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6/28/12 12:11 PM
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WhirrunOfBligh
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UGCTT_Jay Edz -
WhirrunOfBligh -
UGCTT_Jay Edz -
WhirrunOfBligh - Abercrombie is awesome. His most recent, The Heroes, is my favourite book ever.

Really enjoyed Black Company stuff and am now on the second Malazan book having really enjoyed the first.

Name of the Wind... got to agree, second novel was real let down. Phone Post
I like his books but bleak don't even begin to describe it! Phone Post
Who, Abercrombie? True, but I think The Heroes has a lot more charm and humour that gives some balance. I don't find him a depressing read.

Looking forward to his next one; Red Country I think. Phone Post
I haven't read Heroes yet, the last I read was Best Served Cold. Was good but I need to read something a bit uplifting afterwards to balance it out. Phone Post
Best Served Cold is the weakest of his five books, I think. Definitely try The Heroes- far superior. Phone Post
6/28/12 12:17 PM
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Lymond
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It's so weird to me that I'm the only person who really disliked Abercrombie. Maybe I'll read him again in a few years.

The Curse of Chalion is a great standalone book. Couple others written in the same universe but only tangentially related.

Of those already mentioned, I think Erikson, Brust, Rothfuss, Butcher, and Pratchett are all great reads as well.
6/28/12 1:50 PM
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Cryptic
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Damastes à Cimabue leading the Red Lancers

For those of us who grew up with the fantasy genre in our teens but now find that as we have gotten older we can no longer read the stories, fear not, for there are still some books out there worth reading. In a time when the fantasy genre seems to be marketing heavily towards the teen-age generation, it is hard to find fantasy novels written for the mature reader, but "The Seer King" delivers to us an enjoyable novel with mature characters. These characters deal with mature problems. The relationships, although not the stuff out of which great literature is made of, are complex and feel almost real. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has become a bit jaded with the fantasy genre and needs a new infusion of enthusiasm for it.

The Seer King is a superb example of what the first book in a fantasy trilogy should be like. It is definitely a man's fantasy world, flush with sexual passion, brewing with violence, and laced with boorish soldiery humor. I compare the humor in this novel to the adult humor and language in popular HBO series such as: Band of Brothers, Rome, Game of Thrones. One could easily imagine The Seer King trilogy feeling right at home on that network. This is not only a rich fantasy novel, but the definitive lesson in honor and the way an honest, patriotic and proud man should behave in face of unmeasurable adversity. Throughout the trilogy, no reaction is tempered, no issues are glazed over and no taboo goes unspoken.

The narrative is fast. True to the perspective of the soldier, the narrator does not spend much time on details. This works out wonderfully for the modern reader, since the narrative flows more in tune to the taste of twentieth century readers as opposed to the usual narratives that we get in the fantasy genre. Since the narrator assumes that we are part of his culture, most things are not explained. The culture needs no explanation for it comes alive in the daily interactions of the characters. We learn about magic and the gods not through the experienced dissertations of someone who theorizes on the more esoteric terms of these subjects, but through Damastes's own beliefs and experiences with these. The result is a very rich tapestry filled with different colors, since the world that the author has created draws heavily from many different cultures and empires throughout history.

The story is set in a land on the verge of ruin as dark magic surfaces and threatens to overcome all of the nations within in. Matters are complicated further by conflict between the various nations as well as the current ruling body's inability to make the necessary decisions and work together actively. As the world begins to fall apart completely we follow the rise of Seer Laish Tenedos, a man with radical ideas and cunning. We see this world through the eyes of Damastes à Cimabue, a confident young cavalry officer, fighting hard in the Numantian army against lawless bandits on the frontiers. Together they form an unlikely pair; one relying on his mind and mystical abilities while the others strengths lie in physical combat and military tactics. But through their many battles together and shared experiences these two men develop a sound respect for each other and manage to change the course of events drastically.

