The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > Novices and Newcomers
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-10-2012, 01:13 PM   #921
Eruanna
Memento Mori
 
Eruanna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Past The Point Of No Return
Posts: 1,120
Eruanna has just left Hobbiton.
Silmaril

Anyone read Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift novels? 'A Madness of Angels' 'The Midnight Mayor' and 'The Neon Court'. The latest one is 'The Minority Council' which I'm just finishing. They're a brilliant read.

Matthew Swift is an 'urban magician' drawing power from the lights, fumes, history and cityscape of London. The books are full of fantastical but entirely believable characters.
Old Father Thames is real, magical power sings through the telephone lines, the dragon emblems of the City of London come into being to protect the city when needed...and sometimes, being dead doesn't mean you can't come back!
__________________
"Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies."
Eruanna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 06:59 AM   #922
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,369
mark12_30 is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel View Post
*cries* I want a local library!
Tirion has several magnificent libraries. And you can always ask Pengolodh for a review you can really trust. And if he doesn't know the tale, depending on the age of the tale, either it isn't worth knowing, or he'll want to hear it himself.

Consider this a backhand way of saying great "location" and an even better sig, derry dol.
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 07:57 AM   #923
Bom Tombadillo
Wight
 
Bom Tombadillo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Behind you . . . . BOO!
Posts: 222
Bom Tombadillo has just left Hobbiton.
Matthew Swift sounds fascinating. Alas, my local library system probably doesn't have it, and I'm reluctant to actually spend any significant amount of money on books unless I just have to have them.

Which reminds me - has anybody read a series called The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher? I've heard fantastic things about it (at least, from book 3 onwards), but the aforementioned reluctance to spend money keeps nagging at me.

And lastly, I got the second book in A Song of Ice and Fire. Maybe it's just that I'm more familiar with the characters and thus less horribly confused about who's who, but this one seems better somehow - though I can't quite put my finger on why. In any case, I'm loving it (especially with a thousand-and-some pages to read . . . *drool*).
__________________
Every human should have a cat or two in their care, to teach them the meaning of the word, and to correct them.
Phenris Dorph
Bom Tombadillo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 10:41 AM   #924
McCaber
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
McCaber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Skyrim, again.
Posts: 760
McCaber has been trapped in the Barrow!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bom Tombadillo View Post
Which reminds me - has anybody read a series called The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher? I've heard fantastic things about it (at least, from book 3 onwards), but the aforementioned reluctance to spend money keeps nagging at me.
They're definitely not high literature, but as far as fun action fantasy goes you could do a lot worse. I really enjoyed them.
McCaber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 06:32 PM   #925
Bom Tombadillo
Wight
 
Bom Tombadillo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Behind you . . . . BOO!
Posts: 222
Bom Tombadillo has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by McCaber View Post
They're definitely not high literature, but as far as fun action fantasy goes you could do a lot worse. I really enjoyed them.
That's fine, since I'm not looking for high literature (well, depending on your definition of such). I guess I'll have to get them.
__________________
Every human should have a cat or two in their care, to teach them the meaning of the word, and to correct them.
Phenris Dorph
Bom Tombadillo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2012, 07:06 AM   #926
MCRmyGirl4eva
Shade of Carn Dūm
 
MCRmyGirl4eva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: The Elvenking's Halls
Posts: 425
MCRmyGirl4eva has just left Hobbiton.
Pipe

I read lots of fantasy... I love it.

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (Couldn't stand the others)
His Dark Materials
Inheritance Cycle
Harry Potter
Artemis Fowl
Recently, Earthsea novels

There's way more, but off the top of my head I can't think of them.
__________________
"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit..."
"'Well, I'm back.' said Sam."
MCRmyGirl4eva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 12:36 PM   #927
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In a world where one can make up facts
Posts: 6,125
Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
I've finished a trilogy called His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, which is made up of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. It's intriguing to read if only because of its philosophy about existence. I got the books from my sister who liked them because of the adventure. And my mother, who read the first one, liked it because of the complexity and the language.
__________________
"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want." - Bill Watterson
Celebrating the 5555th
Oloris Publishing
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 12:56 PM   #928
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,790
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
I've finished a trilogy called His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, which is made up of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. It's intriguing to read if only because of its philosophy about existence. I got the books from my sister who liked them because of the adventure. And my mother, who read the first one, liked it because of the complexity and the language.
I love this trilogy to bits. Pullman is one of my very favourite writers.

