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Recommend fantasy books for my wife

2

Posts

  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    Oh, yes, Bridge of Birds is _so_ _good_. (I honestly think the porcupine sequence might be my favorite bit of writing of all time)

    The Brandon Sanderson books people have recommended are pretty great but you do need to pay attention to avoid getting lost (maybe that's just me?). On the other hand, tor.com has a whole bunch of read-along blogs where people treat reading a book the same way that people do episode summaries of TV series, and the extra annotation/commentary can be very helpful to keep up.


    Others that haven't shown up yet, I think (these are winding back in time a while to when I still had time to read whole series of books, so they're not particularly new, but they're ones I remember finishing and enjoying, at least)

    Fly By Night / Twilight Robbery by Frances Hardinge (and I'm going to guess her other ones are good, but Fly By Night just blew me away. Seriously, everyone else in this thread, go read it)

    Lois McMaster Bujold's Sharing Knife series is okay, though the (very definitely SF) Vorkosigan series is imo better.

    The Dragonbone Chair series by Tad Williams -- nothing super surprising in here but well crafted.

    The Drenai series by David Gemmel (start with the first one, if she likes that, there's a lot more in that world but the first one is my favorite)

    The Books Of Swords by Fred Saberhagen (each book is about a particular sword, each sword has a particular power, hijinks ensue)

    The Dying Earth series by Jack Vance (pop quiz: see if you can spot how much of D&D mechanics is taken pretty much verbatim from these books. Also, I really like his writing style. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/magazine/19Vance-t.html covers it very nicely)

    Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series (classics; there's some bits which feel not quite okay nowadays, but they're super influential for a reason)

    The Lords of Dus series by Lawrence Watt-Evans. (much overlooked, but I remember the plots being a lot of fun in ways I hadn't expected)

  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    I was thinking about recommending Saberhagen's Books of Swords, but I don't think it's a fun romp for someone keeping their blood pressure low, especially near the beginning. The stuff with the Mindsword is pretty Game of Thrones level grim. I feel like Guy Gabriel Kay's Al-Rassan and Sarantium books are kind of wrenching, too.

    Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger series is harmless fun, but might veer into the "junk" category, I don't know. World junk be something like Dragonlance, Goosebumps or Harry Potter?

    Lyndon Hardy's Master of the Five Magics books are harmless fun, too. Kind of an early "hard" fantasy. Also L Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt's Complete Compleat Enchanter collection.

  • EnigmedicEnigmedic Registered User regular
    Brando Sanderson stuff is pretty chill reading. Warbreaker and Elantris are probably my favorite non-series ones. The original mistborm series is good, the steampunk sequel series is bad.

    The Lies of Locke Lamora (gentleman bastard) series others have recommended are really good.

    Not really sure what stresses her out but the Malazan books definitely require some higher level thinking than most other books, but are also not the cheeriest books. But they would eat up a significant amount of time to read.

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  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    Orogogus wrote: »
    I was thinking about recommending Saberhagen's Books of Swords, but I don't think it's a fun romp for someone keeping their blood pressure low, especially near the beginning. The stuff with the Mindsword is pretty Game of Thrones level grim.

    Fair enough; it's probably been 20+ years since I read them, so my recollection is pretty hazy.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Enigmedic wrote: »
    Brando Sanderson stuff is pretty chill reading. Warbreaker and Elantris are probably my favorite non-series ones. The original mistborm series is good, the steampunk sequel series is bad.

    The Lies of Locke Lamora (gentleman bastard) series others have recommended are really good.

    Not really sure what stresses her out but the Malazan books definitely require some higher level thinking than most other books, but are also not the cheeriest books. But they would eat up a significant amount of time to read.

    Malazan series, as well as Sanderson's Words of Radiance, are both pretty heavy series, both in terms of word count and content. I'm not sure how good they would be for stress.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Enigmedic wrote: »
    Brando Sanderson stuff is pretty chill reading. Warbreaker and Elantris are probably my favorite non-series ones. The original mistborm series is good, the steampunk sequel series is bad.