The two characters at the heart of this story, Damastes and Tenedos, are well-thought out and provide the reader with excellent entertainment. Their volatile natures serve to create some highly amusing conversations as neither will be the first to back down over what they view as right, yet for all their strong wills and determination each has their own weakness to show the reader that no-one is perfect. There are many other characters of interest within the trilogy and you find yourself drawn to these other players, perhaps comparing them to friends and acquaintances in your own life. Damastes' kinship to them becomes yours in time. All of them manage to leave their impression on Damastes and contribute to the richness of the tale.

The vary beginning of the book is a slight challenge to get into initially as the focus is on a rather competitive sporting match, which demonstrated how a small matter can have a huge outcome and set into motion a lifetime of events. Tread carefully though because within a couple of chapters you'll soon realize your damn near physical addiction to this book. I found myself eagerly coming home after work and curling up with this book on Friday nights, much to the chagrin of my drinking buddies. As it would turn out, I was so enamored with this trilogy that I gave away several copies as gifts to my friends. Although huge fans of fantasy role playing games and the tv series Game of Thrones, they seldom sit down to read much of anything. Well, that all changed with this trilogy. They, too, quickly found themselves immersed in the storyline and craved more. Having long conversations about this book with friends was an unexpected delight.

As soon as Damastes, the young soldier, was sent on his first mission and met the enterprising mage Tenedos, the story really took off and I did not encounter a dull moment from there right until the end. I particularly liked the variety of battles and skirmishes described by Damastes. Chris Bunch obviously knows a lot about military life and warfare, using his own expertise and experience to create unique situations and resolve each in an innovative way. Having said that, he manages to prevent becoming bogged down with too much intricate detail by interspersing these soldiering sequences with well-written, highly evocative love and sex scenes. I found it interesting that a person could live their life as a soldier, putting on a cold, detached demeanor in order to survive and succeed in harsh times, while retaining a warm heart capable of great love and passion despite all the horror they have seen; maybe because of the horror they've seen since it provides an escape mechanism.

This entire book is written from Damastes's point of view looking back at his life and how he came to be in his current position, which is prison awaiting a death sentence. He states that Tenedos brought about their doom and during the retelling of his life hints at how the future was not to be as they hoped, but the author does not let slip as to what went wrong or why at this stage. These small suggestions will obviously lead to the final climax at the end of the trilogy and my curiosity has been beautifully piqued so that I will not stop reading until I know the answer. In the meantime however I have been able to enjoy this action-packed adventure story brimming with examples of betrayal, love, courage and political intrigue. A wholly addictive series.
6/28/12 3:23 PM
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RandomMan
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t
6/29/12 10:13 PM
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Cryptic
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Did that long review kill the thread?
6/29/12 10:44 PM
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MuaySteve
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I would hope that 8 paragraphs would not dissuade people who looking for books to read.
6/29/12 10:47 PM
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jimmy23
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Cryptic - Did that long review kill the thread?
it made me add it to my amazon wish list :)
 
6/29/12 11:11 PM
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bonersaurus
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I've only seen one mention of R Scott bakker's trilogy the prince of nothing. There series was recommended to me on the Westoros forum and I was impressed. It would almost be a high fantasy take on the crusades. There's some complete mindfucks. Phone Post
6/30/12 12:09 AM
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Cryptic
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bonersaurus - I've only seen one mention of R Scott bakker's trilogy the prince of nothing. There series was recommended to me on the Westoros forum and I was impressed. It would almost be a high fantasy take on the crusades. There's some complete mindfucks. Phone Post

*Recommended*





6/30/12 12:44 PM
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MushroomHead
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A little over 200 pages into The Way of Kings, and liking it more and more as I get in. Fascinating world, customs, races, race reactions, etc. Pretty good writing.

Got The Blade Itself and Seer King on standby. Phone Post
6/30/12 5:27 PM
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Cryptic
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jimmy23 - 
Cryptic - Did that long review kill the thread?
it made me add it to my amazon wish list :)
 

Hey that's pretty cool! I hope I didn't over hype it ha!
7/1/12 1:45 PM
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UGCTT_Jay Edz
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MushroomHead - A little over 200 pages into The Way of Kings, and liking it more and more as I get in. Fascinating world, customs, races, race reactions, etc. Pretty good writing.

