Fall Bass

Bakker LI - The Darkness That Lies Ahead (TUC Spoilers!)

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Here is the new thread. Figured I might as well get it started. 

Edited by Summer Bass

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Don't forget the intro!!!!

This is the perpetual thread devoted to the works of R. Scott Bakker, primarily the books in The Second Apocalypse series, the first novel is The Darkness that Comes Before, the seventh novel was published on July 4, 2017 and is The Unholy Consult.  It is currently available for purchase.

This thread is for the series through The Unholy Consult and contains spoilers through that novel.

The series is called The Second Apocalypse and is currently comprised of two sub-series, a trilogy and a quartet. Potentially, there will be a third series, although the author has stated that the quartet completes his original vision for the story. 

The first trilogy of books is subtitled The Prince of Nothing these three books are:

  1. The Darkness that Comes Before
  2. The Warrior Prophet
  3. The Thousandfold Thought

The second quartet of books is subtitled The Aspect Emperor, these four books are:

  1. The Judging Eye
  2. The White-Luck Warrior
  3. The Great Ordeal
  4. The Unholy Consult 

There is a third set of books presumably planned subtitled The No God.

The Unholy Consult also includes an expanded Appendix/Encyclopedic Glossary. The original Glossary exists currently only at the end of the third book, The Thousandfold Thought. 

Additionally, Bakker has published three short stories, The False Sun and The Four Revelations of Cinial'jin on Bakker's Blog Three Pound Brain (and now also as appendices in The Unholy Consult) and The Knife of Many Hands, which is available for purchase. There is also another short story, The Carathayan, available for purchase in this anthology (along with a introduction by Bakker)This thread contains spoilers for these publications. The False Sun is the most discussed work of these three shorts.

Since Bakker's writing uses layers of revelation, newcomers are strongly advised to finish the books before coming here; otherwise the spoilers will rot your soul. Eternally.

Of potential interest, Bakker did stop by the board shortly after the release of The Great Ordeal and did answer several questions.  That discussion can be found here.

Most denizens of this thread have also read Bakker's non-fantasy novels Neuropath and Disciple of the Dog, but the spoiler policy is unclear. You are advised to hide crucial plot points in those novels.

Thanks to Happy Ent for the intro to the thread.

Edited by Rhom

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I don't have the link for the AMA... but I suppose we should probably put that into the intro as well.  :( 

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Thanks Rhom! 

Oh shit, the AMA. Might as well, I suppose - we'd just end up linking to it down-thread when somebody new asks about it. 

 

Edited by Summer Bass

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I'm curious, does anyone care for any particular character in this series, the way people care for ASOIAF characters?

I really liked Sorweel, he wasn't a rapist, murderer or manipulator, and was pretty much the only character in the books who didn't have any special powers, martial prowess or stunning good looks. But he did have a great moral dilemma about whether to murder Khellus who killed his father and enslaved his people, and yet might be humanity's only chance of survival. Then, of course, Bakker had him first raped by Zsoronga, then hijacked by Yathwer and, finaly, killed by little Kelm. 

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1 hour ago, Gronzag said:

I'm curious, does anyone care for any particular character in this series, the way people care for ASOIAF characters?

I really liked Sorweel, he wasn't a rapist, murderer or manipulator, and was pretty much the only character in the books who didn't have any special powers, martial prowess or stunning good looks. But he did have a great moral dilemma about whether to murder Khellus who killed his father and enslaved his people, and yet might be humanity's only chance of survival. Then, of course, Bakker had him first raped by Zsoronga, then hijacked by Yathwer and, finaly, killed by little Kelm. 

Care for? Yes, Akka. And for the life of me I hope he is redeemed and finds a ducking backbone. But, overall he isn't a horribly bad moral character. All things considered in these books. I agree on Sorwee, and have always been a fan when others weren't.

Cnauir. I know he is a rapist, murder, the violent of most men, but I love him. He's my favorite character of any fantasy series. As Mimara says, "If not for the Dunyain he would have the soul of a hero." He's tragic. He fights demons and is one of the more underrated in the series for his intelligence. 

Mimara, man I really hope Bakker doesn't waste all the potential for her in TNG. I have always loved and rooted for her too.

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4 hours ago, Gronzag said:

I'm curious, does anyone care for any particular character in this series, the way people care for ASOIAF characters?

I really liked Sorweel, he wasn't a rapist, murderer or manipulator, and was pretty much the only character in the books who didn't have any special powers, martial prowess or stunning good looks. But he did have a great moral dilemma about whether to murder Khellus who killed his father and enslaved his people, and yet might be humanity's only chance of survival. Then, of course, Bakker had him first raped by Zsoronga, then hijacked by Yathwer and, finaly, killed by little Kelm. 

