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Recommend some Fantasy BooksFollow

#1 Dec 10 2013 at 7:27 PM Rating: Good
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I've been working my way through the Sword of Truth series (Terry Goodkind), and while I greatly enjoyed the first two books, the the later ones are starting to become very Wheel of Time-y, if you know what I mean. I'm looking for a new fantasy series, so recommend away. Bonus points for series that are complete - I'd prefer not to wait another 5 years for progress/closure (ahem, GRRM).

Other fantasy books/series I've read (and liked) in the past include:
Dune
The Black Company
The Belgariad/The Mallorean
A Song of Ice and Fire
Lord of the Rings
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#2 Dec 10 2013 at 7:35 PM Rating: Good
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You need to read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

This is literally not optional. It's probably the single best fantasy novel of the past decade. The competition isn't even close. It's the first of a trilogy that isn't finished (only book 2 is out), but still.

The prose is some of the best I've ever read, without even considering genre, the main character is dynamic and interesting, the world building is deep and smooth (no long exposition, but still so rich).

And like with some of those series you mentioned, it's one of those worlds where magic isn't the end-all be-all. For one, the integration of magic into this world is actually REALLY interesting, and feels super fresh and new. It's also one where magic comes at a price (though not in the HA YOU'RE BARREN way of ASOIAF).

Plus, Kvothe (main character) is fully capable of doing some absolutely terrible things.

Read it. Order it now. DO IT.
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#3 Dec 10 2013 at 7:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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Do you want comedy with your fantasy? Try Discworld.

Each book is stand alone, so even though Sir Terry Pratchett is dying of Alzheimer's (*cry*), the series will not be "unfinished" - there just won't be any more.
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#4 Dec 10 2013 at 9:31 PM Rating: Good
The Dark Tower books are pretty good. Easier to get through if you like Stephen King & have already read some of his stuff as a lot of TdT books tie either directly or indirectly into his others.
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#5 Dec 10 2013 at 10:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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Demea wrote:

The Belgariad/The Mallorean


Did you read the Elanium http://www.amazon.com/The-Elenium-Diamond-Throne-Sapphire/dp/0345500938 ? I actually liked that quite a bit better than the Belgariad.

Other reccommendations, in order based on how well I think you might like it (links go to first book in the series. most of these have at least 9-10 books in them)
Steven Brust - the Jhereg cycle http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-book-of-jhereg-steven-brust/1113509808?ean=9780441006151
Glen Cook - the Garret P.I. series (fantasy - humor Noir detective mix. it works, if you liked Black company you'll enjoy it) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/introducing-garrett-p-i-glen-cook/1102831765?ean=9780451463975
Raymon E Feist - Riftwar series - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magician-raymond-e-feist/1101074582?ean=9780553564945
Robin Hobb - Farseer series - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/assassins-apprentice-robin-hobb/1100303745?ean=9780553573398
steven erickson - Malazan book of the Fallen (kind of black company-ish, but on a larger scale) - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gardens-of-the-moon-steven-erikson/1100188881?ean=9780765348784
Jennifer Roberson - Sword dancer series - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sword-dancer-jennifer-roberson/1101960702?ean=9781101647400
Jim butcher - Dresden Chronicals http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/storm-front-jim-butcher/1100315481?ean=9780451457813 (this one starts a bit slow, but give it about a third of the first book before you pass judgement)
L.e. Modesset - Recluse series This is the first one - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magic-of-recluce-l-e-modesitt-jr/1100357876?ean=9780812505184 but I'd actually reccommend starting with this one: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magic-engineer-l-e-modesitt-jr/1100355097?ean=9780765374004
Terry Brooks - Sword of Shanarra series - series just ended. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sword-of-shannara-trilogy-terry-brooks/1100292962?ean=9780345453754
Anne Mccaffery - Dragonriders of Pern - (technically Sci fi, but you don't find that out until later) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragonriders-of-pern-anne-mccaffrey/1103271443?ean=9780345340245
Mercedes lackey - Vladamar series http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arrows-of-the-queen-mercedes-lackey/1102079022?ean=9780886773786

Singletons:
Michael Stackpoole - Talion Revenant (one of my favorite books) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/talion-michael-a-stackpole/1112273717?ean=9780553576566
Patrick Rothfuss - Name of the wind. only 2 books into a 3 book series and the guy writes slower than G.R.R Martin, but good read so far - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/name-of-the-wind-patrick-rothfuss/1100178957?ean=9780756404741
Joe Abercrombie - the blade itself http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blade-itself-joe-abercrombie/1100222917?ean=9781591025948 (kind of black company-like but with barbarians.
Tad Williams - The dragonbone chair series http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragonbone-chair-tad-williams/1100316910?ean=9780886773847


I also second the reccommendation for Terry Pratchet if you enjoy funny things.

