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Fantasy series recommendations

RayzeRayze Registered User regular
edited December 2013 in Help / Advice Forum
This is a two-parter, both on separate topics. Once one has been answered, I'll edit the title

1) I've been watching anime again recently, primarily slice of life shows. It reminded me of this manga I read and really liked but can't remember the name of. It was about this high school girl who had no friends and was perceived as an asshole by pretty much everyone around her. She joined this club, which had only one other member and it was their job to make people look beautiful or something like that. Eventually, people started to like her and she ended up dating the other club member, who she thought was gay but actually wasn't. This manga lasted around 5-10 issues, had an English title, and I think I read it last around 2009-2010 or so (Found: http://www.mangahere.com/manga/kimi_wa_girlfriend/)

2) I need advice on new fantasy books to read. I'm a huge fan of Jasper Fforde, Tamora Pierce, and Jim Butcher so I'd like to stay on the lighter side with some humor thrown in if possible. I'm in the middle of the Ice and Fire series and it's a bit of a slog so I'd rather not go down that road and I just started the Mistborn trilogy so we'll see about it. As a bonus, if anyone can recommend something that involves Greek or Egyptian mythology, that would be great. I have read Rick Riordan's books and his writing has gotten better but I'd like something a little more meaty, if that makes sense

Rayze on
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  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    I have no idea which manga you're talking about, but I cannot recommend Joseph Delaney's Wardstone Chronicles enough. I believe The series is titled The Spook's Apprentice in America. But I buy the English versions because they come out earlier and he's such a good writer that paying the extra shipping fee is more than worth it. There are thirteen books in the entire series, plus three book-length side stories that you don't have to read but should. (Slither's Tale is probably one of the best things I've ever read.)

    The series is kinda dark, (The first couple of books are probably about as dark as Tamora Pierce's Lady Knight.) but it's so amazing you should read it anyway. Delaney's world building is amazing. The majority of the story is set in a place called the "County" which is loosely based on rural Medieval England. He takes elements from folklore and weaves them into his work in such a way that you can see what he's referencing but it still feels completely original. His foreshadowing skills are unparallelled. He'll lead you in one way, act like he's never going to reveal something, and then he does reveal the thing, but takes it one step further so you were kind of right, but not entirely and that makes sense.

    Anyway, if it's just humor you're looking for Diana Wayne Jones' books are amazing. Dark Lord of Derkholme is basically a parody on the entire fantasy genre as a whole, and the first two Chrestomanci books are really good too. She's also the author of Castle in the Sky, which was turned into a film by Hayao Miyazaki.

    Oh, and the Enchanted Forest Chronicles are also amazing. But I don't remember who wrote them.

  • RayzeRayze Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    I will look into Wardstone Chronicles, thank you. I don't really consider Tamora Pierce's stuff especially dark compared to say, The Sword of Truth, but it can be serious at times. I've already read Dark Lord of Derkholm and its sequel and the first one is one of my favorite fantasy books. I had always hoped there would be a chance that she would continue on with the series but she sadly passed. Amazing author

    Oh, I will mention that I've already read books by Terry Goodkind and Terry Brooks so I'm well acquainted with The Magic of Landover, most of Shannara, and the Sword of Truth series (SoT was a long, meandering, pretty depressing at times)

    Rayze on
    Creagan
  • khainkhain Registered User regular
    The Alex Verus and Iron Druid series are both a lot like Dresden. The second is pretty similar, but in my opinion not quite as good, the first isn't quite as combat oriented since the main character is a diviner, but quite good.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Have you read any of the Tremaraire series? Basically a retelling ofnthe Napoleonic wars where everyone has dragons. Pretty entertaining if you like historic fiction.

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  • RayzeRayze Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    see317 wrote: »
    Have you read any of the Tremaraire series? Basically a retelling ofnthe Napoleonic wars where everyone has dragons. Pretty entertaining if you like historic fiction.

    My husband is listening to the series on audio book right now and wholeheartedly wants me to read the series so I'll look into that as well

    Really good suggestions so far, thank you

    Rayze on
  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    I'm pretty sure the manga you're describing is My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. I haven't read/seen it, but your description matches up almost perfectly with the review from Kotaku- http://kotaku.com/this-series-is-the-daria-of-anime-1115758409

    For book reviews, I would recommend Patrick Rothfuss's Name of the Wind, but it might not be light enough for what you're looking for right now. A good standy is Pratchett's/Gaiman's Good Omens. Also, if you're a fan of Butcher, check out Simon R. Green's Darkside series of books. It's a very similar premise, that of a wise ass detective in a supernatural world, but I really enjoyed it.