Now, where do you want to begin with discussing these? They have a fan forums just like this one, there's so much to talk about and I've got a number of books about them too. I even went to find Lyra's Bench in Oxford Botanical Gardens. There's so much to delve into - Blake, Milton, the Bible, the science and physics etc.

The first one is called Northern Lights in the UK, incidentally, so if I ever refer to that then I'm not talking about a completely different book!
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 08:06 PM   #929
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In a world where one can make up facts
Posts: 6,125
Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
The thing I forgot to include in my previous post is the number of references to history, various mythology (and mythology that is evidently made up, as I can't find a parallel), linguistics, and just the breadth of it all. Man, the trilogy is vast in its cultural aspects! And the other things - as you say, Lal, there is just so much to delve into!

And when I read the first book, I thought it was full of intrigue, philosophy, and complexity. When I read the second, I realised that the first was just a little warm up. It's just mind-blowing!
__________________
"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want." - Bill Watterson
Celebrating the 5555th
Oloris Publishing
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 05:35 AM   #930
MCRmyGirl4eva
Shade of Carn Dūm
 
MCRmyGirl4eva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: The Elvenking's Halls
Posts: 425
MCRmyGirl4eva has just left Hobbiton.
Palantir-Green

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
I've finished a trilogy called His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, which is made up of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. It's intriguing to read if only because of its philosophy about existence. I got the books from my sister who liked them because of the adventure. And my mother, who read the first one, liked it because of the complexity and the language.
I loved the trilogy, but I haven't read it in a long while because they're down in the storage area. I mean, they were really good but I can't constantly read them. And, I'm like the only person I know who's actually read the book, and I've never seen the movies. (The Subtle Knife was my favorite of the three.)
__________________
"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit..."
"'Well, I'm back.' said Sam."
MCRmyGirl4eva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 09:29 AM   #931
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,790
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I think my favourite is the first one (Northern Lights in the UK), because the story moves along so quickly and there are some incredibly tense moments. I love the Gyptians because many of my own ancestors were canal boatmen and lived that lifestyle (without daemons of course ), but also Lyra's friendships are beautifully drawn. I also like the whole alternate universe Oxford and London. And Lyra's charistmatic but terrifying parents.

Then as the trilogy moves on, it all gets so much deeper. I think one of the greatest things about it, aside from it being a tremendous adventure featuring a girl for once, is it really stirs your interest in the works that inspired it, much as Lord of the Rings does.

One of the 'guides' available which help explain the books and their sources, I can really recommend getting one of these if you see them cheap, this one especially. It's also fun to go to Oxford and find the landmarks like Lyra's bench and the Pitt Rivers museum. I'd really like to visit the real Svalbard too, but it's maybe one for when I've won the lottery
__________________
Gordon's alive!

Last edited by Lalwendė : 06-04-2012 at 09:35 AM.
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 10:00 AM   #932
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,608
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
Northern Lights/Golden Compass was brilliant, but I found the other two preachy.
Gwathagor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 10:37 AM   #933
Guinevere
Banshee of Camelot
 
Guinevere's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 5,539
Guinevere is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
I read Pullman's "his dark materials" trilogy in 2007, originally just to form an opinion on his writing, because of his criticism of LotR. In several threads here and here it was mentioned how in public interviews he called LotR "just fancy spun candy with no substance to it", "a trivial book" "fundamentally an infantile book". That really got my hackles up, as you can imagine!!

