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Fantasy Series to Read Recommendation

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21 Feb 2010 00:19 #55938 by kookoobah
I love Harry Potter. I can't keep re-reading it though, even though I think it is fantastic writing, as I'm afraid that if I do it'll actually start to bore me.

I once tried to read LotR back in elementary, but when Tolkien spent 10 pages describing a tree in the forest in the first chapter, I put that book down and turned on my Playstation.

Any good suggestions? I'm thinking of either picking up LotR again, reading up on Warhammer Fantasy, or A Song of Fire and Ice. Which sounds like a good plan?

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21 Feb 2010 00:57 #55940 by Stormcow
LotR really is some dense writing, or at least is written in a pretty different style from Harry Potter or ASoIF.

In general I would avoid licensed fluff. No offense. :)

Wheel of Time and ASoIF are both pretty good options. WoT at least is finished, even if posthumously. ASoIF has about three more books to go.

The comedy option would be Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. Not really the same genre though, and it's sometimes hard to tell the order of the books without looking it up.

Out of left field, you might want to try Books of Magic (the vertigo comics series).

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21 Feb 2010 01:04 #55941 by lj1983
ahem, Wheel of time is not finished...

my wife bought me the "last" book. there are still two more. ugh.

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21 Feb 2010 01:26 #55943 by kookoobah
Books of Magic - good idea, why didn't I think of it

Should I go for ASoFI or WoT? Pratchett is ok, sometimes his humor is so inaccessible, I don't even get it sometimes.

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21 Feb 2010 01:48 #55945 by metalface13
I would at least read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, it is light and very accessible. I think you should give The Lord of the Rings another shot though, that's one of my favorite series.

I would also heavily recommend the Chronicles of Amber series by Roger Zelazny. It's about princes battling for the throne of Amber, the one true world of which all other worlds are shadows, including Earth. The princes can travel through these different shadows. It's a great series.

Once and Future King by T.H. White is about King Arthur and is great.

A Song of Fire and Ice is OK, there's some great political intrigue stuff, but there's also a lot of children dying violent deaths and incest.

Chronicles of the Black Company is another series that's pretty good. but it starts to go downhill toward the end of the series.

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher are pretty fun and is "urban fantasy" like Harry Potter. In other words, magic taking place in a modern world. And the main character is a private investigator.

Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell is a good read. It's about magic in Napoleon-era England.

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21 Feb 2010 01:57 #55947 by Mr. White
metalface13 wrote:

Once and Future King by T.H. White is about King Arthur and is great.

Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell is a good read. It's about magic in Napoleon-era England.


Once and Future King is my favorite fantasy novel and the only fiction I've re-read. Great, great book.

My wife really dug that Jonathan Strange book, but I haven't given it a go.

Perhaps, look into some of David Gemmell's books. More Sword and Sorcery, but Legend is pretty good. Basically, his take on the death of a Conan like figure.

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21 Feb 2010 02:16 #55950 by Space Ghost
Personally, I think that Joe Abercrombie is the best fantasy writer right now -- his books are easy to read and different from the usual route that fantasy authors take.

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21 Feb 2010 02:16 #55951 by cybrshaman
Since you began the thread with a reference to Harry Potter, you might want to look into the "His Dark Materials" trilogy by Phillip Pullman. It's both a modern (postmodern?) retelling of "Paradise Lost" and Pullman's response to "The Chronicles of Narnia." I found them to be deeper, darker, richer and more resonant than the Harry Potter books (which I loved). Your mileage may, of course, vary.

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21 Feb 2010 02:19 #55953 by Dr. Mabuse
Mr. Barnes had recommended this series awhile back and I managed to track them down recently. I suggest The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie. It was a fucking fantastic read.

One of many highlights is when a Mage, his assistant and a Northern Barbarian go to a theatrical shop and buy costumes that would better fit their stations before entering the capital city: wizard robes and stereotypical barbarian garb. Awesome.

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21 Feb 2010 04:19 #55957 by moss_icon
Space Ghost wrote:

Personally, I think that Joe Abercrombie is the best fantasy writer right now -- his books are easy to read and different from the usual route that fantasy authors take.


i've only read the first one of his, but would agree. the guy is a good writer, genuinely amusing and generally steers clear of most of the cliches. well worth checking out.

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21 Feb 2010 06:27 #55961 by mads b.
Wheel of Time is an interesting world and it has some great moments. However, it suffers from the fact that Jordan simply isn't able to keep his language and storylines interesting trough 10.000+ pages. Far too often he uses the same clichés when describing characters, and he kept adding characters that - while interesting - didn't really drive the plot forward. But I think the new guy writing the last books based on Jordan's notes is actually doing a fine job. And I'm looking forward to having a closure on these books.

And lack of closure is also the main reason to stay away from A Song of Ice and Fire. I think they're tremendous, but there's just no conlusions so far and it seems like Martin will never finish them.

What I will recommend, though, is the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. It's excellent fantasy with a cool world that's never fully explained. Or rather, it's not explained fully untill the next two trilogies in the same world. They are also a good read, but not quite as good as the first three books. I didn't like her other series - Soldier's Son - though. It's a very cool fantasy world that mixes 19th century technology with magic, but ultimately it falls flat because the protagonist never does anything, but is just pushed forward by the magic.

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21 Feb 2010 08:52 #55966 by Jason Lutes
I really like Gene Wolfe's stuff -- dense, subtle, and smart. The Book of the New Sun series is a good introduction.

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21 Feb 2010 09:38 #55971 by panzerattack
I love the Spook's Apprentice series of books (I think they're called something like The Last Apprentice in America). Like Harry Potter, they're designed as kid's books but there's plenty in there for adults to enjoy. The Spook is essentially a 17th century 'ghost buster' - it's his job to go deal with spirits and bogarts that are troubling people. Even though they're kid's books they're really creepy and they're great if you're at all interested in British folklore

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21 Feb 2010 12:02 #55981 by Last Alchemist
A Song of Ice & Fire is great.

You may also want to look into:
The Kushiel's Series by Jacqueline Carey
Finovar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

LA

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21 Feb 2010 12:06 #55983 by metalface13
Jason Lutes wrote:

I really like Gene Wolfe's stuff -- dense, subtle, and smart. The Book of the New Sun series is a good introduction.


Yeah I was going to recommend that too, but thought it may cross over into scifi too much. Great series though.

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