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Author Topic: Fantasy reading suggestions?  (Read 4088 times)
Holtz
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« on: October 09, 2011, 10:10:37 PM »

Hi, folks! :)

As my first post on the boards, I didn't want to anchor myself into the figureheads discussions over in the Gaming sections, and get into an argument over whether trolling has a place in modern gaming, whether anyone gives a damn about Falco, or the latest Geralt's banging. -.- 

So, I decided, as an avid reader, if anyone could suggest some good readin' in fantasy that's come out recently. I've been quite lacklustre in this department over the year due to studying and want to get back onto the "bandwagon, so to speak.

So, suggest some titles, and help a fellow fan out!

Much appreciated.

   
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 10:12:10 PM by Holtz » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2011, 10:38:24 PM »

What kind of fantasy? It's a large genre.
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Holtz
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2011, 11:14:12 PM »

Military, The Epic or Urban. Let's go from there.
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 08:53:39 AM »

I always pretty much suggest the same stuff but I'll just keep doing it until more people read things I read :P

For Military I really liked Glen Cook's "Instrumentalities of the Night" series. Well the first two books at least, never got a chance to read the third one yet. His "The Black Company" series is supposed to be pretty awesome.

"The Prince of Nothing" series by R. Scott Bakker is a great read, it's pretty subdued as far as a lot of the fantasy elements go, at least through the first book and a half. The main point of the series is about Anasūrimbor Kellhus, a warrior trained in secret, he has the ability to essentially read people's thoughts through observation and can see the outcomes of any decision that can be made. No one is allowed to leave the land where he was trained but one day his father disappears, he trains and leaves to find his father and bring him back. He eventually uses his "powers" to convince people he is a messiah and takes over a holy war. Tons of other stuff happens and Kellhus isn't trying to find his father because he loves him. Kellhus can be all things to all people but he is only there for himself. The series itself is rather mature in the sense of language, violence and sexuality. There are scenes of rape, murder and incest so that can really throw people off but there are moments of genuine emotion and lots of philosophy at the heart of the story.

My favorite fantasy series is "The Malazan Book of the Fallen" by Steven Erikson, it's a 10 book series, incredibly epic high fantasy that has so many storylines and characters I couldn't even being to explain it in any detail. It's epic due to its scale, whole worlds are brought together and destroyed, past and future all exist in parallel, armies and destroyed and ascend to Godhood. It's high fantasy as everything is magic, Gods are ever present but even then that doesn't mean they can be outsmarted, used, or destroyed. One decision and you are suddenly the protector of a patron God, only you're the one person that doesn't know it yet. The first book takes some getting used to, I gave up on it halfway through and just picked it up 6 months later just to finish and then it hit its stride and I read the next 3 books in quick succession...then I caught up and was reading them as they came out.

The world is actually based on a D&D world that Erikson and his friend made in the 80s, they wrote the storyline together and each claim ownership of certain characters and events. In addition to the main series Erikson writes novellas that follow two characters that are essentially just evil as shit but they're comedies and actually quite funny. His partner, after the main series started selling very well got his own book deal and writes one off novels of the events that surround everything in the main story which makes for a really nice change of pace.
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 12:12:00 AM »

I know that this answer is similar to asking "What's a good RPG series?" and being told Final Fantasy......BUUUUT....George Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series is REALLY good. Fifth book just game out, I recently finished it and pretty much love the hell out of it. Huge sweeping epic about a civil war. Even the villains are fun to read about. Just be careful getting attached to characters.

I started the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson (big shout out to Daggerstrike for the suggestion like...two years ago) and I really dig it. The magic "system" is pretty cool, it's all based around different metals that people can utilize that give them different abilities and powers.

Sanderson also has a huge first of seven (?) book series called The Way of Kings. It's pretty awesome. The prologue sold me 100%. Basically a group of heroes that are supposed to protect humanity for thousands of years all of a sudden give up and walk away.. Interesting premise, great main characters. Ripped through the 1,000+ page (hardback no less) book in about two weeks. (I'm typically slow with my books).

The last big suggestion I have is the tremendous Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I will say this now, Patrick Rothfuss is my favorite author in Fantasy (and second only to Hemingway for all time). The first book is The Name of the Wind and if I gave you a general description, you'd be like "Wow, sounds exactly like Harry Potter" to which I would hand you the book, smack you, and tell you to read it and then say that with a straight face. Pat's writing style is so clean, simple, but complex at the same time; you'll be hooked just on how he describes stuff. He's basically the Anti-RobertJordan or the Anti-StephenKing. Takes two paragraphs describing something better than either of the aforementioned would do in four pages. Truly a master. His blog is pretty legit too (patrickrothfuss.com)

Edited for grammar, which still sucks.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 12:16:50 AM by Dade » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 12:40:15 AM »

With the military thing, I was also going to recommend The Black Company. Since it's already been done, I will say that I enjoyed the Runelords books by David Farland. Not quite as military as Glen Cook's books, but I think you'd still like them.
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 02:09:16 PM »

Little late to the topic, as some of my suggestions have already been covered.
I recently read the first Black Company and ended up really liking it. It takes a bit to get used to the style, though.
Martin is a no brainer. I'm a bit over 600 pages into book 5 and really digging it. I can't imagine how the next 2 books are going to bring it all to a close.