To do Pullman justice, I found that the books were very thrilling to read, I really liked the first volume a lot. But the farther I got, the less convincing I found it and I was disappointed by the end. It was a good read, but I don't feel the need to go back and reread them, as with Tolkien's works.
__________________
Yes! "wish-fulfilment dreams" we spin to cheat
our timid hearts, and ugly Fact defeat!
Guinevere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 12:38 PM   #934
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,790
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I've decided to just ignore what he says about Tolkien, it's his 'spin'. And he's a very opinionated man so he says controversial things. Lots of the British intelligentsia revile Tolkien - I think it's best to ignore what they say on the subject. His writing speaks for itself though, and it's amazing. To write what are basically books for children and young people which are so multi-layered and complex is a marvellous thing. His work is completely unpatronising, something which I found limits me from enjoying CS Lewis (I do tend to agree with him on Lewis), and it isn't afraid to be difficult.

The books will probably have continued appeal as there's a generation now growing up watching Doctor Who which is also not afraid to be difficult and throw bags of science and philosophy into the fun.

I find they get better with re-reading. Which tempts me to do this all over again and thus add to the stack of things I want to plough through this summer...
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 01:07 PM   #935
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,608
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
That's interesting; I feel precisely the opposite about Lewis and Pullman. C.S. has always seemed to me fatherly rather than patronizing, whereas Pullman comes across as egotistical and often just plain mean-spirited.
Gwathagor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 03:58 PM   #936
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,790
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwathagor View Post
That's interesting; I feel precisely the opposite about Lewis and Pullman. C.S. has always seemed to me fatherly rather than patronizing, whereas Pullman comes across as egotistical and often just plain mean-spirited.
I agree with you speaking about him as a person, he's pretty aggressive in his arguments, though that's par for the course in the UK these days, and he's mild compared to most of the TV pundits. And CS Lewis was a very pleasant person apparently (even John Betjeman might admit that, and they were famous enemies ).

But I could never get on with Narnia which is a huge shame as it's full of magical stuff and I've loved the films. Maybe it was my age when I tried to read it for the first time. I was 12 and already onto adults' fiction so it might have been lost on me. I always feel a bit sad about it really.
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #937
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In a world where one can make up facts
Posts: 6,125
Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendė View Post
But I could never get on with Narnia which is a huge shame as it's full of magical stuff and I've loved the films. Maybe it was my age when I tried to read it for the first time. I was 12 and already onto adults' fiction so it might have been lost on me. I always feel a bit sad about it really.
That's interesting. My experience went the opposite way: at first I way drawn to the magic and adventure, then I sort of cooled off because it was a bit too childish, but now I have a kind of nostalgic-y feeling about that childish tone and I almost like and appreciate it more now than I did at first.

Quote:
To write what are basically books for children and young people which are so multi-layered and complex is a marvellous thing. His work is completely unpatronising, something which I found limits me from enjoying CS Lewis (I do tend to agree with him on Lewis), and it isn't afraid to be difficult.
Difficult. That summs it up fairly well, doesn't it?
__________________
"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want." - Bill Watterson
Celebrating the 5555th
Oloris Publishing
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 04:56 AM   #938
Glorthelion
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 58
Glorthelion has just left Hobbiton.
Harry Potter series
The Chronicles of Narnia series
Deltora quest
Rowan of Rin
Ranger's apprentice

I must say None of the fantasy series mentioned above (save Harry Potter) were close to the high standards of writing set by Tolkien.

Glorthelion
__________________
What did Aragorn say when Gandalf died in Moria?

Damn Gulf
Glorthelion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 06:28 AM   #939
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,790
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
That's interesting. My experience went the opposite way: at first I way drawn to the magic and adventure, then I sort of cooled off because it was a bit too childish, but now I have a kind of nostalgic-y feeling about that childish tone and I almost like and appreciate it more now than I did at first.
If the little chap ever wants them reading to him then I suppose I might get another go at them. And I'd rather he attempted them before reading anything by Tolkien, because I think this also spoiled them for me. After reading Lord of the Rings when I was 12, I've been an extremely critical reader of other fantasy works. In fact in the immediate aftermath, the one fantasy epic which did manage to grab me was Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake.

