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The Judging Eye: One (Aspect-Emperor #1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  4,123 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
Widely praised by reviewers and a growing body of fans, Bakker has already established his reputation as one of the smartest writers in the fantasy genre--a writer in the line stretching from Peake to Tolkein. Now he returns to The Prince of Nothing universe with the long-awaited The Judging Eye, the first book in an all-new series.

Set twenty years after the end of The Th
Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by The Overlook Press (first published January 15th 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jan 13, 2014 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
Despite some trepidation with the thought I keep coming back to the idea that R. Scott Bakker’s ‘Prince of Nothing’ and ‘Aspect Emperor’ series are, if not the true inheritors of Tolkien’s legacy, at least the most innovative step forward in the realm of epic fantasy that is consciously derived from the genre-changing (or creating) impact of JRRT. Most other fantasies that are obviously influenced by the Professor are at best re-treading the same, or similar, ground in fairly limited ways or, at ...more
Jun 05, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, epics, reviewed
Observational aside: I will rarely reread books. Once I finish a book it is usually off to the next one, with few exceptions. In this case the sixth book in the series, The Great Ordeal, is coming out soon, a book I have waited nearly five years for, and I wanted to give myself a refresher on the entire series before it was released. I don't recall the first time I read "The Prince of Nothing" trilogy but Goodreads assures me it was before I joined this website. Since then I have read literally ...more
Jan 11, 2009 Cicero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
R.Scott Bakker, is in my opinion, criminally overlooked by many of the lists discussing the best that fantasy currently has to offer.

This book picks up 20 years after the events of The Thousandfold Thought and so there is defiantly a new feel to this book with new POVs characters and different plotlines. This book feels like book one of a new trilogy (which it is) and does not read like book 4 of the series. Unfortunately this means a lot of setting up is done and so two of the storylines had no
Oct 24, 2008 Terence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bakker fans, epic fantasy buffs
Shelves: sf-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2009 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popcorn
This is another sequel whose success is predicated on the reader knowing and caring about characters from previous volumes. The psychological depth of Bakker's earlier books is missing here, which in most cases is fine-- we've already have about 1800 pages on the inner workings of the three main characters, Esmenet, Achamian, and Kellhus. I missed the richness of perspective, though, and Bakker did introduce some new characters that could have been the lenses through which this story was told. M ...more
Mar 10, 2016 Tammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another brilliant book from Bakker.
Therese Arkenberg
Aug 28, 2013 Therese Arkenberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot remember enjoying a sequel so much in years!

Although the worldbuilding behind what Bakker is now calling The Second Apocalypse is beyond complex, and a lot has happened in the 20 years since the close of the Prince of Nothing trilogy, I still felt able to dive right back into this world. I hadn't realized how much I remembered of this meticulously crafted setting--even though "Sweet Sejenus!" has been my go-to cussword for years. Bakker doesn't waste the reader's time with a long introd
Sep 19, 2011 Wise_owl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Judging Eye starts the second series in R. Scott Bakker's fantasy world, and in many ways it mirrors the first series while setting forth a broader, more fascinating premise.

It's impossible to discuss the book without discussion of the previous series, but suffice to say, all the philosophy that ladens the first book continues in this one, with the worlds key questions of metaphysics continueing to be almost, but not quite answered.

The Holy War that was the setting for the first book is over
Feb 21, 2009 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of The Prince of Nothing trilogy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 09, 2013 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this is technically the first book of a trilogy, anyone who has not previously read any of R. Scott Bakker’s work should most certainly not start with this book. In fact, it’s a little unclear to me why Bakker would even bother calling this a new trilogy, seeing as it completely relies on the reader understanding the events of the preceding Prince Of Nothing trilogy for this story to make much sense. Sure, there’s a detailed synopsis included (at the back of the book, though), and yes, ...more
This new series begins twenty years after the conclusion of Bakker's Prince of Nothing trilogy. Kellhus, the all-seeing Aspect-Emperor, is leading a second war, the Great Ordeal, against the evil Consult, intending to prevent the rise of the No-God. While his army continues to subjugate once proud nations, others plot to contest his domination. Nannaferi, of the Cult of Yatwer, awaits the Goddess' White-Luck Warrior, prophesied to destroy the Demon Kellhus. Sorweel, the young king of conquered S ...more
Jan 27, 2011 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost don't feel right giving this any sort of rating until I've read the rest of the trilogy, but since the third book hasn't been published yet, I guess I should put something down.

