16) The Darkness That Comes Before, by R. Scott Bakker
Had been meaning to get around to this for ages. Hmm. Perhaps it’s the consequence of reading it on a transatlantic flight at the end of my second working weekend in a row, but this didn’t really do it for me. It’s a big fantasy novel, the first (inevitably) of a series called “The Prince of Nothing”, but I found the cultures and characters insufficiently distinguishable or engaging. Apart from the women, that is, though even there I was uncomfortable about their stereotyped roles (one querulous queen; one whore with a heart of gold; one naive concubine kidnapped by barbarian prince). I know other people have raved about this but I won’t be looking out for the sequels.