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Good, really good, or great fantasy books.


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Initial post: Dec 12, 2010 8:08:18 AM PST
Zak says:
Hey everyone!
I'm coming off some pretty bad reads(one being the Lion of Senet) and would like some new for-grown-ups books in fantasy.
I don't really want sword and sorcery stuff nor stable boy king stuff.
From this wonderful site, I found a new book, "The Name of the Wind" and will be getting and reading it soon. I also just started(literally yesterday) "Furies of Calderon." I really liked Joe Abercrombie's First Law series, and the Farseer series, and have heard that other of Hobb's series are worth getting...any suggestions of her stuff?
Also, I don't want "Twilight" like things, thus my avoidance of the Dresden series, which I've heard has vampires and other kiddie material like that.
I tried Robert Jordan, and god! How awful those works became!
I really liked the Dune series, although that's science fiction, but if anyone knows any good sci fi, I'm game to try.
I'm still waiting on George RR Martin to finish his latest book, and I really like his work so far.
I'm trying to read the Black Jewels series and it's okay so far. I also tried that Kushiel's series, that's spoken highly of. I can't agree with any liking of that series. It's awful in my opinion.
So, that's an impartial list of what I've been reading, and what I've liked and disliked.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 8:16:54 AM PST
melodee sova says:
Anne McCaffrey's Talent series beginning with The Rowan and her Pern series (dragons) are my favorite books of all time

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 12:23:37 PM PST
L. B. says:
Hi Zak,

I enjoyed Robin Hobb's books, so I'll recommend Lois McMaster Bujold's "Chalion" fantasy books to you. The Curse of Chalion is the first.

Good luck with the finds!

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 12:32:03 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 26, 2011 3:48:13 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 1:20:22 PM PST
Arolem says:
--Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast books
--Anything by Tim Powers (they're fantasy-science fiction crossovers). My personal favorite is Stress of Her Regard, which does have vampires, so read Last Call or Drawing of the Dark or Declare first and see what you think of him.
--Mark Helperin's Winters' Tale. It's sort of steampunk fantasy.

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 1:48:07 PM PST
The Dresden books are great -- these are not sparkly lovelorn tween vampires. I'd give Dresden a try!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2010 3:20:48 PM PST
Jerry says:
I've been looking at The Name of the Wind too. I like the way its written. I've also been mousing into Ty Johnson's City of Rogues, it's sword and sorcery (but it's also only .99 ka-ching!).
One thing you might like is the website heroicfantasyquarterly.com. Unfortunately you have to read it through a web browser. I've actually written the editors and suggested ebook releases but I guess they're busy.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2010 3:33:33 PM PST
GypsyHeart says:
I've read virtually every big name in fantasy (Jordan, Rothfuss, Martin and so on) and I agree that many popular authors are overrated so I hope to be some help. First of all, Robin Hobbs's Liveship Traders trilogy is very good. I was reluctant to give it a try after enjoying the Farseer series so much, but I found that I preferred it to Fitz's adventures.

I also recommend:

Carol Berg's Rai Kirah Trilogy: Transformation, Revelation and Restoration

Carol Berg's Lighthouse Duology: Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone

Terry Brooks's Word and the Void Trilogy: Running with the Demon, A Knight of the Word and Angel Fire East

C. S. Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy: Black Sun Rising, When True Night Falls and Crown of Shadows

David Gemmell's Drenai Tales: Legend, King Beyond the Gate, Quest for Lost Heroes, Waylander, In the Realm of the Wolf, First Chronicles of Druss the Legend, The Legend of Deathwalker, Winter Warriors, Hero in the Shadows and The Swords of Night and Day

David B. Coe's Winds of the Forelands series: Rules of Ascension, Seeds of Betrayal, Bonds of Vengeance, Shapers of Darkness and Weavers of War

Jacqueline Carey's Sundering Duology: Banewreaker and Godslayer (Lord of the Rings from the perspective of the "bad guys"

Brent Week's The Night Angel Trilogy: The Way of Shadows, Shadow's Edge and Beyond the Shadows

Brandon Sanderson's Elantris (he's finishing The Wheel of Time series and it has improved greatly with him at the "wheel")

Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series: Gardens of the Moon (AWFUL book but necessary background for enjoying the rest of this very good series), Deadhouse Gates, Memories of Ice, House of Chains, Midnight Tides, The Bonehunters, Reaper's Gale, Toll the Hounds and Dust of Dreams (so far...final book to come next year)

Jo Graham's Black Ships

Jo Graham's Stealing Fire

Ken Scholes's Psalms of Isaak: Lamentation and Antiphon (so far)

Daniel Abraham's The Long Price Quartet: A Shadow in Summer, A Betrayal in Winter, An Autumn War and The Price of Spring

Peter V. Brett's series: The Warded Man and The Desert Spear (so far)

Fiona McIntosh's Valisar Trilogy: Royal Exile, Tyrant's Blood and King's Wrath.

