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Good fantasy reads?


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Scott Christian

Adventurer
Didn't read all the posts so apologize if it was mentioned:

Rothfuss is an amazing writer. Name of the Wind is beautifully done. However, he will probably not finish his series. So there is the "why bother" side.

Marlon James', Black Leopard Red Wolf, is another book with prose that jump out. It has a unique setting and is dark if that is your thing. But, the narrator is unreliable on purpose, so it leads to another "why bother" mental state again.

King's Dark Tower series is great, as are many on the initial lists I saw.

Elfquest for the graphic novel lover. The very first book, while looking back is a bit childish, is incredibly well crafted. It is hard to have a more perfect story arc outside of a Disney movie. And Wendy Pini's art is glorious to look at. The next three books take on a more adult tone.
 
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I second Bujold's Curse of Chalion and subsequent books. A great take on believable divinities.
Richard Garfinkle's Celestial Matters is an interesting story where Aristotlean physics are true.
The Night Land by W.H. Hodgson is a turgid, and slightly objectionable tale. However, John Stoddard re-wrote it in a more legible and enjoyable form that lets you explore Hodgson's interesting worldbuilding. The Night Land's main issue is that it was a 19th century story written in a supposed 18th century style. That made it hard to read. The retelling is much more accessible.

The Half Made World by Felix Gilman is a cool story about the domineering Engines of the Line and the erratic Agents of the Gun. A fun Law v Chaos twist.
 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
If you haven't read David Eddings, you need to. One of my top authors.

If you want a typical fantasy romp without a bunch of complexity but fun reads, then also Terry Brooks and Jim Butcher (non traditional fantasy--Dresden files) come to mind. I'm also a fan of Tad Williams.

Not a huge fan of Rothfuss, and I know I'm in the minority here. Even if you get around how he will probably never finish the series, I was put off by how much a Gary Stu Kvothe was. It's one of the big reasons why I don't read much of Salvatore if the book has Drizzt in it (Not Salvatore's fault, and i generally enjoy his writing otherwise). It felt like Rothfuss heard complaints about Drizzt being a Gary stu and saying "hold my beer."
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
Not a huge fan of Rothfuss, and I know I'm in the minority here. Even if you get around how he will probably never finish the series, I was put off by how much a Gary Stu Kvothe was. It's one of the big reasons why I don't read much of Salvatore if the book has Drizzt in it (Not Salvatore's fault, and i generally enjoy his writing otherwise). It felt like Rothfuss heard complaints about Drizzt being a Gary stu and saying "hold my beer."
I've certainly heard that complaint, and I can appreciate it, but it never really resonated with me. Kvothe is a preternatural genius, and part of the fun in the book is watching him be a preternatural genius (and still often getting screwed over despite it). There's an element of "competence porn" to it, much like some modern retellings of Sherlock.
 



Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Holy smokes I just started reading the first of Robin Hobb's books - Assassin's Apprentice. And by started, I read 100 pages on day 1, and 200 pages yesterday, and just reserved book 2 at the library and will head over to the used bookstore for book 3 in about 20 minutes.

It is so amazing. I am told the rest of the related books are also really good. I think there are multiple trilogies set in the same world of the Six Duchies.

Great world-building, relatable protagonist, excellent "npcs" ie side characters. Villain not yet revealed, but Hobb is slowly peeling back layers in her reveal.

I probably shouldn't recommend the series until I finish at least book 1, because she may fail the ending. However, this book is one of the few that a bunch of my Goodreads friends have all read, and all of them gave it 4 or 5 stars.

 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Pretty much anything by Guy Gavriel Kay. I'd start with Tigana.

My favorite author by far. Seriously. the only one I pay full price for hardbacks for. Wish I hadn't moved and sold off most of my collection. Very bummed about that.

Since I replied and haven't read the answers:

CS Friedman's Coldfire trilogy
I really like the first 3-4 books by Feist
Steven Brust
Lies of Locke Lamora (one of my favorite books)
Glen Cook
Neil Gaiman (though his retelling of the Norse mythology kind of bored me)
Elizabeth Moon's Deed of Paksanarrion (sp?) is great....the sequels are goodish

For SF......Red Rising and its sequels
 





Robby24

Villager
I read relatively little fantasy, I will list them with impressions: Glen Cook "The Black Squad" (read the entire cycle, liked it very much, despite the relatively weak literary language), Robert Howard - the cycle "Conan the Barbarian" ("Beyond the Black River" impressed), George Martina - "A Song of Ice and Fire" (5+, except for protractedness, because the author is not immortal), Oldie - "Border", "The Last Life" (I read the last two times, but "Heroes' Refuge" seemed boring). I also tried to get T. Brooks, but he somehow does not suit me. I don't want to read Tolkien, there were enough films)
 

jasper

Rotten DM
To add
Drew Hayes -Spells, Swords, & Stealth -Npcs 1, Split the Party 2, Going Rogue 3, Siege Tactics 4,
John Ringo -Princess of Wands, Queen of Wands
The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle
The Undead Hordes of Kan-Gul by Jon F. Merz
The Unsuspecting Mage (The Morcyth Saga Book1) by Brian S. Pratt skip.
Truthwitch By Susan Dennard
Christopher Rowley beware the kindle version is chopped up.
Bazil Broketail, A sword for dragon, Dragons of War, Battledragon, A dragon at World’s End, Dragons of Argonath, Dragon Ultimate,
Lois McMaster Bujold- World of the Five Gods - Penric’s Progress #1, Penric’s Travels # 2,
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
Holy smokes I just started reading the first of Robin Hobb's books - Assassin's Apprentice. And by started, I read 100 pages on day 1, and 200 pages yesterday, and just reserved book 2 at the library and will head over to the used bookstore for book 3 in about 20 minutes.

It is so amazing. I am told the rest of the related books are also really good. I think there are multiple trilogies set in the same world of the Six Duchies.

Great world-building, relatable protagonist, excellent "npcs" ie side characters. Villain not yet revealed, but Hobb is slowly peeling back layers in her reveal.

I probably shouldn't recommend the series until I finish at least book 1, because she may fail the ending. However, this book is one of the few that a bunch of my Goodreads friends have all read, and all of them gave it 4 or 5 stars.

Fitz is probably my favorite character all-time in fantasy. I can tell you that she in no way fails the ending, it's beautiful and melancholic. It's not everyone's cup of tea, as it can be slow moving and Fitz is assuredly a flawed character, which some people find frustrating. But the depths of the relationships in the book, and how they evolve over decades is truly profound.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
Just ordered it. Will be here on Saturday. We'll see 😉
Tigana is probably my favorite Kay book, although Lions of al-Rassan and the Sarantine duology are right up there. I also have a soft spot for the Fionavar trilogy, although it is admittedly a weaker work overall.
 

I enjoyed J.V. Jones "Book of Words" trilogy. Her "Sword of Shadows" series also started really well, but after the third volume she hit the same problems as GRRM and Robert Jordan - the rate of releases has dropped to nothing, and there was a feeling with the previous (fourth) volume that she'd just run out of steam. Which is a real shame.

I recently read, and enjoyed, Saladin Ahmed's "Throne of the Crescent Moon". It has a distinctly different flavour from the standard pseudo-Europe, which is no bad thing.
 

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