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Old 03-25-2012, 07:21 AM
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Default The Second Apocalypse

Anyone else reading these?

They are (so far) 2 trilogies, the 2nd of which is only 2 books in:

The Prince Of Nothing Trilogy
1 - The Darkness That Comes Before
2 - The Warrior Prophet
3 - The Thousandfold Thought

The Aspect Emperor Trilogy
1 - The Judging Eye
2 - The White Luck Warrior
3 - ?????

These are fantasy books focusing on politics, religion and philosophy. They take heavy influences from Dune, LOTR and A Song of Ice and Fire.

Its the story of a mysterious monk from the north who is on a pilgrimage to meet / assassinate his father who had left 30 years prior. The Dunyain monks possess powers of persuasion, and can read the feelings and thoughts of men and use this to their advantage, to accomplish their mysterious goals.

In the meantime the Shriah (pope of the Thousand Temples, the church of Inthrism) has declared a war on Fanimism, followers of the prophet Fane who had conquered Shimeh, the birth place of Inri Sejenus (prophet of Inthrism) some centuries before. While all the various factions bicker and squabble to gain advantage over one another, a mysterious force known as The Consult lurks in their ranks, secretly guiding events with their spies.

I just finished the first trilogy and have started The Judging Eye.

YOU SHOULD TOO
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:56 AM
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I have the first book, read about 1/3 of it and put it away. Maybe I'll get back to it after I finish reading Wheel of Time... but, I dunno. It just felt so very dull to me.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:28 AM
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You are not wrong - the first half of the first book pissed me off. I will say this though - it's worth sticking with. It's kind of aloof like Dune, which can be a negative, I think Thrones may be a superior series if only for its sense of immediacy.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chud_666 View Post
I think Thrones may be a superior series if only for its sense of immediacy.
Agreed. I like Bakker's books quite a bit, but they do definitely have their flaws, the clinical, detached narrative being perhaps the biggest in my mind. That said, there are several things I love about them: the magic system(s) (and the broader metaphysics behind the magic) are great; the "elves" are non-stereotypical and fascinating even to me, a jaded elf-hater; the big baddies have a clear, comprehensible goal that extends beyond "rule the world because we're evil and stuff"; the prose is head and shoulders above that of most fantasy books.

The thing that prevents me from recommending them to more people is that they are dark. Violence, sex, sexual violence and despair all fairly leak from the pages of any given book in the series. If you can stomach that, though, they come highly recommended.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:11 PM
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So still reading The Judging Eye

I am beginning to wonder what Kellhus actually wants, if he even is all that concerned by the Consult.

Favourite new element - the Yatwer worshippers
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:59 PM
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Here's a link to a review of (which in turn provides links to) two recent short stories set in Earwa. Chud, you should totally read them, but only after you've finished The White Luck Warrior.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:08 PM
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OK

Just finished White Luck Warrior

CRITICISMS

For how wordy Bakker is, he sure doesn't explain many of his concepts well. What is the White Luck Warrior or the Thosandfold thought? I HAVE NO IDEA. This may be for some pay off in the remaining books, but you have to tease these properly, otherwise its presumptous to think anyone will read your other books.

THAT SAID

WLW was really rad. And Kellhus' proclaimation at the end of how to stave of starvation was an excellent reveal.

I RATE THEM THUSLY:

1. White Luck Warrior
2. Thousandfold Thought
3. The Darkness That Comes Before
4. The Warrior Prophet
5. The Judging Eye
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by chud_666 View Post
OK

Just finished White Luck Warrior

CRITICISMS

For how wordy Bakker is, he sure doesn't explain many of his concepts well. What is the White Luck Warrior or the Thosandfold thought? I HAVE NO IDEA. This may be for some pay off in the remaining books, but you have to tease these properly, otherwise its presumptous to think anyone will read your other books.
I thought that the White Luck Warrior was the incarnate avatar of Yatwer.

As for the Thousandfold Thought... yeah, I have no idea, and the second time I read the book I tried to specifically find an answer to that question. There are pages and pages over at asoiaf.westeros.org trying to figure it out.