There are others I can recommend, but I'll have to pop back in with them later.

Happy reading!

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 5:06:13 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 17, 2012 4:09:14 AM PDT]

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 5:26:42 PM PST
Tara Maya says:
For fans of historical fantasy, Sarah Hoyt's Heart of Light series is very enjoyable. It's set in an alternative Victorian earth.

Heart of Light
Soul of Fire
Heart and Soul

Tara Maya
Conmergence: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 6:22:39 PM PST
Zak says:
Hey everyone.
Thanks for all the suggestions!
Xina, while I'd love to read your work, I don't have a Kindle, and I have very little interest in owing one. If you know of a hard copy I can get my hands on, I'd be happy to read it.
Two people at least have suggested CS Friedman's Coldfire series. I did indeed read the first two. I was turned off the third one, but maybe it's worth a read. So, I'd say thanks to the two people who suggested that, those books are great!
Yes, thanks again. And I'm going to get cracking on some of these suggestions.
Happy reading to all of you, too.

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 12:11:25 AM PST
Boric says:
I second early David Gemmell (Legend etc), the Robin Hobb Liveship trilogy and Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale & also suggest, just for a 'range':

Neil Gaiman's American Gods
Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar trilogy (starts with The Summer Tree)--it's a little LoTR lookalike to start with but quickly finds its own 'voice'
Helen Lowe's The Heir of Night--younger central protagonists (a little like A Games of Thrones in that respect) but not a kid's book

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 11:48:53 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2010 5:09:44 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 9, 2012 11:50:36 AM PDT]

Posted on Dec 27, 2010 6:10:16 PM PST
Fantasy Book Critic is a great Fantasy Review Site their top 25 of 2010 just came out so you might want to check out some of these....

Aurorarama by Valtat, Jean-Christophe
Bitter Seeds (Milkweed Triptych, #1) by Tregillis, Ian
Black Hills by Simmons, Dan
The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1) Weeks, Brent
City of Ruin (Legends of the Red Sun, #2) by Newton, Mark Charan
Cold Magic (Spiritwalker, #1) by Elliott, Kate
The Distant Hours by Morton, Kate
The Emerald Storm (The Riyria Revelations, #4) by Sullivan, Michael begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Empire: The Novel of Imperial Rome by Hamilton, Peter F.
The Folding Knife by Parker, K.J.
The Half-Made World by Gilman, Felix
The House on Durrow Street by Beckett, Galen
Imager's Intrigue (Imager Portfolio, #3) by Modesitt, L. E.
The Invisible Bridge by Orringer, Julie
The Last Page by Huso, Anthony
The Left Hand of God (Thomas Cale, #1) by Hoffman, Paul
Midsummer Night by Warrington, Freda
A Mighty Fortress (Safehold, #4) by Weber, David
Passion Play (Erythandra Series, #1) by Bernobich, Beth
Room by Donoghue, Emma
Salute the Dark (Shadows of the Apt, #4) by Tchaikovsky, Adrian
The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt, #5) by Tchaikovsky, Adrian
Secrets of the Fire Sea by Hunt, Stephen
Surface Detail by Banks, Iain M.
The Technician by Asher, Neal
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by Mitchell, David
Wintertide (The Riyria Revelations, #5) by Sullivan, Michael

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 4:18:42 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 28, 2011 3:18:25 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 6:41:31 AM PST
If you like the way Name of the Wind is written, I suggest Michelle West--start with Broken Crown. I also love David Gemmell, but read him in publishing order because his later books are copies of the first ones with name changes (although still enjoyable). Also love David Duncan and Barbara Hambly.

