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Win a copy of THE GREAT ORDEAL by R. Scott Bakker
Thursday , 09 June 2016 , 10 : 20 AM

With the release of THE GREAT ORDEAL just around the corner, I'm sure there are plenty of you deadset ITCHING to get your hands on a copy early. 

Looks enticing, right? Well, the fantastic folks over at Overlook have very kindly given GdM a paperback ARC to give away to one lucky fan!

You'll find getting in the running easier than Kellhus would find manipulating you to do exactly what he wanted.

Simply respond in the comments of this blog post with your favourite R. Scott Bakker character from any of his Second Apocalypse works (including Atrocity Tales). Tell us why they are your favourite and you could win.

We'll pick a winner on the 14th of June and get the book posted to you!

If you'd like to check out an excerpt of THE GREAT ORDEAL, click here.

Leave your comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.

Comments (60)
Comments by Maark June 13, 2016

Aurang. He’s so delightfully twisted, and his saucy exploits were a big influence on some of my own work. Sweet Sejenus! Carousing about the land, painting the town black. And just who are the Dunyain? Thrusty thrusty!

Comments by Jvtrain June 13, 2016

Kellhus is my favorite character, beating out Achamian by a smidgen. Kellhus is mysterious, cryptic, and villainous. But his villainy is in such an insanely detached and logical way that is can appear he is almost working for a greater good. But I don’t actually believe that he is working for greater good…or is he? No way. Is he? He actually does really villainous things and thinks like a machine. I just find him so bizarre and creepy that I want more of him in every chapter. I can’t even grasp
him in this comment! Haha.

Comments by Michelnita June 13, 2016

Cnaiur, because the madness of his heart cannot be stilled.

Comments by Thomas Flynn June 12, 2016

Achamain- he is the most “human” of the main characters. While “Seswatha doesn’t sh*t,” is a Mandate mantra, Akka does. And he farts, and drinks, and swears, and loses his temper, and makes bad decisions on occasion. Bakker shows us our own flaws through Akka’s trials and tribulations.

Comments by Conditioned June 12, 2016

Cnaiur Urs Skiotha. No other fictional character has made me shiver so. Although I truly love nearly every character in this series, for many different reasons, Cnaiur was simply a new kind of twisted. Unlike some of the other fans, I would be thrilled to have him rejoin events in the Second Apocalypse in any fashion.

Comments by Dzoldzaya June 12, 2016

Inrilatas. The most beautiful twist of fate for the Dunyain bloodline. Kellhus is an example of what the Dunyain can be if they put all their power into achieving a monumental goal (s) (which, of course, we don’t yet comprehend), whereas Inrilatas is the perfect example of what the Dunyain can be if these goals are replaced by desires and these desires are twisted and masochistic.

I love the idea of a young Inrilatas as a twisted genius of a child; similar in a way to Kelmomas, but with no desire for self-control. There is both a masochism and a narcissism to him that I really identify with and, as with our own darkest, most masochistic desires, we long for him to be set free from his cage.

We are all narcissistic when it comes to the people we love, and, ultimately, I love Inrilatas because he reminds me of myself.

Comments by SelwynMauberley June 12, 2016

“In Steppe all they talk about is Anasurimbor Moenghus…”
The Steppe appears to be a perfect background for portraying the nature of the Dunyain and Moenghus in particular. So many ways and the Dunyain always choose the shortest ones. Cnaur urs Skiotha has for certain learned the power of one’s most reasonable choices on his own skin.
Moenghus is the only character in the Prince of Nothing completely devoid of personal traits. Not only are his deeds inhumanly cunning but he himself is completely impenetrable for any world-born man or woman. His ways seem wry to ordinary eyes. His reasons are oblique. He is the first to demonstrate how astonishingly the Dunyain turn themselves into a complex natural phenomenon and that nearing the state of the Unconditioned soul has little in common with being human.
All-in-all, Moenghus is my favourite character because of the unique way he’s described. Fate for one man and God’s lever for the other he’s no more person than the Holy War or Indigo Plague – that is, he represents circumstances rather than intentions.

Comments by JBNS June 12, 2016

Proyas. Nothing is so compelling in all the wrong ways as the utter moralist that even punishes his loved ones for transgressions against law and religion. And then ends up with his moral foundations being shattered by the being he thought was the most righteous.
He is an utterly just man. And all the wrong for it.