Got The Blade Itself and Seer King on standby. Phone Post
That book had SUCH a strong start. Phone Post
7/1/12 7:24 PM
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TheAlchemist
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PoundforPound - 
TheAlchemist - You guys should try Chinese Wuxia. Jin Yong was/is a very good author. here's a sample:

http://wuxiapedia.com/Novels/Index/Eagle-Shooting-Hero


I love Jin Yong's stuff. Can't go wrong with secret societies and Shaolin/Wu Tang martial artists running around.

 Hell ya
7/1/12 7:52 PM
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virux11b
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Louisvillain - Icewind dale trilogy
-r a salvatore Phone Post
This. Phone Post
7/1/12 8:11 PM
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Fugitive
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7 Phone Post
7/3/12 12:36 PM
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invalid
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sub
7/3/12 1:21 PM
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invalid
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Ok, having read the thread I'm stuck between three choices.

Erikson
Cook
Abercrombie


Please keep in mind that while I've been a fan of the fantasy genre, I've never been a reader or it over general fiction. This would be my introduction to it since I read DragonLance as a teen
7/3/12 1:30 PM
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JustMidge
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sub Phone Post
7/3/12 8:11 PM
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UGCTT_Jay Edz
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invalid - Ok, having read the thread I'm stuck between three choices.

Erikson
Cook
Abercrombie


Please keep in mind that while I've been a fan of the fantasy genre, I've never been a reader or it over general fiction. This would be my introduction to it since I read DragonLance as a teen
Based on that, personally I wouldn't go with Abercrombie just yet.

I really think 'Magician' is a must-read for any fantasy fan. Phone Post
7/3/12 8:20 PM
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Harlow's Rhesus
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Abercrombie is super casual, easy to immerse yourself into, easy to feel for the characters and chuckle at the humor. It's never boring, a chore, or confusing, straightforward simple vocabulary, and the book is better for it.  I'd recomend it to anyone who isn't a big reader, especially compared to your usual cliche grandious fantasy.  
7/3/12 8:30 PM
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UGCTT_Jay Edz
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Harlow's Rhesus - Abercrombie is super casual, easy to immerse yourself into, easy to feel for the characters and chuckle at the humor. It's never boring, a chore, or confusing, straightforward simple vocabulary, and the book is better for it.  I'd recomend it to anyone who isn't a big reader, especially compared to your usual cliche grandious fantasy.  
I agree to a certain extent, but as for feeling for the characters, I didn't find any of then likeable at all. Phone Post
7/3/12 9:00 PM
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invalid
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I actually picked up Abercrombie's first book earlier tonight. I was going to get The Black Company since it's a shorter series since I wasn't sure what fantasy would do it for me - apparently The Black Company isn't on Kindle or the Ipad store.

I'm 4 chapters in and liking it so far. The whole start out with action can be good, but I had no idea how to picture the Sanka's or whatever lol.

Are they reptiles men? They aren't really described, and while I'm sure that's on purpose, I friggin hate hard openings like that for that reason lol
7/3/12 9:39 PM
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Mihow
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Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen all 10

like 30 main characters ... details abound ... I can never describe this book series because I do an inadequate job. Best fantasy book series by a landslide, like a giant landslide too not a small one. I'll stop now because I get incoherent about this book series.

The Black Company is fun stuff, very dark
Sword of Truth series. People bad mouth the author for making the lead character so heroic, but he's a hero ... so I dunno. Cool shit happens and he does cool shit

The Otherland series is very nifty, as well as most works by Tad Williams
7/3/12 9:41 PM
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Mihow
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Sagiv Lapkin -  I'm gonna get flamed for this but......Sword of Truth series. I loved that shit.


bro fist ... I love that shit too ... I wanted a pet gar forever.
7/3/12 11:00 PM
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jimmy23
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Harlow's Rhesus - Abercrombie is super casual, easy to immerse yourself into, easy to feel for the characters and chuckle at the humor. It's never boring, a chore, or confusing, straightforward simple vocabulary, and the book is better for it.  I'd recomend it to anyone who isn't a big reader, especially compared to your usual cliche grandious fantasy.  
yep
 

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