Since then, I've enjoyed other fantasy series and novels, notably His Dark Materials, A Song of Ice and Fire, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Harry Potter (I have a deep admiration for JK Rowling as a person) and Earth's Children. I've never really got on with Narnia, Discworld or Shannara - for example. Maybe it's just personal taste...
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 07:20 AM   #940
Galadriel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Galadriel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion
Posts: 553
Galadriel has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere View Post
I read Pullman's "his dark materials" trilogy in 2007, originally just to form an opinion on his writing, because of his criticism of LotR. In several threads here and here it was mentioned how in public interviews he called LotR "just fancy spun candy with no substance to it", "a trivial book" "fundamentally an infantile book". That really got my hackles up, as you can imagine!!

To do Pullman justice, I found that the books were very thrilling to read, I really liked the first volume a lot. But the farther I got, the less convincing I found it and I was disappointed by the end. It was a good read, but I don't feel the need to go back and reread them, as with Tolkien's works.
I thoroughly disliked Pullman's book. The writing was good but I felt the characters were flat and cliched. I don't think he's one to talk about anyone's book being 'fancy spun candy with no substance to it'. His own work, to me, seemed like utter drivel. It was incredibly childish, IMHO.
__________________
"Hey! Come derry dol! Can you hear me singing?" – Tom Bombadil
Galadriel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 07:46 AM   #941
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In a world where one can make up facts
Posts: 6,125
Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel View Post
I thoroughly disliked Pullman's book. The writing was good but I felt the characters were flat and cliched. I don't think he's one to talk about anyone's book being 'fancy spun candy with no substance to it'. His own work, to me, seemed like utter drivel. It was incredibly childish, IMHO.
You know, that's what I thought at first - that his characters were rather flat and childishly-written. But then I found that it's almost like Pullman did that on purpose, so that you can read it on different levels - you can see or not see, in a sense.

I only read the books because my sister was reading them, and I did not expect the characters to be anything but childishly done and flat (since they are the kind my sister usually resonates to the most - as you can tell I do not approve of her reading list, but at least she reads something), but then I realised that if I don't read it with the assumption that they are flat they wouldn't be.

I mean, I'm not crazy about the series , but I liked it better than, say, the inevitable example of Harry Potter - much much better, in fact.

And I have to praise Pullman for the breadth of his knowledge and references - science, linguistics (both within English and in other languages), culture, and etc - in addition to the epic plot.



I know it's not the best way of putting it in words, but I usually measure books in breadth and depth. A book that is both deep and broad is something I really really like. There are books that are one but not the other, that I sometimes like. And there are those that are neither - which I don't know how anyone could like. Romances tend to be deep but narrower. Adventure stories (like, in this case, His Dark Materials) tend to be broad but seldom are as deep. And then it's a question of ballance and what you care about.

Books like Tolkien's are pretty rare. You can dig in any direction and you unearth more and more and more.
__________________
"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want." - Bill Watterson
Celebrating the 5555th
Oloris Publishing
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 10:53 AM   #942
Galadriel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Galadriel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion
Posts: 553
Galadriel has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
I mean, I'm not crazy about the series , but I liked it better than, say, the inevitable example of Harry Potter - much much better, in fact.

Books like Tolkien's are pretty rare. You can dig in any direction and you unearth more and more and more.
Truly? I quite liked the middle three books of HP. I mean, yeah, it had gaping plot-holes, but I had to admire Rowling's flair for creating a magical atmosphere. I would have rather loved it if she had put in more detail.