Edit: oh yeah, and the name of the third book in the Aspect Emperor is The Unholy Consult.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:54 AM
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As for the Thousandfold Thought... yeah, I have no idea, and the second time I read the book I tried to specifically find an answer to that question. There are pages and pages over at asoiaf.westeros.org trying to figure it out.
I don't remember that being a puzzler - I thought it was pretty clear that the thousand-fold thought was basically being able to hold the Future in your head and see exactly where things would head, using predictive logic. But I read it over a year ago, so your memory is probably better than mine!


As for Kelllhus' motivation - from the time we spend with him in his head in The Thousand-Fold Thought, I thought it was pretty clear that he is actively trying to stop the Consult. There could certainly be other elements to his motivation, and other layers of plans, but I do think that Kellhus doesn't want Earwa to become a lifeless husk of a world. YMMV

Quote:
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Edit: oh yeah, and the name of the third book in the Aspect Emperor is The Unholy Consult.
Sweet. Wonder when it comes out, and if he'll still need to write The Book With No Name to finish off the series?
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:32 AM
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I don't know that he is though - or if he is doing it out of the goodness of his heart

So Ishual, destroyed when Akka and Mimara get there, but by whom? Possibly the consult. But maybe by Kellhus himself, so he isn't deposed like Moenghus was. Of course he drove events to bring Mimara to Akka in the first place and had Kosoter and the Skin Eaters monitor him. He also had to know that Cleric was Nil Gaccas.

FURTHERMORE

The consult was driving the Holy War to reclaim Shimeh, but Maithenet and Kellhus were pushing it along as well. It could be that the sorcery of the Cishaurim is the ultimate weakness of the Consult, and likely the Gnosis as well, its the only sorcery that doesn't leave you marked. MOREOVER - who has been warring nonstop since being in power, MAYBE helping the consult reach their goal of reducing the number of souls to 144k. ADDITIONALLY!!! The shortest path to ultimate domination maybe learning the secrets of the TEKNE as well. And! One of the "What has come before" recaps states explicitly that Kellhus is mad.

LAST POINT
At the very beginning of book 1 Kellhus encountered a consult Nonman and his Sranc. Why wasn't he killed????????????


Anyway I don't think Kellhus is above board at all.

White Luck Warrior - So avatar of Yatwer sure, and it's hinted that is Sorweel, BUT. Didn't Psatma fuck the WLW to gain her youth back? Or did I completely misread that?

Thousandfold Thought - My deal here is that it has reached that ideal, but it's ever so vague. Which in and of itself is fine. In Dune the Golden Path was vague as well. But it was teased in a way that made you want to know more. The TFT is mentioned very sporadically and mostly in Kellhus's dialogue with Moenghus. So what did it mean? I don't expect answers right away, or even for any of this to be fully revealed, but would like some hints here and there, and what it means for the story or why it's relevant to Kellhus' actions. Or at least other characters talking about it and pondering.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upupdowndown View Post
I don't remember that being a puzzler - I thought it was pretty clear that the thousand-fold thought was basically being able to hold the Future in your head and see exactly where things would head, using predictive logic. But I read it over a year ago, so your memory is probably better than mine!
I think this is the best interpretation, although it's never made explicitly clear. To be fair it's been more than a year since I read it, so you win this round.

Re: Kelhus' motivations: I agree that they are somewhat inscrutable. That said, I agree with upupdowndown that at the end of the day I think he's actually trying to take out the Consult. Imma gonna respond to Chud's points one by one:

1. The destruction of Ishual:

I'm not sure that this was intended to be a big reveal to the reader, as I had always assumed that Ishual WAS already destroyed, and that the Dunyain mostly lived underground. That said, even if it was destroyed by Kelhus, that doesn't necessarily mean that he's in league with the Consult for reasons I'll get into below.

