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4.0 out of 5 starsDefiantely a must read series.
Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2018
Definitely better than the first book, which wasnt bad but felt unfocused for the first half. Very interesting characters, though the only two women in the story aren’t used as wisely as they probably should have been. Do me a favor though, as you read this, picture Mads Mikkelsen as Cnaiür urs Skiötha and you won’t regret it.
5.0 out of 5 starsA Wonderful Premise, a Complex World, and a Great Read
Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2013
I stumbled on to this series by chance. As a reader of complex sci/fi and fantasy, I enjoy deliving deep into a story, getting to know the characters, understanding their world, etc. The Prince of Nothing series offers that in spades. The premise of a frictional world where varying types of magic are contained in insular 'schools' and not shared with other schools is interesting. Add to that the adaptation of a more recent religious fervor that condems magic as blasphemy, and you get a great frictional universe to run a story in. Set against a backdrop of a forgotten war from thousands of years ago against evil so black it can read like a horror story, you can feel the frustration of the single school that remembers the war (through nightly dreams in which the relive part of it) and tries to not only watch for the signs it will occur again, but tries to warn everyone of the potential. The characters are well developed and have all the strengths and weaknesses of real people. There is no clear cut 'good'. Instead the frailities and weaknesses of the characters involved help drive the book in ways you do not always expect. Warrior Prophet is the second book in the series. You should start with the first, as it will help you truly understand the individuals involved in the outstanding fantasy series.
Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2012
I really enjoyed this book, had a hard time putting it down. There's a bit of a slog about 2/3rds of the way through the book as the action changes pace for a bit, but the story advances during this section are worth the read, despite not moving at the breakneck pace of much of the rest of the story. I personally enjoyed this entry in the series far more than the first, which says a lot, because I really liked the first book.
The characters here are well-written, and each has their own personality. Some of the one-off characters are a bit odd in that they are often given context that you later discover was meaningless. The number of kings of such and such and lords of so and so is vast, and they are nearly all just faces with no real point to their inclusion but to flesh out the world. It's a cheat, but one I don't begrudge the other considering the depth and style with which the world is represented.
Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2008
Really, this title deserves four and a half stars, but I'm rounding down to make a stand against rating inflation. The Warrior Prophet is an incredible follow-up to Bakker's debut effort, The Darkness That Comes Before. Without question, this second book in the trilogy is better than the first, so if you find yourself getting bogged down in The Darkness, persevere! You've got a thought-provoking page-turner waiting for you on the other side. Finally, characters begin to acquire real depth; Bakker's imagined 'map' of The Darkness begins to seem quite like a world possessed of its own reality; and those pesky little made-up quotes that kick off each chapter seem more and more to be integrated into the story as the intellectual--and intellectually determinative--heritage of the characters, particularly Achamian.
3.0 out of 5 starsThere is something amazing about his world and aesthetic
Reviewed in the United States on May 18, 2015
There is something amazing about his world and aesthetic, its the individual characters and their continual psychological domination of sex that grew tiresome. Sex sell's, or sex is a deeper part of us and controls all our actions in some way i don't know what Bakkers purpose was to include it so often or how he does specifically with the characters. It just wasn't working for me I didn't believe the characters after a while.
4.0 out of 5 starsA Bit of a Letdown; Still Worth Your Time
Reviewed in the United States on October 31, 2010
The Warrior Prophet, book two of R. Scott Bakker's the Prince of Nothing trilogy, is something of a disappointment after its outstanding predecessor, the Darkness That Comes Before. The Prince of Nothing trilogy follows the events of a fantasy re-imagining of the Crusades. In particular, it follows Kellhus, a once unknown monk who, through hook or crook, has managed to gain a place of prominence in the holy war and has begun to dominate the war.
The first novel, the Darkness That Comes Before, is one of the finest fantasy novels I have ever read. And the strengths of that novel return here in the Warrior Prophet. The problem is that the weaknesses of the Darkness That Comes Before also return here, but in greater force. First, the positives: Bakker has created a fascinating, unbelievably deep world. His world is incredible - it's one that I dove into and never wanted to leave. It is a cruel, harsh world that, even with the fantastical elements built into is including magic, demons, shape shifting, etc., manages to be remarkably realistic.