    The Lies of Locke Lamora (gentleman bastard) series others have recommended are really good.

    Not really sure what stresses her out but the Malazan books definitely require some higher level thinking than most other books, but are also not the cheeriest books. But they would eat up a significant amount of time to read.

    Malazan series, as well as Sanderson's Words of Radiance, are both pretty heavy series, both in terms of word count and content. I'm not sure how good they would be for stress.
    I wouldn't put words in the same grim tier as malazan. Not even close imo

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  • chromdomchromdom Working on having a better attitude Oh yeah, I movedRegistered User regular
    edited July 18
    Orogogus wrote: »
    I was thinking about recommending Saberhagen's Books of Swords, but I don't think it's a fun romp for someone keeping their blood pressure low, especially near the beginning. The stuff with the Mindsword is pretty Game of Thrones level grim. I feel like Guy Gabriel Kay's Al-Rassan and Sarantium books are kind of wrenching, too.

    Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger series is harmless fun, but might veer into the "junk" category, I don't know. World junk be something like Dragonlance, Goosebumps or Harry Potter?

    Lyndon Hardy's Master of the Five Magics books are harmless fun, too. Kind of an early "hard" fantasy. Also L Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt's Complete Compleat Enchanter collection.

    Lyndon Hardy lives (lived?) in my hometown, and I went to school with his daughters. I read one book, but wasn't a fan. I bring it up because this is the first time I've heard of anyone outside our suburb ever hearing of him, much less recommending him.

    chromdom on
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  • dresdenphiledresdenphile Watch out for snakes!Registered User regular
    The Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files) combines fantasy Roman Legions with Pokemon with fantastic results.

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    Elvenshaeknitdan
  • MrGrimoireMrGrimoire Pixflare Registered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Enigmedic wrote: »
    Brando Sanderson stuff is pretty chill reading. Warbreaker and Elantris are probably my favorite non-series ones. The original mistborm series is good, the steampunk sequel series is bad.

    The Lies of Locke Lamora (gentleman bastard) series others have recommended are really good.

    Not really sure what stresses her out but the Malazan books definitely require some higher level thinking than most other books, but are also not the cheeriest books. But they would eat up a significant amount of time to read.

    Malazan series, as well as Sanderson's Words of Radiance, are both pretty heavy series, both in terms of word count and content. I'm not sure how good they would be for stress.
    I wouldn't put words in the same grim tier as malazan. Not even close imo

    I think it should be mentioned that the Malazan books does a decent job of putting in some humor here and there, and while heavy, they're not unrelentingly grim. They're also very good, and deliberately written to be the opposite kind of fantasy as, say Wheel of Time.

    She might enjoy "The Queen of Renthia" trilogy by Sarah Beth Durst. Some magic school, some action and a pile of intrigue. Not heavy-weight books, but good entertainment. First book is "The Queen of Blood".

  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited July 27
    Heffling wrote: »
    Eddings (Belgariod/Mallorean) and Brooks (Shannara) I think are both protoforms of the modern young adult genre fantasy. Coming of age stories, easy to read, not a lot of depth.

    I would use this opportunity to get your wife into the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. I would start with Guards! Guards! which is the 8th in the Discworld universe, but kicks off the City Watch storyline. If she likes that, you can continue in that story line or start chronologically. Pratchett's works are very easy to read, but contain a lot of overt and subtle humor. He has a unique way of looking at the world that has strongly influenced my own world view.

    Seconding Eddings.

    The Belgariad/Mallorian are extremely chill coming of age books and the Elenium/Tamuli have a lot of fun character writing.

    Neither series are particularly profound but they're both pretty great rainy day stay inside and read for fun series through and through.

    HappylilElf on
    djmitchellaKamiroElvenshaeOrca
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    The Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files) combines fantasy Roman Legions with Pokemon with fantastic results.

