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The Judging Eye by R. Scott Bakker
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's review
Apr 24, 2009

really liked it
Read in April, 2009

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 recommend the first trilogy for anyone who enjoyed the Ender's Game series as there are a few significant parallels that give the book a remarkably similar feel. Although this is a work of fantasy and not science fiction you won't be sorry you made the transition.

This is a real philosophical work of fantasy, incorporating many elements of traditional religion, such as Islam and Christianity in a nation state framework that lends the book a gritty realism. It took me a few chapters to get used to the style and the sheer abundance of proper names, but it all falls into place fairly quickly. While all in all I feel that it was a solid series, there is a certain lack of mystery and plot twisting which makes reading this similar to falling head first down a tunnel; you can watch everything go by, and its pretty, but you ultimately know where you are going to end up.

For those just starting out in the genre, I would not recommend this, but for those who are looking to round out there experience its a great pick that is clearly distinct from anything else out there.

The Judging Eye, the first book of the new trilogy suffers from the same defects as its forbearers, I am currently half-way in, and had I not read the previous trilogy, I am fairly certain I would be lost. The real let-down here is that Kelhus is no longer a central character, or at least not yet. What good is having someone with god-like powers if you don't get to see him use them!?
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