Fantasy book recommendations?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jonathan Burk, May 23, 2002.

  1. Jonathan Burk

    Jonathan Burk Second Unit

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    I enjoyed reading the Sci-Fi recommendations, (the thread, not the books themselves), but I tend to read the Fantasy type books more. I've been thinking of getting into a nice series again.

    Any recommendations?

    I've heard good things about Robin Hobb...
     
  2. Craig LeBlanc

    Craig LeBlanc Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think you can go wrong with Robin Hobb... both of her completed series were excellent.
    Farseer
    - Assassins Apprentice
    - Royal Assassin
    - Assassins Quest
    Liveship Traders
    - Ship of Magic
    - Mad Ship
    - Ship of Destiny
    A couple other authors to check out would be:
    Tad Williams
    Matthew Woodring Stover
    Stephen R Donaldson
    George RR Martin
    C.S. Friedman
    Come over and check out the SF and Fantasy forums at:
    http://www.sffworld.com/cgi-bin/ubb/Ultimate.cgi
     
  3. Scott Dill

    Scott Dill Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll go as this was my favorite genre growing up.
    I'll assume that I don't have to mention Tolkien [​IMG]
    A few series that I really enjoyed are:
    Robert E. Howard’s “Conan” stories. – Ace publishing has a 12 book series that collects all of Howard’s short stories with supplementary tales by De Camp and Carter.
    Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gay Mouser series. These are a collection of stories starting with “Swords against Deviltry” and they all start with “Swords Against…” in their titles
    Stephen R. Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, starting with “Lord Foul’s Bane”. This trilogy (there is a sequel trilogy as well) is probably the most widely respected following Lord of the Rings.
    Terry Brooks “The Sword of Shanarra” and its sequels. Brooks is very derivative of Tolkien, but none the less, a pretty good story teller.
    David Eddings’ Belgariad quintolgy ( I think that’s a word [​IMG]) and its sequels. A sweeping tale that while derived from Tolkien is more interesting than Brooks’ work.
     
  4. Tom Rhea

    Tom Rhea Second Unit

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    The only fantasy I like is Samuel R. Delany's Neveryon stories. Like his science fiction books, they transcend genre and take your brain to a happy, new place.
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Terry Goodking Sword of Truth series. If you're into characters, he is the man. Because of his name and the way he wrote the female characters, I thought that author was a woman at first. He's the only fantasy writer I've ever read who can write women well.

    The books in the series are:
    Wizard's First Rule
    Stone of Tears
    Blood of the Fold
    Temple of the Winds
    Soul of the Fire
    Faith of the Fallen
    Pillars of Creation

    The novels act like stand-alone books, which have the advantage of allowing you to follow no matter how long it's been between books, but the disadvantage of including lots of exposition. Wizard's First Rule, Temple of the Winds, and Faith of the Fallen are my favorites of the series. The last couple of novels started getting into some philosophy and were a little preachy, but I kind of liked that, too.
     
  6. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series.
    Katherine Kurtz's "Deryni" books
    Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonriders of Pern"
    any Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman collaboration
    Saberhagen's "Swords" series
    Stephen Donaldson's "Covenant" series
    Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Avalon" series
    Moorcock's "Elric" series
    Raymond Feist's "Magician:Apprentice" series
    Andre Norton's "Witchworld" series
    Orson Scott Card's "Alvin Maker" series
    Terry Brooks "Shannarra" and "Landover" series
    David Eddings "Elenium" and "Belgarriad" series

    A few solitary novels of quality:

    Elizabeth Moon's "Paksennarian"
    Stephen King's "Eyes of the Dragon"
    Cook's "Wizard War"
     
  7. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    I'll second the Robin Hobb books. They are all very good.
    I mentioned C.S Friedman's Coldfire trilogy in the science fiction thread, but there's a broad fuzzy line between science fiction and fantasy, so I'll recommend them here too.
    I also enjoy Martha Wells. Her "City of Bones" is the best, but all her books are worthwhile.
    As for Jordan, well I enjoyed Jordan up until book 4 or 5. At that time it seemed he realized he had a cash cow on his hands. Which is fine if you enjoy regular glasses of milk but I was expecting a slaughter followed by a grand BBQ and feast of a finale.
    I didn't like Goodkind at all. We'll just leave it at that [​IMG]
     
  8. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    A few recommendations.

    Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (natch!)

    Terry Goodkind (Sword of Truth series)

    David Eddings (Belgariad etc)

    David Gemmell (Legend, Waylander, Ravenheart, many more, superb heroic fantasy)

    Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time series)

    Michael Moorcock (old favorites of mine Elric, Corum, Hawkmoon, etc)

    Terry Pratchett (the Discworld series, humorous fantasy)

    Margaret Weis (the DeathGate series, enjoyed reading these)
     
  9. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    I don't usually bother posting in these kind of threads (it requires thinking), but I'll give this one a shot.