Full disclosure: I LOVED the Prince of Nothing trilogy. It's firmly in my top 10. So I wanted to love this. I've actually been putting off reading it because I know I'm going to want to blow through them all, and I obviously can't do that without the third installment. I'm giving it 4 stars now, but that may chan
Sep 20, 2010 Carlo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I read Bakker's "Prince of Nothing" trilogy I was mind blown, it redefined my idea of fantasy books, the astonishing uniqueness of its universe and the characters' depth marveled me so much I found myself feeling sad by the end of the third book knowing it'd be the last one; However, I was baffled to find the trilogy's ending very inconclusive. Of course my disappointed ended two weeks ago when i saw "the Judging Eye" on the Fantasy shelf, the best fantasy story ever continues!

Scott Bakker
Jun 19, 2013 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
As much as I enjoyed R. Scott Bakker's The Prince of Nothing trilogy, there were various points in the books where they could be a chore to read. Bakker seemed to get bogged down in too much detail, and would allow his narrative voice to ramble a bit more than necessary around his characters' philosophical musings. The Judging Eye contains no such eye-glazing passages, and is in fact a downright easy read. I'm not sure whether this was a personal decision on the author's part or just a consequen ...more
Apr 24, 2009 Bloggeratf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The The Judging Eye, by R. Scott Bakker is set twenty years after his previous trilogy, The Darkness That Comes Before, which follows Anasurimbor Kelhus in his quest to kill kill father and save the world. Kelhus is an off the charts genius Übermensch bred in the traditions of the Dunyain, a secret cult whose only goal is to breed smarter children. Having been polluted by the outside world through a dream sent by his father, Kelhus is exiled from the Dunyain and sent to kill him. I highly recomm ...more
Aug 24, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always wanted to like these books more than I do. I've met Bakker, and he's an interesting, cool, thoughtful guy, with one of the best explanations of the innovative (rather than inherently conservative) qualities of fantasy (as opposed to sf) I've ever heard. However, all of the characters in his books are so broken--he seem to write about mad people in a mad world, and it's impossible to quite like or trust any of them no matter how much you want to. I actually have less of that problem i ...more
Neil Pearson
Aug 07, 2011 Neil Pearson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 20 year skip forward in time is initially a shock but it works suprisingly well and gets to us to the meat of the story far quicker. Because of the passage of time we now have a very different cast and the two remaining POVs are quite changed from the last time we saw them. The new POVs are surprisingly good, Kelmomas being a favourite although Sorweel is a bit of a whiny drag (though i suspect he has a far greater role). A lot of people have complained about Kellhus taking a back seat but I ...more
Oct 13, 2008 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was both hopeful and wary going into this second trilogy in Bakker's apocalyptic saga. In fact, I re-read the Prince of Nothing trilogy as much to enjoy it all once last time in case he managed to retroactively tarnish their brilliance. Fortunately, I have not been disappointed. "The Judging Eye" is very much the first volume in a new trilogy, despite all that happened in the three previous books. Twenty years have passed and new factions, conflicts and mysteries have emerged. Much like "The D ...more
Jo Woolfardis
Sep 15, 2011 Jo Woolfardis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I simply was not captivated by the characters, writing, what passed as a plot or anything else for that matter. It was confusing, that is all.
Maark Abbott
Feb 27, 2016 Maark Abbott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fantastic. Top book read in 2016 as of 20/06; further thoughts to come later.
Patrick St-Denis
The long-awaited (and what should have been the final installment in The Aspect-Emperor trilogy, but has since then been split into two volumes) The Great Ordeal by R. Scott Bakker will finally be released this summer. It's been five years since The White-Luck Warrior, the second volume, saw the light, so you can understand why Bakker fans are rejoicing. Problem is, it's been a very long time in between books. And for a midlist genre author, one that never was marketed much by his publishers to ...more
Ben Jones
Oct 16, 2016 Ben Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Theodore Remington
R. Scott Bakker continues his legacy of inheriting Tolkien's mantle and darkening it exquisitely with his supremely multi-layered series, subverting expectations and plumbing deeper into the alien recesses of the human psyche via outlandish fantasy fiction. Despite the protagonist's inhuman behavior (which sinks — or ascends, depending on your perspective — to newfound depraved levels), I find Kellhus to be one of the most genuinely interesting characters I've ever come across. The centerpiece, ...more
João Eira
Tired of Esmenet as POV character, thought Sorwell was bland and boring. Mimara was more interesting than I thought she would be, and this less cuckold version of Achamian is better read than he was in The Thousandfold Thought.

