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The White Luck Warrior

(The Aspect-Emperor #2)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  4,434 ratings  ·  120 reviews
A score of years after he first walked into the histories of men, Anasûrimbor Kellhus rules all the three seas, the first true Aspect-Emperor in a thousand years.

As Kellhus and his Great Ordeal march ever farther into the perilous wastes of the Ancient North, Esmenet finds herself at war with not only the Gods, but her own family as well. Achamian, meanwhile, leads his own
Trade Paperback, 587 pages
Published May 5th 2011 by Orbit (first published April 5th 2011)
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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,434 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror, canadian
So, volume two of the “Aspect Emperor” series has come to a close and so far R. Scott Bakker still proves that he has the chops to pull off a multi-volume epic fantasy that not only uses the standard tropes in new and interesting ways, but that gives his characters depth, darkness, and complexity and does so with prose that is always enjoyable and sometimes downright exhilarating to read. I don’t think that I really *like* any of his characters (though Achamian, and to a lesser extent Mimara and ...more
Nov 29, 2011 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
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An Overwhelming experience. Its shocking how this, a work of words rises above, transcends words.

With this series Bakker has become Tolkiens lost, maniacally, diabolically perverted, philosophical twin. If Tolkien was the creator of fantasy as it stands today, Bakker is its proud defiler. This man is pure evil to write what he writes and still command the adoration and awe of the reader, in-spite of the disgust, in-spite of the awareness of the mutilation.
Therese Arkenberg
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fifty pages in, I realized I had come to approach this as a horror story rather than epic fantasy, as if I was reading Stephen King or the Lovecraft Unbound anthology. In the opening chapters, Bakker succeeds in making forests scary. Maybe if I'd seen the Blair Witch project or played that Slenderman game longer, this would not be news to me, but I grew up among friendly, sunlit trees. The same monumental gloom that pervades the Nonman fortress our intrepid heroes (or greed-driven antiheroes, ei ...more
Anthony Ryan
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Epic fantasy through the prism of Nietzschian philosophy, all rendered in compelling but exquisite prose. Highly recommended.
Corey James Soper
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I always find books like this difficult to review, because I acknowledge whilst I enjoyed it, most people would find it pretty tiresome. The premise, of Neitzschean superman let loose in a medieval Near East with a singular mission to prevent The Apocalypse may raise an eyebrow or two, and when it comes to the super-powers of the Anasurimbor Bakker resorts to a fair amount of hand-waving and obfuscation. It works because it does, and like the Believer-Kings, you just have to accept it. We take i ...more
Jul 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Epic fantasy fans
Shelves: sf-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Even for Scott Bakkers' high standards, this was an amazing book. Epic, Rewarding, Delicious.
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, read-aloud
The originality is back!! For those disappointed in Bakker’s previous book, The Judging Eye—due to its complete knockoff of Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring— Bakker more than redeems himself with The White Luck Warrior. Only Bakker can get away with combining the extremely bizarre and grotesque, while remaining philosophical and intellectually stimulating. This book has it all: an evil, murderous child infatuated with his mother, sranc who couple with the dead in the most gruesome way imagi ...more
Chris Gousopoulos
Relentless, uncompromising, poetic and vicious epic. Madness, carnage, and exultation. A journey through nightmares and great deeds. Nothing compares to these books right now for me!
Feb 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Here's a extract from my review, full link:

When I read the Prince of Nothing several years ago, I was awestruck at the dimension of the characters, the depth of the plot, the ingenious, tangible and inflated world building and the philosophical/anthropological exploration found in the protagonists insights while they marched to war. I read that this last aspect (mostly so in the author's case) is seen for some as an author
Thomas Edmund
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
First of all - I rate Bakker's The Darkness that Comes before as one of my favourite trilogies of all time.

And I have to say when Judging Eye came out I was most disillusioned. Where D.T.C.B was populated with strong characters and forboding, The Aspect Emperor seems bogged down in the petty factitions that previously formed the background of Bakker's writing but wasn't the key focus.