    Has he finished the series though? I've got two unfinished series I'm waiting on books for from him.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    If she has certain tastes, there's the Kushiel's Legacy series. I would read the synopsis before handing it over, though.

    FiendishrabbitSilverWindShadowhopeTofystedeth
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    LostNinja wrote: »
    I’m currently reading the light bringer series by Brent Weeks and would recommend (note: I’m just finishing up the second book now).

    His books are kind of fun in that his heroes are regularly very flawed or just straight up not good people.

    I'll second this one, and Weeks' earlier series as well. I'm on Book 3 of Lightbringer and can say that the series is certainly not going where I expected it.

    Neither series are going to be considered classics but they are highly entertaining and I especially like the magic system in Lightbringer.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    The Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files) combines fantasy Roman Legions with Pokemon with fantastic results.

    Has he finished the series though? I've got two unfinished series I'm waiting on books for from him.

    The Codex Alera series is complete. Six books long, and each a fairly considerable doorstopper in it's own right.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    ElvenshaeMrGrimoire
  • E.CoyoteE.Coyote Registered User regular
    Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams. It has cats. ^.^

  • SimpsoniaSimpsonia Registered User regular
    How has nobody mentioned N.K. Jemisin? The Broken Earth trilogy was utterly fantastic (and first time each of the three entries in a trilogy has won the Nebula for best novel). Though there are some slight sci-fi (ala Red Sister) it's mostly fantasy. Also The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

    As was mentioned above, Brandon Sanderson is a staple. The unfinished series by Rothfuss (Name of the Wind) is amazing.

    BursarElvenshae
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Simpsonia wrote: »
    How has nobody mentioned N.K. Jemisin? The Broken Earth trilogy was utterly fantastic (and first time each of the three entries in a trilogy has won the Nebula for best novel). Though there are some slight sci-fi (ala Red Sister) it's mostly fantasy. Also The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

    As was mentioned above, Brandon Sanderson is a staple. The unfinished series by Rothfuss (Name of the Wind) is amazing.

    She was top-of-mind for me, but I'm not sure that Hundred Thousand Kingdoms qualifies as "light recovery reading". :P

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    I don't really know if Broken Earth does at all. It's fantastic but very heavy.

    (Also The Obelisk Gate totally shouldn't have won the Hugo in that middle year but that's because 2017 was a fantastic crop of novels and OG feels sorta coast-y in the middle of the trilogy.)

    Thro
  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    edited July 19
    Low blood pressure light fantasy? Broken Earth is not... I'm reading through it right now, and some of it hits pretty heavy.

    However, I would recommend the following:

    -The Lady Trent Memoirs series. Lady in not-Victorian not-England spearheads research on dragons while engaging in Indiana Jones-worthy adventurous hijinx. If Naomi Novik is on the menu (and really no reason not to be, the Temeraire series is wonderful), then so must Lady Trent.

    -The Blue Sword series. Oldie, but goodie. Relatively low anxiety, and if you don't want to invest in the series, then The Hero and the Crown is a good standalone. Spunky female MC teaches herself how to fight dragons.

    -I want to say the Well of Echoes series, but I don't have access to the books right now and cannot vouch for their low blood pressure qualities.

    Akilae on
  • chromdomchromdom Working on having a better attitude Oh yeah, I movedRegistered User regular
    Jeez, some good recommendations in here. I gotta start reading more again.

    Mr. Rogers wrote:
    You've made this day a special day, by just your being you. There's no person in the whole world like you; and I like you just the way you are.
    XaquinMadicanBrody
  • DunderDunder Registered User regular
    I’d recommend the empire series by Feist and Wurtz if a female protagonist is desired. Fairly easy to read fantasy in a vaguely east Asian setting (instead of the more common feudal European setting) focusing more on House to House feudal politicking than “the prophetized chosen one needs to quest to destroy the evil”.