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 7:02:27 AM PST
Sertorius says:
If you like old-school, I just finished reading the Coming of Conan, a new edition of the original Robert Howard Conan stories, which I found to be top notch. Worm Ouroboros by ER Eddison, Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance, In the Land of Time by Lord Dunsany, Gormenghast series by Mervyn Peake.

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 6:41:08 PM PST
Myshkin says:
If you'd like to try something a little different and challenging within the general fantasy genre, I second the recommendation of Gormenghast. Also, I recommend Gene Wolfe's Torturer, and Zelazny's Amber series as well-written mold-breakers of fantasy. It's all pretty creepy-surreal. I fondly remember the experiences of devouring alot of fantasy novels/series in my day, but for the most part, it was the raw escapist experience of reading fantasy that I remember - and that sometimes I still seek. However, the "feel" of the world of Gormenghast and, to a lesser extent, the Torturer series stuck with me when other worlds have either faded or melted into archetypal generic-fantasy-land-with-map.

Posted on Dec 31, 2010 5:36:10 PM PST
Maki says:
My suggestion is C.S. Friedman's other series the Magister trilogy. The first book is called Feast of Souls. I also am a huge fan of Brent Weeks' Night angel trilogy. Celine Kiernan's Moorehawk trilogy is very good. And, though it might not be completely up your alley, I highly recommend the Noble Dead series by Barb and JC Hendee.
P.S. I did have the same attitude towards the Dresdin files, at first. But after I read it, the series is now one of my favorite. So I also must recommend you try it.

Posted on Dec 31, 2010 8:32:10 PM PST
Zak says:
Hi guys.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
I find myself now having six new books!
I'm really getting into Anne Bishop's first book. It's WAY better than the Kushiel series. If any of you are thinking of reading those, I suggest you try Bishop first. Her books are more sexually subtle, and frankly for a more mature audience. Sorry, but I kinda have a personal vendetta against the Kushiel series.
I've started reading "The Chosen" by Ricardo Pinto, which I like so far. Here're the new books I now have:
"The Chosen" Ricardo Pinto
"The Faded Sun" C.J. Cherryh. This appears to be a one volume trilogy. Any thoughts? I'm about twenty pages in, and it's okay so far.
"Best Served Cold" Joe Abercrombie. I really liked the First Law trilogy(a trilogy is about perfect length for a series for me anymore. Although, if a series is good, I'll make exceptions.)
"Heir to the Shadows" Anne Bishop. So far, the first book seems to be really good, I'm hoping the books get better or at least not worse.
"Shaman's Crossing" Robin Hobb. I couldn't resist. Hobb is great writer(and she writes in trilogies!)
"The Curse of Chalion" Lois Bujold. I'm about twenty pages in, it seems good. L. Buroker, thanks for the hint. I hope it's good.
There you have it. Has anyone read "Jackal of Nar"? I've had that one for awhile, but haven't touched it. I tired to read "The Eye of God" also by John Marco. The characters were WAY too formulaic. The one main female character is the blond-haired damsel goodie-goodie, as one example. That's one thing I don't like, black and white characters. Zero moral ambiguity(although that phrase gets thrown around too often, I think).
Maki, is the Magister trilogy similar to the Coldfire trilogy? I rather enjoyed the Coldfire trilogy. The violence was a bit overdone, in my opinion. The characterization of the two main male characters was superbly done, though(their changes, awesome!)
Thanks again for all the suggestions. Happy New Year.

Zak

P.S. I've heard about a book, supposedly good, with a homosexual male lead character. Do any of you know which book(books?) that that would encompass? Oh, it's different than this, but I just thought of this. "Inda" by Sherwood Smith(I think). There's a homosexual character in that, and it was pretty good. Any thoughts on the second book in that series, "Fox" I think?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2010 8:43:54 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2010 9:06:04 PM PST
GypsyHeart says:
One excellent fantasy book with a homosexual male lead character is Melusine by Sarah Monette. It's beautifully written with well-realized characters and very good world-building. Felix, a powerful homosexual wizard, and his newly discovered half-brother Mildmay, cat burglar and assassin, find themselves on a rather personal joint quest to right the wrongs of an evil wizard. My description doesn't begin to do the book justice! Like The Black Jewels trilogy, Melusine is not for the fainthearted. It's the first in a series that goes downhill subsequently. Luckily, it can stand on its own. It's one title that I make a point of re-reading and I can't believe that I actually forgot to mention it in my first reply. Oops! :~)

Also, if you're looking for moral ambiguity I refer you to a duology I mentioned earlier. Jacqueline Carey's Sundering Duology is far superior to her Kushiel series. Both the "villains" and the "heroes" engage in questionable activities and you REALLY have to rethink how you define good and evil. Please don't hold Kushiel against the author forever!

