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Fantasy Book Recommendations!

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Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Drew7uk » Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:03 am

Figured starting up the ole fantasy book recommendation thread on the new forum would be a good idea! Maybe, if we're lucky, someone's able to port across some of the old posts so people don't need to re-post here.

In any case, I'll kick us off with a few:

Sword of Truth Series - Terry Goodkind
Pretty decent series overall, and he writes well (in my opinion). I agree with Jimmer that the plot gets a little lost in itself towards the end.

The Farseer Trilogy - Robin Hobb
Jimmer recommended this one to me, and it's frickin' amazing. I strongly recommend this one, even though I'm only 1/8th of the way through the final book!

Feel free to post away some of your own favorites :)
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Olthadir » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:12 am

Only book that comes close to Tolkien in fantasy is the Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay, a Canadian author who worked with Christopher Tolkien on compiling the Silmarillion.

It is a tribute to English and Norse mythology as well as a tribute to Tolkien. Beautifully written and the only book I feel can stand up to Tolkien's legendarium. It is not as indepth as Tolkiens work, and relies heavilly upon already existing and sometimes well known mythologies, but its story is still amazing and heartfelt.

Guy Gavriel Kay has also written a good deal of historical fantasy, where he takes a historical period and writes it in an alternative fantasy world.

For example, The Lions of Al-Rassan is about Spain when it was under Muslim influence and how it dealt with it. Throw in some slight fantastical elements and you get a wonderful heartfelt story.

His other books:
Tigana: A group of people are placed under a spell to forget their homelands name and never remember it. A really great story.
Song for Arbonne: French minstral period.
The Sarantine Moasic (Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors): About the byzantine empire. My personal favourite after Fionavar Tapestry. About a mosaic worker who is hired to make a beautiful mosaic for the Emperor of Sarantium.

Last Light of the Sun: about the invasion of England and Vikings. One of my favourites.

Ysabel: A sort of sequel to Fionavar Tapestry. Takes place in France in modern times where the world of the Celts returns. Sees the return of some major characters from the Fionavar Tapestry. Again, stunningly beautiful.

I haven't read the newest of his books, River of Stars or Under Heaven. I will, and I'd go out on a limb and recommend them anyway.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Telamon » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:04 am

It's not fantasy, but I'm reading "House of Leaves" right now, by Mark Z. Danielewski. I have to force myself to put it down because it gives me weird dreams when I read too much.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Llyra » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:31 pm

Michael J. Sullivan - Ryria Revelations (trilogy) and Ryria Chronicles - an entertaining series with a unique take on elves.
Will Wight - The Traveler's Gate Trilogy (House of Blades and Crimson Vault so far) - dark but inventive magic type of fantasy. Nice to read one where the hero has to earn his heroic strengths.
Patrick Rothfus - Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. There's a third coming... someday. He's of the George R. R. Martin school of irritating readers with exceedingly looooong waits between books.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Octavius » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:45 am

I picked up and enjoyed Wade Gustafson's Subterranea setting. This book is by someone else, but looks like a similar story, and is copywright to Wade. Not sure how that works, but probably also enjoyable.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B007IVEMD ... mdp_mobile

Wade has links to our community; he is the Founder of RPIMud.com and worked on several games.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Seiryoku » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:59 pm

Telamon wrote:It's not fantasy, but I'm reading "House of Leaves" right now, by Mark Z. Danielewski. I have to force myself to put it down because it gives me weird dreams when I read too much.


Great book! It really has a way of getting under your skin, I remember being genuinely creeped out by some things.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Pallando » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:46 pm

I've just started Lord of the Rings again and rather looking forward to it!
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby macaelum » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:28 pm

I highly recommend "Sheepfarmer's Daughter" by Elizabeth Moon. I
finished reading it two weeks ago. It is the first in a trilogy called "The Deed of Paksennarion." Young Paks runs away from home to avoid being married to the neighboring pig farmer's son -- or any man -- and becomes a soldier in the mercenary company of Duke Phelan. Towards the end of three years of service, she is instrumental in defeating a particularly nasty enemy, and begins to experience the protection of a deity -- which will eventually lead her to become a holy warrior, a paladin, though that's beyond the first book. What I know is coming up in the 2nd and 3rd is that she makes a great, heroic sacrifice which somehow results in the revelation that the Duke Phelan is actually the half-elven heir to the throne of a neighboring kingdom.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Forceknight » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:31 am

