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Old 10-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #961
Nolwë_Namiel
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I read a lot of fantasy. Most recently I've enjoyed the Paladins series by David Dalglish.

I am also a fan of Steven Brust and Stephen R. Donaldson.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:59 PM   #962
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Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice
A Wrinkle in Time by the recently deceased Madeleine L'Engle
The Arabian Nights the Mahdi manuscript
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #963
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Acacia by David Anthony Durham

Has anyone else read the Acacia trilogy (The War with the Mein, The Other Lands, The Sacred Band) by David Anthony Durham? I read it this summer/autumn and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Durham follows, in a way, in George R.R. Martin's footsteps: epic high fantasy peppered with sometimes ugly realism and a world where nothing is black-and-white.

I was fascinated with Durham's frequent balancing between traditional fantasy clichés and more unconventional ideas - the first book is a story of the old emperor's four children, two girls and two boys, all of whom have a different destiny when their father is assassinated and they have to regain the throne. Yawn? Well then, what if I told you the empire was founded on slave trade and drugging their own people with an opium-like substance? Much more intriguing, says I. Durham's world is populated with humans and it has a very historical feel. There are fantasy creatures, but they are either just animals that don't exist in our world, or then monsters created by misuse of magic. Magic itself is rare but it does play a key role in the trilogy, as do human souls and boundaries between life and death.

It was also very nice to read basic entertaining high fantasy which is not a tad sexist (the female characters are just as important and active as the male characters, and none of them fall into the marysue category, or maybe a few, but the male characters are just as garysues!), has homosexual heros and heroines as well as stuff like communists opposing the monarchy (!!! that was totally unexpected and funny, and they were not any better or worse people than the main guys) and preaches co-operation, tolerance and trust in other people over other things (okay, to be fair, these are pretty common themes/values in fantasy, but it still makes me happy).

All in all, Durham writes more contemporary, liberal and realistic fantasy than many fantasy authors who seem still to live a bit in the past and harbor some sort of macho hero mythology. It doesn't prevent him from writing an intriguing and entertaining traditional epic fantasy plot (his twists and turns kept surprising me all the time) and having wonderful heroes you can root for and baddies you can dislike with all your heart. Also, Durham's world seems pretty real and thoroughly built, which is always cool.

I had a few grievances with the books too, but all in all I was impressed. I would warmly recommend the Acacia trilogy to anyone who wants something refreshing and a bit but not too much different in their epic fantasy diet. (And apparently I'm not alone in my appreciation - I heard that Durham's sales went up when George R.R. Martin praised him recently. So all Martin fans, here's something you might want to try. )
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:25 PM   #964
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I just finished my third reread of K.J. Bishop's The Etched City. It's magical. I know I've praised it before on this very thread, but I've got to do it again. Read it.
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:29 PM   #965
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Boots

It's not fantasy but it's one of the most geek-friendly books I've read in a long time - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

It's set in 2044 and the world is a rotten place. The narrator is a 17 year old lad who is addicted (like almost everyone else) to a virtual reality 'world' (more of a 'verse) called the Oasis. He even plugs in to go to school. He's also a huge geek hunting an Easter Egg hidden by one of the creators (another geek, and fan of 80s pop culture), because finding it means winning the billions he left in his will. It's all about gaming: online gaming; D&D; arcade games etc. And stuffed full of references to: Tolkien; Star Wars; Firefly; Doctor Who; John Hughes films; Rush etc. And has quite a lot to say about online friendships and what happens when people meet in real life.

Give this one a bash. It's good fun.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:26 PM   #966
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I tried reading [B]Eye of the world[B] by Robert Jordan. I didn't last the first chapter. My book savvy friends recommended the series. It has to be a rip-off of Tolkien. I might give it another go in the future.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:06 AM   #967
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White Tree 5 Best Fantasy/Science Fiction Books/Series You Read This Year

Since the year is nearing its end, why not make a list, everyone? Makes for a nice recommendation list to anyone looking for holiday entertainment.


Here's my list (in no particular order)

1. Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
An alternative history epic set in medieval (?) China. Political plotting, poetry, spirits of the dead and tragic love stories. I also warmly recommend everything else by Kay, this is just his newest book.

