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Author Topic: Standalone fantasy novels thread  (Read 188 times)
Dincrest
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« on: June 21, 2015, 04:12:09 PM »

It's clear that many of us here on the forums are avid readers of fantasy novels.  Heck, RPGFan is the reason I read (both present and past tense) series like A Song of Ice and Fire, Coldfire, Mistborn, and currently The Stormlight Archive to name a few.

Now, as much as I like series and I'm currently invested in the still ongoing The Stormlight Archive and A Song of Ice and Fire, sometimes the thought of investing time and money into a big series (even a "manageable" trilogy, which us voracious readers can easily tear through) seems daunting.  Like an obligation or a chore.  Sometimes people only have time to read maybe one book a season and the idea of a 10 book series elicits a "yeah... NO!" reaction, even though they WANT to get into fantasy.  Kinda like how several of us only have so much time to play RPGs that we only play a small handful a year or favor shorter (15-25 hour) titles than 50-75 hour epics. 

So while the "standalone fantasy novel" is a rarity these days for several reasons, what are some of the good ones you folks have read?  The ones that start and end between two covers.  That don't have sequels.  That aren't part of a larger series.  That stand alone as independent entities.  I know several of our favorite authors have had standalone books (like Tolkien, Brandon Sanderson, Guy Gavriel Kay).  How have those works been? 

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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2015, 04:25:31 PM »

Sanderson's Warbreaker is good, and you can download it free from his website, which is even better.

David Eddings has a book called The Redemption of Althalus that I like.  As is always the case with Eddings, though, if you've read one of his things, you've basically read them all.  I just happen to like his stuff, even though it is repetitive.
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2015, 07:45:27 PM »

Does American Gods count? Because that book is RIDICULOUS and I hope everyone here reads it at some point.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2015, 07:48:53 PM »

Why wouldn't it?  Not all fantasy has to be "lol elves." 
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ironmage
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2015, 10:46:26 PM »

"Under Heaven" is the only work of Guy Gavriel Kay's I've read so far, but I was rather impressed.  The novel is set in a fictionalized version of ancient China, with palace intrigue, politics, romance, and even some martial arts.  The fantasy elements, although present, are somewhat understated, and feel like a natural extension of the setting.

I found Kay's prose to be very readable, almost poetic, and his characters are very well detailed (I'm especially a fan of a certain drunken poet).

The ending felt a bit rushed, and I think he could have easily extended this into more volumes, but I'm just as glad he didn't.  I think he wrote another novel set in the same world; I should hunt down a copy eventually.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2015, 05:58:34 AM »

Sounds like 'Under Heaven' takes some cues from wuxia (Chinese martial-arts fantasy).  I'm actually looking for a nice piece of wuxia to add to my Kindle collection.
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2015, 02:24:25 PM »

I agree, I'm a fan of many an epic series but particularly when you pick one up early and have to wait years between books....urgh I'm an impatient soul!

A personal favourite that broadly fits the brief is Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke.  A little different but magic is at its core it has a really clever story arc and great setting.
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