Comments by Bhaal June 12, 2016

Kellhus. Because he makes Eddie Morra from Limitless and Adrian Veidt from Watchmen look like pathetic under achievers :D

Comments by SirGrimdark June 11, 2016

Achamian. Without a doubt. While I think Kellhus is great and all. Achamian is the one who has struggled against the greatest of odds. He’s been heart broken and betrayed, manipulated and lied to. He fights against an empire, alone and damned. He knows this and fights regardless for what he believes is right.

Comments by Galbrod June 11, 2016

Borrowing from a true classic: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . . .” With Drusas Achamian I think that Bakker has managed to create a blend of greatness and foolishness (in line with the famous intro by Dickens) to make the character mythical/great but still utterly human/believable.

Comments by cjf_moraga June 11, 2016

Earwa itself is my favorite character! Its size, grandeur, history and antiquity, along with the promise of vistas yet to be revealed, is threaded throughout every page of the original trilogy and the Second Apocalypse. Earwa simply feels so real.

Comments by gendernihilist June 11, 2016

Drusas Achamian because his revelations about the metaphysics of Earwa are my favourite lens through which to discover them, apart from reveals centered more on Anasûrimbor Kellhus, but Kellhus is fully alien in mindset enough that I relate to Achamian way, way more.

Comments by David June 11, 2016

I may be cheating a little, but my favorite character at play in Bakker’s books is the philosophy of the Dunyain. The Second Apocalypse tells the story of a fabulously conceived world, contains many convincing and memorable characters, and plays out in the surroundings of interesting cultures and religions – it has all of that, but those are qualities that many other books also bring to the table.

These stories are made unique, are made great, by Scott’s understanding of human fraility and his dramatic portrayal of human interaction. By stripping away much in the way of human weakness, he has created a very memorable “monster” in Kellhus… a monster that we root for while also feeling sympathy for his many victims.

Scott creates rules for how these scenarios play out, rules governing the levers available for Kellhus to manipulate, and underlying all of it are the principles of the Dunyain and their mission to create a self moving soul.

Comments by Banterfield June 11, 2016

I’m going with Kellhus. Imagine this dude in corporate America… Or the White House. “When next you come before me, you will kneel.”

Comments by Christopher Rowe June 11, 2016

It is impossible to have a favourite character in this series, in terms of one with whom I would identify, or relate to. Each one is blind in some crucial way – emotionally, morally, intellectually, and so on.

So, as my favourite “character” I will have to nominate the metaphysical Darkness that obscures the cause of every action and effect, an Entity that I consider the main Actor of the series. Team Darkness!

Comments by Logos728 June 11, 2016

Sorweel is the most interesting character in the series. Caught between love, hate, duty and the forces beyond his control he seems the real wild card in this story. The build up for him makes Sorweel probably the most stealth pivotal character in the series. I’m excited to see what Bakker has in store for him.

Comments by Testhesula June 11, 2016

One of my favourite characters in the series so far has been Heramari Iyokus. In the original trilogy he was this enigmatic sorcerer who delved into damning arts, the Daimotic path. Addicted to chanv – a substance with its own mysterious origins. And then blinded and somehow surviving to be part of the Aspect Emperor’s court. It’s hard to choose which sorcerer in a book with many interesting mages, but he’s the one I most want to see more of.

Comments by JohnSherck June 11, 2016

My favorite character from the Second Apocalypse is Esmenet. As a parent myself, I can relate to her personal “great ordeal.” She reminds me, amid the chaos of raising just three children, that I’m not THAT BAD of a parent, and that things could always be worse. As a father, Esmenet’s example of single parenting (thanks for all the help, Kellhus!) reminds me of my importance as a father. My own children, like K&E’s, are pretty brilliant (if I do say so myself!), and in all likelihood, if I left my wife to do it herself, one of them would have killed another by now. So thank you, Esmenet.

On the other hand, I’ve also loved Cleric, for much the reasons others have articulated. As immortal beings who came before humans and taught them, I’ve always seen the Nonmen as sort of a reply to Elves in Tolkien and subsequent fantasy, but instead of just being a bit wiser than us with a longer-term perspective, Bakker gives us immortal beings who have been completely warped by their immortality. So it’s interesting to get to see one up close and get to learn more about them as we go deeper. So that’s cool.

Comments by Massi June 11, 2016

My favourite character is really hard to decide. I will go for Drusas Achamian, who is constantly fighting with forces (internal and external) he can hardly fathom. He often plays the fool, and he knows that. I also like his “historical” approach to knowledge.