2. The Acacia trilogy by David Anthony Durham
More in this post.

3. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Not sure if this one counts, but it's an epic parade of different literary genres, often bordering on science fiction and connected by a sort of thread of karma or rebirths. You can't explain this book, you have to read it.

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
A very catchy and entertaining story and a grisly dystopy at the same time. If you've seen the movie, you don't really have to read the book though, they are 95% similar (the book just makes a little more sense).

5. Ragnarok by A.S. Byatt
A compact and a very beautifully written retelling of the Northern mythology with unavoidable allusions to WWII and today's world.


I just realised I've read very little fantasy/science fiction this year. Weird. Also by the way (since I've been rereading that), for anyone out there who hasn't read George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series or seen the HBO series, I can say once again: you are missing something awesome. I can also recommend The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún to everyone who enjoys his/her mythology.

Now it's your turn.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:54 AM   #968
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I'm a big time fantasy reader, and have just lately been branching out into SF. I used to read mysteries when I was younger and still enjoy the odd one. For those of you on http://www.goodreads.com/ my user name is the same as here.
Favorite Fantasy authors:
Joe Abercrombie
Steven Erikson
G.R.R. Martin
Guy Gavriel Kay
Michelle Sagara West

My 2012 five star books on Goodreads:
Hydrogen Sonata by Ian M. Banks
The Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson
Sharps by K.J. Parker
Skirmish by Michelle Sagara West
King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Caliban's War by James Corey
Long Price Quartet (4 book series) by Daniel Abraham
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:47 PM   #969
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Ring

Emerging from a lengthy absence to splutter indignantly over the lack of Brandon Sanderson in this thread. (What, three mentions so far?) His books are amazing! They're wonderfully thought-out and don't just "rearrange the furniture in Tolkien's attic," to quote Mr. Gaiman. The characters are well-rounded, the settings are unique and intriguing, and the magic systems are just short of jaw-dropping. Come on, guys, please go check out Mr. Sanderson's work! One of his novels is even readable for free on his website!

*sigh*

Well, since there's been a call for end of the year recommendations, I'll go ahead and list my top five (aside from Tolkien, which I'll assume we've all read. )

1) Brandon Sanderson - Just...everything he's written. I'm not joking.

2) David Eddings - The Elenium trilogy is the best, but I'll always love the Belgariad too.

3) Brandon Mull - The Fablehaven series. Yes, it's for 10-12-year-olds, but it's clever, fun writing, and I'm always in favor of clever, fun writing.

4) H.P. Lovecraft - Pretty much everything here, too, but I'll give a particular nod for "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and "Pickman's Model".

5) Howard Andrew Jones - The Desert of Souls, which is a great Arabian Nights-esque sword-and-sorcery novel. The sequel's just come out too, and I'm hoping it will be just as good.

Good reading, everyone!
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:01 PM   #970
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My sister and I have a system of book exchange. I read history fiction and pass it down to her. She reads fantasy and passes it down to me.

So the last book that she passed down is Plain Kate by Erin Bow. It is about a girl who has to sell her shadow to a witch in exchange for her heart's wish, but then she realizes that there's more to it... and on it goes.

Plot-wise, very interesting and moving tale. Makes you think. And it's very, what's the word, sincere. The only part that I'm picky about is the last sentence, but then I'm always picky about that and this one is actually not so bad.

Language-wise, though, it's a bit plain. More of a children's book. I think it would have been better if it was more complex in terms of language.

Also, I dislike the author's use of Russian names. But that's a touchy subject for me, and I won't get deeper into it, since other than "no, that's not how it's supposed to be!" it's not a big deal. After all, it's a fantasy novel and it doesn't really matter what language names are taken from.

