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Looking for a few good fantasy authors and novels to read? As starting points, these authors are those I would consider stand-outs and/or worthy standards in the genre.
More traditional Steven Brust, author of The Vlad Taltos stories Jhereg. among many others. A good sword and sorcery series, a bit heavy in places, but quite creative. Unlike most series, though Vlad, and the books, has his up and downs , the most recent books in the series have been astounding. Fred Saberhagen, author of the 'Sword' novels, The First Swords: The Book of Swords Volumes 1, 2, & 3 David Eddings, author of the Belgariad, Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad, No 1), truly epic hero journey, the first series is not to be outdone, considered a standard. Terry Goodkind, of "Sword of Truth" note, Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth), First Rule was fantastic. L.E. Modesitt Jr., the Recluse novels, The Magic of Recluce (Recluce series, Book 1), a slightly different take on things. Glen Cook, The Black Company, The Black Company (Chronicles of The Black Company #1), hard-bitten mercenary company, a bit darker than some, as the name suggests. Trudi Canavan, The Black Magician Trio, The Magicians' Guild (The Black Magician Trilogy, Book 1) Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files, Storm Front: Book one of The Dresden Files, a cross between detective novels and fantasy, well worth it, and another example of a series which does not dim with higher numbers in the series.
For the lighter heart Terry Pratchett, Discworld, The Color of Magic: A Discworld Novel (Discworld Novels), Satire and humor in the fantasy genre, truly a triumph of writing. The earliest books are a bit rough, but since then I'd say the quality and enjoyment level has been surprisingly high (bit of a reverse on the usual pattern). J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, how could I not mention this? Good for young and old. Of course, the later books are darker. K.E. Mills, The Rogue Agent series (still in progress), The Accidental Sorcerer (Rogue Agent), a bit ingenuous, but worthy all the same. Robert Asprin, the Myth books, Another Fine Myth/Myth Conceptions 2-in1 (Myth 2-in-1) Of course, there are many, many more authors and books I haven't mentioned, some for good reason, some because you really have to be into the genre to enjoy them, some because this was intended as a starting point, not a comprehensive list. Some authors, such as Tolkien, have written fine and excellent books, but they are heavy reads, unsuited to starting out in the genre. Others I have found a bit too formulaic and lacking overall arc and character development; the first book or two are great, but after that, I'd give many of them a miss. (I'm not sure if a "read the first ones, avoid the later" list would be appropriate.) Even amongst the series I mention above, some do falter a bit in the later books, in my opinion. Your mileage may vary, caveat lector. Enjoy a good book.
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by Steven Brust
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For the lighter heart
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