Depends what you mean by care for, and honestly, eh, I feel bad for some of the people that get raped a lot? But I wouldn't want to hang out with any of these people.

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I found Cnaiur very interesting, but I think that was more due to the position that he occupied in the narrative than to anything intrinsically deep within his own character.

Characters that I actually liked? Mimara is the only one I can say with no reservations. I liked Malowebi too, though more so after his head was separated from his body. And for some reason Theliopa.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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Just now, Darth Richard II said:

I liked Serwe uh, 2? 3? The daughter that fights the MRA dragon.

I liked her because of that scene. Dodging Chorae arrows while fighting a dragon, and still takes the time to literally mock it for being a virgin.

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Cnaiur is definitely interesting. In the way books about Hitler/Charles Manson are interesting. I would not say I "care" for him though.
 

I don't think there's anyone I like in the first trilogy, to be honest, but it's been a while.

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I kind of liked Akka and Esme in the first trilogy. I wouldn't say I felt for them on the level of characters in ASoIaF or, say, Robin Hobb's work. I think people have a tendency to confuse complexity with depth, and while I'll admit they had plenty of the former, they were sorely lacking in the latter. But they were both sympathetic and, for Earwa, comparatively decent.

By the end of TJE, however, I'd lost all sympathy for both of them.

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I think many characters are very compelling, and I get upset when some die because I wanted them to stick around longer for story purposes. Don't know if that counts as "caring."  

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42 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

I kind of liked Akka and Esme in the first trilogy. I wouldn't say I felt for them on the level of characters in ASoIaF or, say, Robin Hobb's work. I think people have a tendency to confuse complexity with depth, and while I'll admit they had plenty of the former, they were sorely lacking in the latter. But they were both sympathetic and, for Earwa, comparatively decent.

By the end of TJE, however, I'd lost all sympathy for both of them.

But Akka gets dumped by his whore! It's so, like, emotional man!

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24 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

But Akka gets dumped by his whore! It's so, like, emotional man!

Well, tbf his struggle is one we're all familiar with on some level.

We've all been in love.

We've all been dumped.

We've all spent the next twenty years obsessively nursing that grudge.

Okay, that may have went off the rails a bit at the end there...

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8 hours ago, Gronzag said:

I'm curious, does anyone care for any particular character in this series, the way people care for ASOIAF characters?

I really liked Sorweel, he wasn't a rapist, murderer or manipulator, and was pretty much the only character in the books who didn't have any special powers, martial prowess or stunning good looks. But he did have a great moral dilemma about whether to murder Khellus who killed his father and enslaved his people, and yet might be humanity's only chance of survival. Then, of course, Bakker had him first raped by Zsoronga, then hijacked by Yathwer and, finaly, killed by little Kelm. 

Sooo...it just happens to a male character for a change, instead of a female character?

Basically I think the books take really long stare into the sun that is 'what if a just world didn't win out and the assholes won?'. Sorwheel wasn't an asshole, so he loses in such a world. Indeed utter assholes get to skip this damnation thing and become ciphrang, becoming the ones who deliver torment. How fucking unjust is that? Moderates are fucked over utterly. Really dystopian. And somehow assholes rising to the top(os?) seems kinda plausible. Take 'A cracked moon' and the requires only hate stuff. Or Vox day. A system where scum bags win - it's not even that women get the raw deal in the books, its that they aren't scum bags or are far less so (moderate). And the system eats them up. And Sorwheel as well, just to include a bit of gender differentiation on the fucked over side of the scales.

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1 hour ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Well, tbf his struggle is one we're all familiar with on some level.

We've all been in love.

We've all been dumped.

We've all spent the next twenty years obsessively nursing that grudge.

Okay, that may have went off the rails a bit at the end there...

Maybe he still loved her - love that can last 20 years unrequited? Maybe that's not crazy.

And maybe she still loved him (she certainly hated Kellhus)

But they were separated by a thing that could turn them away from each other without much effort.

Indeed if we're gunna carve away the series themes, could focus on that tragic romance element. Everything else is either background or not even present.

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I think tragic romance is a "theme" in TSA the same way that inkeeping being an unfortunate vocation is a theme in ASoIaF.

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19 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

I think tragic romance is a "theme" in TSA the same way that inkeeping being an unfortunate vocation is a theme in ASoIaF.

Or how gamergate is about ethics in game journalism.

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