  • RayzeRayze Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    noir_blood wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure the manga you're describing is My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. I haven't read/seen it, but your description matches up almost perfectly with the review from Kotaku- http://kotaku.com/this-series-is-the-daria-of-anime-1115758409

    lol, that was the anime I was watching yesterday that reminded me of the manga and it's not the same. The primary character was female and I'm not sure it was ever developed into an anime series

    Rayze on
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  • cookiekrushcookiekrush Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    For the manga, I think you're talking about Beauty Pop. It's the only one that comes to mind that was released in the US. There are several types like that plot, but nothing licensed in the US.

    For books, I couldn't do the Fire and Ice series. I just couldn't get into it. I'd recommend the Wheel of Time series, and the Mistborn series.

    cookiekrush on
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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Read pretty much anything by Terry Pratchett.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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  • RayzeRayze Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    For the manga, I think you're talking about Beauty Pop. It's the only one that comes to mind that was released in the US. There are several types like that plot, but nothing licensed in the US.

    For books, I couldn't do the Fire and Ice series. I just couldn't get into it. I'd recommend the Wheel of Time series, and the Mistborn series.

    Nope, that's not it. And I didn't say it was an American manga, just that it had an English name (would that make it an American manga though? I have no idea)

    Also, I'm currently reading the Mistborn books

    Rayze on
  • TurksonTurkson Near the mountains of ColoradoRegistered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Read pretty much anything by Terry Pratchett.

    This. A thousand times this.

    Also, give the Belgariad series by David Eddings a try.

    We missed a few places...
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  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Rayze wrote: »
    Nope, that's not it. And I didn't say it was an American manga, just that it had an English name (would that make it an American manga though? I have no idea)
    I doubt it'd the case, but it sounds a bit like a very muddled recollection of 'Skip Beat.'

    Gabriel_Pitt on
  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    it could be a ton of anime/manga really. it kinda sounds like both From Me to You and Say I Love You, except for the club part. there's a few others that kinda match up but those two sound closest.

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  • cookiekrushcookiekrush Registered User regular
    Rayze wrote: »
    Nope, that's not it. And I didn't say it was an American manga, just that it had an English name (would that make it an American manga though? I have no idea)

    Also, I'm currently reading the Mistborn books

    Beauty Pop is a Japanese Manga. It was licensed and released in the US. I assumed you meant a licensed Manga that was released in the US. I'm guessing you're looking for the one that wasn't released in the US and was fan translated? I'll search through a few more titles, as there are a ton that fit that plot line for that wasn't licensed in the US.

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  • RayzeRayze Registered User regular
    http://www.mangahere.com/manga/kimi_wa_girlfriend/

    Asked another forum that specializes in manga/anime and they found it for me. When I first read it, it displayed the English name so I thought that was the original title but I guess it wasn't. Thanks for looking though. I'll edit the thread accordingly now

  • ihmmyihmmy Registered User regular
    if you like Tamora Pierce, you'll probably also love Maria V. Snyder. I particularly like her Poison and her Glass trilogies. I'd also recommend checking out Kristen Cashore's Graceling / Fire / Bitterblue set

  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    Turkson wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    Read pretty much anything by Terry Pratchett.

    This. A thousand times this.

    Also, give the Belgariad series by David Eddings a try.

    This was the first fantasy series I read as a teenager. It holds a special place in my heart. So, with tremendous bias, I recommend it.

    I think Pringles original intention was to make tennis balls... but on the day the rubber was supposed to show up a truckload of potatoes came. Pringles is a laid-back company, so they just said, "Fuck it, cut em up!".
  • PsykomaPsykoma Registered User regular
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    I can't really recommend The KingKiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss enough. Book 3 is due out in fall I think. The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear were both great books. That said the first one in particular is not what I'd call light. Its not the slog that ASOIAF is but its pretty dark in the opening 1/3 of the book.

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  • Reverend_ChaosReverend_Chaos Suit Up! Registered User regular
    I can't really recommend The KingKiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss enough. Book 3 is due out in fall I think. The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear were both great books. That said the first one in particular is not what I'd call light. Its not the slog that ASOIAF is but its pretty dark in the opening 1/3 of the book.

    Yes. A thousand times yes. Great series, some great humor, could not reccomend it enough.

    I would also reccomend the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

    David Eddings comes to mind, he has several series out that would fit the bill.

    Not sure if it would quite fit your taste, but "Off to be the Wizard" by Scott Meyer is light with some great humor
    http://www.amazon.com/Off-Be-Wizard-Scott-Meyer-ebook/dp/B00BZP19A4

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  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    The Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch.

    There's some dark parts in it, but on the whole they're enjoyable fantasy heist stories full of wisecracking thieves and whatnot.
    The third book just came out a few months ago.