Lynn Flewelling also has two popular series, one of which features a pair of homosexual lovers. Her Nightrunners series (with the lovers) consists of Luck in the Shadows, Stalking Darkness, Traitor's Moon, Shadows Return and The White Road. I think she has a collection of associated stories for it, too. The other series is The Tamir Trilogy: The Bone Doll's Twin, Hidden Warrior and The Oracle's Queen. The latter series is quite inventive regarding the magic systems and how they are used. It should also satisfy your taste for moral ambiguity.

I had to come back and add a cautionary note. A number of the books I have recommended, such as Melusine and The Tamir Trilogy, can be dark, gritty and/or graphic, but they definitely deserve to be read by an appreciative audience.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2010 9:33:53 PM PST
Heather Myst says:
Hi Zak,
I really liked The Jackel of Nar. The entire Tyrants and Kings series was much better than The Eye of God in my opinion. If you enjoy a military theme you should give it a try.
I liked the Anne Bishop books and I loved Best Served Cold but even though I thought Hobb's first three trilogies were all good the Soldier Son series was almost unreadable after Shaman's Crossing. I hope you like that series more than I did. I liked the Coldfire series and book one of Magister but the second book did not keep my interest enough to make me want to continue that series. I read all the Inda books and they were pretty good but I would recommend that series for younger readers.
As far as the book with the homosexual lead character. It could be the Nightrunner series that GypsyHeart spoke of in the above post. I thought the books were pretty good. You might be thinking of The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan. I have not read that but I have seen several very good reviews on it. You might want to use the Amazon look inside feature to read a sample of the book, Good luck!

Posted on Jan 1, 2011 7:52:17 AM PST
Zak says:
Hey GypsyHeart and Heather.
Thanks for the suggestions.
I'm semi reading "Luck in the Night" right now, actually. I haven't gotten into yet. I know now that it takes me some time get "into" a book, so to speak. Perhaps I haven't given it enough time. The one thing I don't like like about it is the author's tendency to not write a lot of detail. Yes, there can be too much(i.e. R. Jordan, may he rest in peace) but there can also be too little. Maybe the detail isn't what's missing, but there's something funky about her books. I'll keep trying with her.
GypsyHeart, don't fear. I'm an adult and I prefer my stories dark and gritty. I don't like torture scenes much, but I do like realistic books, where the characters aren't just words on the page. I especially hate it when female characters are poorly fleshed out(i.e. R. Jordan, all the female characters are the same and they all weren't women you'd actually meet). I'm willing to give J. Carey another shot, too. However, does her Sundering Duology NOT use such pretentious language?
Heather, I probably will try "Jackal of Nar", at least for awhile. I'm gonna read "Shanman's Crossing" but I might stop there for Hobb. I don't wanna read too much of one author. I read too much "Dune" stuff, and now I can't read it anymore, at least for a year or more. The Coldfire series is pretty good, but I will admit I only read the first two. I'm apprehensive about reading the third, I heard it ends in what I'd say is a poor way.
For the homosexual lead, I just heard a lot of noise about that. I'm not personally interested in subject. I'd like to at least try it, see what the fuss is about. There's not such thing as bad publicity, right?
One more thing. Heather, why would you categorize the Inda series as for younger readers? I can sorta see it, but I'd like to hear your opinion on it.
Happy reading to all of you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2011 8:59:06 AM PST
Heather Myst says:
Zak,
That is just the way I felt after reading the Inda series. The main character is so young and I didn't think the plot was as complex as most adult fantasy that I have read.
One thing you might want to keep in mind about my suggestions is that I saw a post you made in another thread and the only books we seemed to agree on is Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series. That is probably my favorite series but you listed a couple of books that I love that you didn't enjoy. Lion of Senet and the Night Angel trilogy are also favorites of mine that you did not enjoy so you might want to pass on my suggestions.
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Discussion in:  Fantasy forum
Participants:  111
Total posts:  180
Initial post:  Dec 12, 2010
Latest post:  Dec 29, 2014

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