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5/14/09 8:15 AM
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pross
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although not quite what you are looking for terry pratchets "theif of time" and "Carpe Jugulum" have some awsome twists if you do not mind humor in the story as well
6/10/09 10:49 PM
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Phundamental
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The Malazan books were horrible imho, well the first book and the beginning of the second imo, He had a great concept and great Universe but completely ruined in imo with his writing..I liked the idea of the warrens (iirc) they accessed for magic and everything, but I just couldn't connect with any characters or get into it...don't know why, I just didn't like it, I got the second book and quit reading like a quarter of the way through it. I'm going to look into some of these suggestions and see if I like any of them...George really ruined the Fantasy genre for me though, it's kinda like when God of War came out, nothing else compares so why bother lol...thanks for the suggestions though and keep em coming.

Lymond, I did read that entire thread and thought it was a little outdated so I figured I would start another one...thanks for being a prick about it though lol jk buddy but I think if you like the Malazan stories that much mine and your interested arent really the same fren
6/12/09 2:51 PM
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JeffMiller
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I'm a big fan of the Nightside books by Simon Green and the Dresden books by Butcher. Also a big fan of Pratchett's "Discworld" books -- often hilarious, yet they provide a keen social satire in a fantasy context.

But the "Magic" series by Lyndon Hardy (Master of the Five Magics, Secret of the Sixth Magic, and Riddle of the Seven Realms) is my all-time favorite. Out of print and hard to find. If I find a copy at a used book story I buy it, becuase the old copies can only take so much re-reading!
6/16/09 6:45 AM
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TJits73
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Dark Tower series-Stephen King
7/10/09 5:12 PM
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slam1523
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^^^Magic series not so bad. I didn't read the last book though.

I also could not get into the Malazan books, I stopped after the second one. I'll pick it up one day.

Le Guin, Gemmell, Hobb, Tad Williams, Rothfuss, Lynch, Butcher all good. Here's some stuff not mentioned previously.

The Gilded Chain - Dave Duncan: first book was great, the rest in the series, some good some bad.

Chalion series - Bujold: all three books were great, imo. Second book won the Hugo and Nebula awards. but the writer's a chick, so she's goes alot into character development, unlike a lot of male authors who are more into world building and plot. great author, imo.

First Law series- Abercrombie: pretty fucking good.

Heroes Die - Stover: simply awesome. Caine is a bad bad man. if you like mma, i think you'll like this. one of my all time favorites.

The Prince of Nothing - Scott Baker: another great series. Baker's a philosopher so his books are kinda deep.

The Warded Man/Painted Man - Peter Brett: his debut novel. imo, up there with Rothfuss' debut The Name of the Wind, and Lynch's debut The Lies of Locke Lamora. falls short of First Law and Prince of Nothing, because these two are on another level.

Alera series - Jim Butcher: my recent favorite. series gets better with each book. can tell his writing skills were still developing when he started.
7/13/09 6:18 PM
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Seul
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The first Malazan book I read was the third (memories of ice), it is considerably better than 1 and 2. I wouldn't recommend the first one at all, really, and 2 is only okay. Books 3 and 4 are amazing, though, and if you decide to give the series another shot I would start with one of them.

I loved the Prince of Nothing, as well, though they are a little depressing. They are indeed thought-provoking and extremely well written, though.

I recently read a book call "The Name of the Wind", by Patrick Rothfuss; it's excellent, but the sequel won't be out for some time.
8/22/09 3:14 PM
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Seul
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^^^It had ups and downs, and I didn't really enjoy it (or finish it) when I tried to re-read it. I enjoyed it quite a bit the first time through, though.

I was having a bad day (split with the ladyfriend) when I picked it up, I might have been overly grateful for the distraction.
8/25/09 9:53 AM
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Lymond
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slam1523 - ^^^Magic series not so bad. I didn't read the last book though.

I also could not get into the Malazan books, I stopped after the second one. I'll pick it up one day.

Le Guin, Gemmell, Hobb, Tad Williams, Rothfuss, Lynch, Butcher all good. Here's some stuff not mentioned previously.

The Gilded Chain - Dave Duncan: first book was great, the rest in the series, some good some bad.

Chalion series - Bujold: all three books were great, imo. Second book won the Hugo and Nebula awards. but the writer's a chick, so she's goes alot into character development, unlike a lot of male authors who are more into world building and plot. great author, imo.

First Law series- Abercrombie: pretty fucking good.

Heroes Die - Stover: simply awesome. Caine is a bad bad man. if you like mma, i think you'll like this. one of my all time favorites.

