15 February 2012

The Darkness the comes Before - R. Scott Bakker

The Blurb: Two thousand years have passed since Mog-Pharau, the No-God, last walked among Men. Two thousand years have passed since the Apocalypse.

In a world wrenched by holy war and devastation, a sorcerer, a concubine, and a warrior find themselves captivated by a mysterious traveller from lands long thought dead, a man who makes weapons of insight and revelation. Unable to distinguish the passion that elevates from the passion that enslaves, they fall ever deeper under his thrall, while what begins as a war of Men against Men threatens to become the first battle of the Second Apocalypse.

With this stunning debut, R. Scott Bakker is destined to become the next great fantasy writer of his generation. Set in a world of unparalleled detail and authenticity, populated by truly unforgettable characters, and framed by a profound understanding of the human condition, The Darkness That Comes Before proves that epic fantasy can be at once majestic, intelligent, and terrifying

I bought this book based solely on the recommendation on the front cover from Steven Erikson, and I can see why he loves this series. The scope is bloody huge. The characters are varied and truly different. Their names are a pain to remember. So, quite like Malazan book of the fallen in that respect.

The book is set after The First Apocalypse destroyed humanity. I still have no idea what or who the No-God is, and that alone ensures that I'll buy the next book. The tantalizing hints that he drops about the history of the world, of the characters and freaky races makes my imagination bubble.

The only problem with this book was that it felt quite slow and meandering for most of it. When the action happened, it was fast and beautiful, and the slow parts were there for more reasons than pacing. This book has some interesting philosophical ans psychological elements, the magic is done well and reviled by most, which puts sorcerers quite low on the totem pole.

It didn't grab me and make me sit up all night reading. I understand the characters were sculpted well, but I didn't care for them. I also did not hate them. Hopefully it gets better in the next book, The Warrior Prophet. It does not mean I'll read the next book though. It interested me enough to certainly continue with the series.


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