2. The push to reclaim Shimeh:

Kelhus started off wanting to get there to kill his father. Kelhus couldn't have been in league with the Consult at least up until the end of the second book, as the Consult had no idea who Kelhus was or who the Dunyain were at that point. Furthermore, after the second book and the grasping of The Thousandfold Thought, Kelhus knew that the only way to stop the Consult was to unify the realms of man under one leader. Yes, the Cishaurim were all but killed in that unification, but the holy war paved the way for other schools to be granted the Gnosis, which we have repeatedly been told is the most powerful of the arts.

3. Warring nonstop:

He has been warring nonstop, but again, for unification. If his goal was to kill as many people as possible to make reducing the number of people to the magic number, why take the Ordeal north to Golgotterath? Why not just invade Zeum and throw away the lives of his military as well as the lives of countless Zeum citizens and military? This way the north would be largely undefended from the huge masses of sranc, huge masses of scranc that the Ordeal has been actively killing, by the way.

4. Tekne:

I'm not sure that we know enough about the tekne to rule on this one way or another.

5. Kelhus is mad:

No argument here. I think Kelhus is legitimately insane. But I think the form his insanity has taken is that he literally believes that he is a god, and that his pardon of sorcerers is legitimate (something we know not to be the case because of Mimara's judging eye). Think about it: if Kelhus were sane, he would know that he and all other sorcerers are damned, and that the only way to prevent their damnation would be to join with the Consult as so many had done previously. It is precisely because he is insane that he believes that he has another path open to him.

Note that this interpretation would solve the Ishual issue, assuming that Kelhus has sacked the place and killed off the Dunyain: any sane Dunyain would know that the most logical path would be to join with the Consult and ensure that the small group of Dunyain is part of the 144K. If Kelhus is actively trying to stop the Consult, he might take steps against them. Otherwise, why not appear to them in his glory, teach them all the Gnosis, and have a cadre of sorcerer ninjas to do his bidding?

6. The nonman let Kelhus live:

This wasn't just any nonman, by the way, but Mekeretrig himself. But more importantly, he was also an erratic, which means that he was just as likely to kiss Kelhus as kill him. Who knows why he let him escape? One thing is for sure, it wasn't because the Consult had any knowledge that he was special in any way (assuming that Mekeretrig is even working for the Consult at this point and isn't just an insane free agent), as the Consult was still torturing people at the end of the second book just to figure out who the Dunyain are.

In sum, I don't believe that Kelhus is actively working with the Consult, at least not yet. He might be playing a longer game, and might have more inside knowledge, than we realize, but until I get enough evidence to the contrary I think he's on the level.
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:47 PM
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And we're back!

The Great Ordeal is so far pretty great. I'm 2/3rds through. A lot of our predictions were wicked wrong! MAYBE

Anyone else reading?
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Old 09-01-2016, 05:41 AM
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OH SHIT I didn't know this was out.

I really just need to order all the previous books in the series and reread them.

Important Non-Spoilery Question: Does Mimara continue being The Best?
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:36 AM
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OH SHIT I didn't know this was out.

I really just need to order all the previous books in the series and reread them.

Important Non-Spoilery Question: Does Mimara continue being The Best?
So far very low amount Akka / Mimara chapters, but yes.
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:08 PM
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Ok I finished!

Still processing thoughts.

Will say this: the original manuscript was split so this is the Feast of Crows section and the Dance section (The Unholy Consult) comes out next summer.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:57 PM
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Ok I finished!

Still processing thoughts.

Will say this: the original manuscript was split so this is the Feast of Crows section and the Dance section (The Unholy Consult) comes out next summer.
Finished it a little while ago. I think the book's poorer for the split, as it's oddly paced and anti-climactic as a result.

Random asides (spoilered for your protection):


1. A while back (geez, years ago), I said that I think Kelhus is legitimately insane. Does anything in this books persuade/dissuade you otherwise? I'm sticking with my original position.
2. Mimara's and Esme's chapters were definitely the weakest of the bunch. Other than showing that Cnaiur is still alive, I'm not sure what the point of Mimara's storyline was. But at least hers progressed - nothing happened with Esme's storyline until the last five or so pages.
3. My favorite chapters were Sorweel's, obviously, given how batshit insane they were. Hobbits? Sure! Giants? Yep! A Dark Souls-esque, styxian voyage on a barge full of dead pigs? Why not! I'm not sure where this goes from here, but it was a ride while it lasted.
4. The Great Ordeal chapters were... something. So, so, so many boners. Baker's got a phallic-fixation worse than Giger's (which is appropriate given that the Inchoroi are basically winged-xenomorphs with human faces clutched in their jaws). At least this storyline ended with a literal bang.


