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Books, and suggested readingsFollow

#1 Jan 22 2004 at 8:24 AM Rating: Decent
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Some time back I was having a great chat in Guild about favorite authors.... so I continue it here to see of any other good suggestions:

Steven Brust ( www.dreamcafe.com/main.html )
Pretty much anything by him was fun for me... especialy in the story line about Vlad Taltos

Michael Moorcock ( www.multiverse.org/phpnuke/ )
In particular, his stories about Elric. Very Very very dark sword and sorcery. He also has various other series that are interconnected... Via the Eternal Champion..(Elric is one incarnation of this eternal champion, as is Corum; Hawkmoon, Cornelius(this guy is more of a modern/future time incarnation), Von Bek, and the list goes on)

Margret Weis and Tracy Hickman (known for Dragon Lance books) are right on the top for me. In particular is the "Death Gate Cycle" A series of 7 books, that will keep you on your toes, make you fall in love with the characters, cry when they die... and well this series just **** rocks...

Fred Saberhagen's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Book of Swords.

Piers Anthony - Xanth Series
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#2 Jan 22 2004 at 3:16 PM Rating: Decent
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R.A. Salvatore's stuff is pretty good.
People have a lot of good things to say about George RR Martin's Clash of Kings series, although I haven't read it.
Joel Rosenberg, Emma Bull (a friend of Brust's), Terry Goodkind (although it's all downhill after the first few books).
Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Neal Stephenson, Wilhemina Baird, Laurell K Hamilton.

Non F&SF, John Sanford, Robert Parker, Karen Kajiewski (sp?).

That's a start.
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#3 Jan 22 2004 at 3:18 PM Rating: Decent
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Tanya Huff's Summoning Trilogy:

Summon the Keeper
The Second Summoning
A Long Hot Summoning

Beware: Do not attempt to read these novels without your tongue firmly in your cheek.

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#6 Jan 25 2004 at 8:52 PM Rating: Good
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I wasn't too impressed with the Death Gate Cycle. I do, however, believe that the Rose of the Prophet trilogy is underrated. It's not like Tolkien or anything, but I enjoyed it at least as much as the Dragonlance books (well, the first six anyway.. enjoyed it *much* more than anything after).

I much enjoyed Dennis McKiernan's Iron Tower trilogy and Silver Call duology though I haven't read his later stuff. Obviously an hommage to Tolkien and the like (he says so from the beginning), it's a "classic" high fantasy tale that I found fun to read.
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#7 Jan 27 2004 at 2:13 PM Rating: Decent
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I loved the Death Gate Cycle myself as well as enjoying most books based on the Forgotten Realms. I highly recommend at least reading one passage from the Death Gate Cycle: In the book "Seventh Gate", in the end there is an appendix and a short passage called "Drops of Water." For some reason, this passage has and probably always will, stand out to me.

However, I thought I'd also vouch for "American Gods" by Neil Gainman. I was first introduced to this author through comics with "Sandman." Even if you aren't a big fan of comics, I do recommend one "Sandman" graphic novel: "The Dream Hunters." This features the art from Yositaka Amano of Final Fantasy fame.

However, back on books.. My significant other bought me a series of books called the Farseer series by Robin Hobb which I recommend.

For complete classics, stuff like Xanth and the Belgariad series are simply astounding (I do consider Death Gate Cycle a classic though as well.)

~Leo

Edited, Tue Jan 27 14:17:49 2004 by Leodorin
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#8 Jan 27 2004 at 4:37 PM Rating: Good
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Piers Anthony's near pedeophilic obsession with nine year old girls and their undergarments creeps me out too much to enjoy his stuff.

