Justin Evans's Reviews > The Judging Eye

The Judging Eye by R. Scott Bakker
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 27, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read in May, 2012

For better and for worse, Bakker turned it up to 11 on this one. The psychology is more believable, more condensed, and much more revealing than in the first three books. The action is faster and more edge-of-your-seat. And the bravura set pieces are more worthy of a bravo. The first three books were more interesting than fun; this is as fun as it is interesting. Someone complained that the moral relativism is gone- well, you should read more closely, since we're told in no uncertain terms that the 'good' characters from books 1-3 are evil and/or self-loathing; and the 'good' characters you might think will replace them go in for human sacrifice. So if by 'moral relativism' you mean 'I'm okay, you're okay, everybody's okay' then yeah, it's gone. If you mean 'who'll cast the first stone,' it's still here.

A downside. Sentence fragments. Indications of extreme emotional experience. Dreams. War. Violence. Omnipresent. Unnecessary. Kind of a pain in the ass. And the general tendency to over-describe really blows the hell up here, too: tell me more about that armor! No, really!

Finally, a lot of people have pointed out that the last scene is very reminiscent of Tolkein. Nobody seems to have mentioned that it's also very reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, which suggests that this is not blatant rip-off. It's a fun combination of two distinct genres and a thoughtful consideration of their similarities and differences (i.e., the heroes in Tolkein are not scum-bag scalpers; the heroes in McCarthy do not come through with flying colors).

Anyway, it's thoroughly enjoyable without being a guilty pleasure. No need to feel guilt: you can train-spot philosophical, historical and contemporary issues as much as you want.
2 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Judging Eye.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

03/24/2017 marked as: read

No comments have been added yet.