    And while not fantasy, I strongly recommend The Long Ships by Frans G Bengtsson. It’s a historical fiction ( I think that’s the term, it’s fictional characters acting around and with real historical figures) about Vikings. If your wife is not familiar with Scandinavian culture it can easily be read as a no-magic fantasy book. It is pretty well paced, exciting without raising blood pressures, and there is a strong humorous undercurrent throughout the book that makes it enjoyable to read but without any real laugh out loud moments. All in all it is a very pleasant read from start to finish

  • RiboflavinRiboflavin Registered User regular
    Ok, I know this is Heresy, but I like the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull as much as I liked Harry Potter and would highly suggest it.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Akilae wrote: »
    Low blood pressure light fantasy? Broken Earth is not... I'm reading through it right now, and some of it hits pretty heavy.

    However, I would recommend the following:

    -The Lady Trent Memoirs series. Lady in not-Victorian not-England spearheads research on dragons while engaging in Indiana Jones-worthy adventurous hijinx. If Naomi Novik is on the menu (and really no reason not to be, the Temeraire series is wonderful), then so must Lady Trent.

    -The Blue Sword series. Oldie, but goodie. Relatively low anxiety, and if you don't want to invest in the series, then The Hero and the Crown is a good standalone. Spunky female MC teaches herself how to fight dragons.

    -I want to say the Well of Echoes series, but I don't have access to the books right now and cannot vouch for their low blood pressure qualities.

    Yeah, I was about to suggest The Inheritance Trilogy by Jemisin, but it's not the easy reading brain candy you probably want to relax with.
    Still a good read, and highly recommended. But, maybe not here or now.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • RendRend Registered User regular
    edited July 19
    So I arrived home on Tuesday afternoon with six books.
    Pawn of Prophecy, Kushiel's Dart, The Long Price Quartet, The Way of Kings, Magician: Apprentice, and the Sword of Shannara.

    The Way of Kings it turns out she's already read. That'll go in for returns on my next trip.
    The Sword of Shannara she's already read, but told me not to return it. She doesn't have her copy and wouldn't mind a re-read.
    She's currently reading through Pawn of Prophecy, which, side note: That was the first fantasy novel I ever read! Very very fond memories of that one.

    And for the rest, she's got the stack next to her to read at her leisure. I told her that Kushiel's Dart has some possibly objectionable content so if she starts to dislike it she'll just put it down.

    Books not listed above:
    -I wanted to get The Dragon's Path (The Dagger and the Coin book 1) but couldn't find it at the book store, so I'll check back next time.
    -I have previously recommended The Lies of Locke Lamora to her, which she read, but didn't care for. I think it was a bit vulgar for her. I love that series though, like a lot. I absolutely could not put them down.
    -She's definitely read a lot of Pratchett so if I buy any of that for her I'll just ask her what she wants
    -She's also read the Wheel of Time before, I believe. And has definitely read Name of the Wind,
    -I tried to find, but could not find The Traitor Baru Cormorant as that one also sounds VERY cool. I'll look for this next time

    -The Summoner is on the list for recommendation! Looks cool and everybody loves them a good Necromancer.
    -The Crown Tower, book one of the Riyria series is on the list for recommendation! Enjoyable and lighthearted is exactly what the doctor ordered here.
    -The Robin Hobb trilogies I will probably pass up. Cool slice of life moments are great and I might even pass on the recommendation for after now, but it's better safe than sorry.
    -Bone is one of the only comics/graphic novels I've actually read all the way through and I liked it a lot! I might actually pass this one along. It was delightful. As for Rice Boy I'll point her toward it, she does like online media.
    -The Book of Three, book one of the Chronicals of Prydain and The Dark is Rising Sequence are both up for recommendation, not just because they seem like they'd be a good fit, but as they're for children and/or young adults, it would be particularly good to maybe put them down to eventually give to our incoming new child!
    -The Phoenix Guards sounds delightful. It's definitely up for recommendation.
    -I'm actually currently reading something by Brent Weeks and while I think it's very fun I think now would not be a good time to recommend it to her. :p
    -I tried to find Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay but couldn't, so I'll look for that one next time I'm out again.
    -Temeraire by Novik combines dragons with france, two of her favorite things, so that's kind of a ridiculously appropriate recommendation. I'll certainly look for this one next outing.
    -Gate of Ivrel, by Cherryh is up for recommendation! I read her book Cyteen and found it very good, so this one might just make the list for my wife as well.

