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  1. #31
    Filthy Assistants! Moderator kater's Avatar
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    Finished it last night in a rush, in a rush now but have to ask having read this thread - didn't Akka walk away because in the last dream he realised Kelhus will become the vessel for the No-God?

  2. #32
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Just finished the book (and the trilogy) last night.

    I loved it. I thought it was probably the best written volume in the trilogy so far. The climax was fairly satisfying, and pretty spectacular. At times it reminded me of an Erikson battle, which is a good thing. (Yay for Canadian fantasy authors!!!).

    I will try and read this entire thread tomorrow. But for now, I am really wondering if there are going to be more books set in this world. A few months ago, I think I saw something on these forums mentioning an "Aspect-Emperor trilogy" coming soon. Is this true? I hope so, because this trilogy definitely left a lot unexplored, especially the Consult, Golgotterath, and the Second Apocalypse. In fact, it almost seems like this was a set-up trilogy for something even more spectacular.

    I can't stop wondering how I would have felt, if I had not seen that mention of another upcoming series. I would probably have been disappointed that this trilogy did not answer everything.

    But otherwise, I found the last couple hundred pages riveting. What is the deal with the haloes around Kellhus's hands?!? Does he really see them as well? I never really thought that Khellus actually believed that he might be a prophet of the God.

    The Seswatha scenes were very cool. The fates of Conphas and Eleazaras were awesome. The return of Khellus, raining death from the sky, was too cool for words. And the finale, with the crowning of a new Aspect-Emperor, was breathtaking! Achamian publicly renouncing everything! That was brilliant. Achamian was by far my favorite character in this series. The last thing Khellus says to him is bone-chilling! And while I always hoped for a happy ending with Esmenet, the actual ending was more believable, more bittersweet, and more powerful. If I had to make a complaint, I might say that the phrase "Death came swirling down" was used too much... but I think it was intentional.

    I have to admit that many moments brought me to tears, especially any scene involving Akka and Esmi. And I really loved the chapter where Khellus is telling Achamian about how we are basically all one shared consciousness, one connected entity, experiencing itself subjectively through different individuals. It really resonated with me, resembling a lot of Carl Jung theory, Tool lyrics, Bill Hicks comedy, and LSD-trips.

    Good job, Scott!
    Last edited by Evil Agent; June 18th, 2006 at 12:04 AM.

  3. #33
    Registered User Murrin's Avatar
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    "Death came swirling down" is a reference to Homer, if I remember correctly.

    And yeah, the series will continue. The Prince of Nothing is part one of three - part two, The Aspect-Emperor, is expected to be a duology.

  4. #34
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murrin
    "Death came swirling down" is a reference to Homer, if I remember correctly.

    It reminded me of the short story The Dead by James Joyce, which ends with a beautifully written paragraph about the snow falling....

  5. #35
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    And yeah, the series will continue. The Prince of Nothing is part one of three -part two, The Aspect-Emperor, is expected to be a duology.
    This is very good news. I wonder how I never heard it before?

  6. #36
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    Surprised

    I've read through all of the prior posts and am now pretty certain that I didn't necessarily completely miss the point of the final volume of Bakker's trilogy - or if I did, then I'm in good company?

    There is a wikipedia stub entry on this last volume (i remember 3 years ago when the wiki was skeletal, now it is SO vast) indicating that the Aspect Emporer Kelhus is going to bring about Mog-Pharu via his consort.

    I read this and thought WHAT???? What did I miss? Yes Esmi is carrying Kelhus' child, yes Kelhus seems strangely interested in the child's potential (and we learned through Moenghus' statement about Maithenet that the child-to-be cannot be conditioned into a true Dunyain). Yet I didn't come away from the trilogy with the above Wikipedia's insight. Should I have?

    Kelhus changes - he is involved in the world and seems concerned about it - he seeks to thwart the Consult (?) in a way that he himself contrasts with Moenghus (whom he seemed to think would have been swayed to the Consult ultimately). The "shortest path" to WHERE? When Kelhus was seeking his father, I understood that this was where he sought to go - this was his purpose and SO MUCH of the Dunyain existence seems to be about purpose/goal-setting (i.e., meaning is created by self in this ascetic nihilistic monk's faith). What is his purpose now? To defeat the Consult?

    This is what I left the last book wondering...what could this inhuman being who'd grasped the thousandfold thought (or so he believed) and the sociopolitical reins of the human world be seeking to do? I figured that he would ultimately be swayed to the Consult, much like he thought his father would - but I didn't think of his son-to-be. Is Wikipedia correct? Was the No-God even created (the first time) out of a physical human being? If so, how can the halo-handed Kelhus seemingly intent to thwart the Consult, not enter his probability trance and forsee that his son could become the next Apocalyptic Mog-Pharu (if he in fact could)?

  7. #37
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    So many questions

    I just finished the series the other night and am just as blown away as the rest of you. TTT was definitely the best of the three, the most profound, etc.