That said, On a Pale Horse was a pretty good book, but the rest of the Incarnation series became a parody of itself with all the characters inbred beyond reason (Mars is dating the sister of Death's girlfriend who is the mother of Fate who is the cousin of Nature's boyfriend who is Satan's uncle.. etc)
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#9 Jan 30 2004 at 7:12 AM Rating: Decent
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I loved the Rose of the Prophet books... ;)
too bad they all drowned in the basement a year ago *sighs*

Else I recently got into Mercedes Lackey and her Bardic Voices books
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#10 May 28 2004 at 12:33 AM Rating: Decent
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I personally have loved all the Morgan Llywelyn books I have read, which is every one of them I could get my hands on. Most of her books seem to be out of print though. *cries* She always wrote historical fiction based on the Celtic tribes and Irish folklore. Finn Mac Cool would be my favorite of her books, I couldn't put it down for anything. Ten hours for me to read it (insanely fast for me, who usually reads around 20 pages an hour, it's a 530 page book) and I don't think I even took a bathroom break during that time, I was so engrossed.

Weis and Hickman got me interested in reading to begin with through the Dragonlance Chronicles way back when I was a little kid. I guess it was around '86 when I first picked up Dragons of Autumn Twilight. But my absolute favorite series of theirs would definitely be the Death Gate Cycle.

Neil Gaiman's books are amazing *hugs his autographed copy of American Gods* as well as his Sandman and Death comics. Still anxiously awaiting more news about the Death movie he was supposedly screenwriting based on "The High Cost of Living", if the project is even still valid.

R.A. Salvatore is still putting out good books at a respectable interval.

I know Terry Pratchett receives mixed reviews on this board, but I have all his Discworld novels and have enjoyed them all.
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#11 Jun 09 2004 at 10:52 AM Rating: Decent
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I agree with many of the sentaments above but would like to help broaden horizons just a little for the would be reader.

Here are a couple of lesser known authors who you may want to have alook at.

J.V. Jones: The Barbed Coil is a pretty unique book and the 'Master and Fool' trilogy is pretty decent. Without doubt her present work 'The Caverns of black ice' and 'Fortress of grey ice' are exceptional pieces of work.

Orsen Scott Card:The 'Enders' books are very very good and i rated the Alvin series quite highly, he never lets you down.

Katherine Kerr, L.E. Modesitt Jnr, David Eddings, Raymond E Fiest and Anne McCaffery are also very talented but slightly better known.
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#12 Jun 13 2004 at 11:24 PM Rating: Decent
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Wow, another Stephen Brust fan, thought I'd never see the day. I personally prefer the Phoenix Gaurd saga though.

I recommend trying the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons. It's second only to the Dune series in my opinion.
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#13 Jun 15 2004 at 4:00 PM Rating: Decent
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Niel Stephensen's Snow Crash and Diamond Age...excellent.
#14 Jun 16 2004 at 12:31 AM Rating: Decent
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Orsen Scott Card:The 'Enders' books are very very good and i rated the Alvin series quite highly, he never lets you down

Haven't read the Alvin series, but I'm working on the Earthfall series now. I enjoyed Ender and I REALLY like this guys writing style. I recommend him to all.
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#15 Jun 17 2004 at 1:10 AM Rating: Decent
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Diamond Age was wonderful, I need to read some of his other books.
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#16 Jul 29 2004 at 3:02 AM Rating: Decent
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Haha. I used to *love* The Rose of the Prophet books, they were great fun when I was younger... I'm not sure what I'd think now that I'm older and pickier.

My favorite authors:

Frank Herbert (Dune series)
Greg Bear (currently reading the Forge of God)
Dan Simmons (Hyperion series)
Lynn Abbey (hard to find, but brilliant characterization)
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#17 Aug 11 2004 at 5:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Just saw this at the library today,

Guy Gavriel Kay's latest offering, The Last Light of the Sun.

For those that don't know, Kay is the guy that compiled Tolkien's notes into The Silmarillion.

He's also written a number of novels on his own, all of which I've read and liked. Most of them are fantasy novels in a setting much like historical earth, and some are based on historical events in our own world.

The stories are usually good enough, but its his writing that really shines. Sort of like that particular singer who'd voice you can't get enough of... doesn't matter what he or she is singing, its just the WAY they sing.

Well, that's what this guy is like. If you like Elaine Cunningham, R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman, or David Gemmel... keep away, you won't like this at all.

