Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Grandmaster of Fantasy - R. Scott Bakker

I don't typically blog about trade published authors. I'm not a book reviewer, so it just never enters my mind to do so. But I recently started a series by an author I'd never read, and the brilliance of the books made me think it worthwhile to post something.

Usually if an author is brilliant, fans of the genre tend to hear about them fairly regularly -- Tolkien, Howard, Martin, Rothfuss, etc. In the case of R. Scott Bakker, I had heard of him, but I rarely hear him discussed in the various fantasy outlets where I hang out. This should be remedied, because he is easily one of the best fantasy authors I have encountered.

I am halfway through book two of his first series, "The Second Apocalypse" (also called the Prince of Nothing series), which started with The Darkness That Comes Before. My youngest son has already finished this series and is on the final book of his four-book second series set within the same world. He loves it so much that it's the first time I can recall him demanding that I order the next books of a series.

Like I said, I'm not a reviewer, so I don't want to get too far into the details of the stories. They are intellectual and take a bit of effort on your part to get invested in them, but the payoff is tremendous. They remind me of a saner version of Steven Erikson, imaginative and vast in scope, but Bakker's work is more accessible than Erikson's is. I think it's a shame that all lovers of fantasy fiction haven't given him a try.

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