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good fantasy books/series?

(73 Posts)
neonrainbow Sat 13-Aug-16 23:37:21

Need something new to get my teeth into. I've read and love all robin hobb. Very much dislike game of thrones as too wordy and too much rape, misogny and sooo many names. Read the wheel of time series years ago, it was ok.. not too keen on very long series that never seem to end. What other books or series or authors do i need to look at?

MontyFox Sun 14-Aug-16 00:46:28

Patrick Rothfuss and Joe Abercrombie might serve you well smile

FastWindow Sun 14-Aug-16 00:58:27

You'll love the Terry Goodkind Sword of Truth series.

'It was an odd looking vine. ' Opening line of a book called Wizard's First Rule. The vine in question is a snake vine: the Rule, is explained later. But you don't want to encounter a thorn from a snake vine. Not if you have the gift.

Disclaimer :Robin Hobb never ever lets you down. Terry Goodkind should have stopped at number four or five. But the first few are really good.

neonrainbow Sun 14-Aug-16 08:19:08

I've read the name of the wind by patrick rothfuss i really loved the first one but the second was terrible. I've never read any joe abercrombie what should i start with?

Never read any terry goodkind either so ill look up your suggestion thanks grin

Re robin hobb i didn't like the soldier son or rain wilds trilogies they felt like moneyspinners and not up to her usual standards but i can forgive that for giving us all The Fool. I love him. smile

cdtaylornats Sun 14-Aug-16 08:43:22

Terry Brooks Shsnnara series, seems huge but it can be read in segments
Any of Trudi Canavan
Keith DeCandido Precinct series 4 short and funny books about the Castle Guard who are the citys police amongst Humans and elves, dwarves and gnomes, wizards and warriors . The guard is mostly warrior but the CSI are wizards.

MontyFox Sun 14-Aug-16 15:12:53

For Abercrombie I'd start with The Blade Itself.

LBOCS2 Sun 14-Aug-16 15:21:25

Trudi Canavan's Magician's Guild series? I think they're YA but they're quite good.

neonrainbow Sun 14-Aug-16 15:37:28

Thanks people ill download a couple suggested. Feel free to add more smile

idrinkandiknowthings Sun 14-Aug-16 23:15:35

It's getting on now, but I loved "Wraeththu" by Storm Constantine.

When I finished it I was actually gutted that the race didn't exist.

Fairylea Sun 14-Aug-16 23:18:56

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. Dh is a proper fantasy geek and these books are the ones he says are his game changer - since reading those he can't get into anything else as it doesn't compare !

TaraCarter Mon 15-Aug-16 00:40:06

Fantasy? Ah, a genre I know (less than I think I know) about!

For someone of a similar calibre to Robin Hobb, I recommend Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion series. Unlike Robin Hobb, she managed to achieve consistency all the way through and to avoid a dip (I agree there was a slight rushed quality to the Rain Wilds Dragon books). But there are a lot of characters to keep track of and there are eight main books.

Yes, I am also of the mind that Terry Goodkind should really have stopped at book five!

OP, bear in mind that imo, if you look askance at Martin's rape scenes, you're not going to enjoy Goodkind's dependence on them.

Trudi Canavan's Magician's Apprentice series has some great characterisation. I found myself looking up from passages to say, "Perfect! That IS just how it feels? How does she describe it so well?" and I liked her Age of the Five series too. I can't make any comments on her current trilogy, as I haven't read that, but her back-catalogue certainly bears reading.

For swords and sorcery, told with a light touch, towards the YA end of the spectrum- Michael J. Sullivan and The Riyria Revelations. It does, at first glance, have a bit of a happy hooker thread in the background. (If you read the prequels (written as sequels), this is somewhat unpacked.) His prose is undemanding and a total antidote to G.R.R Martin's. Reading ASOIAF often feels like being hit with a pillow-trussed hammer, but not Sullivan.

A set of books which is free from lazy misogyny of any level: Kate Elliott, intelligent, feminist and accomplished, nay, gifted author (Robin Hobb calibre) and her Cold Magic trilogy. Coming to the end of these made me feel the same way as when I had to close the last pages on the Fool.

For someone new and slightly untried: Erika Johansen. She has published two out of a planned trilogy and Emma Watson is reportedly tipped to play the lead in the film adaptation.

In order, her books are:
Queen of the Tearling (published)
Invasion of the Tearling (published)
Fate of the Tearling (available for pre-order).

