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The Judging Eye: The Aspect Emperor Book I Paperback – Jan 20 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Canada (Jan. 20 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143051601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143051602
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #548,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


'[R. Scott Bakker is a] class act like George R. R. Martin, or his fellow Canadians Steven Erikson and Guy Gavriel Kay. He gets right away from the 'downtrodden youth becoming king' aspect of epic fantasy in his very impressive first novel - THE DARKNESS THAT COMES BEFORE. No clunky analogy of medieval Europe here. Odd, fascinating characters in a world full of trouble and sorcery' '10 Authors to Watch' SFX --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Scott Bakker is the recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts Fellowship, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Fellowship, and the winner of the Helen B. Allison Gold Medal. He is the author of five critically acclaimed novels, including the Prince of Nothing Trilogy, a series that Publisher’s Weekly calls “a work of unforgettable power.” His novels been translated into more than a dozen languages. He lives in London, Ontario with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
While I really enjoyed this book, and I'm heavily invested in seeing the conclusions to the story arcs that were set up in this book, it took me a very long time to finish. I found that the ending of the book was dragged out just a little too long, and the description became repetitive and a little too trite. I will certainly read the next installment, but I can only hope that the pace is better in the next book. I find the characters in this book series to be very interesting, deep and emotionally engaging. The cultural backdrop is very unique, and a breath of fresh air in a world soaked in Europe-like fantasies. The use of philosophy as a foundation for magic is very compelling, and I would suggest that readers who enjoy this book seek out real-world philosophy texts to improve their understanding of our history, and the context of these books.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
For Bakker's fans, this series follows the Prince of Nothing series.

Not much has changed in the world, the setting, or the writing. Several characters are the same, only older, and there are a few new ones, including the children of the Aspect-Emperor Kelhus and his wife Esmenet.

The events of the book are told through the eyes of several "main" characters.

Esmenet, the Empress, is a mother fooled by her young son Kelmomas, who is a real wild card. Much of the story played out in the capital is seen through his eyes, and produced by him. His mother, though the regent in the absence of the Emperor, seems strangely passive.

Sorweel is the teenaged son of the king of Sakarpus, the last free city at the northern edge of the Empire. As it is crushed like an insect by the massive army and powerful sorceries of the Empire, Sorweel becomes its king. Immediately, he is abducted as a hostage into the great army, and carried north to war, the Aspect-Emperor's crusade against the No-God. Sorweel grows up rapidly, from an ignorant child to a thoughtful adult, gathering strength and understanding. He is clearly preparing for a larger role in the next two books.

The last major part of the story is seen through Drusas Achamian, the only Wizard (non-aligned sorceror) in the Empire. He remains the enemy of the Aspect-Emperor, who of course stole his wife. Almost too late, he hears of the crusade (the Great Ordeal) and starts to try to counterattack. At the same time, Mimara, daughter of Esmenet from her days as a whore, joins him to learn sorcery. This part is actually the main portion of this first volume, as Achamian hires a group of Scalpers to take him to a cache in the North where he hopes to find proof that Kelhus is a fake.
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Format: Paperback
I have to admit - I was one of the folks who read R. Scott Bakker's first trilogy, the Prince of Nothing, and struggled trying to get a handle on the backstory of the first novel. The second novel, The Warrior-Prophet, was, to my mind, the best of the set, and the third, The Thousandfold Thought, was convoluted and left me feeling unfulfilled, the story seemingly incomplete.

I'm happy to say that the first installment of this new trilogy, The Aspect-Empereror, had me hooked from the get-go and didn't let go. I finished the last half of the book with nary a pause in reading, after moving through the first half at a slower pace. By the ending chapters, I could barely tear my eyes away from the page. I'm now left salivating at the prospect of the next novel in the series.

The Judging Eye is told from three different locations, by a handful of different characters, equally split amongst new characters and old standbys from the first trilogy. It takes place approximately twenty years following the conclusion of the Thousandfold Thought, on a continent newly conquered and united (mostly) under the god-like rule of Anasûrimbor Kellhus, the Aspect-Emperor.

One third is told from the Andiamine Heights, the Emperor's palace in the capital city of Momemn. Esmenet, empress and wife of Kellhus, the Aspect-Emperor (who only makes a couple of appearances throughout the novel) tells the tale here, as well as her youngest son, Kelmomas, a despicable child if I've ever seen one (and worthy heir to his father, based on the first trilogy.)

The second tier takes place on the frontier of the Ordeal, Kellhus' massive army trudging across the Ancient North to war against the "evil" (relatively speaking) Consult and the No-god, Mog-Pharau.
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