Intelligent Fantasy

A Listmania! list by Anastasia J. Bamford
(REAL NAME)   
The list author says: "I love the genre of fantasy more than any other, yet so much of it is predictable and boring. These are a few books I have read that had more speculative, gothic, or philosophical themes than most. And not a one is boring.
The last three are a little more intense, intellectual and detailed. The rest all bear the familiar comfort of a fantasy novel but each has something dark or special that sets it apart."
Kushiel's Dart
1.  Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
The list author says:
  "The Kushiel's Dart series is my favorite. The heroine, Phedre is a trained courtesan who is chosen by the gods to experience pain and pleasure as one. She uses her skills for everything from court politics to inter-kingdom diplomacy to fun."
$5.49   Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (596 customer reviews) | 3 customer discussions

Firethorn
2.  Firethorn by Sarah Micklem
The list author says:
  "Gritty and surprisingly realistic. Micklem's pathenon of gods is refreshingly simple and different. The heroine is a young healer with no ties to anyone."
$6.61   Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews) | 3 customer discussions

The Bone Doll's Twin (Tamir Trilogy, Book 1)
3.  The Bone Doll's Twin (Tamir Trilogy, Book 1) by Lynn Flewelling
The list author says:
  "This is a trilogy. This story is really an engrossing study on whether the ends can ever justify the means and the good of the many vs. the good of the individual- all set in a fairly typical fantasy realm. The heroine spends a large portion of the story disguised magically as a boy but no one bothered to tell "him" about this."
$6.11   Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

The Dark Mirror (Bridei Chronicles, Book 1)
4.  The Dark Mirror (Bridei Chronicles, Book 1) by Juliet Marillier
The list author says:
  "Set in the land of the Picts: warriors with facial tattoos representing battle experience and lineage. the Picts were a real people inhabiting the land that is now Scotland. This story is about innocent love, druids, and people as pawns in the gods unknowable and vast plans."
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4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Archangel (Samaria, Book 1)
5.  Archangel (Samaria, Book 1) by Sharon Shinn
The list author says:
  "Set in a biblical land where the highest caste in society is made up of angels. The plot itself is a basic love story however."
$6.61   Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)

The Black Swan (Fairy Tale Series, Book 2)
6.  The Black Swan (Fairy Tale Series, Book 2) by Mercedes Lackey
The list author says:
  "Not all Mercedes Lackey books are created equal. This one, however, will always be one of my favorite books. It is the story of Swan Lake, told from the point of view of the Black Swan. However, the Black Swan is the daughter and magical apprentice of the villain, Rothbart, rather than the evil twin of the White Swan. This book is a perfect dark fairy tale."
$6.33   Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Serpent's Shadow (Elemental Masters, Book 1)
7.  The Serpent's Shadow (Elemental Masters, Book 1) by Mercedes Lackey
The list author says:
  "I really enjoyed this book though I haven't read any others in the Elemental Masters series. I have a feeling much of my love for this books stems from its basis in Hindu mythology and the Anglo-Indian setting. Dark magic, Edwardian doctors, and Kali- the Hindu goddess of destruction!"
$7.99   Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

Poison Study (A Soulfinders Novel)
8.  Poison Study (A Soulfinders Novel) by Maria V. Snyder
The list author says:
  "This story starts with a young girl on death row taking a last chance job as a food tester and poison detector. So much more happens from there but I won't spoil it. It is fascinating from page one and far more readable than many fantasy stories. Danger, intrigue, magic, evil, and love."
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4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (501 customer reviews) | 6 customer discussions

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Daughter of the Forest (The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Book 1)
9.  Daughter of the Forest (The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Book 1) by Juliet Marillier
The list author says:
  "Set in a dark ages Ireland, this is a strange twist on the Swan Lake story. Sorcha's six brothers have been cursed by an evil stepmother and she must find the spell to save them. She draws on her druid-like spirituality and all the courage she possesses to attempt this task, putting aside all of her own needs."
$8.99   Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (477 customer reviews) | 4 customer discussions

Scar Night (Deepgate Codex, Book 1)
10.  Scar Night (Deepgate Codex, Book 1) by Alan Campbell
The list author says:
  "It must be noted that this story was written by a man, and most others on my list by women. The difference is obvious to me- this one is far more technical and less romantic than the others. However, this book is a work of genius. In a city held above a chasm by thousands of chains and angels fly overhead.This is doubtlessly the most imaginative and creative setting of anything I have ever read."
$6.19   Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Anathem
11.  Anathem by Neal Stephenson
The list author says:
  "In a futuristic world, one "avout", essentially a  monk of science, comes of age. A couple warnings: this book is quite long. This world is as well-realized at J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings with just as much vocabulary and history that you must learn as you go along."
$15.46   Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (657 customer reviews) | 34 customer discussions

Palimpsest
12.  Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
The list author says:
  "Wordy yet detached prose. The concept is a city that you can only visit in the dreams you have after sleeping with another person who has also been to the city. The city is more real than real life and very addictive. This story has many characters and can be very sexual and very melancholy."
$13.06   Used & New from: $4.53
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)

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Customer Discussions about products in this list
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Would anyone be interested in a sequel / prequel? 7 Jul 29, 2014
Red... or Simon? 9 Mar 18, 2014
HTW seems based on discredited platonic ideas... 6 Mar 7, 2014
The EK *spoilers* 1 Mar 4, 2014
Page numbers in Kindle edition do not match Hardback 1 Jan 4, 2014
Teglon (for those who have read the book) 11 Jan 4, 2014
Does it have a plot? 25 Jul 21, 2013
Valek's appearance 7 Mar 15, 2013
Adult? 7 Mar 15, 2013
Setting place and time? 1 Mar 15, 2013
Word Count? 0 Dec 31, 2012
Suggestions for more high-quality fantasy like Daughter of the Forest? 7 Nov 27, 2012
 
   

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Anastasia J. Bamford
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Last updated: 1/23/11
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