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Recommended fantasy novels?

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    DynagripDynagrip Break me a million hearts HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    Whatever you do, stay very far away from Carol Berg.

    Dynagrip on
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    Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Tastyfish wrote:
    Glaeal wrote:
    Where's a good place to start to get into Warhammer 40K?
    If you really want to, the Eisenhorn trilogy (Xenos, Hereticus and Malleus) are supposed to be some of the best and everyone raves about Gaunt's Ghosts. Quite liked what I've read of For the Emperor! though its a comedy one (done in the style of the Flashman novels apparently, but this means nothing to me).

    However the obvious first place to start is here, the Black Library's PDF archive, where they have a chapter or so of each book for you to read. See if any grab you and then pick those up.
    Note that Dan Abnet's books are not properly 40k, as they flatly lack the grim fatalism that the universe is supposed to engender. It's Star Wars with Russes instead of AT-ATs.

    Salvation122 on
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    KusuguttaiKusuguttai __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    Harry Potter.


    *ducks and runs*

    Kusuguttai on
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    Lord Of The PantsLord Of The Pants Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    see317 wrote:
    You may look into some of Clive Barker's works. I'd classify Weaveworld in as fantasy with a bit of horror tossed in for fun. Not everything he does is leather clad BDSM nightmares. A lot is, yes. But not everything. Still wish I could find a copy of Hellbound Heart, the story they based the Hellraiser series off of. Can't find a copy though. Anyway, back on topic...

    Weave world is great, untill about a third of the way through the book, where it reaches a natural cadence, and feels it should finish. But the book ain't over till Barker says it's over. I liked the first third, which is good, as i'm not a Barker fan (Weave world? *snoooooreee*)

    Props to the Dark Tower series, love it or hate it, the third book is fantastic. Don't worry about reading after that. ;)

    *And obligitory Feist mention.*

    Lord Of The Pants on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Jinx wrote:
    Fencingsax wrote:
    I, for one enjoyed The Symphony of Ages by Elizabeth Hayden. I have heard it described as a "Romance disguised as Fantasy", though. So it may not float your boat.

    It is romance disguised as fantasy in some sense, and that aspect can get really annoying because all of the characters suddenly get lobotomies when they get near each other. Rhapsody, the protagonist, swings back and forth between brilliant and unbelievably dense. She's the most beautiful woman in the world and has no idea, speaks only the truth, etc. etc. She sometimes seems like the ultimat MarySue and loses her appeal. Achmed and Grunthor, the two supporting characters, are really the ones who drive continued interest in the story. Perfection like Rhapsody's is not interesting.

    Well, duuh. I don't read the books because she's interesting. Because she's very not.

    Also, We're looking for good fantasy, not mediocre fantasy. So no HP.

    Fencingsax on
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    TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Tastyfish wrote:
    Glaeal wrote:
    Where's a good place to start to get into Warhammer 40K?
    If you really want to, the Eisenhorn trilogy (Xenos, Hereticus and Malleus) are supposed to be some of the best and everyone raves about Gaunt's Ghosts. Quite liked what I've read of For the Emperor! though its a comedy one (done in the style of the Flashman novels apparently, but this means nothing to me).

    However the obvious first place to start is here, the Black Library's PDF archive, where they have a chapter or so of each book for you to read. See if any grab you and then pick those up.
    Note that Dan Abnet's books are not properly 40k, as they flatly lack the grim fatalism that the universe is supposed to engender. It's Star Wars with Russes instead of AT-ATs.
    Totally, I personally can't stand him but he seems to have made a living off writing for various licenses from 40K and 2000AD to Torchwood and Dr Who. Bizarre given the fact he seems to not bother actually reading the source material. His Darkblade books are so out of date its unreal, nor do they even bother to look at the more interesting side of the conflict between the elven nations, its just a bad elf killing things.

    I guess a lot of his readers haven't actually read any decent scifi or fantasy, nor really look into what actually makes the 40K and WFB universes stand apart from their peers. *Hint* its not heroic Space Marines

    Then again, I take this stuff far to seriously...

    Tastyfish on
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    KusuguttaiKusuguttai __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    Dear Fencingsax,
    Blow me!
    Blow me all night long!

    Gay Butt Love,
    Kusu

    Kusuguttai on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Dear Fencingsax,
    Blow me!
    Blow me all night long!

    Gay Butt Love,
    Kusu


    What did I do now?

    Fencingsax on
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    KusuguttaiKusuguttai __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Dear Fencingsax,
    Blow me!
    Blow me all night long!