Weird that the superhuman traits pass through genetic influence and not training. I should have noticed that with Maithanet. What's the point of the Dunayin themselves then? As a sort of eugenics program that culls the weak, perhaps through some sort of Lamarkian genetic
Feb 21, 2017 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel started off slow and confusing because of the 20 year time skip.

Kellhus is still being Kellhus, and cuckolding people out of things that doesn't belong to him. Only now he has help and they are all crazy.

Some events are confusing, but I'm sure things will be made clear in the later books (demons and Gods).

All in all a "meh" from me.

3/5 Stars
Feb 19, 2017 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turns out there's a trilogy leading up to this book, which is #1 of a second trilogy. But I wanted goood writing and a complex plot & cast to fill my head with fodder for dreams. It's easy for me to go to sleep and start dreaming after reading fantasy, and impossible after reading tech / problem solving books. And Bakker can write, and the characters are intriguing.
I've read quite a lot of dark fantasy recently. Some of it has been very enjoyable, notable Russell Kirkpatrick's "Broken Man" series and others, like Karen Miller's "Godspeaker" trilogy, less so. Having seen a description of "The Judging Eye" that mentioned "murderous children", I was very much looking forward to this one as well. I got a decent read, but it didn't turn out to be quite as dark as I was expecting.

Anasûrimbor Kellhus is the ruler of the Three Seas, acting as both emperor and God
Newton Nitro
Apr 21, 2014 Newton Nitro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Depois de detonar os limites morais da literatura de fantasia com sua fantástica e ultra-sombria trilogia Prince of Nothing, R.Scott Bakker retorna a um dos cenários mais brutais e nihilistas que já li com a saga Aspect-Emperor.

Imagine um cruzamento insano entre a narrativa bíblica messiânica, o clima apocalíptico do tempo das Cruzadas, a estranheza das civilizações da era do bronze (como a Babilônia e a Pérsia), um cenário tão detalhado quanto o da saga Duna, junto com uma versão ultra-sombria
Lamar Henderson
R. Scott Bakker is probably one of the best — if not the best — fantasy writers working today. He is one of the few whose created world actually feels real. He also writes characters with a significant depth to them.

The Judging Eye, the first volume in a new trilogy that follows up on his Prince of Nothing series, drops us into the world of the Three Seas 20 years after the events of Prince of Nothing. The Mandate Schoolman Achamian has renounced his former student Kellhus, now the Aspect-Empero
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Richard Scott Bakker, who writes as R. Scott Bakker and as Scott Bakker, is a novelist whose work is dominated by a large series informally known as the The Second Apocalypse which Bakker began developing whilst as college in the 1980s.

The series was originally planned to be a trilogy, with the first two books entitled The Prince of Nothing and The Aspect-Emperor. However, when Bakker began writin
More about R. Scott Bakker...

Other Books in the Series

Aspect-Emperor (4 books)
  • The White Luck Warrior (Aspect-Emperor, #2)
  • The Great Ordeal (Aspect-Emperor, #3)
  • The Unholy Consult (Aspect-Emperor, #4)

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“I remeber asking a wise man, once . . . 'Why do Men fear the dark?' . . . 'Because darkness' he told me, 'is ignorance made visable.' 'And do Men despise ignorance?' I asked. 'No,' he said, 'they prize it above all things--all things!--but only so long as it remains invisible.” 47 likes
“Darkness shields as much as it threatens.” 30 likes
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