I keep hearing about these books by Baker and Erikson, but have avoided them due to the time requirement. When a book can take more than a month(often longer) to get through, a 10 book series is quite daunting.

I like topics like this, because they remind me of what I'm missing. I also hate them, because I know I will never get to it all.
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 03:12:30 PM »

It's not military but I'm going to warn you anyway: stay away from the Wheel of Time series. I'm on book 4 and it feels like I'll finish all of them just before it's time to take a long dirt nap if you know what I mean. It's good story but there's so much wrong w/ it ...

Carry on thread
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 06:04:14 PM »

Wheel of Time is definitely a "your mileage may vary" series.  Some people love it, some can't stand it.  I think even those of us who love it feel like it went off the rails for a while around book 8 (if I'm correctly remembering the point where it really ground to a halt).

You know what you might want to try and find?  The "Legends" books.  Here's the first one: http://www.amazon.com/Legends-Stories-Masters-Modern-Fantasy/dp/0312867875

They have short novels by famous fantasy authors, set in their own universes, but they attempt to write them so that you can enjoy them whether you've read anything else of theirs or not.  I have the first two, and they're both great.
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2011, 07:24:25 PM »

David Anthony Durham's Acacia trilogy (recently completed!) is an outstanding 'The Epic,' but also has some great character development. Durham is primarily a historical writer, and but his attention to detail extends to creating a believable world and genuinely fascinating characters. Highly recommend.
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2011, 07:15:58 AM »

I keep hearing about these books by Baker and Erikson, but have avoided them due to the time requirement. When a book can take more than a month(often longer) to get through, a 10 book series is quite daunting.

Baker shouldn't take *too* long as the series is a trilogy although he is following it up with a second trilogy. I found the third book took awhile but that's because there's some pretty heavy emotional stuff happening in it and it reflected a bit too closely with my life at the time so I had to put it down for a bit.

Erickson though...It's a 10 book series, with at least 4 novellas, 3 stand-alone  novels, an upcoming encyclopedia and two more trilogies. So ya, if you wanted to read everything it would take a damn long time.

I actually had another book series I wanted to mention but I forgot what it was while typing that response. Maybe I'll remember later.
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2011, 10:28:31 PM »

Tossing my hat into the Wheel of Time ring, I do have to say that if you can make it to book 6 (The Lord of Chaos) the ending is pretty damned satisfying, but the next few books (sans Winter's Heart because the end has HUUUUUGE ramifications in the series) are pretty meh. After RJ died, Brandon Sanderson took over and I have to say, The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight are pretty fucking good. Just one to go and I'm very hopeful.
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2011, 02:32:44 AM »

First of all, thank you for the replies.
I've actually read everything by Brandon Sanderson. ;D. He was one of the only authors I made time for during study. Elantris and the Mistborn Trilogy had me hooked beyond anything else.
Right, I'll say right now that when I was younger, I read the entirety of the Wheel of Time, as much as was out in the early 2000's.
First of all, it's an epic of incredible proportions.
I got lost in that series when I was younger, when I was able to stand winded, baggy description.
Not so much now. I can still stand reading it, but my tolerance for an epic being overly descriptive is thin.

So, from this thread:

I'll be buying the Black Company, Erikson's first two books of the Malazan, and I dunno. That should keep me busy.

P.S Patrick Rothfuss is God, or a close Avatar of one. The Name of the Wind was one of the only novels I read this year and I am so glad I did. Kvothe is amazin'   

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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2011, 04:32:53 PM »

They are not new.... nor do they match what you asked for... but I'm gonna suggest them anyways because, like you, they are completely outside the realm of the typical stuff I like and I have found them to be endlessly entertaining.... The Discworld Novels by Terry Pratchet!

Maybe, as I said, this suggestion is useless, but I've been reading em' as of late because they slipped by me throughout the years and holy-heck are they great.
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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2011, 04:10:28 AM »

Rather surprised that no one's mentioned Terry Goodkind yet, although I would definitely put him in the same category as Robert Jordan....you will either love him or hate him. I personally think his Sword of Truth series kicks serious amounts of ass, but I will leave that up to you to decide (and honestly, as much as I dig it, there are about three books I think could easily be shaved off and it wouldn't affect the series whatsoever). Also, as mentioned, it's really hard to go wrong with George R.R. Martin and Glen Cook.

I've been reading Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy trilogy very recently, and I do have to say it's quite good; better than I expected, in fact (provided you're willing to accept that the main character is a sexual masochist...if you can get by that, the level of deep intrigue is easily a match for George Martin or Frank Herbert, in my opinion).

Hopefully, one day, my name and work will be added to one of these threads. :)

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