With a few limited (but notable) exceptions, the characters seem like real people who act according to realistic emotions, such as fear, greed, love, hatred, bitterness, and so on. Some of them, such as Cnaiur, Achamian and Esmenet, are extremely sympathetic and likable. Although the story is an analog of the Crusades, the plot is neither derivative nor, generally, predictable. And, finally, Bakker's writing is excellent. He writes snappy, believable dialog and flowing, occasionally beautiful, narrative that usually adds to the reading experience, but more importantly, never detracts from it.
My biggest complaint with the first novel of the series is the seeming infallibility of Kellhus. Although there are some guarded, cryptic explanations for Kellhus's abilities, it's simply annoying. He's great at, well, everything. He masters a subject like mathematics (and there is almost a whole chapter devoted to this) in a matter of hours. He masters the subject of warfare about halfway through his first real battle. He is a great warrior, a tremendous, speaker, etc. As I said, there are some workable, if vague, explanations for his talent, but I still find it darned irritating. It detracts from the suspense of the novel when you know that Kellhus is going to accomplish pretty much everything he sets out to and that things will pretty much always go his way. The only saving grace is that Kellhus is a somewhat mysterious character, so his goals and motivations are not always clear. But not only is Kellhus ridiculously good at everything, Bakker reminds us of it constantly. Indeed, about 100 of the first 250 pages are devoted to characters either fawning over how great Kellhus is or admiring how brilliant he is at everything. We get it, Mr. Bakker. Kellhus is awesome. He's better than everyone else at everything. You don't need to keep telling us.
Speaking of which, Bakker must think that his readers have a terrible memory. He feels the need to remind us of different character traits or experiences constantly. For example, one character, Esmenent, is a prostitute. So naturally, Bakker reminds us, over and over again, that she has had sex with many, many men. He has page after page devoted to explaining to us that she has, indeed, had sex with many men. We get it, Mr. Bakker. We really do. Along similar lines, female readers may be put off by the Warrior Prophet, and the Prince of Nothing trilogy overall. There really are no strong female characters here. Every single one seems to serve no purpose other than to have sex with the male characters (or your random demon). Granted, it probably makes for a more realistic story given the time period that Bakker is trying to portray, but surely Bakker can find some role for a female character other than a sexual one.
The Darkness That Comes Before held my attention like few novels I've ever read. I was enraptured with the novel, could barely put it down. The Warrior Prophet did not have that affect on me at all. Indeed, I found myself skimming parts of the book that became repetitious (such as the constant reminders of Kellhus's greatness or the repeated reminders of what a prostitute does). The novel could have, I think, have been about 100 pages shorter and would have made for a much tighter, much more engrossing read.
But all that being said, the Warrior Prophet is still a really good book. It's a letdown after the near-brilliance of its predecessor, but I still enjoyed it and can't wait to read the third and final volume of the trilogy, the Thousandfold Thought. The series isn't for the prudish or weak of heart. If you haven't read the Darkness That Comes Before, pick it up and read it. You won't regret it. If you have, and are trying to decide whether to read this one, well, it's more of the same: the same qualities and the same faults. It is very much worth your time.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 24, 2020
The first book in the series (Darkness that comes before) was excelllent. The plot and the characters were fresh, well developed and leaves you wanting more. This 2nd book, boy, what a mess. The plot and characters all forgotten. All that remains is endless pages of preaching and preaching from the "Prophet". This book should have been titled "The Prophet Preaches". The author seems to have forgetten the need the advance the story beyond a single character. The total devotion to one single character's thoughts, view point, feelings, and action grows tiresome after 300 pages. It is like a broken record that keep looping, repeating the same message over and over again, just the words arranged slightly differently each time. Almost felt like the author is the one preaching....to what end...remains a mystery. Read the 1st book, enjoy it and stop. There is nothing in this 2nd book that is worth your time or money. What an awful book. Not recommended.
5.0 out of 5 starsAn excellent sequel to an excellent first book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 7, 2015
R. Scott Bakker has written a great sequel to 'The Darkness That Comes Before'. It is not easy reading by any means but there is so much here that is intelligent, thought-provoking and dark. This is how epic fantasy should be ..... dark, intense, deep with elements of horror. This is no children's book at all. There is no such pretence of good or evil and every character is flawed.
Gripping tense and violent pretty much throughout the character development is also interesting particularly Archmaian the battle scenes are also amazingly described some of the best fantasy I've read for a while