#18 Aug 11 2004 at 7:01 PM Rating: Good
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I like most of Weiss & Hickman but had a thread in the Asylum panning Salvatore. So should I only read his book halfway? Smiley: wink
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#19 Sep 03 2004 at 4:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Guy Gavriel Kay's latest offering, The Last Light of the Sun.



I just finished this the other day, and I was terribly disappointed.

Usually Kay's books are filled with all manner of intrigue, unforeseen twists and magnificent character development.

Last light of the Sun had none of this. Even his usually elegant, flowing prose seemed stilted and uneven. The story isn't even very interesting, the reader doesn't get to spend enough time with any of the characters to find out much about them at all, and the scene shifts are so scattered that is difficult at times to determine where the action is taking place.

I really expected much better from him.

#20 Sep 03 2004 at 5:33 PM Rating: Decent
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I've read most of the Ender series, but I haven't tried the Shadowpuppet set from OSC. Absolutely loved it.

My favorite author, though, is Robert Anton Wilson. His "signature book" was cowritten with Robert Shea (and is usually found under Shea's name, not RAW's) and is called The Illuminatus! Trilogy. Fair warning, though: it's a hard set to get started on; most of the first 200 pages or so don't make much sense the first time through. I usually tell people to read to page 200, and then decide whether they want to keep going or not.
Margaret Weis also did the Star of the Guardians trilogy, though they're hard to find in print. Very well done.

Fred Saberhagen's Book of Swords series is epic; I've heard rumors that there was a prehistory that set up the world for the Book of Swords, but I've yet to find any substantiation for it. I'd love to read such if it exists.

I have all the Pratchett books as well; I actually got a friend of mine, who hates modern SF&F, to read The Colour of Magic, and he's fallen in love with the series.

Frank Herbert is a classic, though I haven't gotten myself interested in reading his son's books.
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#21 Sep 06 2004 at 4:21 PM Rating: Decent
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I have to say my all time favorite author is Terry Brooks. The Shannara series, Landover Series, and Word and Void series are all great reads IMO. Also liked Terry Goodkinds stuff and R.A. Salvatore also.
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#22 Sep 06 2004 at 7:07 PM Rating: Good
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I like most of Weiss & Hickman but had a thread in the Asylum panning Salvatore.


Read the Cleric Quintent series by Salvatore, it is not his usual fare, well done characters and story.

Elizabeth Haydon, new author, Rhapsody series.
Roger Zelzany <sp> , Amber series.

Weis and Hickman are very good when it comes to the Dragonlance series. The Deathgate Cycle was not for me. Soveriegn Stone is fun though. I like how the perspective changes in each book.

Herbert is good, and his son has done a admirable job.
I am a big reader of anything that is a "Forgotten Realms" novel, many different authors, but a world in common.

Sanctuary series was good, but different.

My favorite Eterenal champion is probably Elric Kinslayer, but Corum is a close second, Moorcock does a good job with his series.

Brooks Shannara series's are good, though the third one seemed a bit week in my opinion but a fun read none the less.
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#23 Sep 10 2004 at 7:53 AM Rating: Decent
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Terry Brooks is an interesting author. If you begin with his first, Sword of Shannara, and go to some of his later work, like the Demon Series of books, you can see some remarkable improvement. It's really fun to watch an author progress like that because it isn't always noticable.

Anne McCaffrey is another interesting author but I think this might have to do with the fact that she is a woman writing a fantasy series who isn't Margret Weiss. You can tell that a female wrote the series and this makes it a very welcome change to the "CONQUEST AND DESTRUCTION AND BOOBS" that we some(often)times see in fantasy. I'm not saying that stuff is bad, McCaffrey is just a welcome change.

Roger Zelany and the Chronicles of Amber are really fun to read (and if you're into the pen and paper RPG's, fun to play as well for a distraction from games that rely too much on dice).

Stephen King and his Dark Tower series have brought me to absolutely adore Stephen King. If you have ever wanted a great sweeping storyline that encompasses everything Stephen King ever wrote, then this series is for you. Western, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Drug Addiction Drama, Post Apocalyptic Entertainment, and more are all rolled up into this 7 book series (Last book coming out soon!)

