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Best fantasy?

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Minnesota posted 9/22/2016 23:30 PM

I just read through the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. They were pretty good. Some really funny parts where I laughed right out loud. You get that, though, from an Irish Wolfhound who "talks."

SerJR posted 1/7/2017 10:25 AM

Nice - always on the lookout for a good book. Here's my thoughts on some of the ones I've read...

Currently Reading: The Witcher Series by Andrej Sapkowski
This is a book series that a set of popular video games were based on (I haven't played them).
The main character is a Witcher - a special human bred to hunt monsters with supernatural abilities. If you pay attention, you'll find little tie ins with fairy tales and mythology. I'm currently on the second book, and wow - I am really enjoying this. The first two books are short story format and sort of "monster of the week" style. But with each story you learn more about the characters and the world they live in. This world is grey... very grey in it's morality and written with dry wit. And Sapkowski does a much better job of building a gritty world naturally without slapping you across the face with it compared to other authors. The main character provides us with a modern viewpoint out of place in a hard world.

Previously Read:

Sanderson's Mistborn: Read the first and it was okay. It read almost like a fantasy Ocean's Eleven. Not my favourite, but not bad. I do have The Way of Kings in my pile as I've heard good things about this series.

GRRM's ASOIF series: Got through the first three books, quite a long time ago before the series became really popular. I quite enjoyed the first, but it went downhill and seems like he tries to slap you in the face in the following books with what brought him success initially. I enjoyed some of the characters and politics, but it seemed to be getting to be like a soap opera. I was also very uncomfortable with the sexualisation of characters that are supposed to be children, and the child brutality. This turned me right off and I had to give up on the series.

Goodkind's Sword of Truth Series: Somehow I plugged through 4 books. I guess because it was marketed bigtime at the books stores. I thought it was terrible and the plots and characters very contrived.

DragonLance Series: I first started on these when I was about 12 years old. The first books were pretty decent (Chronicles, Twins, and Legend of Huma). I read a bunch of the others though, and it quickly seemed like they started running out of ideas and kept rehashing the characters. I feel the same about the Forgotten Realms books - first few series were good, but then it seemed to be too much with focusing on characters that sell. The first books were decent bubble-gum, but nothing deep.

Dave Eddings: I enjoyed his series. Haven't read the Belgariad series in a long time and probably won't again. I read the Elenium series again a few years back and that one held up pleasantly - I much preferred that one and put it up near the top. His books are a little forumulaic, but it worked for him.

Dave Gemmel: I picked up Legend a couple months back. While a simple book and plot, it was quite enjoyable with interesting characters and little bits of wisdom scattered throughout to get you thinking. It moved along a little quick with some characters, but it was his first book. I think I will continue reading some of that series.

Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series: Read five books through the series and, although they weren't world shattering, they were very enjoyable! Seems the main plot wraps up in the first four, so not sure if I will continue. It's a steampunk type world where the races have insect aspects - how cool is that!

Malazan Series: I got through maybe two and a half books... and all I can say is wtf?

R Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series: Got through the first book. It was okay, but seemed to try hard to be gritty. The "prostitute with a heart of gold" trope is old and lazy. The main character is a machiavellian marty-stu type of character. Found it hard to read as well due to the naming conventions just not clicking.

Spirit Gate Series by Kate Elliot: Quite enjoyable, well written, interesting characters, and masterful world-building. It did seem to get a little long by the last book though with the descriptive prose. Basically a fantasy with a very heavy Asian influence.

LOTR: Always a classic (with the Hobbit and Silmarilion). This will always be near the top of my list.

Dune: Read the first a long time ago and am interested in reading more of the series. I put the first book up at the top as a classic.

Want to or thinking of reads:
Way of Kings by Sanderson
Dark Tower by King
Aeronaut's Windlass and Codex Alera series by Butcher
Joe Abercrombie
Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles

[This message edited by SerJR at 8:55 PM, January 7th (Saturday)]

Walloped posted 1/7/2017 20:40 PM

SerJR - I cracked up at your Malazan comment. I had the same reaction.