I think it's still an interesting book, the awesomeness of the plot and the concept just outweighs the rest of it.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:08 AM   #971
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I read a lot of Fantasy growing up (due to wanting "more like Tolkien"), especially (gasp) David Eddings and Terry Pratchett (although I'm not sure if he counts) but these days I read very little in the genre. I've invested so much time and effort into The Wheel of Time that I intend to read the recently-published final instalment at some point but really the only currently ongoing/modern Fantasy which interests me is Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicle, which is interesting enough. I found Brandon Sanderson's much-lauded The Way of Kings to be very boring and after reading A Game of Thrones I had no interest in continuing the series any further. I found myself unable to complete Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora.
That being said I grew up as part of the original Harry Potter generation and those books will always be extremely dear to my heart. I also quite enjoyed Titus Groan if that counts. I'm also quite keen on classic science-fiction such as Asimov, Clarke and Philip K. Dick. Otherwise I'm pretty dispirited by modern Fantasy, and mostly read "literature" for desperate want of a better word (what is Fantasy but "literature" set in imaginary worlds?) - I'm currently awash in Moby-Dick. I'm particularly fond of Modernism, Hemingway especially. I'm afraid personally for me in terms of Fantasy that Professor Tolkien's work sets the bar much too high - his timeless and elegant prose style, his level of detail and invention and his enormous thematic applicability give something to me that other Fantasy authors never have. There's something I find intensely satisfying about old-fashioned prose in particular, which I think is one of the reasons I enjoy, along with Professor Tolkien, authors such as H.P. Lovecraft and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:30 PM   #972
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Palantir-Green

Has anyone read the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind? I'm about 150 pages to the first pages and enjoying it tremenduously taking into account that it is a story of a guy called Richard who gets a magic sword and has to save the world...
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:22 PM   #973
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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...
I've read all of Sir Pratchett's work at least once and The Long Earth has become my current favourite. I've read it twice already and can't wait for the sequel. The book does stand alone but has several themes which could go in various directions. In fact there is so much in it it has the potential of becoming a genre every bit as divers as the Diskworld series, though that may require more time than Terry has...

The primary theme is that of the opening of a seemingly unlimited frontier in the form of parallel worlds. The main character 'boldy goes' from world to world, encountering variations of earth, from slight to extreme, plus adventurers and settlers who have moved to a few of them.
There are similar themes dealt with in sci-fi series like 'Sliders' or some 'Star Trek' episodes, but the technology for 'stepping' between worlds is made available to everyone. Also it differs from other parallel world/time-line tales in that no humans are found on any but our earth: O brave new worlds that have no people in them!
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:00 PM   #974
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B5

Anyone else here into Babylon 5? I know it's primarily a TV series, though there are books as well, but it has so many themes in common with LotR and many ideas directly drawn from it. Perhaps it may warrant a thread of its own?
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:54 PM   #975
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*raises hand, waving enthusiastically*

I'm a big fan of B5! I remember starting a thread on comparisons - here it is!

edit: Here is an article on the subject (among other influences): B5 influences

And another.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:26 PM   #976
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I love a lot of fantasy and science fiction authers and books. I haven't found too many authers in the last few years to interest me much. I deffinatly prefer late 19th and 20th century literature to the 21st. A few that stand out in my memmories are:

Mercadies Lackey and her Chrome Cycle series. I remember reading the back of the second book before I found the first, all I got was, "Hot Elves, Fast cars and Kidnapped Kids." I was sold. I think there is 10 or so books to the series.

Barbara Hambley is another I love and her "Dog Wizard" Series. I gound the first book 'Silent Tower' in my freshman year of highschool and the second book 'Silicon Mage' a few days after that. I found the third book 8yrs later in a used book store. So worth the wait.

Terry Brooks and the Magic Kingdom Series is another favorite sries I like. I just think having a slightly off wizard as one of your advisors is too funny.

Also anything Norse or Celtic Mythology. I know its not really fantasy but its myth and its awsome fantasy to me.

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Old 02-06-2013, 04:05 PM   #977
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Recently finished a book called Night Circus, which I thought was written by a Downer (but it isn't; it would have been fun if it was, though, because in the book there is a fan club society thing that's pretty similar to the Downs and the Tolkien Smials). Basically two people are chosen to play what is called the game, and they have to outdo each other in their "magic" abilities, and both do so through the circus. And when they both want to forfeit, they realize they can't because they are bound to it and because too much depends on their involvement in the circus. It was a fun read, though the chronology sometimes got confusing.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:56 AM   #978
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At the moment I'm really excited about Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. It's got a steampunk Victorian England inhabited by werewolves, vampires, ghosts, and Alexia Tarabotti who has no soul and is thus able to temporarily negate supernatural powers by touch. And even though the setting sounds like a cliche, the series is refreshing and awesome and cheeky and sexy and very well-written, and women and sexual minorities are well represented, which makes your friendly neighbourhood Breelander (the Shire folk did call them queer, didn't they?) very happy.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:41 PM   #979
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I read City of Bones for my school's book club, and, honestly - don't bother with it if you see it. It's Harry Potter with different names. Actually, it's so much like Harry Potter that Luke reminded me of Lupin even before it was discovered that he's a werewolf. And HP at least has names that fit the book. CoB is pretty much random. >< I will, however, finish the series over the summer just for the sake of finishing.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:26 PM   #980
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I read City of Bones for my school's book club, and, honestly - don't bother with it if you see it. It's Harry Potter with different names.
Well Cassandra Claire, or Clare, or whatever she calls herself these days, was a rather (in)famous HP fanfic writer back in the day, so that doesn’t exactly surprise me.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:25 AM   #981
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White Tree Well...

