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Hall of Fire

A tale well remembered is worth more than gold.

The Darkness That Comes Before

The Darkness That Comes Before - R. Scott Bakker This book is essentially a reimagining of what the Crusades might have looked like in a fantasy world with magic. The world design does a good job of accomplishing that goal. The characters are gritty and realistic so the style is more akin to Martin and Erikson than Tolkien. However, there are very few female characters in the novel so the tone of the tale is hyper-masculine. That made sense given the milieu of the story but more female characters could have made it more accessible to a wider range of readers.

This novel makes heavy use of philosophical language and religious ideas so it is not a casual read. There is a good bit of sex and violence so it is not a good fit for younger readers. But if you don't mind that and can handle the lofty prose it is a decent read. I plan to continue the series to see what happens next.