Any fans of R Scott Bakkers Prince of Nothing trilogy? Thats been my fave fantasy series for a while (as well as the sequel books). If ASOIaF is politics + fantasy its fair to call Prince of Nothing philosophy + fantasy.
Last edited by Forceknight on Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Hazgarn » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:21 pm

I haven't read in a long time, but I used to be pretty voracious, and these were some of my favorites:

The Discworld Series by Terry Prachett
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
The Winterlands series by Barbara Hambly
The Last Rune series by Mark Anthony
The Riddle Master trilogy by Patricia A. McKillip
Singer of Souls and Steward of Song by Adam Stemple
The Fern Capel series by Jan Siegel

And, of course, anything by Neil Gaiman.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Onasaki » Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:23 pm

You all make me sad, and very depressed. Especially you Hazgarn.

Game of Thrones Series by George R. R. Martin.

Lord of the Rings Series by J. R. R. Tolkien (Though in most cases, I'd at least /hope/ most of the p-base has read them)
I have two forces by my side
One's the truth and one's a lie
Which one's which I cannot tell
This enigma is my hell


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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby soiacc » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:23 pm

macaelum wrote:I highly recommend "Sheepfarmer's Daughter" by Elizabeth Moon. I
finished reading it two weeks ago. It is the first in a trilogy called "The Deed of Paksennarion...


I love love love loved this trilogy. It was one of the first I ever read and it's my all time favorite. I also like the Wheel of Time series, of which I've read every book.

The Saga of Recluce is a series by L. E. Modesitt, Jr and I haven't finished the series, but the books are awesome.


Is Kushiel's Legacy considered fantasy? If so, those books.


Hmm, I literally used to devour books, so I've read many that I don't even remember the titles of. I'd just pick one up and start reading. I did like this series...it's about these modern day people on Nantucket and the island gets "switched" with its past self, sending them in the past and the past people into the future, it may be more sci-fi in that sense, but I liked it. It's called the Nantucket series and it's written by S. M. Stirling. Island in the Sea of Time is the first novel.

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis -was- my first series that I read and I still like it today. Indian in the Cupboard too. ;)
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Hawkwind » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:28 pm

soiacc wrote:Is Kushiel's Legacy considered fantasy?


It is sort of like the Story of O meets Lord Of The Rings. At least the first one.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Hazgarn » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:33 pm

Oh, and the Witch World books by Andre Norton. I meant to put that on my first list, but then I went out to water, and...

But those. Absolutely those. :D
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby WorkerDrone » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:03 pm

Orcs: First Blood by Stan Nicholls.
I hope you die right now, will you drink my chemical?

Brian wrote:See, the thing that I admire about WorkerDrone is that he's an optimist!

:lol:
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Hazgarn » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:15 pm

Another one so obvious I can't believe I forgot it:
The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby soiacc » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:24 pm

Hmm, I wonder if I should admit to the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A. N. Roquelaure (AKA Anne Rice)...
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Hazgarn » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:35 pm

soiacc wrote:Hmm, I wonder if I should admit to the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A. N. Roquelaure (AKA Anne Rice)...

I'll admit to the Merry Gentry books by Laurel Hamilton if it makes you feel any better.

(Not recommending, mind, just confessing. ;) )
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Hawkwind » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:56 pm

soiacc wrote:Hmm, I wonder if I should admit to the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A. N. Roquelaure (AKA Anne Rice)...


Wife also has them too so I flipped through the good bits.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby alexjones » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:07 pm

The shannara series by Terry Brooks is pretty good, first book is a bit of a rip off of lord of the rings but it gets better from there.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Hazgarn » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:31 pm

I never read Shannara, but Brooks' Magic Kingdom of Landover books were pretty good.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Rivean » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:21 am

Some of these suggestions have already been made, but here's Rivean's Annotated Guide to Fantasy Fiction:

A Song of Ice and Fire - Political Fantasy

A vast, sprawling world populated by a host of fascinating characters that run through intricate plot lines that are slowly being woven tighter together.

In my opinion, the best that fantasy fiction has to offer - or ever had to offer, possibly.

