The Judging Eye continues the saga of Earwa begun in Scott Bakker's The Prince of Nothing trilogy. For one who read and enjoyed the preceding books immensely, The Judging Eye has been much anticipated and it has not disappointed. All of the elements that made The Prince of Nothing books so enjoyable are evident in The Judging Eye. Bakker is an accredited philosopher and as a result his works have greater depth of thought and theme than much of the work in the fantasy genre. This trend continues in his latest book. Since The Judging Eye is the first in The Aspect Emperor trilogy, there is some sense of prelude in this volume. At the same time there is the necessity of providing back-story for the events that are unfolding in this book that will be unfolding in the coming volumes. This tricky task, in the hands of lesser authors, can present a formidable obstacle often resulting in a disjointed narrative but not so with Bakker. What is presented in the way of prelude and back-story is seamlessly woven into the events of the present work so that we never feel that we are enduring obligatory exposition.
Characters introduced in the initial trilogy continue to entertain and new characters introduced in the present work are every bit as fascinating. Bakker is a master of presenting characters, events, and settings with amazing depth, consequently endowing these elements with rich and meaningful context. Throughout we feel immersed in an world with a palpable sense of dramatic and violent history. For me, one of the most compelling aspects of Bakker's works is the questions they raise both of the philosophical sort and with respect to the sense that there is always more going on than either the reader or the characters themselves can penetrate. We are continuously compelled to read on. The good news is that the wait for the first volume in the Aspect Emperor trilogy is over but the bad news is that now the wait for the next instalment in this series begins.