    I also share many of the same questions, and a few others. Maybe (hopefully!) Scott will chime in and answer a few?

    First, regarding the No-God: Before it was "born," it asked "What am I?" It wasn't anything yet, not really. Just embryonic, seeking identity, definition, purpose. Right now, it is defined by what it is not. But what could it be? What is its true potential? It makes me think of the passage (I think it was Moenghus talking to Kellhus) about men being at war with themselves and how they can be anything, from emperor on down to slave, depending on the circumstances of their birth. Maybe it's the same for the No-God?

    Secondly, much of Dunyain thought sounds similar in some ways to Buddhism or Hinduism, and the striving to attain Nirvana. Especially when Kellhus tells Akka that there is only one Soul. That was a fantastic passage! It's what first lead me to believe that Kellhus was starting to believe his own press, that maybe he truly was a prophet and the Harbinger and all that. He actually seemed to believe his own sermons and at times seemed to explain Dunyain philosophy in a way that world-born men, Men of the Tusk specifically, would understand.

    Now for possible spoiler-related questions:

    What exactly did Kellhus do to Akka to get him to teach him the Gnosis? It seemed like simple hypnosis, but I find it hard to believe that even if it worked on Akka, Seswatha wouldn't be so easy to persuade or command.

    Which leads me to my next question, which nags at me to no end: Why didn't anyone really try to help Xinemus, instead of just pitying him? Did they prefer to use him as their penance, and the worse he got, the "better" they felt? I understand that for a warrior to loose his eyesight would be a devastating blow, but are the caste-systems so rigid that neither he nor anyone else could conceive of him making a life outside of the military? Akka tells Esmi that the Compulsion by the Scarlet Spires made him say and act out of character. Fine. Couldn't anything be done to reverse it? Kellhus can't heal, but isn't there anything in the Gnosis that could help somehow, without further robbing Zin of his identity? Barring that, couldn't Kellhus hypnotize him like he did with Akka? The whole post-Sareots episode with Zin bothered me, like it didn't have to happen that way. But maybe that's because I'm looking at it as someone from the "real world" and I didn't want it to happen that way. If I lived in the Three Seas, perhaps it would have seemed perfectly natural to me?

    Oh, and one last question, which might just be answered in the Aspect-Emperor: I'm fascinated by the Cishaurim and how they practice a sorcery of the heart, but how does this explain why the Mark cannot be seen? I'm assuming members can see the mark of Puskhe on each other, but can they see the Mark of Schoolmen?

  8. #38
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    I agree. Like Steven Erikson, perhaps moreso, Bakker left me with a lot of questions.

    What is with the No-God?!? How come he kept saying "WHAT AM I? WHAT DO YOU SEE?" He didn't sound evil at all; simply lost and confused! And I did not pick up on any references about Khellus's child becoming Mog-Pharau... I don't know what I think of that theory.

    I'm still confused about the haloed-hands... and whether Khellus really believes, whether he really believes he is a prophet.
    Especially when Kellhus tells Akka that there is only one Soul. That was a fantastic passage! It's what first lead me to believe that Kellhus was starting to believe his own press, that maybe he truly was a prophet and the Harbinger and all that.
    That was my favorite passage in the trilogy. It was truly magical, and touched on something I have thought about many times. It was beautifully written.

  9. #39
    Oi Memnoch's Avatar
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    Finished it today, it was a fantastic read. It did leave heaps of questions, so it's good to hear that two more duologies/trilogies will be coming. Anyone know when the rough ETA for Aspect Emperor is?

    I also had some questions:

    1. what do you guys think Kellhus's real motives are? I have to reread his discourse with Moenghus as I couldn't really work out what his angle was (he was cryptic in Dunyain fashion).

    2. I found Maithanet very mysterious. What's his angle? Did he know of Kellhus before the Holy War? And what is the extent of his power? He obviously has a gift of oratory, and his Holy War kicked off proceedings, so you could argue he was a string-puller. But pulling strings for who? And who do you think his mother is? Dunyain look for extreme intellect in their mates, right?

    3. At first we're told that the Consult wanted the Holy War to reach Shimeh because they couldn't afford to have the Cishaurim (via Moenghus) seeing through their skin spies. Are they being manipulated too? It seemed like it.

    I have lots more questions, but that should do for now.

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Memnoch
    Finished it today, it was a fantastic read. It did leave heaps of questions, so it's good to hear that two more duologies/trilogies will be coming. Anyone know when the rough ETA for Aspect Emperor is?

    I also had some questions:

    1. what do you guys think Kellhus's real motives are? I have to reread his discourse with Moenghus as I couldn't really work out what his angle was (he was cryptic in Dunyain fashion).
    I think at this point, Kellhus' main motive is to fuse the Inrathi and the Fanim (sp? Been about half a year since I've read it) into one people. This will serve the purpose of extending his domain, as well as opposing the consult. He also seems to believe (though its Kellhus, so of course, one can never be too sure) that he has a divine destiny.