White Luck Warrior does improve on the Judging Eye however. More of significance happens, each of the three stor
Neil Pearson
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure if Bakker was being meta but this book really feels like the oft quoted "slog of slogs". While "the judging eye" felt pacier than the previous books, this one seemed to reset the balance. I think this is partly due to the chapters being very long meaning we only drop in on Momemn's story 3/4 times throughout the book.
Negatives aside though there are still some great moments. Cleric is one of the most tragic "elves" I've read about and the Quirri storyline feels like a fantasy versio
[redacted by S.H.I.E.L.D.]
Mind = blown.
Sotiris Karaiskos
Κουραστικό βιβλίο, διαβάζοντας το είχα την αίσθηση ότι παρακολουθούσα κουλτουριάρικο road movie όπου οι πρωταγωνιστές προχωράνε και προχωράνε φιλοσοφώντας ακατάπαυστα, έχοντας που και που ένα ακατανόητο ξέσπασμα που εμείς καλούμαστε να το ερμηνεύσουμε. Ακόμα, όμως, και στις περιπτώσεις όπου ξεφεύγουμε από αυτό το μοτίβο ο συγγραφέας καταφεύγει ξανά στον υπερβολικό συναισθηματισμό που αγγίζει τα όρια του συναισθηματικού εκβιασμού, με ακόμα περισσότερες εξομολογήσεις από θλιμμένες πουτάνες και λοι ...more
Jul 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This remindes me of the Dune books in some ways. Very complex plot, with much of the explanation of why and how hinted at rather than spelled out. Intellectual concepts and not an easy read. Expect to take your time. The protagonist is still not clearly good or evil.
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, grimdark
I can’t tell you how much I loved this book! The White Luck Warrior reads more like the continuation of The Judging Eye than a “bridge book” of a trilogy in my opinion.

The White Luck Warrior answers some of the questions raised by The Judging Eye while raising new and deeper questions. The three main story arcs from The Judging Eye continue, and there is one new POV character: The mysterious and supernatural-sounding White Luck Warrior, who is sent by the goddess Yatwer, or the Hundred Gods in a
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, grimdark
Man, these just keep getting better and better. This is the second book of the second trilogy of the overarching Second Apocalypse story, the third (and last?) being released in 2015, if I'm not mistaken.

The first trilogy - The Prince of Nothing - reads like a fantasy take on the first crusade to Jerusalem, coupled with elements of Dune, the Silmarillion and LoTR. Imagine Aragorn going insane, and becoming a prophet with a mission to unite the whole world under an iron rule, in order to protect
Goran Zidar
Apr 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
Let me preface this review by saying upfront that I really enjoyed the previous books by this author. The three books from the first series, and the first book of this series, are among my favourite books. I found the world building and the characterisation to be excellent and I was very much looking forward to reading this book.

With that behind me I am very disappointed in the result.

For me the entire novel exists to get the characters from point A to point B in the largest number of words pos
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
There is much to like and much to dislike in this series, much and more of it in this single volume. WLW may be the best of both trilogies.

The story flips back and forth between three main threads. Achamian and Mimara's remains my favorite, and the tragic Nonman Cleric featured heavily there. They face another epic danger from the ancient past, a part which stood toe-to-toe in quality with Achamian's final confrontation in the first trilogy.