Lumatere Chronicles-by Melina Marchetta (slightly more adult than things i usually read...)
Shannara Series-by Terry Brooks
The Belgariad Series and the Mallorean Series-by David Eddings
Wyrmeweald Series-by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Inheritance Cycle-Christopher Paolini
The Wheel of Time Series- Robert Jordan (Im only up to 4 out of 14 but I'll get there!)

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Old 07-10-2014, 04:26 PM   #982
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Palantir-Green

Sword of Truth series is one of my favorites, read "Wizards First Rule" and tell me that you dont want to start on "Stone of Tears" asap. Also The codex Alera is very good, i really really liked that series. Warhammer Fantasy has great Elfs and Dwarfs, (fantasy mind you i cant do 40k) Gotrek and Felix is good, i like the Nathan long books better then the William King ones. Nathan is more detailed in his writing. I also love Drizzt, he may very well be my favorite character of all time. Alot of people dont like me because i like Drizzt but oh well Xd. Thats a few ill post more when i have time im in a hurry.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:59 PM   #983
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Thanks to my sister, just finished The Princess Bride, which I believe is not unfamiliar to some of you. Really fun book on many levels, but (no offense) I think the movie is horrible. It botched all the best parts and all the parts that are left up to the imagination! There's a reason the ending of the book is as it was!!! >< (Just for the record, I prefer Morgenstern's ending to Bill's father's ending). And Buttercup isn't supposed to be such a lovely and loving lady, she's supposed to have a healthy streak of selfishness, so don't make her into a self-sacrificing heroine! And they made Inigo and Fezzik into much more minor characters than I think they should be and basically turned a tale of true love and high adventure into a tale of true cliches and high hollywood.

What I liked about the book is that, unlike many modern reads for children and young adults, its main source of humour is the setting, not the characters. Other novels lighten the mood at the expence of characters; usually there is at least one clown in the bunch who would throw in a joke to break up the suspense every time. While there are occasionally funny things being uttered by characters here, they are not being compromised, and they are still taken seriously overall.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:03 AM   #984
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Mine are two:
Harry Potter books
Chronicle of Narnia
The book I wish to read is Wheel of Time.
other than that I've been reading H. G. Wells' The Time Machine.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:31 AM   #985
FerniesApple
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1. Alan Garner - Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Elidor, Moon of Gomrath

Old school fantasy written in the 60s, these are classics, based on Celtic myth, Arthurian legend, nearest I have found to Tolkiens charming style.

2. Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere, Stardust

Neverwhere is probably my favorite book after LOTR, every character is a gem. Its Alice in Wonderland 21st century style. wonderful.


3. Susan Cooper - Dark is Rising trilogy

more classic fantasy from a master. Some of it genuinely thrilling and mysterious.

4. Jonathan Stroud - Bartimaeus trilogy

the most sarcastic and loveable rogue ever. Beautifully written and laugh out loud funny.

5. Philip Pullman - His Dark Materials

Genius. nuff said
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:24 PM   #986
Morthoron
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Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Read the Gaiman/Pratchett novel "Good Omens" recently. Great concept, poor delivery. Funny at the start, but with a climax and denouement as exciting as a wet fart.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:36 PM   #987
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Read the Gaiman/Pratchett novel "Good Omens" recently. Great concept, poor delivery. Funny at the start, but with a climax and denouement as exciting as a wet fart.
wet farts can be strangely satisfying though.
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