Neal Stephenson is good if you've ever wanted to laugh and be in awe of just how much you can read at once. Snow Crash and The Diamomd Age, which have been mentioned previously, are really entertaining takes on very similar stories.

William Gibson finds himself always disappointing readers in his inability to really end a story well but his books are always interesting. Pattern Recognition is probably one of my favorite books of all time.

I repeated some stuff but it was worthy of repeating. A lot of the other stuff here is good as well and a lot more i just ordered from Amazon!^^

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#24 Sep 12 2004 at 7:32 AM Rating: Decent
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Anne McCaffrey is another interesting author but I think this might have to do with the fact that she is a woman writing a fantasy series who isn't Margret Weiss.
Just for info

J.V.Jones
Katherine Kerr
Anne Scarborough

All female authors, all equally as talanted as Mrs McCaffery.

I just finished reading James Clemens Witchfire the first of The banned and the banished'.

While it seems to be following the R Jorden line of 'as many main charicters as possible' it was a good read, i will be picking the second book up this week.

Further reports to follow.
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#25 Sep 13 2004 at 6:21 AM Rating: Decent
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Adding the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey. Very interesting mix of fantasy, mythology, erotica, and mystery, and some damned engaging characters.

Before reading, however, make sure you are not offended by any number of "alternative" forms of sexual expression, not limited to sadism/masochism and homosexuality. The protagonist is, after all, a divinely touched hard-core masochist.

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#26 Sep 14 2004 at 4:34 AM Rating: Good
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Adding the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey.


I have always shared my books with my father, since he is an avid sci-fi fantasy reader, except these. They were good, but not something I would share with just anyone.
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You are not your magic weapon and armor. You are not your spell buffs. You are not how much gold you have, or how many times you've been raised from the dead. When a Big Bad Demon snaps your sword in two, you do not cry because that was your holy avenger. You leap onto its back, climb up to its head, and punch it in the eye, then get a new **** sword off of the next humanoid you headbutt to death.
#27 Sep 14 2004 at 8:04 AM Rating: Decent
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LOL, yeah, I can see why you would make that particular judgement call...
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#28 Sep 18 2004 at 5:59 AM Rating: Decent
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My personal favourites are:

'Dune' by Frank Herbert, vastly superior to the new books by Brian Herbert and Anderson (Battle of Corrin being just another disappointment). Still my favourite science-fiction book all times.

'Ilium' by Dan Simmons, almost as good as 'Dune'. Second part 'Olympos' being released this month and I just cannot wait!
(Hyperion being good too ofcourse, just that this 'Ilium' is even better)

'The Deathgate cycle' and the Dragonlance books by Weis&Hickman, I did not care for 'Rose of the Prophet' and definitely not for 'The Darksword' series. 'The Sovereign stone' however is pretty good but seems to suffer from a problem that Weis&Hickman have: they can create a perfect setting and story, but they seem to lack the ability of creating a good ending to that story. (even The Deathgate cycle has an ending that just feels like they couldn't find anything better, IMO)

'The chronicles of Cadwal' and 'Lyonesse' are two very good reasons for reading Jack Vance, for some reason Vance is just rarely mentioned in lists and that I find a pity. These two trilogies are excellent reading, with Vance's special style (especially his characters can be a bit weird at times) but very enjoyable.

'The world of Tiers' by Philip Josť Farmer. Another classic, IMO again ofcourse, but the final two parts of the series are not good at all, it is mainly the first three parts that are very good. (which leaves two parts that I found agreeable, not great but not that bad either)

'The many-coloured land' and the prequels to it by Julian May.

As for other writers, too many to name really, especially when I start to think of fantasy and science-fiction. Asimov, Heinlein, Philip K.D.ck (lol, can't write his name), Pratchett, Haldeman,...
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#29 Sep 23 2004 at 12:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Doh, how could I forget?