    Gay Butt Love,
    Kusu


    What did I do now?

    HP is alright, not mediocre. It's alright. It's not fantastic, although I am addicted to it :P

    Kusuguttai on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Dear Fencingsax,
    Blow me!
    Blow me all night long!

    Gay Butt Love,
    Kusu


    What did I do now?

    HP is alright, not mediocre. It's alright. It's not fantastic, although I am addicted to it :P

    all right and mediocre are synonyms, you jackass.

    Fencingsax on
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    KusuguttaiKusuguttai __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Dear Fencingsax,
    Blow me!
    Blow me all night long!

    Gay Butt Love,
    Kusu


    What did I do now?

    HP is alright, not mediocre. It's alright. It's not fantastic, although I am addicted to it :P

    all right and mediocre are synonyms, you jackass.
    Mediocre just implies to me that it's a little below alright, but I don't know.

    I DONT KNOW FENCING

    WHY WON'T YOU LOVE ME AGAIN

    Kusuguttai on
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    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Dynagrip wrote:
    Yeah, I thought she was super trashy. Especially the part where the evil princess captures the male protagonist and incites him to rape her so that she might have his child. Meanwhile, his wife, the female protagonist, is being gangraped in a closet somewhere by the princess' guards. Classy!
    Melanie Rawn writes the least convincing male characters out of every female fantasy author I've ever read, by a long shot. It was pretty bad.

    Senjutsu on
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    DynagripDynagrip Break me a million hearts HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    Senjutsu wrote:
    Dynagrip wrote:
    Yeah, I thought she was super trashy. Especially the part where the evil princess captures the male protagonist and incites him to rape her so that she might have his child. Meanwhile, his wife, the female protagonist, is being gangraped in a closet somewhere by the princess' guards. Classy!
    Melanie Rawn writes the least convincing male characters out of every female fantasy author I've ever read, by a long shot. It was pretty bad.
    You should read Carol Berg. I think she was worse.

    Dynagrip on
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    JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I hate to do this here, since I don't want to turn it into a megathread, but I may talk with some people via pm - have any of you read any of the following series?

    Cenotaph Road by Robert Vardeman (6 novels, short paperback, older)
    The Complete Book of Swords/The Lost Swords by Fred Saberhagen (one trilogy, 8 standalone novels later repackaged as two trilogies and the last pair, and an anthology)
    Crown of Stars by Kate Elliott (seven books, just finished this past year)

    Jragghen on
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    BushmaoriBushmaori Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Deverry series by Katharine Kerr, easy but good

    Bushmaori on
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    JinxJinx Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    What are some examples of male characters done well? ... by female authors, I suppose. Being that I have no fucking clue, I'm really interested in knowing more. So many characters seem like their gender is completely irrelevant except for tossing in some kind of romance subplot.

    Jinx on
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    JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Jinx wrote:
    What are some examples of male characters done well? ... by female authors, I suppose. Being that I have no fucking clue, I'm really interested in knowing more. So many characters seem like their gender is completely irrelevant except for tossing in some kind of romance subplot.

    I'd say that both Hobb and Elliott do well with male characters while being female writers.

    Of course, i'm hard pressed to think of other female fantasy authors (aside from Rowling the the sort, but I don't read hers).

    Jragghen on
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    Eight RooksEight Rooks Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    They've already been put forward, but I thought Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel novels were very, very interesting explorations of gender roles and preconceived notions thereof. I don't think they always work as well as she must have hoped, but the characterisation of the two leads (three counting most of the third book and all of the fourth) and the romantic tension between them - and how this all comes together not only in terms of a study of gender and personal relations but also in an examination of how these things reflect on wider issues that affect the world at large... it's some of the most considered and thought-provoking writing on this kind of thing I've ever read.

    Eight Rooks on
    <AtlusParker> Sorry I'm playing Pokemon and vomiting at the same time so I'm not following the conversation in a linear fashion.

    Read my book. (It has a robot in it.)
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    Dublo7Dublo7 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Don't read the Wheel of Time. Just don't do it. It is morally wrong to read the Wheel of Time.

    Totally. I personally think robbing an old Grandmother is more justified than reading WoT.

    Dublo7 on
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    Eight RooksEight Rooks Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Dublo7 wrote:
    Don't read the Wheel of Time. Just don't do it. It is morally wrong to read the Wheel of Time.

    Totally. I personally think robbing an old Grandmother is more justified than reading WoT.

    I should take those old grandmothers off my bookshelf. They're starting to smell. <_<

    Eight Rooks on
    <AtlusParker> Sorry I'm playing Pokemon and vomiting at the same time so I'm not following the conversation in a linear fashion.

