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Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Old 06-03-12, 06:42 PM
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Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

I have been reading the Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin and it is the first series in this genre that has really hooked me (Harry Potter doesn't count IMO) . However, Martin is so slow that I am waiting on reading books four and five until he gets more published. I would love to partake of more series/books in this genre, but would like something where you don't have to have read another series or already be familiar with the worlds to enjoy. I currently have the first book of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series on my Nook, and intend to read it. I have heard, however, that it tends to meander and is struggling to tie up its ends.

Basically, I want something that isn't who knows how many books long and has a definite beginning and ending. Thanks for the help!
Old 06-03-12, 06:53 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

I would highly recommend The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.
You can buy the trilogy together if you want but the first book is Mistborn: The Final Empire.

I thought they were excellent.
Old 06-03-12, 07:40 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

I was in a similar situation to yours 10 years ago. I hadn't been doing much fantasy reading, tore through the first three books of SoIaF ... and being left hungry for quality fantasy where the authors actually finished their stories. It felt like a crapshoot, because while there's a ton of fantasy out there it was hard to know where to start. So much of it looked the same, with the world being some variation on Tolkein's Middle Earth and the plots sounding like something a teenage Dungeon Master would come up with.

Robin Hobb is someone who I started reading and delivered what I was looking for. She writes her book in trilogies (well, the most recent one looks to be 4 books). While all but one series is set in the same world, each stands on its own (with a definitive ending). Though I'd still recommend reading the series in chronological order. While not as grim as GRRM, the style is more adult and gritty. Start with the Assassin books or Liveship Traders and see if you like them. Assassin is the first in this world, but Liveship was my favorite (and there's little enough overlap that you can easily read it first).

I like Tad Williams too. While his fantasy worlds are more Tolkeinesque, I like the writing, stories and characters (and it also has a more mature tone than a lot of fantasy). Like Hobbs, he'll finish a series he starts in 3 or 4 books (published over 5-6 years). He's written 3 series, all stand-alone (they each have their own world). Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn; Otherland (a mix of sci-fi and fantasy); and Shadowmarch. I enjoyed all of them, though I'd probably rank Shadowmarch a level below the other two (mainly due to relatively unlikeable main characters).

Even though it's only a series in that the stories take place in a common world (not one giant story told over multiple books), I highly recommend China Mieville as a quality writer of contemporary fantasy (starting with the Bas Lag books Perdido Station and The Scar).
Old 06-03-12, 09:00 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Robert E. Howard's "Conan" books. Just the stories written by REH, though.

Michael Moorcock's "Elric" series. But try to find the old versions of the books (Elric of Melinibone, Sailor on the Seas of Fate, Weird of the White Wolf, Sleeping Sorceress, Bane of the Black Sword, Stormbringer) and don't bother with any of the later Elric novels. The current editions of the Elric books by Del Rey are presented in publication order, rather than the chronological order of the original six novels, so they're more geared for hardcore fans.

I would also mention Gene Wolfe's "Book of the New Sun" tetralogy, which is technically science fiction but has a strong fantasy feel to it.
Old 06-04-12, 02:10 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

I really enjoyed Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series.
Old 06-04-12, 04:13 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

The Coldfire Trilogy by C. S. Friedman is one that I really enjoyed reading.

Black Sun Rising, When True Night Falls, and Crown of Shadows.

She recently wrapped up another trilogy, The Magister Trilogy

Feast of Souls, Wings of Wrath, and Legacy of Kings
Old 06-04-12, 04:56 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Diane Duane's Young Wizard series is good. There's nine books so far:

So You Want to be a Wizard
Deep Wizardry
High Wizardry
A Wizard Abroad
The Wizard's Dilemma
A Wizard Alone
Wizard's Holiday
Wizards at War
A Wizard of Mars

Yes, it's ongoing, but there's no over-arching goal to speak of, other than fighting the Good fight.

Some other suggestions:
Loyd Alexander:
Prydain series -
The Book of Three (1964)
The Black Cauldron (1965), winner of the 1966 Newbery Honor
The Castle of Llyr (1966)
Taran Wanderer (1967)
The High King (1968), winner of the 1969 Newbery Medal

Mike Raicht and Brian Smith:
The Stuff of Legend - this graphic novel is ongoing but the end is in sight. There's been 3 collections released so far and there will probably be only one or two more.

Diana Wynne Jones:
Howl's Moving
CastleCastle in the Air
House of Many Ways
Old 06-04-12, 05:13 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

If you like Martin you may like Joe Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy or Glenn Cook's The Black Company series.
Old 06-04-12, 06:29 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

I haven't read the Belgariad series by David Eddings or the original DragonLance Chronicles and Legends series by Weis and Hickman since middle or high school. Does either still hold up for adult readers today?
Old 06-04-12, 06:33 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Originally Posted by dogmatica View Post
I haven't read the Belgariad series by David Eddings or the original DragonLance Chronicles and Legends series by Weis and Hickman since middle or high school. Does either still hold up for adult readers today?
Yes! Time of the Twins, Test of the Twins, and War of the Twins are excellent.
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Old 06-04-12, 09:23 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Thanks for the recs! I notice no one has mentioned Terry Goodkind or Anne McCaffrey. I take it their stuff is overrated.

I have all of the Howard Conan stories and do love to read one every now and then for light entertainment purposes.
Old 06-04-12, 10:25 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Casca/Kafka (sp) was something Howardian in that it had a soldier who could not die so as he is being operated on a table in modern times they find bullets, musket balls, arrowheads inside of him. That's just from what i recall someone telling me about it.

The Gor series where the same guy has been writing it since the 60s till now, not read it and only watched a movie on it but i assume it is sort of like Dune.