The Prince of Nothing - Scott Baker: another great series. Baker's a philosopher so his books are kinda deep.

The Warded Man/Painted Man - Peter Brett: his debut novel. imo, up there with Rothfuss' debut The Name of the Wind, and Lynch's debut The Lies of Locke Lamora. falls short of First Law and Prince of Nothing, because these two are on another level.

Alera series - Jim Butcher: my recent favorite. series gets better with each book. can tell his writing skills were still developing when he started.


Other than being wrong about Malazan and Bakker ;0, these are some great recs. Curse of Chalion is one of my all time favorite books. Couple I haven't read but I'm gonna pick up Abercrombie today.

Though I mentioned him before, let me just pimp Steven Brust once more. I just reread some of his stuff and damn is he good. I'm surprised he hasn't caught on more. His Vlad Taltos series reads sort of like Butcher's Dresden but in a fantasy type world instead of Chicago and at the start of the series the hero is in the mafia and a hitman and not a hero type. It was by far my favorite series before Butcher and Erikson exploded onto the scene.
8/25/09 12:50 PM
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slam1523
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lol. Lymond, your taste in fantasy seems to be similar to mine. I read some of the Taltos series, but so long ago. I can't remember much of them other than they are like a mystery/fantasy hybrid. I guess, much like the Dresden series.

Have you read Heroes Die? Its about Caine, who lives in a future post-apocalyptic society that pay to vicariously live, or die, through Actors that are sent to an alternate magical universe. They go on quests, battle, live, die, mostly die for their society's enjoyment. Dark, but uplifting.

Another good one is Serpent Catch by David Wolverton(aka David Farland). Here is the caption from Amazon:

"Chosen for an expedition into the hostile Kingdom of Crael, the half-breed Tull faces his greatest challenge as he seeks to reconcile his human and Neanderthal halves in a world where he has no real place. Wolverton sets this fantasy-like quest on a distant moon where genetic engineering has re-created extinct and mythological species, and where humans enslave their Neanderthal creations to increase their own power. This excellent blend of sf and fantasy belongs in most libraries."

There are only two books in this series, Serpent Catch and Path of the Hero. Serpent Catch was good, but Path of the Hero was amazing. Here is what Orson Scott Card wrote as a review:

" I raved about Dave Wolverton's first novel, On My Way to Paradise, and I've got to warn you: Apparently I'm a full-fledged member of Wolverton's "ideal audience," because I'm hard-pressed to tell you anything negative about his second. He touches the themes I care most about, yes, but more important yet, this man can create characters and dilemmas, worlds and societies that come alive for me and become an indelible part of my memory. I suppose that if you aren't as deeply touched by these things you may wonder why Card gets so excited about Wolverton's books, and like any reviewer I must remain aware that there may be others who disagree with my assessment. But dammitall, folks, in my humble opinion Serpent Catch is a masterwork of the first rank.

On a world that was meant to be a sort of planetwide zoo, with one continent devoted to dinosaurs and another to pre-ice age monster-size mammals, several intelligent races have been forced by alien prison wardens to live out their lives with no hope of the advances that science and high technology can bring. The intelligent species are dominated by Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis, and the central dilemma and the great strength of Wolverton's novel is the relationship between the emotional, non-linear neanderthals -- the Pwi -- and the rational but power-loving Humans. It may bother some readers for a while that the Pwi seem remarkably rational for such an "emotional" people, but fairly late in the story we learn that this is because there is no such thing as a "pure" Pwi or a "pure" human anymore -- for reasons that make perfect sense within the tale.

At the start of the story we find that the world is on the brink of disaster. The mechanisms that the designers of the "zoo" establish to keep the dinosaurs on their own continent are breaking down; in the meantime, the slave-owning kingdom of Craal is on the march, determined to take control of the last free peoples in the world. Our heros are not trying to stop the Craal -- that would be far beyond their power. But they are trying to do something that seems almost as impossible -- to steal infant water serpents from under the noses of the Craal and "seed" them in the ocean near their home, where they can resume their work of killing any dinosaurs who try to cross the ocean barrier.

In many ways, this science fiction novel feels like the best sort of fantasy quest, with a team of intrepid travelers, led at times by an immortal god-figure, discovering wonders and facing grave dangers along the way. It is also profoundly concerned with the way humans are controlled by -- but sometimes transcend -- their desires, and a good number of the male characters spend a considerable portion of the quest thinking almost exclusively about sex, which makes this the more realistic of quest novels!