Esmenet's seat of power continues to sway in the heigh
Dean Wangerin
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can't tell you how much I loved this book. Like the first book (The Judging Eye), this book totally blew me away. The writing style is a delight to read - it's elaborate, but without being overly detailed. The characters are fascinating, dark and intricate. Character conversations aren't fluff; each is important, and when they speak, it's worth listening to. You get the feeling that the fantasy world they are in is real, full of an ocean of other history and mysteries, rather than a narrow pla ...more
Amanda Sautbine Clemmer
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the most recent book in Bakker's trilogy of trilogies, which started with the Prince of Nothing. Set in a fantasy world with hints of sci-fi, the first trilogy builds the world in a convincing and fascinating method--only to smash it to bits with an even better second trilogy, which reveals that the first three books were only setting the stage. I enjoyed the last book, The Judging Eye, to a great extent... but it falls short of The White Luck Warrior. This book does everything you could ...more
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The White-Luck Warrior starts at a point in Bakker’s ongoing epic where all the stakes are raised high, and the events of the previous book – The Judging Eye – will either lead to survival or ruin. After The Judging Eye set everything up, we now enter the real tests. This is the moment when the series, the Aspect-Emperor series, will have to show what it has up its sleeve, and whether it can hold its own in comparison to other fantasy series out there.

There are two main threads. The company of A
V.G. Castle
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Instant favorite! Classic! Top of my list now.
I gave the first book, the Darkness that Comes Before five star. After that, the entire series seemed to flunk. Even the Judging Eye felt like a dragged to me.

But White Luck Warrior is an absolute redeem of the series. It's just too good. There are many actions scenes. There are twists that will keep you on the edge of your sit. There are dark scenes, violence and sex. Definitely not for the kids. There are also romance, if you can call it that. Ther
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, digital
I love it!

I'm not going to mention anything about the particulars of the story; there are enough reviews about that. I think the most fascinating thing about these books is the question of who the hell the "good guys" are.

I don't know!

This is a moral ambiguity that would make GRRM scratch his head. It's not exactly comfortable, but it is fascinating.

If you've read any of/anything about The Second Apocalypse series, you probably know that the antagonists are a VILE, ancient evil. They seem to put
Dec 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The latest volume in R Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing and Aspect Emperor connected series is stunningly good. Bakker's skills keep improving, and the world of this series, it's revelations and it's complexity keep getting deeper and more mind-blowing with every installment in the series. This novel is so good, it even manages to make it's preceding volume, The Judging Eye, better with what it adds to the plots and characters that were introduced in it.

Kellhus has to be the most intriguing char
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I tend to be wary of over-complex, over wordy stories and I approached this series with only moderate expectations.

The author holds back on the truth and dispenses it in miserly portions. Most of the book is one man’s search for the truth. A truth that may decide the fate of the world.

It’s a fantasy story spanning concepts from the huge to the tiny. At times you might feel mired by excessive, arcane pros but then the story changes gear and the characters are running for their lives for the next
Travis Weir
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
With the Aspect-Emperor trilogy, Bakker has truly become one of my top one or two favourite fantasy authors. There is so much emotion tied about this book, it was so, so powerful. Easily one of my most powerful fantasy novels I have ever read, and incredibly it is the not the concluding novel in the trilogy ! 'The White Luck Warrior' provided so much meat to the story and really lifted the entire story, making it soar truly like an eagle. A brilliant, brilliant read.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The best in the series yet. The imagery is as detailed as ever, but the pace in this book picks up considerably. It was certainly the most entertaining book of the series so far.

Small nit picks- Still dont like Esme, and I am not sure why the High Priestess storyline needs to be in at all.

On the other hand, the end of the book has Anka in what should be one of the most cliched spots in the fantasy genre, and instead it came out as fresh and exciting. Bakker really does do it right.
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How do u think kellhus will defeat the whiteluck warrior? 3 30 Apr 08, 2013 05:25PM  
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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

Other books in the series

The Aspect-Emperor (4 books)
  • The Judging Eye (Aspect-Emperor, #1)
  • The Great Ordeal (Aspect-Emperor, #3)
  • The Unholy Consult (Aspect-Emperor, #4)
“Complexity begets ambiguity, which yields in all ways to prejudice and avarice. Complication does not so much defeat Men as arm them with fancy.” 10 likes
“You can count the bruises on your heart easily enough, but numbering sins is a far tricker matter. Men are eternally forgetting for their benefit. They leave it to the World to remeber, and to the Outside to call them to harsh accout. One hundred Heavens . . . for one thousand Hells.” 8 likes
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