- Hardcover: 589 pages
- Publisher: Overlook Press (Jun. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1585675598
- ISBN-13: 978-1585675593
- Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.4 x 4.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,341,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Darkness That Comes Before (Prince of Nothing) Hardcover – 1 Jun 2004
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The Darkness that Comes Before is a strong, impressive, deeply imagined debut novel. However, this first book of an epic fantasy series is not accessible; it reads like a later volume of a complicated ongoing series. Author R. Scott Bakker has created a world that is very different from JRR Tolkien's Middle-earth, yet in depth of development comes closer than most high-fantasy worlds. In addition to providing five appendices, Bakker attempts to make his complex world clear to readers by filling the prologue and opening chapters with the names of characters, gods, cities, tribes, nations, religions, factions, and sorcery schools. For many readers, this approach will have the opposite effect of clarity. It's like demonstrating snowflake structure with a blizzard. --Cynthia Ward, Amazon.com
"Intelligent" is a term trotted out so often by publishers that it has become almost worthless - which is hard for the likes of Bakker, whose [The Darkness That Comes Before] truly is intelligent, and original, and all those other overused words. (The Guardian)
The Darkness That Comes Before is a strikingly original work, the start of a series to watch. SF Site ('The publisher's hype compares [The Darkness That Comes Before] to The Lord of the Rings or Frank Herbert's Dune, and gratifyingly the hype is not misplaced. The characters are among the most memorable and well-portrayed I can think of in recent fantasy f)
George Walkley, Ottakar's (Outland) ('Bakker has created a gourmet feast for hungry fantasy readers, exquisitely prepared, carefully seasoned, and served with pomp and ceremony... The Darkness That Comes Before is truly a satisfying experience.')
Kevin J. Anderson, Bestselling author of Horizon Storms ('Exquisitely intelligent and beautifully written, R. Scott Bakker's first novel in The Prince of Nothing series inspires both confidence and anticipation--this is fantasy with muscle and brains, rife with intrigue and admirable depth of character, set in) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
It is not an easy ride. Those looking for skimpy light fare will hurry past this one. The first 100 or so pages are thick in details and names that the mind shudders to remember them all. Some names seem unpronounceable, others full of dots accents and circumflexes to the point of drowning.
But soon the mind remembers each one. Some things are only mentioned- hinted at, but the interest on each one does not die away.
And the villains! Trust me, you will never look at a Trolloc in the same way. The same childish, cardboard cut-outs of the real thing. These villains exude such an aura of palpable menace that you would scream if you could but your larynx has already distatched itself from your throat and hidden itself under the sofa.
The prose is brilliant as well. IT is written with such a great use of vocabulary and metaphors that your mind reels, like when you took your first sip of wine, and entrance into another world full of vivid descriptions.
The plot flows well, with interesting events popping up. It flows well, political intrigue is better than most, you can gradually fell the escalating fundamentalist religous antagonism building up in Sumna and the tension in the Emperor's court.
So overall the Darkness that Comes Before is a great worthy of your time if you want to be immersed in a rich evocative fantasy that will be lauded for decades after its release
The story is intriguing, the writing is extremely powerful in places, and the world is incredibly well-realised. If Bakker has some faults they lie in making the world rather grim, with incidents of light and humour few and far between. But the fleshed-out characters hold the reader's interest, as does the interesting naming conventions (largely based on Ancient Greece, Macedonia and Persia) and the moments of philosophical insight. Unlike more recent books by Steven Erikson, these latter moments are not allowed to overwhelm the main storyline.
Bakker comfortably slips into place as one of the three or four most interesting and innovative fantasy writers working today (alongside Martin, Erikson and Guy Gavriel Kay) . Well recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Anasûrimbor Celmomas II, white lord of Trysë, High King of Kûniüri
Really!? I hate stupid ASCII filled names in fantasy there is no need for it at least there... Read more
At the beginning, this book really confused me. The author launches into his characters and settings straight away, and the reader has to follow along and somehow work it all out... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Susie Staplehurst
I was looking for something a bit different. And with this I found it, dark and complex keeps coming up for a reason. Loved the whole trilogy.Published 12 months ago by David M.
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Simply put, the first volume of one of the best fantasy series in years.
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Tried to read more than the first 100 pages but found it so difficult, with so many factions, characters, all characters inferring things rather than saying them plainly, made me... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Lambo
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This has to be one of the best epic fantasies that I have read since Game of Thrones.
Compelling. I felt I had to go back and re-read it straight away. Read more