TaraCarter Mon 15-Aug-16 00:54:57

P.S. Before I read Robin Hobb and fell in deep adoring puppy love with the fool, one of my favourite literary characters ever was a young man called Gen in The Thief (and sequels) by Megan Whalen Turner.

If I could have a crossover between any two literary universes, I think I would pick these books and Robin Hobb's, because I want to know who would win a battle of wills- the Fool, or Gen.

neonrainbow Mon 15-Aug-16 06:58:59

Excellent posts thank you. I've read the two tearling books and i think i may have read the trudi canavan magician seriesa few years ago ill dig them back out. I've heard of most of these authors but its really helpful to know theyre worth reading and which particular books to try first.

busyboysmum Mon 15-Aug-16 07:06:31

I'm halfway through the Company series by Kage Baker and really enjoying them. They're more sci fi than fantasy really. Set in the past and the future about time travelling and cyborgs but a really good read. If you have a kindle and pm me your email address I can email them to you in mobi format.

TaraCarter Mon 15-Aug-16 11:11:37

Yeah, I'm afraid my recommendations aren't ever that obscure. grin

Have you come across Glenda Larke? I've read two series of hers. I can't wholeheartedly say either were 5/5 stars, but they were far from rubbish too. Bit difficult for me to articulate why, so I looked for some reviews I agreed with.

The Last Stormlord
Fantasy Review Barn said:
Nathan’s review:

A great read can show up unexpectedly. Browsing shelves of a used book store this review took a chance on a book by an author he had never heard of. 1/3 in, a new love is discovered.

Something of a Dune vibe, water is king and everything revolves around it. The only water available is the undrinkable sea, moved and purified to the cities on the loam by Stormlords. At the time of the book, the world is down to one man with this power, and his time is running short.

Though never gratuitous with the violence, the author can be brutal at times. A high death count and lack of hope is seen throughout the narrative. Traditional trappings are avoided though, the young girl raised to be a prostitute takes a different path than expected, people with revenge on their mind actually refrain from going on a rampage, etc.

Click here for rest of review

The Lascar's Dagger

Fantasy Review Barn:

Glenda Larke is one of a very small number of authors whose works are on my must-buy list, and a new book, and the first of a series to boot, is always cause for celebration. Larke writes a traditional kind of fantasy, not the elves and dwarves sort, but the type that relies on a refreshingly original created world, engaging characters and a story that compels right from the first line. And it doesn’t hurt that she has a wonderfully vivid writing style.

So why does this one not quite set me on fire? I think it’s because there are so many elements that feel very unoriginal, not to say tired. Parts of the world feel like just another pseudo-medieval setting, the parts that involve the patrilineal kingdom with the cold-hearted king, the playboy prince and the resentful but plucky princess, doomed to marry some hideous older man for political reasons. Yawn. And I’m always deeply suspicious of kings who have precisely two children, one of each gender. In a hereditary monarchy, there should be hordes of hopeful heirs, legitimate and otherwise, in every generation, or else an extremely good reason why not.

Other parts of the story are well up to Larke’s creative standards.

Click here to read on

FastWindow Mon 15-Aug-16 20:04:32

This is vampires kind of, but Richelle Mead spun a good story in the Vampire Academy series. Definitely YA but the lead character is very engaging and it's fairly fresh in a done to death genre (see what I did there?)

There was a good film of the first book, but sadly it looks like no more will ever get made.

Disclaimer - its no Anne Rice. But very entertaining .

GrouchyKiwi Mon 15-Aug-16 20:22:06

Have you read Raymond E Feist? Magician is wonderful. It's kind of the first of a trilogy but stands alone well. The sequels Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon are easy, solid fantasy too. He also wrote a trilogy with one of my favourite authors Janny Wurts which is a connected story. It's the Empire series: Daughter of the Empire, Servant of the Empire and Mistress of the Empire. I reread these often.

Speaking of Wurts, she has a nice standalone (The Master of Whitestorm), a decent trilogy (Cycle of Fire) and a magnificently long and wordy not-yet-finished epic series called The Wars of Light and Shadow. The latter is what you didn't ask for, but I'm recommending it anyway. grin

For steam punk with a fun take on vampires, werewolves and ghosts: Gail Carriger. Start with Soulless.

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is lovely, and I did like American Gods.

I also liked Kate Elliot, though it's been years since I read her.

For short stories Kelly Link is wonderful.