    I agree with Julie's comments regarding Jordan's Wheel of Time. I sorta liked the first book, but it was the second book that really sucked me in. Around the 8th book or so, I decided it was going nowhere very slowly and haven't really been too inclined to continue.

    I've only read the first 2 'Song of Fire and Ice' George RR Martin books and so far has been fairly interesting. The good thing about this series is the general unpredictability and the fact that the author has no issues with killing off main characters.

    Regarding David Eddings: I preferred his Elenium series of characters much better than his Belgariad characters. My biggest beef with both of his major series is that he essentially turns each series into two series. I.e. the Tamuli series mightas well be identical to the Elenium. To set it up: Book 1 - Hero figures out which super artifact is needed to save the world. Book 2- Hero gets super artifact. Book 3- Hero uses super artifact to save the world. A similar pattern emerges for the Belgariad series. I'd probably just recommend reading the first series in each case, but not really bothering with the second two much.

    A long time ago I tried reading Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series, but just couldn't get into it. I've heard it recommended on multiple forums, perhaps I should give it a second shot.

    I'd recommend Stephen Brust's Vlad Taltos series. I'd also recommend the Phoenix Guards book set in the same universe, especially if you are a fan of Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers, since the book is basically a homage.

    I'm currently reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series, which I am enjoying quite a bit, but will have to finish reading the 4th book and let everything sink in before I come to a final conclusion on it. I'm not sure if it really counts as Fantasy per se, it's more of a mix of genres.
     
  10. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    I forgot a good one: Harry Harrison's Hammer and Cross series. It's an alternate history with Norse mythology.

    Also The Annubis Gates by Tim Powers. It's a little hard to write a brief desription of it, but I highly recommend it.
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Julie, I'm rather interested to know why you didn't care for Goodkind.
     
  12. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    My biggest beef with both of [Edding's] major series is that he essentially turns each series into two series

    Yeah, I guess he saw a cash cow and milked it for all its worth. Nothing quite like rewriting the same story over and getting paid.
     
  13. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    Well, this isn't going to be pretty...
    I've only read Goodkind's first book. When I started it I thought it read more like a parody of Robert Jordan. Either that, or a very poor attempt at amateur fan fiction trying to emulate Jordan.
    I failed to care about any of the characters. That is death for any novel.
    I hated the torture bits near the end, especially because only near the end of the book do we learn that oh! the hero is *special* and can avoid the madness that these little S&M scenes bring.
    There's more, but I'm only bringing up horrors that I had mercifully blocked the mental pathways to.
    (BTW, no offense meant [​IMG] )
     
  14. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    What is maddening about Michael Moorcock is his endless re-working. How many times can you re-edit Elric? Still, I like Elric very much.
    I have not read much fantasy, but I will follow this thread and eagerly pickup recommendations as the list grows. [​IMG]
     
  15. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    No offense, of course, Julie. I asked for an opinion and only wanted an honest one, however brutal. Don't worry, no one ever has to pull any punches with me. [​IMG]
    I've only read a handful of fantasy, but I really liked the torture stuff. I was impressed that someone had the guts to write that. Other fantasy I've read always seems to clean and neat.
    As for Robert Jordan, I'm following his series, too, but I'm not really that into it. I'm impressed at how complex (or maybe absurd) the story has become, but the characters are pretty lame, especially the women. How many times can you read about sniffing and huffing, as if the only way a woman can be strong is be being a total bitch?
    I really do need to explore some of these recommendations, though. [​IMG]
     
  16. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    Jordan's 10th book in the series will be out in November. Still no end in sight though...
     
  17. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    Mike,
    I'm glad I didn't offend. I was a bit more savage than I should have been. [​IMG]
    You might enjoy the Robin Hobb books. The characters get into some nasty situations and they don't come out all neat and clean.
     
  18. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    Is there room for "science fantasy" in this thread? i.e., the Jack Vance decayed interstellar empire, where everything has become "primitive" again genre. I mention this, because I made a reference to Gene Wolfe's Severian in the SF thread. If so, I highly recommend Shadow of the Torturer, &c.
     
  19. Ryan Witt

    Ryan Witt Agent

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  20. Brian Kleinke

    Brian Kleinke Supporting Actor

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    A good trilogy of fantasy books is the Books of Green-Sky starting with "Below the Root" by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. They're out of print and hard to find, but not 600 pg mamoths and quite a good story.

    Brian
     

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