That, of course, is true. XD I keep trying to compare fantasy books to LotR, and so far most of them have been at least somewhat disappointing. Game of Thrones was the only one, for me, that came close to the standards I set.
__________________
"Hey! Come derry dol! Can you hear me singing?" – Tom Bombadil
Galadriel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 10:56 AM   #943
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In a world where one can make up facts
Posts: 6,125
Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel View Post
That, of course, is true. XD I keep trying to compare fantasy books to LotR, and so far most of them have been at least somewhat disappointing. Game of Thrones was the only one, for me, that came close to the standards I set.
For me Game of Thrones was like a mix between LOTR and HP - it had some of the depth of LOTR and addictiveness of HP.
__________________
"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want." - Bill Watterson
Celebrating the 5555th
Oloris Publishing
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2012, 04:33 PM   #944
Galadriel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Galadriel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion
Posts: 553
Galadriel has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
For me Game of Thrones was like a mix between LOTR and HP - it had some of the depth of LOTR and addictiveness of HP.
Good way of putting it. Though I didn't find HP 'addicting', I certainly found it entertaining. Well. At least books 3, 4 and 5. :P The others didn't appeal to me much.
__________________
"Hey! Come derry dol! Can you hear me singing?" – Tom Bombadil
Galadriel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2012, 05:21 PM   #945
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In a world where one can make up facts
Posts: 6,125
Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel View Post
Good way of putting it. Though I didn't find HP 'addicting', I certainly found it entertaining. Well. At least books 3, 4 and 5. :P The others didn't appeal to me much.
I found HP addicting because I couldn't put it down while I read it, but when reflecting on it later I wondered if it was worth reading. It is certainly entertaining while it's new. It has a way of making you read on.

I agree with you on books 3, 4, and 5. The first book was simple and a bit too straight-forward, at least compared with the rest, as first books of series are wont to be (compare: Game of Thrones, The Golden Compass/The Northern Lights). The second was plain boring. The sixth was quite overdone, and the seventh brought all the worst qualities to the highest level. The middle ones were the best.

You know, sometimes I want to ask Rowling if in our days one absolutely cannot write a book without any swearing in it. She made it until the end of book 7, but then what happened?... It's not like the swearing shows any insights into character, or society, or plot, or anything else.

She is good at making you wonder - at first. But then she is kind of, well, not obvious, but she does like to reuse her characters, so the reader knows much more than the people inside the book. For example, the reader can logically figure out that she wouldn't bring in a new character with the initials R.A.B in the last book, therefore it has to be someone mentioned earlier, and there is only one such person. She needs to read a bit more Sherlock Holmes.
__________________
"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want." - Bill Watterson
Celebrating the 5555th
Oloris Publishing
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 12:32 PM   #946
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,790
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel View Post
I thoroughly disliked Pullman's book. The writing was good but I felt the characters were flat and cliched. I don't think he's one to talk about anyone's book being 'fancy spun candy with no substance to it'. His own work, to me, seemed like utter drivel. It was incredibly childish, IMHO.
I found the characters quite rich and interesting - they don't stay in one state but change throughout in unexpected ways, and Lyra is pretty unusual for a female protagonist, in that she's certainly no Mary Sue. She's full of flaws, and comes across like a real child rather than a mere character. The daemons even had excellent characterisation - to the extent that I'm now a bit scared of little monkeys. And I've found HDM to be as good a source for 'digging' as Tolkien is, though it's in completely different directions. If Pullman didn't note the deeper substance behind Tolkien's work then it's probably that he didn't care for the source material.

Anyway, I've just finished one of Alan Garner's novels for adults, and it was a perfect lesson in how less is more. Thursbitch* comes in at well under 200 pages, and mostly dialogue, it's worlds apart to anything by Tolkien but I'm a bit stunned by it, it's subtle, quite frightening, and as rich in meaning (especially linguistically) as Tolkien. He was inspired by the name thursbitch itself (meaning 'demon valley' - sharing the same roots as how Grendel is named in Beowulf), which is an abandoned farm in a hidden Cheshire valley, and by a stone which records the mysterious death of a local packhorse man. The novel imagines who this man was and the story interweaves with the wanderings of a modern man and woman in the same valley, which is described as a sentient landscape and the story never leaves the locale, and is structured like a mobius strip.