By the end, without being beaten over the head about it, you will have been brought face to face with some of the greatest questions in literature: The nature of freedom, the meaning of human life, how power in human society is acquired and used. Yet you barely have to notice that the philosophical issues are under discussion, for this story grips you tightly and holds you through every page. It's hard to imagine that you would like many -- certainly not most -- of the characters; but you will understand them and, therefore, love them, even the most unlovable of them, even the ones whose actions you think are hopelessly, irredeemably wrong. That may be what I like best about Wolverton's work, even as I fail completely to understand how he does it: Wolverton does not require you to agree with his opinion in order to care about and believe his world, his people, and his tale."

Now that is an endorsement.
8/25/09 2:00 PM
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Lymond
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I have read Stover, Heroes and I forget the name of the other one but I thought Heroes was very good and the other one stunk.

Farland, man I wanted to beat myself up for buying his fantasy series, first book was ok the rest was among the worst shit I've ever read. I'll give his other stuff a try though, if Card likes it that much, it has to have some sort of value. I'm going straight to the bookstore after class today though to pick up Abercrombie since, as you said, we seem to have similiar tastes.
8/25/09 2:34 PM
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slam1523
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Same with me. Hated his writing as Farland. Like you, I thought the first book was good since I liked the premise and magic system. But when it came to writing the story, it was really, really bad.

The books written under his real name are pretty good, especially On my way to paradise, and serpent catch. Serpent catch was loved by the critics, but got no love from the mainstream. Around that time, Robert Jordan was getting big. I think Wolverton wrote Runelords and wrote it under a pseudonym to cash in. Wolverton is for the adults, Farland is for the kids.

Hope you like First Law. I got the feel of Bakker in this one. Maybe cause half the characters are homicidal psychotics.
8/27/09 1:19 AM
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hey mes
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Black Company books are excellent. Very gritty and dark. You'll like it if you liked songs of ices and fire series.
8/31/09 1:01 PM
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Lymond
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Finished First Law trilogy. Pretty good, not great. Kind of read as more of a satire of the genre than an attempt to write a fantasy trilogy (Erikson does a much better job of defying convention). Slam, I can see how it reminds you of Bakker, I got the same sense that all of the characters, minus the one of his choice (Bayaz), were complete fucking morons.

The lack of detail was frustrating for me and made it feel like the series lacked depth. The world building was fairly weak and stereotypical for a fantasy setting and the Roman Empire stuff was absolutely and pathetically retarded.

Also, I really didn't like how his psychology background was so prominent in the writing. Yeah, people are generally fuck ups who cannot change even when trying, I get it and don't need 3 books to show me it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the series and am probably being a bit more critical here than I need to be.

On the plus side, it was funny as hell and had me laughing often. Good story, good action, funny dialogue and some cool characters.

Overall it was decent, I'd give it a B/B-.
8/31/09 2:22 PM
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slam1523
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oh well, different strokes for different folks.

Funny dialogue and cool characters go a long way with me.

Stereotypical? I guess. But most fantasy pretty much takes from other stories. Its the quality of the writing/pacing/characters which, for me, determines whether i enjoy it or not.

Alera is a great story, but stereotypical. Its the Farm-Boy of Destiny all over again. You can go back to the Book of Three, Feist's Magic series, and the Belgariad for something similar. But I'm hooked. Butcher's pacing is uncanny. I like his characters too.

I'm not a big fan of detail or world-building. A lot of people like Name of the Wind and the Wheel of Time because of the world-building and the detail that goes into describing it.

But look at Wizard of Earthsea. Wizard of Earthsea is a great little story, but hardly any detail, while Name of the Wind fills pages with back-story and detail. But without a doubt, Wizard of Earthsea will always be a classic, while Name of the Wind will be forgotten once the hype ends.

Wheel of Time is something else. It will be remembered as the greatest story ever started, and ruined...
8/31/09 2:41 PM
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Lymond
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Alera for sure is stereotypical, which Butcher freely admits. He got the idea from a freaking internet challenge to use Lost Roman legion as a story subject and Pokemon for magic. The quality of his writing is just a level above Abercrombie, imo, and overcomes the generic story background. Does a better job of creating characters worth following and of making the plot more epic. Abercrombie doesn't do enough depth to overcome the setting. I can totally see how you feel differently, the series is a fun ride, just isn't competely my cup of tea.

I'm big on world building and it seperates good and bad fantasy/sci-fi for me.