Plenty more where that came from if you find you need more.
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#6 Dec 10 2013 at 10:52 PM Rating: Good
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Dresden Files if you don't mind fantasy set in a modern setting. I've also heard good things about Codex Alera, which was written on a dare.

The dare being that he couldn't write a series based on the Lost Roman Legion mixed with Pokemon.
#7 Dec 10 2013 at 11:32 PM Rating: Decent
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I recently read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, it was pretty good. It's about an average guy that accidentally falls into a hidden underground world that coexists with modern London. It's got a dark urban fantasy thing going on if you're into that sort of thing. I picked it up after first reading American Gods, also by Gaiman, which I also liked quite a bit. It sets up an interesting conflict between the ancient gods of various cultures and the new gods of technology.

I'll also second Kao's recommendation on The Dresden Files. The first couple books are rough, they're the first books that the auther, Jim Butcher, had published so it takes a couple for him to hit his stride. Once you get into books three and four, you're hooked. Each book is a self contained story, but there is a larger storyline arc that flows through the whole series. The only downside is that he's up to book fifteen and going, so if you get into them, you've got a lot of reading to do.

If you're into a more traditional fantasy but with a twist, Stephen R Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is pretty decent. There are three series, the first is the best, the second is pretty decent, and the third is currently in the works, but isn't as good so far as the first two. The main character, Thomas Covenant is an author that contracts leprosy. His wife leaves him when he gets ill, most people want nothing to do with him, and he's become a bitter and fairly angry person. He's actually a pretty despicable character. It's not really a spoiler to mention that early on in the first book, Lord Foul's Bane he rapes a young woman because he's convinced that he's dreaming and it's not real. Donaldson is a little too impressed with his vocabulary though, so some people find his writing to be somewhat stuffy, but it works for me.

Edit: After visiting Amazon, it looks like the last Covenant came out a couple months ago. I suppose I'll have to see about finishing the series...

Edited, Dec 11th 2013 12:55am by Turin
#8 Dec 11 2013 at 12:28 AM Rating: Good
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Pretty much anything by Brandon Sanderson should work for you. Aside from The Stormlight Archive everything else of his is either a stand alone book or part of a loose or completed series.
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#9 Dec 11 2013 at 6:29 AM Rating: Good
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That's a whole lot of recommendations that aren't Patrick Rothfuss. Smiley: dubious
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#10 Dec 11 2013 at 8:09 AM Rating: Good
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Demea wrote:
I've been working my way through the Sword of Truth series (Terry Goodkind), and while I greatly enjoyed the first two books, the the later ones are starting to become very Wheel of Time-y, if you know what I mean. I'm looking for a new fantasy series, so recommend away. Bonus points for series that are complete - I'd prefer not to wait another 5 years for progress/closure (ahem, GRRM).

Other fantasy books/series I've read (and liked) in the past include:
Dune
The Black Company
The Belgariad/The Mallorean
A Song of Ice and Fire
Lord of the Rings
I thought the Sword of Truth series kind of sucked.

I really liked the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix; few characters and simply written, but really imaginative. I also liked the Godspeaker Trilogy by Karen Miller - specially the first book 'Empress'.

If you want to go back and hit up classics - I'd recommend The Rowan series by Anne McCaffrey.
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#11 Dec 11 2013 at 12:05 PM Rating: Decent
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If your interested in WOW lore the Lich King book was a pretty interesting read.
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#12 Dec 11 2013 at 2:46 PM Rating: Decent
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Aside from the Game of Thrones series, I haven't read anything new in quite in some time, but some "classics" I have enjoyed are:
Sword of Shanara series by Terry Brooks
Xanth series by Piers Anthony (haven't read them in ages, was weird but enjoyable stuff back then)
Dark Tower by Stephen King
Lion,Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
Discworld by Terry Pratchet
Any of the D&D novels, especially the RA Salvatore ones
Dragonriders of Pern by Anne MaCaffrey

there is more, but this was just off the top of my head.

For the amount of time I've played WoW, I have yet to read any of the novels, it's on the to do list.
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#13 Dec 11 2013 at 4:02 PM Rating: Good
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You might also try the Changewinds trilogy by Jack Chalker.