So yeah, I'm not sure I'm in a position to judge this one until The Unholy Consult comes out. At least one thing is consistent: the bad guys may be rapist space aliens, but I'm still rooting for them to win.
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Old 10-02-2016, 03:38 PM
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It's the secret sequel to Krull.
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:52 PM
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Casting life 4 on this thread.

The Unholy Consult is out July 25th.

I think we will get some greater revelation about their true nature. Akka's post mandate dreams are all about 2 secrets. What is Seswatha really about, and the trail of captives to Golgotterath. Probably linked?

ANYHOO

Quote:
Originally Posted by Behemoth View Post
Finished it a little while ago. I think the book's poorer for the split, as it's oddly paced and anti-climactic as a result.

Random asides (spoilered for your protection):


1. A while back (geez, years ago), I said that I think Kelhus is legitimately insane. Does anything in this books persuade/dissuade you otherwise? I'm sticking with my original position.
2. Mimara's and Esme's chapters were definitely the weakest of the bunch. Other than showing that Cnaiur is still alive, I'm not sure what the point of Mimara's storyline was. But at least hers progressed - nothing happened with Esme's storyline until the last five or so pages.
3. My favorite chapters were Sorweel's, obviously, given how batshit insane they were. Hobbits? Sure! Giants? Yep! A Dark Souls-esque, styxian voyage on a barge full of dead pigs? Why not! I'm not sure where this goes from here, but it was a ride while it lasted.
4. The Great Ordeal chapters were... something. So, so, so many boners. Baker's got a phallic-fixation worse than Giger's (which is appropriate given that the Inchoroi are basically winged-xenomorphs with human faces clutched in their jaws). At least this storyline ended with a literal bang.


So yeah, I'm not sure I'm in a position to judge this one until The Unholy Consult comes out. At least one thing is consistent: the bad guys may be rapist space aliens, but I'm still rooting for them to win.
Regarding #2 specifically I think showing that the Dunyain are like the Bene Tleilax is pretty insane. I'm curious where it goes from here
+1 to Sorweel chapters love.
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:04 AM
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Ok so I spent actual dollarydoos and bought the hardcover of the unholy consult.

So far so good!

- the Ordeal reduced to bestial nature, cannibalism
- Moenghus jumps to his doom
- Sorweel couples with Serwa THEN with Zsoronga
- Death, at various points, comes swirling down
- Oh! They just arrived at Golgatterath!
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:38 PM
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ALL DONE

SPOILERS:

- there is no end!
- Moenghus joins the Scylvendi led by Cnaiur
-Cnaiur has been manipulating the consult just to get closer to killing Kellhus
-Proyas, trying to understand Kellhus' actions last book leads the ordeal to consume and defile the scalded after Sranc meat runs out
-Sorweel makes his assassination attempt and is killed by Kelmomas
-Zsoronga and Proyas are hung and left for dead after Kellhus returns and absolves most of their crimes
-Giant battle at the Horns
-Kellhus discovers the Consult was conquered from within by 5 Dunyain captives
-Aurang, Meketerig killed by Kellhus. Aurax left broken by the 5 Dunyain,
and Sheonarra was destroyed by them
- They feel the sum of logic is the aim of the Consult, even if teh consult,
all formed by stunted beings, cannot properly fathom that.
-The prophecy, they say, is Kellhus arriving in the Ark and becoming the No-God
-He announces that logos no longer moves him, and he may be either possessed by a ciphrang or by Ajokli himself
-Kelmomas gets fed to the sarcophogas and becomes the no-god
-gnashing of teeth
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