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  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    Is Jim Butcher on the lighter side of things? I read a few Dresden Files books and found them frankly depressing.

    Steven Brust's Dragaera stories have a fair amount of humor, especially sarcasm. Mostly swords and sorcery stuff. I'd recommend the first few of the Vlad Taltos stories, at least -- Jhereg, Yendi, Taltos -- then there's another series in the same world, starting with The Phoenix Guards. The "detective" stories later in the first series probably aren't for everyone.

    Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain and Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series are children's books (my library has them under "Young Adult"), but I still think they're pretty great. Except I didn't care for the first book of the latter series (Over Sea, Under Stone), and feel it can be skipped.

    I honestly can't remember ever reading much that had Greek or Egyptian mythology in it. I guess the Greek gods figured in the first few of Fred Saberhagen's Books of Swords stories. Other than that I'm coming up blank.

  • Lord HomsarLord Homsar Lord of Hammers Registered User regular
    Fantasy wise, you cannot really go wrong with Piers Anthony. If you like puns, Xanth is best, but his other books are good too, like the Incarnations of Immortality series and Killobyte

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  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Come to think of it, I remember enjoying the Dragon series by Lawrence Yep quite a bit when I was younger too. But I only got to read it once because those were library books.

  • RayzeRayze Registered User regular
    Orogogus wrote: »
    Is Jim Butcher on the lighter side of things? I read a few Dresden Files books and found them frankly depressing.

    Steven Brust's Dragaera stories have a fair amount of humor, especially sarcasm. Mostly swords and sorcery stuff. I'd recommend the first few of the Vlad Taltos stories, at least -- Jhereg, Yendi, Taltos -- then there's another series in the same world, starting with The Phoenix Guards. The "detective" stories later in the first series probably aren't for everyone.

    Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain and Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series are children's books (my library has them under "Young Adult"), but I still think they're pretty great. Except I didn't care for the first book of the latter series (Over Sea, Under Stone), and feel it can be skipped.

    I honestly can't remember ever reading much that had Greek or Egyptian mythology in it. I guess the Greek gods figured in the first few of Fred Saberhagen's Books of Swords stories. Other than that I'm coming up blank.

    Jim Butcher's stuff can be heavy at times but I like the injection of humor and sarcasm that comes with it

  • A Dabble Of TheloniusA Dabble Of Thelonius It has been a doozy of a dayRegistered User regular
    Kate Griffin's Midnight Mayor series is pretty good. Starts with A Madness of Angels. Not world shattering but I'd put it well ahead of Iron Druid and hurrrk Simon Green. (My opinions, I know)

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  • NobodyNobody Registered User regular
    Fantasy wise, you cannot really go wrong with Piers Anthony. If you like puns, Xanth is best, but his other books are good too, like the Incarnations of Immortality series and Killobyte

    I personally found Xanth to be one of those series where I liked some sections of the storyline (basically through book 12 or so) but had little to no interest in the later ones.

  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    The Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch.

    There's some dark parts in it, but on the whole they're enjoyable fantasy heist stories full of wisecracking thieves and whatnot.
    The third book just came out a few months ago.

    I came here to recommend exactly this.

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  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    edited January 2014
    Xanth is a series that I enjoyed as a young teenager. Then I grew up, and became disconcerted and disgusted with the sexism in them. It was about the same time as when I stopped reading the Sword of Truth. I look back at that time fondly: it's when I stopped checking out everything from the library that was sf/f and started to develop a sense of personal taste.



    I'm going to recommend some comics:
    My Faith in Frankie by Mike Carey
    Fables by Bill Willingham

    And some books:
    The Kitty series by Carrie Vaughn

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  • DelaneyDelaney Registered User regular
    Someone beat me to suggesting Steven Brust's Dragaera novels, so I will heartily second the suggestion. There are two series set in Dragaera on different spots in the timeline: The Vlad Taltos novels and the Khaavren Romances. The Khaavren Romances read a little bit like a fantasy version of the Three Musketeers at times, which I found to be fun. In the other series, the main character is Vlad Taltos. He's an assassin, a witch who can also do a tiny bit of sorcery, and he has an interesting familiar with a smart-ass sense of humor.

    I'd also second a suggestion of David Eddings' work; any of it. He's a little infamous for having started out writing fantasy according to what he perceived what a successful formula, mostly in the way of casting characters, but I think he did great work within that framework. (And to be honest, I never really noticed it much in the books unless I was deliberately analyzing it.)

    Finally, for something to go along a little with your mythological choices, I would suggest Piers Anthony. Not for his Xanth novels, which have already been mentioned, but for the Incarnations of Immortality series. It won't score quite as highly on the humor scale, but you might like the classical archetypes he uses in it.