    I know I've missed several but god damn you all are good at this.

    Rend on
    DevoutlyApatheticXaquindispatch.oInquisitor77OrogoguschromdomAkilaeJaysonFourShadowhopeIrukaElvenshaeHappylilElfSilverWindHefflingTofystedeth
  • SimpsoniaSimpsonia Registered User regular
    Simpsonia wrote: »
    How has nobody mentioned N.K. Jemisin? The Broken Earth trilogy was utterly fantastic (and first time each of the three entries in a trilogy has won the Nebula for best novel). Though there are some slight sci-fi (ala Red Sister) it's mostly fantasy. Also The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

    As was mentioned above, Brandon Sanderson is a staple. The unfinished series by Rothfuss (Name of the Wind) is amazing.

    She was top-of-mind for me, but I'm not sure that Hundred Thousand Kingdoms qualifies as "light recovery reading". :P

    Oohhhh, yeah Jemisin is not light recovery reading, did not read that part of the OP. I was trying to describe to describe The Fifth Season to a friend, and the most defining word that came to my mind was 'raw'. As in that's how you felt while reading it.

    As for the Hobb recommendations, I can't describe how or why, but they just really rub me the wrong way. I read through the entire Assassin's Apprentice trilogy and there was just something off, and I have no idea what is is, or can't put it into words. Clearly not enough to not finish the trilogy, but enough that I didn't start any of the others.

    Thro
  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    Tigana actually made me kind of angry. There's a little bit of mind control in it, and that always rubs me the wrong way.

    Shadowhope
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    edited July 20
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    CJ Cherryh "The Morgaine Cycle" was a pretty good trilogy. It's got a drip of sci-fi but is more about the female protagonist travelling through gates to ruined worlds while tracking down some "other" who has done wrong. It's adult enough, and the books are from the viewpoint of her companion.

    Cherryh in general has some interesting works, but some definitely give a more science fiction vibe than fantasy. The Morgaine Cycle was sort of originally a trilogy but there are other books in the universe and she even released a fourth book at some point, so it's not technically a trilogy anymore?

    I had an 18 hour train ride and made it through all of them. Passed the time quite well.

    I'm going to recommend another one of her books since I found it so very different than the average fantasy fare: Arafel's Saga. While it has elves and fantasy and medieval swords and all that good stuff, the tale is told as POV characters enter and exit the elf Arafel's awareness over the course of years, and the threats and changes put upon her and the world she protects. I never quite knew where Cherryh was going with the story, and it was fun. Not great characterization but sufficient that I enjoyed the ride.

    Consider it anyway, maybe for a phase 2 book. A sufficiently voracious reader will demolish a book every couple days if not more so I'm sure even that long list you've already gotten won't be enough... :)

    Orca on
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  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    Orogogus wrote: »
    Tigana actually made me kind of angry. There's a little bit of mind control in it, and that always rubs me the wrong way.

    Tigana is my least favourite of what I consider to be the “good” Guy Gavriel Kay novels. There were aspects of it that I thought were really cool and edgy when I was reading them at age 13, around the time I read A Game of Thrones for the first time, and that the 36 year old me just looks at and goes “ew, nope.”

    Under Heaven, Lions of Al-Rassan, and the Sarentine books are the ones I consider worth diving in to, with the others worth picking up if a person decides that they like his books.

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  • GrisloGrislo Registered User regular
    Rend wrote: »
    The Dark is Rising Sequence are both up for recommendation, not just because they seem like they'd be a good fit, but as they're for children and/or young adults, it would be particularly good to maybe put them down to eventually give to our incoming new child!

    I loved that series as a kid, but the second book is so much better than the first that it might be worth it to just start there. It won't really matter.