    Read my book. (It has a robot in it.)
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    JebuJebu Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Stardust by Neil Gaiman is a nice little (adult) fairy tale. I'd recommend it to anybody who'd like to start reading fantasy but wants something to bridge the gap first.

    Jebu on
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    HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Is every Neil Gaiman book about a boring normal person uncovering a mythical/mystical sub-reality that has factions clashing over some bullshit? It's hard for me to justify buying another one of his books when that seems to be the trend with him.

    Hoz on
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    Eight RooksEight Rooks Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I think Stardust is one of the best books I've ever read, but yeah, you could sum it up like that were you so inclined.

    Eight Rooks on
    <AtlusParker> Sorry I'm playing Pokemon and vomiting at the same time so I'm not following the conversation in a linear fashion.

    Read my book. (It has a robot in it.)
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    HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Well the sad thing is that I've never read it. I've read a few of his other books.

    Hoz on
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Hoz wrote:
    Is every Neil Gaiman book about a boring normal person uncovering a mythical/mystical sub-reality that has factions clashing over some bullshit? It's hard for me to justify buying another one of his books when that seems to be the trend with him.

    Eh, i'd say only Neverwhere falls into that classification. Shadow and Fat Charlie (in American Gods and Anansi Boys) are hardly boring - besides, pretty much all fantasy has some kind of epic conflict going on. That's what fantasy is good at.

    KalTorak on
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    Eight RooksEight Rooks Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    KalTorak wrote:
    Hoz wrote:
    Is every Neil Gaiman book about a boring normal person uncovering a mythical/mystical sub-reality that has factions clashing over some bullshit? It's hard for me to justify buying another one of his books when that seems to be the trend with him.

    Eh, i'd say only Neverwhere falls into that classification. Shadow and Fat Charlie (in American Gods and Anansi Boys) are hardly boring - besides, pretty much all fantasy has some kind of epic conflict going on. That's what fantasy is good at.

    I'd say Neverwhere and American Gods could both fall into that classification; I was assuming he'd read one or both of them and come to that conclusion. ;) I don't agree, but hey, opinions lolz and so on.

    Eight Rooks on
    <AtlusParker> Sorry I'm playing Pokemon and vomiting at the same time so I'm not following the conversation in a linear fashion.

    Read my book. (It has a robot in it.)
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    mrflippymrflippy Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    C. J. Cherryh's foreigner series is also somewhat interesting. It is science fiction rather than fantasy (for those who draw a distinction), but it has an interesting focus on the interaction between an alien culture and their human ambassador.
    Cherryh is one of my favorite authors. She has some good fantasy series as well. Her Fortress series (First book is Fortress in the Eye of Time) and Morgaine cycle (First book is Gate of Ivrel) are worth a look I think.

    Though, now that I think about it, the Morgaine books are really science fantasy or something, but whatever.

    mrflippy on
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    DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    The only fantasy novel I can recommend is The Silmarillion.

    I'm a huge fan of epics and mythology, and The Silmarillion is essentially a "fictional" mythology.

    DisruptorX2 on
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    DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited November 2006
    George RR Martin has it down, as I am sure has been stated dozens of times.

    Sword of Truth is one large anti-commie rant.

    Wheel of Time....well ugh. Read books 1, 3, 5, and 11 and you are good. Eleven really redeems a lot, but you have to remember there are 7 books of utter and complete sin that it had to make up for, so yeah.

    Unknown User on
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    BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Rygar wrote:

    Sword of Truth is one large anti-commie rant.

    Goodkind hates commies but he fucking loves rape and demon sex.

    Balefuego on
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    KusuguttaiKusuguttai __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    Demon sex? Count me in!

    Kusuguttai on
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    JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Balefuego wrote:
    Rygar wrote:

    Sword of Truth is one large anti-commie rant.

    Goodkind hates commies but he fucking loves rape and demon sex.

    And having multiple wives, and S&M

    Jragghen on
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    Mongrel IdiotMongrel Idiot Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Balefuego wrote:
    Rygar wrote:

    Sword of Truth is one large anti-commie rant.

    Goodkind hates commies but he fucking loves rape and demon sex.
    Let's be fair, now, who DOESN'T love rape and demon sex?

    Mongrel Idiot on
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    see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Balefuego wrote:
    Rygar wrote:

    Sword of Truth is one large anti-commie rant.