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  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    If you want to go old school, The Margret Wise/Tracy Hickman Dragonlance novels were always good I thought. Dragonlance was a D&D world, whose fiction books were probably far more successful than the actual D&D game. I thought it had excellent character development and pretty solid plots, and were very fun reads.

    I think Pringles original intention was to make tennis balls... but on the day the rubber was supposed to show up a truckload of potatoes came. Pringles is a laid-back company, so they just said, "Fuck it, cut em up!".
  • RainfallRainfall Registered User regular
    Fantasy wise, you cannot really go wrong with Piers Anthony. If you like puns, Xanth is best, but his other books are good too, like the Incarnations of Immortality series and Killobyte

    Having been following a readalong on SA of the Xanth series, I couldn't disagree more. There's a shitload of sexism in those books that is pervasive, creepy, and generally terrifying from the first book onwards. The later books veer into almost pedophilia, and the humour is just shotgun-loaded puns that are very occasionally hit but mostly miss.

    A Dabble Of Thelonius
  • jjae2123jjae2123 Registered User regular
    The Mistborn Trilogy was fantastic in my opinion, I am also a huge fan of Jim Butcher, the KingKiller chronicle is amazing and there is a book called the Way of Kings that you may also want to check out.

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  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited January 2014
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    If you want to go old school, The Margret Wise/Tracy Hickman Dragonlance novels were always good I thought. Dragonlance was a D&D world, whose fiction books were probably far more successful than the actual D&D game. I thought it had excellent character development and pretty solid plots, and were very fun reads.
    Like any series that's bloated out like the Dragonlance setting, there's good and bad to be found there. I'd suggest the Chronicles and Legends trilogies first, they pretty much form the foundation of the setting. I think the Chronicles trilogy is the weaker of the two, but can still be entertaining.
    If you like the writing, I recommend the Darksword series as a follow up.

    see317 on
    Ringo wrote: »
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  • AtaxrxesAtaxrxes Cursed EarthRegistered User regular
    Check out the Oath of Empire trilogy by Thomas Harlan. I've read it at least twice. It's like an alternate history of a period in the Roman Empire if they actually had magic, it is super good.

  • NobodyNobody Registered User regular
    Rainfall wrote: »
    Fantasy wise, you cannot really go wrong with Piers Anthony. If you like puns, Xanth is best, but his other books are good too, like the Incarnations of Immortality series and Killobyte

    Having been following a readalong on SA of the Xanth series, I couldn't disagree more. There's a shitload of sexism in those books that is pervasive, creepy, and generally terrifying from the first book onwards. The later books veer into almost pedophilia, and the humour is just shotgun-loaded puns that are very occasionally hit but mostly miss.

    Didn't want to try to see if it was part of the SA forums that's visible without paying since I'm at work, so I googled around and came across this from the AV club. Wow, I really had some rose tinted glasses towards the series since I didn't remember it being that bad.

  • Lord HomsarLord Homsar Lord of Hammers Registered User regular
    edited January 2014
    Nobody wrote: »
    Rainfall wrote: »
    Fantasy wise, you cannot really go wrong with Piers Anthony. If you like puns, Xanth is best, but his other books are good too, like the Incarnations of Immortality series and Killobyte

    Having been following a readalong on SA of the Xanth series, I couldn't disagree more. There's a shitload of sexism in those books that is pervasive, creepy, and generally terrifying from the first book onwards. The later books veer into almost pedophilia, and the humour is just shotgun-loaded puns that are very occasionally hit but mostly miss.

    Didn't want to try to see if it was part of the SA forums that's visible without paying since I'm at work, so I googled around and came across this from the AV club. Wow, I really had some rose tinted glasses towards the series since I didn't remember it being that bad.

    I guess I may also have a bit of the rose-tinted glasses, never really thought about it, but it has been forever since I have read a NEW Xanth book. People get up in arms about books and their author's beliefs so much these days, I don't get it really.

    Lord Homsar on
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  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    Magician, by Raymond Feist

    It's not Shakespeare, but if you're in the mood for lighter stuff I thought it was very enjoyable.

  • DaimarDaimar A Million Feet Tall of Awesome Registered User regular
    Going to throw another recommendation for any of the Steven Brust "Vlad" or "Khaavren" books in the Dragaera universe. The Khaavren books are just so much fun to read and when I was in school and had to write something verbose I'd read a few chapters of one of those to get me in the right mindset for pure BS. Once you stray out of the Dragaera universe they're a little more hit and miss but some of that is because they're standalone and don't have the weight of continuity behind them.

    Also agree with those recommending Terry Pratchett, my favorites are in those dealing with the night watch or the ones with Moist as the main characters.

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  • JarsJars Registered User regular
    fantasy books? check out the Amber series

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