Jim Butcher is great. If you like urban fantasy, his Dresden Files series is fun pulp. I enjoyed the Codex Alera.

Check the first page of this thread - some good recommendations there.

I alternate between heavy fantasy like Way of Kings and more fun, light reading. For the latter, Michael J Sullivan's Riryia series is a hoot. Well written, funny, entertaining. Nothing too deep. No appendices needed. But thoroughly enjoyable.

And Joe Abercrombie is great.

Oh - and Dark Tower is great, but it's like 20 books as King weaves the story into so may of his other books. Some people swear by it, others don't. I'm kinda meh about the whole thing. I prefer his horror stuff like It or The Stand. Although the book he wrote with Peter Straub (The Talisman) is not really borrow but is excellent.

SerJR posted 1/7/2017 20:54 PM

I actually got my wife on to Jim Butcher, even though I haven't read him yet. She was a fan of Buffy and Angel, so I told her about the Dresden series and she is hooked on him now.

But yeah, with the Malazan it was hard reading for me. The author would spend 6 paragraphs talking about a couple guys walking through the desert and end it with something like "and then Pigsticker cartwheeled off his horse and into the mouth of a giant worm that emerged from a portal in the sky and then disappeared". Huh? What?

I still have a few more Witcher books that I'll be following up with, so I'll keep the recommendations in mind after I finish those!

[This message edited by SerJR at 9:19 PM, January 7th (Saturday)]

Oldwounds posted 1/24/2017 11:09 AM

Cool thread.

Tolkien, Martin, Feist, Donaldson are among my favorites - R. Scott Bakker and Patrick Rothfuss are some of the 'newer' writers I have found interesting.

Just started the second Rothfuss book in the Kingkiller series, "The Wise Man's Fear" -- and kind of love the weird character driven flashback style narrative.

About to start in on Brandon Sanderson too based on a friend's suggestion.

Walloped posted 1/24/2017 23:52 PM

Just started the second Rothfuss book...

Count your lucky stars you didn't start the series when it first came out. It's been 6 friggin years since The Wise Man's Fear came out and we're still waiting for book 3. I started reading the series all over again because who the hell can keep track of it after so long?

Oldwounds posted 1/25/2017 11:16 AM

Count your lucky stars you didn't start the series when it first came out. It's been 6 friggin years since The Wise Man's Fear came out and we're still waiting for book 3. I started reading the series all over again because who the hell can keep track of it after so long?

I guess it depends on how many years - sometimes recall is enough once I start in on the next book in a series. If it continues the same style, it is kind of 'in the moment' style, even the flashbacks, so I don't necessarily need to go back and piece together clues.

And I used to get frustrated with the long delays in some series. I think getting into the midlife years -- and understanding all kinds of life's extenuating circumstances, I'm not as disappointed as I used to be. Now, if and when a next book arrives, it will be like an extra birthday gift.

Although, betting on whether George RR Martin lives long enough to finish A Song of Ice and Fire is getting interesting on the big board in Las Vegas.

GladforSI posted 3/23/2017 08:48 AM

Love this thread! I personally like all of the Sanderson series.

To add to the list with others that I do not think I saw:

Naomi Novak, Tremeraire series set in Napoleonic times with dragons...

Lev Grossman Magicians trilogy ...

William Gibson's loosely tied together Blue Ant series (which is also maybe a little more SciFi): Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, and Zero History. Pattern Recognition is one of my all-time favorites.

Thanks again for all of the suggestions!

jjct posted 3/24/2017 14:37 PM

Free (ebook) stuff in the genre:
at amazon - http://tinyurl.com/kyo3wt2
at baen - http://www.baen.com/categories/free-library.html

Try "The Deed of Paksennarion" by Elizabeth Moon

Notthevictem posted 7/15/2017 09:58 AM

Anyone got anything new? I've been through most of these now.