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Old 06-05-12, 12:00 AM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Originally Posted by Dr. DVD View Post
Thanks for the recs! I notice no one has mentioned Terry Goodkind or Anne McCaffrey. I take it their stuff is overrated.
I don't like Goodkind at all but McCaffrey's Pern (Dragonrider) books were very entertaining, especially the first few.
Old 06-05-12, 12:52 AM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Judging by Dr. DVD's sig, I don't think he would like Terry Goodkind's books much. (I've never read any Goodkind, but I know of his writing by reputation.)
Old 06-05-12, 10:48 AM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

I thought Terry Goodkind's series started strong (the first 4 books) and ended strong (last 3 books), but the middle 5 books are a mess at times and a chore to slog through.

David Eddings Belgariad, Mallorean, Elenium and Tamuli series are pretty good. Not too heavy.

And I agree that Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends are both good. I'd skip the rest of that universe.
Old 06-05-12, 01:51 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Glad to see others recommend some Dragonlance. I was going to but didn't want to get into it if someone called it a kids book or a rip off (both things I have read before about the series). I'm a little sensitive when it comes to it.

So watch it Xander! To me it is a great universe that has so many books/series it is bound to have some stinkers. But overall I think the universe is a great one and Chronicles is the place to start. Though, I wouldn't recommend Legends to anyone who isn't already big into the universe/the Majere brothers backstory myself.
Old 06-06-12, 01:37 AM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

I loved Dragonlance. I read the original Dragons trilogy, the Twins trilogy, and followed up with the Raistlyn book, The 2nd Generation, and Dragons of Summer Flame. I lost touch with the series after that, but what I've listed is great stuff. I cant vouch for the stuff that was written after that. Maybe one day I'll check it out.
Old 06-06-12, 07:43 AM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Originally Posted by GoldenWheels View Post
Glad to see others recommend some Dragonlance.
I have the big book (Chronicles) with all 3 stories in it (Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Winter Night, and Spring Dawning), I've read it probably 4 or 5 times, it never gets old. I'll keep that book until it turns to dust... -kd5-
Old 06-06-12, 07:54 AM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Do Salvatore's Drizzt books hold up? I probably loved those even more than Dragonlance back in the day.
Old 06-06-12, 05:24 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Originally Posted by starman9000 View Post
Do Salvatore's Drizzt books hold up? I probably loved those even more than Dragonlance back in the day.
The original (prequel) Dark Elf Trilogy is still good. The other books/trilogies are hit and miss over the years. Personally I read them up until WoTC started messing around with the world (fast forwarding a couple of hundred years :S).

I'd recommend Robin Hobb's Farseer (she's my favorite writer, followed by Martin and his Song of Ice and Fire).

I also 2nd the recommendations for C.S. Friedman - I've read the the Coldfire trilogy a few times, and really liked the Magister trilogy she just released.

I just read Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy last week and found it pretty good in an anime-over-the-top action sort of way (the storylines were good to go with the ridiculous action though).

Personally I'd recommend Raymond Feist's Magician, followed by Fiest/Wurt's Empire trilogy. Another favorite of mine - the Feist books get better and worse at times, but the Empire trilogy is an absolute favorite.
Old 06-07-12, 04:48 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

I just wanted to thank everyone for their posts, even though it's not my thread.

I just finished the first Mistborn book last night. I agree with GM's assessment. It was good but a bit insubstantial. I'm not sure I'll continue the series, the major problem being I don't really care about any of the characters yet they do inhabit an interesting world.

Last edited by wmansir; 06-07-12 at 05:01 PM.
Old 06-08-12, 03:02 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

I am surprised that Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen has not been mentioned. It is a 10 books epic fantasy series that does away with many of the traditional fantasy standards. It is very dense and throws so much at you right from the beginning, so many people don't like it (and I don't blame them). But if you persevere, you will find nothing like it. It is an amazing series and I plan to reread it as soon as I finish A Dance with Dragon (yawn). It is not perfect by any stretch, at times, it can be too dense and hard to follow, and characters tend to pontificate a bit too much (especially the later books). But still, this series have probably the most interesting and memorable characters in any fantasy series that I have read.

Erikson, along with his friend Ian Esslemont, wrote a number of other novels that happens in the same universe to flesh out other miscellaneous plotlines. Erikson is also contracted to write 2 more trilogies that deal with specific characters from the main series, the first book is due soon (forgot if it is later this year or early next year).

Anyway, I recommend you read the first book just to see if it is something that interest you. First book is called Garden of the Moons.
Old 06-08-12, 03:12 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

How is the stuff by Esslemont? I'm only on book 2, but have been collecting the series when I can find them for cheap/used.
Old 06-08-12, 03:14 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Originally Posted by GreenMonkey View Post
The original (prequel) Dark Elf Trilogy is still good. The other books/trilogies are hit and miss over the years. Personally I read them up until WoTC started messing around with the world (fast forwarding a couple of hundred years :S).
Thanks. I thought I went a little crazy when I was looking and saw that those were listed as the first in the series, it seems they renumbered them so that people start with the DET instead of Icewind Dale now.
Old 06-08-12, 03:36 PM
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Re: Recommend a Good Fantasy Series

Originally Posted by Lastblade View Post
I am surprised that Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen has not been mentioned. It is a 10 books epic fantasy series that does away with many of the traditional fantasy standards. It is very dense and throws so much at you right from the beginning, so many people don't like it (and I don't blame them). But if you persevere, you will find nothing like it. It is an amazing series and I plan to reread it as soon as I finish A Dance with Dragon (yawn). It is not perfect by any stretch, at times, it can be too dense and hard to follow, and characters tend to pontificate a bit too much (especially the later books). But still, this series have probably the most interesting and memorable characters in any fantasy series that I have read.
Erikson has been on my to-read list for a while. Haven't gotten to him yet.

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