To Know What Is Before

Well, I finished The Lies of Locke Lamora, and loved it.  One criticism I have is that I wish the villain, the Grey King, was more developed. A good way to do this would have been to include interludes for him such as those which were included for the Caldo brothers, Jean, and Locke.  A glimpse into their pasts.  I did believe the Grey King’s motivation, I just wish I had been shown it instead of told it.  But, all in all, a great book, worthy of your attention and I can’t wait to follow Locke’s future exploits, as well as Scott Lynch’s development as an author.

Now, I have moved on (in life and in reading-I changed jobs and moved 7 states away) to R. Scott Bakker’s first installment in the Prince of Nothing trilogy, The Darkness that Comes Before.

So far I am enjoying it, but it is a far more difficult novel to tackle than Lies.  There is a lot of philosophy behind Bakker’s ideas and writing, as there should be for a man with his collection of degrees.  It is good and very interesting, but it is dense.  I find I have to concentrate and read at long stretches; I cannot sit down and read two or three pages because it takes time to get into the right zone to read it, and once you’re there, you cruise, but you have to dedicate yourself to it.  I am constantly referring to the glossary and other assorted appendices (maps, language charts, etc.) and I really think they are effective.  They orient me to his world without giving away plot points.  80 some odd pages into it, I am getting a grasp on the characters, some of the various factions, who a general idea of who like whom and who doesn’t.  I look forward to getting deeper into his world, particularly as he explores concepts such as religious conflict and warfare.

I am also very fascinated that he chose what good Christian theology considers to be two different aspects of God’s nature, transcendence and immanence, and split them up, assigning those beliefs to two opposing religious factions.  Inrithism (notice the “INRI-” at the beginning of that word) are the immanents and the Fanimism are the transcendents.

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