Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Warrior Prophet by R. Scott Bakker


The Holy War fomented by the mysterious prophet Maithanet between "the two great faiths of Inrithism and Fanimry" in The Darkness That Comes Before (2004), the critically acclaimed first book in the epic fantasy trilogy by Canadian author Bakker, explodes in this compelling, if overly long, sequel set in the medieval world of Eärwa. Like many a traditional historical chronicle, the book mentions a plethora of people and places only in passing, but the all-too-human tale of love, hatred and justice, centered on the sorcerer Drusas Achamian and the monk Anasûrimbor Kellhus (aka "the prince of nothing") and their respective harlot lady friends with hearts of gold, Esmenet and Serwë, keeps the pages turning. The final cinematic scene, of a vast landscape filled with enormous armies, nicely sets the stage for book three of this daringly unconventional series in the Tolkien mold.

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