way of giving some personality to an army of hundreds of thousands.

What holds this series together for me though is the fact that I still don't have a clue whether the main character is good, evil, crazy or a mixture of the three. Even more impressive is the fact that Bakker isn't exactly being coy with Kellhus but as a reader you never know whether to take things at face-value. It's something that a lesser writer could become undone over but Bakker makes it look easy.
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Even better than the first. Contains more philosophical musings excellently meshed with the story, if you've liked the story so far then continue.

The lengh shows however, Druss's story lags a bit in the middle, but this is a minor complaint.
Too little of Kellhus unleashing the Gnosis but others do that for him - the sorcery is picked up but frustratingly there's less explanation of the mechanics and of character's action as could be found in the first series, we get more description less explanation. A shame

This is not a series that can be picked up in the middle, read the preceeding material if you haven't already.
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Format: Paperback
Hooray, Bakker has a baby girl! and his world of brutal machination and sexual violence ruled over by the cold logical hands of the ultimate intellectual is suffused with a new aspect. One that has been a long time coming, but is all the more welcome for the hopeful anticipation.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the mans writing, his epic palette beautifully fills the fantastic detail around the philosophy, but cynical truth seeking takes him, and therefore his readers to some very dark places. I found Neuropath in particular deeply depressing, not because of what it revealed, but because of what it supposed, it is an enormous leap from determinism to the actual mechanization of the human mind and the difference is what keeps a lot of people from decent into life denying depression. The book was horror masquerading as thriller. Bloody good horror though.

Mixing philosophy with fantasy was always going to be volatile and I think with this latest installment R. Scott Bakker has the perfect formula. The earlier Prince of nothing series presented us with Kellhus, a dissembling amoral superhuman, apparently the product of an obscure cults eugenics program, and dealt with his seemingly unstoppable rise to power. In this world truth has a power of it's own, and the different ways of representing this truth (literal 'schools' of thought) separate the power players. The most persuasive, convincing man becomes the Aspect Emperor, a divine savior? A charlatan con artiste? Or something worse?
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