Adlham posted 7/15/2017 22:30 PM

I love love love the Dresden books, especially the latter part of the series. The imagination is stunning and Jim Butchers writing has gotten so much richer as the characters have evolved. I don't usually cry at books but Changes left me in pieces. Actually, all the books afterwards left me in pieces.

Oregon Scott Card's Ender series is another all-time favorite. It's more YA, but another series that becomes more well-rounded as the series goes on.

I just read the Belgariad series again.

If you like the Dresden books, there is another author, Ben Aaronovitch, that is sort of along the same lines I think. I've only heard a short story and now I'm reading book one.

Anything by Neil Gaiman.

Clive Barker is looked at as more horror, but Imagica and The Great and Secret Show as well as a few others fall under fantasy as well, I think.

And who doesn't love Tolkien? I met my husband on a LOTR fan site. Our youngest is named after a flower from the books.

For a good stand alone, Feist's Faerie Tale is excellent.

Piers Anthony is another all-time favorite. I grew up reading the Xanth series, moved onto his Incarnations of Immortality series and the Tarot series.

I'll have to go peruse my bookshelf and get back to you for more.

ETA I just downloaded a book with short stories by HP Lovecraft on my audiobook app because I still love bedtime stories lol

[This message edited by Adlham at 10:32 PM, July 15th (Saturday)]

Adlham posted 7/15/2017 23:05 PM

Oh, I forgot Jonathon Maberry! I would describe his books as a cross between the Jack Reacher series, the Walking Dead, and Bram Stoker.

Walloped posted 7/28/2017 15:42 PM

Anyone got anything new? I've been through most of these now.

NTV - Have you read Daniel Abraham's "The Dagger and the Coin" series? I'm in the middle of book 4 and it's really good.

Also, if you want more of an urban fantasy type, Daniel O'Malley's "The Rook" was a wild and fun read.

Walloped posted 7/28/2017 15:47 PM

Naomi Novak, Tremeraire series set in Napoleonic times with dragons...

GladforSi - If you're a fan of Naomi Novik, then read "Uprooted." Excellent, old school fantasy story. Won a ton of awards too.

Notthevictem posted 7/28/2017 20:51 PM

Read dagger and coin already. Not too much a fan of the urban fantasy. Although I read a bunch of shadowrun in my teens.

Walloped posted 7/30/2017 00:33 AM

Read dagger and coin already.

Dude - I'm trying. How about Anthony Ryan's "A Raven's Shadow" series? I only read the first book (Blood Song) but it was pretty good.

Oh - Dave Duncan! Old time light fantasy author. "Seventh Sword" series is a classic. And then his Kings Blades series.

Who else? The "Eli Monpress" series by Rachel Aaron? "The Powder Mage" series by Brian McLellan? Mark Lawrence's "Broken Empire" series?

Alright, I'll go by authors. I assume you've read all of the following authors' works (in no particular order):

Robin Hobb
Brandon Sanderson
Brent Weeks
Joe Abercrombie
Michael J Sullivan
Tad Williams
Glen Cook
Patrick Rothfuss
George RR Martin
Robert Jordan
Raymond Feist
Scott Lynch
Jim Butcher
Naomi Novik

Okay...I'm tapped out. I tried. Really.

Notthevictem posted 7/30/2017 13:05 PM

Will check out your top recommendations, and yeah I read all of that list but the last one.

Notthevictem posted 9/14/2017 16:08 PM

FWIW - just finished Ed Greenwood's The Falconfar Sage. I thought it was well written, but didn't care too much for the storyline--i.e. fantasy author sucked into his own story.

Murkywaters posted 9/22/2017 14:54 PM

I read pretty much all the same stuff Walloped reads.

I recently read The Wolf of North and thought it pretty darn good. It's by Duncan M Hamilton. Book 2 of the series came out in March.

Notthevictem posted 9/22/2017 19:14 PM

Thanks Murkey! I've been looking for something new. It's nice to be that familiar with a genre, but it also sucks too.

Like having seen all the good movies that came out in a year, but then having nothing else to watch but the mediocre ones.

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