And for something a little different - not fantasy, maybe spec fic - The Humans by Matt Haig.

neonrainbow Mon 15-Aug-16 21:16:34

There's some that have been suggested that are definitely outside my comfort zone ie sci fi so it might do me some good. ill certainly have a look. Id already started uprooted by naomi novik and so far its really readable. I have some amazon vouchers burning a hole in my pocket so ill have a look at all your suggestions before my holiday 😃

jessplussomeonenew Tue 16-Aug-16 08:07:59

Lois McMaster Bujold is brilliant and I'd recommend anything of hers - I'd suggest starting with The Curse of Chalion as you like fantasy. Really good character driven fantasy.

Diana Wynne Jones is great too - The Dark Lord of Derkholm is a lovely send up of fantasy clichés. Other books for adults include Deep Secret and A Sudden Wild Magic, though her YA stuff is all really well written and worth reading too.

Kevin Hearne's iron druid chronicles (Hunted is the first) are very funny, particularly the observations of the wolfhound Oberon.

Tanya Huff's Enchantment Emporium and its sequels are definitely worth a read too - lots of strong (and some downright scary) female characters.

Yes to Neverwhere and American Gods - would also recommend Anansi Boys (First line is; "In the beginning were the words and they came with a tune"

FithColumnist Tue 16-Aug-16 14:18:52

If you enjoyed Robin Hobb, Katharine Kerr's Deverry books are pretty good. Believable, gripping, not too high fantasy, not as grim and rapey as A Song of Ice and Fire and the writing is orders of magnitude better than Terry Goodkind. While the full series spans fifteen books, they're divided into four "acts" of four or five books each, so they're actually fairly accessible.

If you like urban fantasy, Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus books are very good (and quite short), and Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London is in a similar vein.

A personal favourite author of mine is KJ Parker (alias Tom Holt). He's written standalone novels and a few trilogies: a great starting-point is his novel Sharps, and my favourite trilogy of his is the Engineer series.

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 16-Aug-16 14:25:31

Pamela Freeman's castings trilogy is a good light read. My 20 non reader daughter loved them.

Another vote for Michael J Sullivan's Riyria. A slow burner though, he gets better as he goes along.

Same with the Joe Abercrombie; they're more violent, but not rapey.

I like the Lies of Looch Lamora, but only read the first two yet.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Wed 17-Aug-16 17:28:57

Charles de Lindt? I liked The Onion Girl a lot.

Some Anne McCaffrey - the first three, Dragonflight, Dragonsquest and The White Dragon are good, and so are the Dragonharper ones about Menolly. Then it all goes downhill, like so many of her series - I like The Rowan and the first half of Damia, but then it all goes to shit.

If you like urban fantasy, then Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs are brilliant.

I am in the middle of a Robin Hobb binge after recommendations on here (have finished the first Assassin trilogy and am on book 3 of the Liveship Traders) but I'm going to have to stop after this until payday at the end of the month. Does anyone have any recommendations for good fantasy/urban fantasy that's free on Kindle? Oh, and I read Cold Magic and Cold Fire and while I loved the first one the second didn't quite float my boat to the same extent. Is it worth going on to the third?

TheMshipIsBack Wed 17-Aug-16 17:36:15

The newer Brandon Sanderson series Stormlight Archive. I've just finished re reading the first two books and they are impressive.

It's old, but about to be rereleased in the UK, Guy Gabriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry. Somewhat Tolkien derivative, but with a charm and power of its own.

Will have to chase up some of the suggestions.

DodgySpot Wed 17-Aug-16 17:42:13

My favourite fantasy writers:

Terry Goodkind
David Eddings (really love the belgariad)
Raymond E. Feist

And you've already mentioned Robin Hobb smile

SisyphusDad Wed 17-Aug-16 18:54:53

Several recommendations, all quite dated but all fairly easy reading and all very good

The Stainless Steel Rat series by the late Harry Harrison. The blurb describes the lead character as 'the Monty Python of the the Space Lanes'.

The Amber series by (the again late) Roger Zelazny. Ten books split into two distinct story arcs, each five books. I think the first is the better but the second's OK too.

SF rather than fantasy, but the 'Wellworld' series by (yet another dead author) Jack L. Chalker. Brilliantly imaginative series spanning thousands of years but with a very strong linking idea at the heart. Thought there were only five books in a 1-2-2 story group, but I see I've missed two later ones. Off to Amazon after this.

And if you'd like something a bit different, Michael Moorcock's (at least he's still alive!) Dancers at the End of Time series.

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