All time favorite novel, fantasy or otherwise, ever:

The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
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#30 Sep 28 2004 at 8:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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I find that most of Philip Jose Farmer's series start out really good and then suck more and more as they go. Prime example is the Riverworld series, where it seems halfway through he chucks the main idea/concept behind the series and starts making sh[b][/b]it up randomly...
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#31 Oct 01 2004 at 10:54 AM Rating: Decent
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True, 'Riverworld' and 'World of Tiers' series both suffered of this.

But I'ld say that most sci-fi or fantasy series suffer from this actually.

I've heard the same thing about Jordan or Tad Williams, but never read those two myself so I couldn't say myself.

But series by Weis&Hickman definitely have the same problem. 'The Deathgate cycle' being the best example: the first four books are great, but it goes downhill starting with book 5, IMO that is. 'The Sovereign stone' trilogy, the first two books are great, but the third one seems rushed and disappointing.

Asimov's 'The Foundation' series, 'Harry Potter' with a rather bad book 5, Frank Herbert's 'Dune' series: even if I personally consider 'Dune' the best book I've read so far, the last two parts of the series are not the same standard as the first four. (not even considering the new books by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, the 'House' books were reasonable, but the 'Legends' trilogy is bad), 'The chronicles of Thomas Covenant' by Donaldson (never really cared for the series but the first serie is the best one IMO), Anne Rice's 'The Vampire Chronicles' but that goes without saying perhaps... all series that I just feel that the start is very good but the last parts are not good anymore and in certain cases even terribly bad.

In fact, lol, I'ld have to think deep to find a series that I actually completely like, 'Amber' is one of them, but I believe that Zelazny was not finished with it. 'Lyonesse', 'The chronicles of Cadwal' and 'The Demon Princes' by Vance are IMO series that remain great all the way, but that's Vance perhaps.
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#32 Oct 09 2004 at 6:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Some of my favorites (individual books and/or series, in no particular order): Lord of the Rings by Tolkien; Song of Ice & Fire series by George R.R. Martin; Shannara series by Terry Brooks, Earthsea novels by Ursula K. Leguin, Fortress series by C.J. Cherryh, Deathgate series by Weis & Hickman, Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Dark Tower series by Stephen King, His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, The Bitterbynde trilogy by Celia Dart-Thornton, anything by Ray Bradbury, 1984 by George Orwell, Dune by Frank Herbert, and many more...

I'm currently reading The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Stephen R. Donaldson...on book 2, The Illearth War. Very impressive so far. ^^
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#33 Oct 10 2004 at 7:06 AM Rating: Decent
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Donaldson is writing a new series about 'Thomas Convenant', titled 'The last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant'. Part one is released in October this year, called 'The Runes of Earth'.

(btw Savidj, don't go looking for more info on the new series, several spoilers on the series you are currently reading even if you were to only read a synopsis of the new book)

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#34 Oct 10 2004 at 3:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Cool, thanks for the info. :) Sounds like I have a bit of reading to do, since I know there's a second trilogy, The Second Chronicles. And I appreciate the heads up about the spoilers; definitely wouldn't want to ruin anything in a great series like this.
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#35 Nov 14 2004 at 1:53 PM Rating: Decent
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Whoa. How did -

The Deed of Paksenarrion - Elizabeth Moon
The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R Tolkein
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
Good Omens - Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
The Myth series - Robert Asprin

- escape this list?

Paks is not only classic but one of my favorite all time series... although regrettably Moon did lots of junk collaberations and a very weak sequal to it. Her new Speed of Dark I hear good things about.
Neverwhere is a must for Sandman fans, and a total mindjob for people who havent experienced Gaiman before.
Good Omens is hilarious. Especially if you read it outloud in a restaurant.
The myth series is funny, dry, tedious, neverending... but short books and good when you dont have anything else to read and want to finish a story in a night.
and of course... tolkien. Dont watch the movies and think you know whats going on cause you dont. *le cry*. DARN YOU PETER JACKSON!! THE FIRST MOVIE WAS INCREDIBLE!

And i've met all these authors at cons except -regrettably- Tolkien (of course).
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