    2. I found Maithanet very mysterious. What's his angle? Did he know of Kellhus before the Holy War? And what is the extent of his power? He obviously has a gift of oratory, and his Holy War kicked off proceedings, so you could argue he was a string-puller. But pulling strings for who? And who do you think his mother is? Dunyain look for extreme intellect in their mates, right?
    It seems, as far as we know, that Maithanet was working with Moenghus, as part of the plan to put the Thousandfold Thought into effect. I obviously can't be sure of this, but I think he was definitely pulling strings at Moenghus' behest. He seems to possess some measure of Dunyain power, though nowhere near the amount of Kellhus. As for the other questions, I can't offer anything beyond speculation,.

    3. At first we're told that the Consult wanted the Holy War to reach Shimeh because they couldn't afford to have the Cishaurim (via Moenghus) seeing through their skin spies. Are they being manipulated too? It seemed like it.
    I don't think the Consult is being manipulated at this point; or at least not by anything we've met in the series yet. As it turns out, Moenghus, as far as I can remember, is not even the reason the Cishaurim have been able to turn out the skin spies; they simply can hear the difference in voice, and Moenghus was in fact irrelevant to them discovering the spies (though, once again, it has been six months and I could be wrong).

    As for questions of the No-God: He really is quite interesting. As others have pointed out, at this point, he doesn't seem to be evil; he seems to be kind of an opposite of Kellhus, who has the abilities to comprehend next to all that passes. The No God seems simply confused and unable to discern anything about its own nature or even the outside. My main theory at this point is that the destruction it wreaks is simply an effect of its being, and nothing intentional. Certainly the most interesting concept of a "dark lord" type character in all of fantasy.

    As for this whole "Mog-Phaurau" is Kellhus' child thing... This is an angle I didn't pick up at all. Can anyone bring up specific quotations as to what makes them believe this is true?

    Man, I love this trilogy.

  11. #41
    I just finished the trilogy a couple of days ago....loved it.

    I haven't been this into a fantasy novel in many moons and just ate up the last hundred pages of thousandfold thought.

    Pros:

    excellent characters and well fleshed out over the couse of the novels. I thought the plot was brilliant, explanations of sorcery etc. Writing was superb, especially the battles and one on one meetings for the most part. The world was believable imo which made it more exciting and absorbing.

    Cons:

    Some of the characters names were ridiculous imo...it's as if Bakker made them as convoluted as possible Also the heads of the greater and lesser names were forgettable (When the last battle at Shimeh raged I cared little for these people when they died)

    Kellhus was a problem for me simply because he was unbelievable as he had no flaws. His powers were also beyond belief at times, Don't get me wrong though...I disliked him... a lot! LOL...He was well done imo except for my stated misgivings.

    Note to Mr. Bakker...please tone down the philosophizing. ;P.

    All in all it was a great read and I can't wait for the second two books!

  12. #42
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Kellhus was a problem for me simply because he was unbelievable as he had no flaws.
    No flaws? I disagree. He was a total A-Hole, intensely unlikeable (to me, at least... and to Achamian by the end). That flaw made him interesting to me.

  13. #43
    Well...to be clear I meant he was never thwarted. He ALWAYS knew what was happening and what people were thinking etc. I agree with you that his being very unlikeable is a flaw.

  14. #44
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    I finished this recently. Really interesting end to the series. It was always on the cards that Kellhus would lead the Holy War to victory, hence enabling him to unite the known world fgor the upcoming apocalypse. What was interesting was his movement away from the Dunyain - as someone said earlier, he started to believe his own press after the events in the WP where he prophesised the result of the battle and then got hung up on the circumfix. The haloes are probably evidence that he's right in believing it too.

    You could tell as soon as Akka started descrbing the Gnosis to him that he was going to do something funky, I didn't think it was going to be teleporation though. I wonder what other combinations he can come up with.

    Stylistically, I didn't like how Scott changed to the much smaller character focuses in the end and did the rotation of POV. I understand it's a good technique for maintaining interest, but I don't think it helped for the Kellhus/Moenghus confrontation - I would've rather read that in one whole block.

    Question:

  15. #45
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    I finished this recently. Really interesting end to the series. It was always on the cards that Kellhus would lead the Holy War to victory, hence enabling him to unite the known world fgor the upcoming apocalypse. What was interesting was his movement away from the Dunyain - as someone said earlier, he started to believe his own press after the events in the WP where he prophesised the result of the battle and then got hung up on the circumfix. The haloes are probably evidence that he's right in believing it too.

    You could tell as soon as Akka started descrbing the Gnosis to him that he was going to do something funky, I didn't think it was going to be teleporation though. I wonder what other combinations he can come up with.

    Stylistically, I didn't like how Scott changed to the much smaller character focuses in the end and did the rotation of POV. I understand it's a good technique for maintaining interest, but I don't think it helped for the Kellhus/Moenghus confrontation - I would've rather read that in one whole block.

    Question:

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