Just be warned that Chalker is weird and somewhat of an acquired taste.
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#14 Dec 11 2013 at 5:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
Steven Erikson - Malazan Book of the Fallen


Can not stress this enough. It has some quirks here and there but I never enjoyed a fantasy saga as much as this one. Plus, it is complete. Plus, if you like the Malazan world there are some other novels by another author that have the same setting. I cannot comment on their quality since I didn't come around to read them, yet.
As to why Erikson and Esslemont both write books set in this world, they created it together a few decades back.
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#15 Dec 11 2013 at 6:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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The Esslemont ones are pretty good so far. Not quite the same level of writing, but the characters and story flow well.
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#16 Dec 11 2013 at 6:40 PM Rating: Good
Dang.. I was all about to bust up in here with stuff, but they have been listed. So I can agree on:

Discworld. Book... 40? Just came out the other month (still yet to buy audio book I audio book, not read :p). As said they are stand alone books, but I would suggest reading them from 1 to 40, or read the books in the group each belongs to. I did the groups, so my time line was back and forth (you basically see the world evolve over the books). I plan to go back through them again soon, hopefully, and plan to do do them in order they came out.

Quote:
Each book is stand alone, so even though Sir Terry Pratchett is dying of Alzheimer's (*cry*), the series will not be "unfinished" - there just won't be any more.


Was there not a child of Terry who is currently helping him with writing books? I thought I read in an article a few years back, if Terry OKs it, they will try and keep the world going.


The Name of the Wind & The Wise Man's Fear are freaking great. Kvothe is truly a bad *** and I can't wait to see how the series ends.

The Dark Tower was great, until the end. Did not really like how Stephen King ended it :3

Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. Aimed at a younger crowd, but I was a teenage when the 1st book came out and read it to past the time. Paolini is highly uninfluenced by Tolkien.

Kingmaker, Kingbreaker my Karren Miller. It was a 2 book series, but there may be a more now (wiki and google say maybe). I like them, but others in my family either could not make it through or dislike them >.>

Not in a series but I have enjoyed most of Neil Gaiman's books (and graphic novels).
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#17 Dec 11 2013 at 7:14 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:

The Name of the Wind & The Wise Man's Fear are freaking great. Kvothe is truly a bad *** and I can't wait to see how the series ends.


THANK YOU.

All the rest a y'all need jesus.
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#18 Dec 11 2013 at 8:14 PM Rating: Good
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The Name of the Wind & The Wise Man's Fear are freaking great. Kvothe is truly a bad *** and I can't wait to see how the series ends.


THANK YOU.

All the rest a y'all need jesus.


It was some one here, maybe you, that suggested the 1st book to me via one of my "I need audio books" threads.
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#19 Dec 11 2013 at 8:16 PM Rating: Good
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Sandinmygum the Stupendous wrote:
Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. Aimed at a younger crowd, but I was a teenage when the 1st book came out and read it to past the time. Paolini is highly uninfluenced by Tolkien.

Yeah. Instead Eragon is a scene by scene recreation of Star Wars episode 4.
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#20 Dec 11 2013 at 8:27 PM Rating: Good
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Sandinmygum the Stupendous wrote:
Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. Aimed at a younger crowd, but I was a teenage when the 1st book came out and read it to past the time. Paolini is highly uninfluenced by Tolkien.

Yeah. Instead Eragon is a scene by scene recreation of Star Wars episode 4.


yea that too lol. I still found the books decent, they gave entertainment when it was needed ('cept that craptastic movie they made off it).
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#21 Dec 11 2013 at 8:58 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:
I thought the Sword of Truth series kind of sucked.


Since you're the second person to mention this, the first couple of books were good, third was "ok", and they more or less devolved into a drama/whine fest from that point on, with increasingly more improbable foes. Classic problem of power creep in a story world.


Lots of good suggestions. Let me toss out a few less well known:

The Seventh Sword series by Dave Duncan. Four books. Long since finished. Nothing super amazing about the writing, but the world is interesting, and I always like stories where magic and science kinda intermingle in unexpected ways (that might be a bit of a spoiler actually, but it's almost certainly not what you might expect).

The Darksword Trilogy by Weis and Hickman (yeah, them again!). Plot points aren't super, but another interesting take on magic (and there's also the whole tech interaction in this one. Far more direct than in the above series). Also has a very interesting world background. It's just different than what you normally expect in a fantasy setting, even though the setting itself is *very* fantasy based.