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  • Anon the FelonAnon the Felon In bat country.Registered User regular
    edited July 22
    A series of grim dark fantasy books that any fantasy enthusiast should read:

    The Black Company

    At least 1-3, 4 is also great, past that it gets a bit in the weeds. The core story ends on book three. It's a series that is often attributed with creating the dark fantasy genre (god damn auto-correct and swipe typing), or at least crystallizing it. I read the books years ago, then made my wife read them, and we still talk about parts of it to this day (almost a decade later). They're very well written, and don't waste a bunch of time diddling in empty fields with heros ridding across them.

    Edit: My wife brought up that it's riddled with dark comedy that helps break things up and ground the characters in a sort of reality.

    Edit2: I want to describe things further so hopefully even more people read this. The Black Company is a mercenary army. They are the most renown mercenaries in the land, often hired by cities to break sieges or defend against invasion. They are the best of the best. The saga follows the journey of a dozen plus characters from the Company as they are pulled through world shattering events. Unwilling protagonists in a land so riddled with strife it's hilarious anyone is even able to eek out an existence. There is very little magic in this world, and the magic that does exist is more powerful than the magic you learn about in traditional fantasy. There are wizards, but they are few, and even further between. Parlor tricks and flashes of light are more common than fireballs and lightning bolts.

    Great evils erupt and spill across the realm. Unlikely and unlikeable heros grab their blade and stand ready to do battle, not in the name of saving the world, but only to make a bit more coin. Characters you grow to love and cherish fall in the chaos of battle. Each battle lost echos across the world. Each victory nothing but a small step forward.

    Anon the Felon on
    ElvenshaeMrGrimoireFiendishrabbit
  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    Grislo wrote: »
    Rend wrote: »
    The Dark is Rising Sequence are both up for recommendation, not just because they seem like they'd be a good fit, but as they're for children and/or young adults, it would be particularly good to maybe put them down to eventually give to our incoming new child!

    I loved that series as a kid, but the second book is so much better than the first that it might be worth it to just start there. It won't really matter.

    Oh yeah, do that. I always forget about the first book, since I never go back and reread it, and the second book is the series name.

    ===

    I don't know about Annals of the Black Company. I think that could be a pretty stressful read, although again, mind control and enslavement make me angry so maybe it's just me. And like Game of Thrones, you, uh, don't want to get too attached to any of the characters.

  • SilverWindSilverWind Registered User regular
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    Orogogus wrote: »
    Tigana actually made me kind of angry. There's a little bit of mind control in it, and that always rubs me the wrong way.

    Tigana is my least favourite of what I consider to be the “good” Guy Gavriel Kay novels. There were aspects of it that I thought were really cool and edgy when I was reading them at age 13, around the time I read A Game of Thrones for the first time, and that the 36 year old me just looks at and goes “ew, nope.”

    Under Heaven, Lions of Al-Rassan, and the Sarentine books are the ones I consider worth diving in to, with the others worth picking up if a person decides that they like his books.

    My book club (four women and one guy) all uniformly loved Tigana. There is a smidgen of mind control, but with a long consideration of how awful or monstrous you have to be it is to subvert another's autonomy (one of the smaller running themes of the book, IMO).

    I preferred it to Under Heaven, but that may be down to personal preference. Kay's good, either way. :D

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  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    SilverWind wrote: »
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    Orogogus wrote: »
    Tigana actually made me kind of angry. There's a little bit of mind control in it, and that always rubs me the wrong way.

    Tigana is my least favourite of what I consider to be the “good” Guy Gavriel Kay novels. There were aspects of it that I thought were really cool and edgy when I was reading them at age 13, around the time I read A Game of Thrones for the first time, and that the 36 year old me just looks at and goes “ew, nope.”

    Under Heaven, Lions of Al-Rassan, and the Sarentine books are the ones I consider worth diving in to, with the others worth picking up if a person decides that they like his books.

