The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing, #1)
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The Darkness That Comes Before

by R. Scott Bakker
Release date: April 2003
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasyhigh fantasy

One cannot raise walls against what has been forgotten.

A score of centuries has passed since the First Apocalypse. The No-God has been vanquished and the thoughts of men have turned, inevitably, to more worldly concerns...

Drusas Achamian, tormented by 2,000 year old nightmares, is a sorcerer and a spy, constantly seeking news of an ancient enemy that few believe still exists. Ikurei Conphas, nephew to the Nansur Emperor, is the Exalt-General of the Imperial Army and a military genius. He plots to conquer the known world for his Emperor and dreams of the throne for himself. Maithanet, mysterious and charismatic, is spiritual leader of the Thousand Temples. He seeks a Holy War to cleanse the land of the infidel. Cnaiür, Chieftain of the Utemot, is a Scylvendi barbarian. Rejected by his people, he seeks vengeance against the former slave who slew his father, and disgraced him in the eyes of his tribe.

Into this world steps Anasûrimbor Kellhus, the product of two thousand years of breeding and a lifetime of training in the ways of thought, limb, and face. Steering souls through the subtleties of word and expression, he slowly binds all – man and woman, emperor and slave – to his own mysterious ends.

But the fate of men – even great men – means little when the world itself may soon be torn asunder. Behind the politics, beneath the imperialist expansion, amongst the religious fervour, a dark and ancient evil is reawakening.

After two thousand years, the No-God is returning. The Second Apocalypse is nigh. And one cannot raise walls against what has been forgotten...

"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 a world laden with history and detail. Take note, one and all, something remarkable has begun here…" – Steven Erikson

"The Darkness That Comes Before introduces a vast and richly detailed world for lovers of good fantasy. Bakker’s imaginative creation is an impressive addition to the genre." - John Marco

"A stunning first book, brilliant setting and characterisation, and if this was just a warm-up then the entire series is going to set a new standard for fantasy writers everywhere." – The Alien Online

updated 2017-01-16

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Reviews (2)

Seregil of Rhiminee avatar
Written by
The Darkness That Comes Before impressed me very much. I have to say that this book is definitely one of the best fantasy books I've read during the last couple of years. The story was fascinating, the characters were interesting and the writing was fantastic. When I read this book, I knew that I was reading something special, because everything was almost perfect. If you like epic fantasy (e.g. George R.R. Martin and Steven Erikson), you should read The Darkness That Comes Before. You won't be disappointed with the quality of this book.
Bluejay avatar
Written by
The story flows, mostly smoothly, seen through several different eyes. At times I felt overwhelmed by the flood of information about the world's background and descriptions of the peoples, places, cultures and social structures etc.. All that reminded me of Steven Erikson. The glossary in the end of the book sure came handy.. Bakker's characters are fleshy and realistically flawed although they might have inhuman abilities. He has a gift of language but goes over the top sometimes and comes ... (more)
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