I'll also second Chalker, and second the idea that you have to accept his "odd" approach to storytelling. The Well of Words are probably the most classic of his books, but I always really liked his Rings of the Master series. Yeah, not fantasy really (not at all, actually), but with Chalker, it's less about science/tech/fantasy as it is his fascination with changing people (physically and even mentally) within a story and exploring worlds in which what you see isn't what's really there. Rings of the Master starts with characters living in what appears to be a primitive native American setting, and ends with space travel to various colony worlds and ultimately the use of a "magic" set of rings. I just really always liked this series, and would recommend it to anyone.
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#22 Dec 12 2013 at 5:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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To echo some of the other suggestions... Raymond E. Feist's books were really good fantasy and probably my favorites when I was in my late teens. At least the Magician books (you can either find them as Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master, or as one giant book) and the immediate follow-ups. As the series has lengthened, the quality went down. Probably because most of the original beloved characters are dead (the entire series spans several hundred years), so you're often dealing with their descendants and it's tough to carry over the emotional investment you have with the first generation. As Kao said, the Riftwar Saga is the set to read.

Codex Alera is very well done. Feels almost too short when it ends, but it wrapped up the central plot perfectly. Sort of a generic fantasy/magic background, but the I enjoyed the writing style. Same author as the Dresden Files (Jim Butcher), if you like his stuff.

Actually, the Dresden Files are probably my number 1 recommendation. Magic in the modern world. Best description of the series protagonist is "Harry Potter meets Dirty Harry." The first few books are good, if not great, but then each one just gets better and better. By the fourth book or so you'll love the series and when you finish the most recent release you'll curse the fact that more aren't out yet. His books read like an action movie, where the characters often go from one intense situation to another, and then several months pass between books. And the writing is filled with pop culture references, innuendo, and jokes. It's great.

Donaldson's books about The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant are good if you want an anti-hero fantasy story. The main character is hard to like, but the books are good, and you find yourself rooting for him despite being despicable. I also like that the magic is such a wild card, you never know if he's going to kill his enemies or his friends. Well, "like" is put mildly; I hated the protagonist for a few books. It's one of those series I thought was good because it got an emotional response out of me, but not one that I liked.

Although they are labeled as Young Adult books, His Dark Materials trilogy is fantastic. The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. Philip Pullman. If it's added incentive, several libraries with overly religious patrons banned the books, as they are seen as an attack on religion. It's not necessarily an unfair charge, considering a global church is a consistent antagonist and the final battle ends up as... well, read the books. I don't want to spoil them Smiley: grin And the series has a great, very memorable ending.

Edited, Dec 12th 2013 6:20pm by LockeColeMA
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#23 Dec 12 2013 at 5:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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Oh! Here's something completely different.

Did you like the Harry Potter series?

Then I HIGHLY recommend Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. That's a link to some 1500 pages (more than the first four HP books) in PDF format. You can also go to the actual site to find all the chapters and author's notes. To quote TVTropes description of the web series:
Quote:
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is an on-going Harry Potter fanfic by Eliezer Yudkowsky, AI researcher and decision theorist.
This is an Alternate Universe story, where Petunia married a scientist. Now Rationalist!Harry enters the wizarding world armed with Enlightenment ideals and the experimental spirit.


It meshes Harry Potter with all sorts of science and theories, with notes explaining and expanding on whenever a scientific experiment or theory is discussed. Educational and hilarious. I thought the first few chapters were ok, but by the time I got to the sixth I was actively laughing out loud at some parts. The series runs the gamut on emotions - I almost cried on a few chapters, cheered for others, and laughed constantly.

Fair warning: the series is NOT finished. It is up to over 100 chapters now, and is in its final arc (according to the author).

Another good fantasy web serial that just ended (after thirty freaking volumes) if you like superheroes is Worm. It sets up an amazing universe where superheroes and supervillains are common, each with different powers. Unlike traditional superhero series (at least the Saturday morning cartoon ones; I'm not too familiar with how comics portray characters these days), this one has villains and heroes who are not morons about their powers; where even if you have someone with flight, super strength, and invincibility, they can pale in comparison to someone with a weaker power but cleverness and ambition. It is a LONG series, but very good.

Edited, Dec 12th 2013 6:33pm by LockeColeMA
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#24 Dec 15 2013 at 10:59 PM Rating: Good
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Funny - Mythadventure series by Robert Asprin

Science - Foundation Series by Isaac Azimov

Docu-drama (sort of) - Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart




ALSO: Not a series, nor a book, technically but if you've never read The Watchmen, you really, really, really should.
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#25 Dec 16 2013 at 2:20 AM Rating: Excellent
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are we doing sci fi reccomendations too? I have a whole fleet of those as well...
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#26 Jan 02 2014 at 3:19 PM Rating: Decent
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Didn't read through all the comments so I dunno if someone told you about The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. Pretty amazing stuff , don't think just read!
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