    My book club (four women and one guy) all uniformly loved Tigana. There is a smidgen of mind control, but with a long consideration of how awful or monstrous you have to be it is to subvert another's autonomy (one of the smaller running themes of the book, IMO).

    I preferred it to Under Heaven, but that may be down to personal preference. Kay's good, either way. :D

    Yeah. I thought it was awful and monstrous, and I was upset they won instead of having their genetic line exterminated. It gets me mad every time I think of that book.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    @Rend Traitor Baru Cormmorant is a great novel, but it is by no means light reading. I believe the writer once described the sequel as "How much of the cost of revolution can you put on the subjugated before you’re worse than their oppressors? And given the betrayals Baru has executed, can she ever convince herself she’s worthy of love or happiness? Can she ever be worthy of those things again?"

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson
  • RendRend Registered User regular
    I highly appreciate the warning! I will definitely take that into account when purchasing, and if I do still buy it I will make sure she knows what to expect.

  • FrozenzenFrozenzen Registered User regular
    You could check out Trudi Canavans books as well for some light reading. It's fairly well done young adult fare with some very enjoyable parts. Her best work is her first trilogy, starting with the magicians guild, and her latest starting with thief's magic.

  • MrGrimoireMrGrimoire Pixflare Registered User regular
    The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie.
    It's a fantasy plot about a succession that's going wrong. What's interesting is that it's told, more or less, in second person and written so well that the unusual POV works out excellently.
    It's got very good characters, very good world building, and it's well written. And Ann Leckie is a pretty cool woman.

    SimpsoniaDevoutlyApathetic
  • SimpsoniaSimpsonia Registered User regular
    edited July 23
    MrGrimoire wrote: »
    The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie.
    It's a fantasy plot about a succession that's going wrong. What's interesting is that it's told, more or less, in second person and written so well that the unusual POV works out excellently.
    It's got very good characters, very good world building, and it's well written. And Ann Leckie is a pretty cool woman.

    This is such a great book! I really loved the non-standard narration and it just gelled together so well at the end.

    Another one I just thought of was Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. It's sort of a dark comedy based in a world where monsters terrorize humans, touring mercenary bands that venture out to fight them back are treated as rockstars. Our protagonist was once a member of a merc band that was bigger than the Beatles, but has been disbanded 20 years now. But the band is dragged back together for one last trek across the terrifying Heartwyld forrest to rescue one of the band member's daughters trapped in a city besieged by a hundred thousand monsters.

    Edit: Thought of another one City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. It's a fun fantasy novel, but instead of orcs and elves, it's set in more of a middle eastern folklore setting with sultains and djinni.

    Simpsonia on
    Mugsley
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    O

    The Dragonbone Chair series by Tad Williams -- nothing super surprising in here but well crafted.

    There's also the on-going sequel trilogy The Last King of Osten Ard (book two just came out) and stand alone intermediate novel The Heart of What Was Lost Williams has out now.

    :so_raven:
  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    A bunch of people recommended Eddings, but I remember not liking the Belgariad, and just got around to reading through the synopses when it came back to me.
    Zedar really got a raw deal. I mean, enslaved by Torak, yes. But more than that, I think it's heavily implied that the light prophecy intentionally created Zedar's obsession with the orb so that he'd get caught by Torak, leading to him killing Durnik thousands of years later, preventing Polgara from going over to Torak, and therefore saving the world. And the heroes are total slimeballs about it, with zero sympathy for their brother who had his will snuffed out, instead sticking him into solid rock for eternity because they suffered their first casualty after like four thousand of pages. Their attitude through the books is more like, oh, Zedar was kind of a sniveling coward when he was on our side, oh I never liked Zedar in the first place, etc. What a pack of backstabbing goatfuckers. In my headcanon Zedar had the wherewithal to not kill the muggle trying to punch an immortal sorcerer to death, the evil god crucified all the good guys, and the whole putrid universe collapsed on itself.

    I don't think I've read a lot of books that have made me angry, but it seems like all the ones that did have been recommended in this thread.

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