    Goodkind hates commies but he fucking loves rape and demon sex.
    Let's be fair, now, who DOESN'T love rape and demon sex?
    I know the demon sex was a large part of what got me to read that series.

    see317 on
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    captainkcaptaink TexasRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    KalTorak wrote:
    Hoz wrote:
    Is every Neil Gaiman book about a boring normal person uncovering a mythical/mystical sub-reality that has factions clashing over some bullshit? It's hard for me to justify buying another one of his books when that seems to be the trend with him.

    Eh, i'd say only Neverwhere falls into that classification. Shadow and Fat Charlie (in American Gods and Anansi Boys) are hardly boring - besides, pretty much all fantasy has some kind of epic conflict going on. That's what fantasy is good at.

    I'd say Neverwhere and American Gods could both fall into that classification; I was assuming he'd read one or both of them and come to that conclusion. ;) I don't agree, but hey, opinions lolz and so on.
    But Richard in Neverwhere is so completely boring, that's part of the fun. He's just too much of a nice, British guy to deal with a feudal cutthroat society at all. Another fun thing with Gaiman is the mythology. It's neat if you reckognize where he got his names, themes and ideas. Maybe it's just not for you.

    I'd say every Gaiman novel I've read is a guy realizing there's another layer to the world. Fat Charlie is much like Richard, Shadow is definitely not.

    Yyour generalization covers just about any fantasy book where the character starts in our Earth too.

    captaink on
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    MorskittarMorskittar Lord Warlock Engineer SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I'm going to reiterate: anyone not reading Howard is a goddamn pussy. Or some other derogatory thing.

    Morskittar on
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    StudioAudienceStudioAudience Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I understand that Eragon is supposed to be pretty low on the fantasy scale, but it was easy to pick up and read whenever I had spare time. I especially liked the whole connection thing that Eragon had w/ his dragon.

    Can someone recommend any other fantasy books that have this type of main character/badass talking animal relationship?

    StudioAudience on
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    Zephyr_FateZephyr_Fate Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    GRRM.

    And Jon/Ghost relationship in the ASOIAF series is far more thrilling than Eragon/Saphira.

    Hell, Drakengard does dragon-talking better and it's not even a book series.

    Zephyr_Fate on
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    siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    Why aren't we talking more about Latro? I still don't know what to make of him as a protagonist, other than "Asskicker +++ WOULD BUY FROM AGAIN".

    Thanks for reminding me of the book, btw.

    As far as Rhapsody goes..I dunno. I'm kind of divided on the entire storyline. Yes, Rhapsody is a bit too Mary Sue-ish at times for my tastes (I was a whore and a swordswoman olol michael waste of breath olol), but there were other times that I thought she showed her facets as a rounded charecter.

    [spoiler:1631216c8e] I thought when she decided to marry Ashe's Uncle, the one everyone feared, that was a stroke of brilliance. On the other hand, I think she showed what an idiot she was when she tried to renounce Achmed for building his own Lightcatcher.[/spoiler:1631216c8e]

    I think the excuse that the author seemed to use was that Rhapsody thought from her heart, and so she was right a lot of times. Reading the books in the next trilogy though, it seems as if she's steered away from Rhapsody using her heart as a guide to mean that she's always right, especially in the latter example above.

    However, I did get a lot of mileage out how whenever Ashe goes charging into a situation sword a waving, he usually fucks it up. I also liked how she was foreshadowing Ashe and Achmed having to fight it out sometime in the future.

    Really, I'd have to recommend you pick up the books themselves and judge and see if they're your deal or not. As far as the charecters go, here's the breakdown:

    Rhapsody - Vaguely Mary Sue-ish swordswoman/musician elf type lady who's immortal and so good hearted she makes Mary Poppins look like a whore. Likes to "shoot from the gut" like our president.

    Ashe - Your token fantasy hero, who also likes to shoot from the gut a lot. Results vary, but usually they end up with him looking like a fool and angsting around a lot until someone shuts him up. You may choke on the PATHOS that radiates from him.

    Gunthar - Firbolg (Think ogrish) Sergeant Major. Stomps around a lot. Fulfils the Chewbacca role.

    Achmed - Bad ass motherfucker who answers to no one. Ninja-ish. Through some quirk of circumstance is part Firbolg and part Dhracian (think human - praying mantis like people). Has a gun that fires killer frisbees.

    siliconenhanced on
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    Dublo7Dublo7 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Balefuego wrote:
    Rygar wrote:

    Sword of Truth is one large anti-commie rant.

    Goodkind hates commies but he fucking loves rape and demon sex.
    And chickens, that are actually evil manifest!

    Dublo7 on
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