If Rothfuss manages to finish the series, and keep the same quality, then I strongly disagree that his work will be forgotten.
9/28/09 10:55 PM
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Lymond
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turducken - Do you guys who like The Name of the Wind also like the Harry Potter series?


I do. But that's not why I'm bumping this a month later.

slam, I really wish you would have pushed Lies of Locke Lamora more. It spent a month languishing undeservedly on my book shelf after I finished Abercrombie. I just finished Lies and it was a hell of a read. I think I enjoyed it more than you as I'd place it well above Abercrombie and Bakker.

Freaking book has it all, good plot, great characters, well built world. His prose is also far more enjoyable than the aforementioned. I do find it funny that he also includes a Roman type empire but without them being terribly significant. I can't wait to get and read the next one.
10/2/09 9:41 PM
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ocianain
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Google Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Classics, read the ones you think you'll like. I'd recommend, Eric Brighteyes, maybe the best Viking story of all time. Look up the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Classics, one awesome book after another. Terry Pratchett is a very talented writer, I like everything he wrote. Lequins, Earthsea books are good (first three) the follow up volumes seem like they were written in a haze, didn't care for them. Gene Wolfe is an awesome writer, his Torturer series is awesome, also his Knight books.
10/5/09 3:46 PM
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slam1523
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Lymond - 
turducken - Do you guys who like The Name of the Wind also like the Harry Potter series?


I do. But that's not why I'm bumping this a month later.

slam, I really wish you would have pushed Lies of Locke Lamora more. It spent a month languishing undeservedly on my book shelf after I finished Abercrombie. I just finished Lies and it was a hell of a read. I think I enjoyed it more than you as I'd place it well above Abercrombie and Bakker.

Freaking book has it all, good plot, great characters, well built world. His prose is also far more enjoyable than the aforementioned. I do find it funny that he also includes a Roman type empire but without them being terribly significant. I can't wait to get and read the next one.


Good series, a bit too much Ocean's Eleven in the second book. I would categorize Rothfuss, Brett and Lynch in the same group in terms of quality. Surprisingly good, considering they're all new authors that debuted in 2008/2009. Any recent books you thought were good? I'm getting bored.

ocianain - Gene Wolfe is a hard sell. His writing is not that accessible to the average fantasy reader. I like him, especially the Knight/Wizard series. I just don't expect others to like him. He doesn't lay it all out there, a bit too subtle. I'm always trying to figure out what he's trying to say in-between the lines, and it gets frustrating.
10/7/09 7:42 PM
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ocianain
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Slam, Wolfe can be appreciated on different level, his Torture books can be read as straight fantasy, or, appreciated as a deeper work. The New Sun books less so (IMHO). Knight in particular was perfect for a young man, it will also be something (like Narnia) you can read as an adult. Wolfe is a very Catholic writer if that helps.
10/8/09 11:05 AM
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Seul
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^^^The Gene Wolfe stuff (the torturer books) freaked me out the first time I read it, there was so much going on that he never directly discussed. I spent a ton of time re-reading passages and speculating about them, they were very good and very strange. I often fly through books and think about them after I'm done, but the torturer books required me to slow done quite a bit and focus to try and catch everything.


I read The First Law books (just 1 and 3, the stores around here don't have 2). They're pretty good (and in general I enjoy books that jump from character to character with the narrative), I enjoyed the unexpected failure of all the characters to make any sort of progress with their own lives (they felt more real than the less complicated characters often used in fantasy).
10/20/09 2:04 PM
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slam1523
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First Lord's Fury is about to release Nov 24.

Preview of the first chapter is below, with links to subsequent chapters, posted weekly, as the release date nears:
http://www.jim-butcher.com/books/alera/6/fullpreview.php

Amazon has it for $9 as a pre-order.
10/22/09 12:02 PM
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American Icon
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The First Law series kicked ass.

Just about anything by Raymond Feist is good as well.
11/11/09 8:48 PM
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j-money
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Has anyone read any of the Saga of Recluce novels? I never hear anything about those books, but there has to be fans of it because there are 15 books in the series already published.
11/12/09 10:35 AM
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Xader
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j-money - Has anyone read any of the Saga of Recluce novels? I never hear anything about those books, but there has to be fans of it because there are 15 books in the series already published.

The first few were interesting but they all ended up being pretty much the same and very predictable so I gave up fairly early in the series. 

11/12/09 5:38 PM
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slam1523
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i agree with Xader. also, in the Recluce novels, he spells out sounds, for example, of a horse walking, rain drops falling in puddles, and it gets annoying.

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