As a warning - I don't think this one is a young persons' book whatsoever (unless they are broad minded and very capable readers) as it has lots of weird magic and is written in a northern dialect, but I can't recommend it enough for anyone interested in the weirder side of British history and language or who wants to see how a fantastical story can work so well when presented in a completely different form to the norm. Garner seems to have taken up the issue of landscape and language that Tolkien left and has wandered off with it.

I am so looking forwards to Bonelands, which is supposed to come out this year and promises to finish off the story he started back in 1960 with the Weirdstone of Brisingamen.

*Sorry if that needs editing here!
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2012, 06:47 AM   #947
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
 
Estelyn Telcontar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,500
Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I've never considered myself an avid reader of fantasy books, though I've read a number of them that were recommended to me. When I read the blog of an author whose books I devoured and will most certaily reread (Patrick Rothfuss, The Kingkiller Chronicles), I decided to try one of the book series on his list. It's the Mistborn trilogy, by Brandon Sanderson. I'm not finished with the third book yet, but I am enjoying the story tremendously!

The author takes a different twist on building his world, with a unique system of magic and some observant writing on the problems of achieving goals and getting into more difficulties afterwards. The plot is complex, the characters fascinating, and the thoughts on political systems and religion interesting. Above all, there's nothing there that copies Tolkien - something I appreciate!

I'll check in again when I finish the third volume (yes, the books are voluminous, but that's an advantage as far as I'm concerned!)...
__________________
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
Estelyn Telcontar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2012, 07:16 PM   #948
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In a world where one can make up facts
Posts: 6,125
Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
I'm not sure if it counts as fantasy, or more of a history fiction genre, or just adventure, or a mix of all of them. I don't know if it's history enough to be one, or myth enough to be another.

Anyways, I would like to recommend to anyone the Merlin trilogy by Mary Stewart (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment). The language is beautiful, and has some of Tolkien's style - just some, but it's rich in its own fashion. Despite the never-ending plots/mysteries/adventures, Stewart leaves plenty room to describe the scenery, the landscape, the people, and everything around. She paces her books well, not rushing ahead with the plot in favour of the abovementioned little details, but not dragging it out too much.
__________________
"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want." - Bill Watterson
Celebrating the 5555th
Oloris Publishing
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2012, 07:21 PM   #949
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,790
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Thumbs up

I read those years and years ago, I was probably about 15 or so. And I'm tempted to read them again because yes, they are superb.

I think they count, they appeal to Tolkien fans!
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2012, 07:32 PM   #950
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In a world where one can make up facts
Posts: 6,125
Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendė View Post
I read those years and years ago, I was probably about 15 or so. And I'm tempted to read them again because yes, they are superb.
I'm beginning to see a pattern emerge. Whenever I post a recommendation about a book I am reading or have just finished, you reply saying that you too have read it and liked it.
__________________
"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want." - Bill Watterson
Celebrating the 5555th
Oloris Publishing
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2012, 09:43 AM   #951
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,790
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
I'm beginning to see a pattern emerge. Whenever I post a recommendation about a book I am reading or have just finished, you reply saying that you too have read it and liked it.
What can I say? We clearly obviously both have superb taste

Now, have you got the new Terry Pratchett one? The Long Earth. It's not a Discworld novel (I have problems with Discworld...) and it's amazing!
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2012, 12:01 PM   #952
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
 
Estelyn Telcontar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,500
Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Have you finished reading The Long Earth, Lal? Please do give a brief report! I'm contemplating getting it and want to know if it's re-readable. One-time reads usually end up being lent from the library...
__________________
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
Estelyn Telcontar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2012, 01:26 PM   #953
Guinevere
Banshee of Camelot
 
Guinevere's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 5,539
Guinevere is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Anyways, I would like to recommend to anyone the Merlin trilogy by Mary Stewart (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment).
Oh, I love Mary Stewart's Merlin series (and most of her other books) too. I read those in the seventies when I had no idea about Tolkien yet!