Downsides? The books have been deteriorating in quality. Even Dance with Dragons, despite universal critical acclaim, was nothing more than a long travelogue in which not much actually happened. I'm starting to lose hope in Martin's ability to deliver on this in a way that will be satisfactory.

The Prince of Nothing - Philosophical Fantasy.

[Hat tip to Foreceknight]

This is a very dense series of very dense books. I highly recommend at least the first trilogy for a brutal and thoroughly different take on your typical fantasy epic. Warning: If Martin's books are grey, then Scott R. Bakerr's world is most definitely black. Also, some parts might have made me cry.

Downsides? Can be rather pretentious. The philosophical elements are refreshing in the first trilogy, but in the Aspect Emperor it just becomes masturbation. Still, the first trilogy is worth reading. Also, I won't spoil it for you, but I was tremendously disappointed with a certain base one dimensional aspect of the bad guys.

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles) - Fairytale/fables Fantasy

[Hat tip to Llyra]

Please don't be put off by my use of the word 'fairytale' - these books are fairytale not because they are somehow intended for children but because the author's imagination is vast and vividly colorful. Beautifully written, easy to read, filled with magic and mystery, the books are engaging and I strongly recommend them. Also, bonus points for imaginative magic systems. More on those.

Downsides? Not many. I was slightly underwhelmed by one of the villain reveals in the second book but it's not the end of the world. This is probably the series I would most strongly recommend over all.

Gentleman Bastards (The Lies of Locke Lamora) Crime Thriller Fantasy

It's a page turner. Everybody loves this stuff. If you like rogues, if you like smooth talking bastards, if you like convoluted schemes that all come together at some needepoint in the grand arc of time - well, Scott Lynch's books are for you.

Downsides? They're cheap. They're engineered. They're improbable. Everybody loves them, but they've always left me feeling slightly cheated. Scott Lynch is a bit like the Dan Brown of Fantasy in that his stuff is very easy to read and engaging, but doesn't actually have a tremendous amount of substance to it. It's definitely miles better than Dan Brown though, I'd still recommend it.

The Malazan Book of the Fallen - Epic Fantasy

It doesn't really get much more epic than Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series (which I think spans 13 books at closing). If you're into deep, multilayered worlds with myth and fable and history thousands of years old, spread across continents and cultures that often clash and violently so, then it doesn't get any better than this. Erikson also has a fine touch for the dramatic and there are moments in these books that have brought me to tears.

Downsides? The books can be beastly difficult to get into. This isn't Game of Thrones, and Erikson isn't Martin. His writing can be dense, his characters can be hard to relate to. I started Gardens of the Moon (the first book) at least three times before I finally managed to finish it. Is it worth it? Absolutely, yes. But be warned that it's not necessarily light reading, and unlike many other fantasy series, you'll find yourself needing a break from time to time.

The First Law - Gritty Fantasy

Following in the post-Martin tradition of complex characters, ambiguous morality, and convoluted plots, Joe Abercrombie's First Law series is a fine addition to the genre. The writing's solid, the plot's good, the characters are well developed. It's serious stuff.

Downsides? Nothing much. Perfectly fine books. Go read them.

Honorable Mentions:

Anything by Brandon Sanderson (The Mistborn Series, Elantris, etc). Sanderson excels at worldbuilding and, above all, creative magic systems. I always find him jarringly bad at dialogue though. (The books are worth reading despite this criticism)

Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time). If you don't know who this is, you've been living under a rock. I don't really recommend this stuff though, its time has passed.

Tolken. Ye old Sleepy Travelogue. Yes yes, I know. I've read everything thrice myself.

(There are several wonderful books and very competent authors that I'm forgetting here but I haven't googled anything for this post and I'm now late for our evening walk. This ought to last you a while though.)
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Forceknight » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:07 pm

I love ur list Rivean. One of my flatmates has been telling me to read the Kingkiller chronicles and after seeing what you've put it alongside I think I'll check it out
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Holmes » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:19 am

Rivean's list is awesome and filled with books I loved or plan to read!

Also, echoing Sanderson. I just finished the second book in his newest series (Stormlight Archives), and it was awesome.
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Re: Fantasy Book Recommendations!

Postby Hawkwind » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:59 pm

Eisenhorn, awesome grim-derp scifi! Yes, I am a pleb.
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