Do you happen to know Gillian Bradshaw's trilogy "Hawk of May", "Kingdom of Summer", "In Winter's Shadow"? I loved this Arthurian fiction, which also has some fantasy elements.
__________________
Yes! "wish-fulfilment dreams" we spin to cheat
our timid hearts, and ugly Fact defeat!
Guinevere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2012, 03:23 PM   #954
Lalwendė
A Mere Boggart
 
Lalwendė's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: under the bed
Posts: 4,790
Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Estelyn Telcontar View Post
Have you finished reading The Long Earth, Lal? Please do give a brief report! I'm contemplating getting it and want to know if it's re-readable. One-time reads usually end up being lent from the library...
Not yet, because I've been so busy with kid stuff and weather geekery, but I will do soon! So far, it's rather good.
__________________
Gordon's alive!
Lalwendė is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2012, 06:40 PM   #955
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In a world where one can make up facts
Posts: 6,125
Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Galadriel55 is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
I haven't read much of Terry Pratchett. Only one or two chapters from The Amazing Maurice, I think. It was my sister's book anyways, and it didn't catch on with me, so I did not pursue other Pratchett books - or finish that one.

Maybe it's just that I have an issue with reading comedy. It never catches with me for some reason. I am more amused at a random joke stuck in the middle of a serious novel that at a whole heap of comedies. The last one I read made me at most feel bad for the poor characters who got themselves stuck at the most unlikely places and all that (when my mother read the book at my age she said she was rolling on the floor from laughter). Since, from what I gather about him, Pratchett writes half-comedy half-fantasy books, I think the comedy part killed it for me.
__________________
"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want." - Bill Watterson
Celebrating the 5555th
Oloris Publishing
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2012, 12:41 AM   #956
dreeness
Pile O'Bones
 
dreeness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 14
dreeness is still gossiping in the Green Dragon.
Just a few that I can think of:


Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood books

Robert Aickman's stories

William Hope Hodgson's stories (particularly the "Carnacki" series)
like this one:

The Whistling Room

Arthur Machen's stories (especially the "Turanian" stories)
like this one:

The Shining Pyramid
__________________
Ma gavte la nata
dreeness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2012, 02:55 PM   #957
MCRmyGirl4eva
Shade of Carn Dūm
 
MCRmyGirl4eva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: The Elvenking's Halls
Posts: 425
MCRmyGirl4eva has just left Hobbiton.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
The Heroes of Olympus

^ Don't remember if I put these...

Also, the last Artemis Fowl book came out today
__________________
"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit..."
"'Well, I'm back.' said Sam."

Last edited by MCRmyGirl4eva : 07-12-2012 at 09:20 AM.
MCRmyGirl4eva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2012, 05:36 PM   #958
Ninde Lossehelin
Pile O'Bones
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Where else but the Shire
Posts: 13
Ninde Lossehelin has just left Hobbiton.
For Fantasy books its really just JRR Tolkien's works but i have read the chronicles of narnia the lion the witch and the wardrobe.
__________________
"So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
Ninde Lossehelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2012, 04:38 AM   #959
Alcidas
Animated Skeleton
 
Alcidas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: DerbySHIRE
Posts: 32
Alcidas has just left Hobbiton.
Elfquest.
Conan the Barbarian.
Kushiel's Dart (that one only because I had been told that there were "juicy" bits...)
Alcidas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 11:54 AM   #960
Unforgiven
Animated Skeleton
 
Unforgiven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 34
Unforgiven has just left Hobbiton.
Ring

01. ERBorroughs
02. CSLewis
03. JRRTolkien
04. REHoward
05. ARaymond
06. IAsimov
07. ACClarke
08. RJordan
09. TPrattchet
10. DGemmell

Pity, most of them are no more.
And the new writers can't seem to hold a candle to these supernovas.
__________________
Out from the new day's mist We have come
We shift, pulsing with the Earth... Company We keep
Roaming the land while you... sleep
Unforgiven is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:08 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.