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Recommended Fantasy Books


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#1 Mike_The_Barbarian

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 11:22 PM

This thread is intended for fans of Sword and Sorcery, and Fantasy books, novels, stories and art, who are looking for more good reading material to enjoy.

Please feel free to recommend any fantasy book you like. :)

All the books will be listed at the top of the thread for people to browse through them easily.

How to recommend a book:

First, you will need to find and book and read it. :rolleyes:

Once you have found a book you wish to recommend, post it here.

You should include the title of the book, along with the author. If it is possible, you could also include the publisher, and even the ISBN number to make it easier for others to get their hands on it.

Then have a small review of the storyline (with no spoilers) to entice any readers, and thoughts you may have along with any reasons you enjoyed it.

If you want to post your own individual thread discussing the book in more detail that would be wonderful (and very much appreciated). This way others can give their thoughts on it, ask any questions they might have, and generally have a more in-depth discussion. You can then put a link in this thread ? at the bottom of your recommendation - for anyone to join in with the discussion.

Please keep this thread to Fantasy only. Other genres should be posted Here. And please only have one post per book. If you wish to discuss it further, please make it a separate thread, because it will make this thread a lot easier to maintain.

Please abide the forum rules.

If you have any ideas for improving this thread, please post them in This Thread or in Crom's Suggestion Box.

And don?t forget; enjoy yourself! :P

Edited by Mike_The_Barbarian, 25 October 2006 - 12:30 AM.

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#2 Mike_The_Barbarian

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 11:23 PM

The list of Fantasy books other forum members have recommended!

The Truth by Terry Pratchett

The Prescott Of Antarres Series by Alan Burt Akers, pen name of Kenneth Bulmer

Tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series by Fritz Leiber

The Book Of Hyperboria by Clark Ashton Smith

Elric Saga by Micheal Moorcock

The Tale Of The Eternal Champion by Micheal Moorcock

Jirel Or Joiry by C.L.Moore

The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson

Kane by Karl Edward Wagner

Dying Earth by Jack Vance

Lyonesse by Jack Vance

Gloriana Or The Unfulfilled Queen by Micheal Moorcock

Guadian Of The Flame by Joel Rosenberg

The Rigante Series by David Gremmell

The Dranai Series by David Gremmell

King Of The Dead by Gene DeWeese

Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock

The Darkest Part Of The Woods by Ramsey Campbell

Songs Of Fire And Ice by George R.R. Martin

Malazan Book Of The Fallen by Steven Erikson

Wizards First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake

The Shadow of the Torturer byGene Wolfe

The Claw of the Conciliator by Gene Wolfe

The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore

Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burrough

The Hammer and the Cross by Harry Harrison

A Game of Thrones by George.R. Martin

Brak: Mark of the Demons by John Jakes

Sign of the Moonbow by Andrew.J. Offutt

The Crusader books by Harold Lamb

The Mountain Jack Pike series by Joseph Meek

The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Tatan Wanderer, The High King by Lloyd Alexander

Apparently, Pontifex recommends the Harry Potter books, :P

Edited by Mike_The_Barbarian, 19 June 2007 - 07:58 PM.

They are the weak and cowardly who, when the enemy is crashing through the front door, will cower in the back room, counting on better men than themselves to make and keep them free.

Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated!

Pain is weakness leaving the body

#3 Mike_The_Barbarian

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 01:19 PM

The Truth by Terry Pratchett

ISBN: 0552147680



This marks Terry Pratchetts 25th Discworld novel.

While this book isn?t as light hearted and as out-and-out funny as his early work, it is very entertaining. It?s about a young man called William De Word.
He goes from writing a few news letters to people to owning the first ever Newspaper company before he ever realises it.

This story has got a lot of nice touches and the characters are memorable. Especially the Vampire Photographer who doesn?t seem to like having to use his flash with the camera. This novel also stars The New Firm, which contains one of Terry Pratchett?s most colourful characters; Mr. Tulip (in my opinion, anyway). :P

Along with Mr. Pin, The New Firm are basically hired thugs, if very bad ones. One of the wonderful things of Mr. Tulip however, is his ?ing speech impediment.

The story as a whole comes to a climax very well, and it?s not without its hints of tragedy and irony.

Overall, it?s worth a read, even if you don?t usually like Terry Pratchett, because this one stands above nearly all his others. And if you are already a fan and haven't read this, I strongly recommend it, as I know a few members on here are great fans of Pratchett.

A link to Amazon.
They are the weak and cowardly who, when the enemy is crashing through the front door, will cower in the back room, counting on better men than themselves to make and keep them free.

Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated!

Pain is weakness leaving the body

#4 Kathulos_Lives

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 01:51 PM

I would recommend:

The Prescott of Antarres Series by Alan Burt Akers, pen name of Kenneth Bulmer.

There are about 54 books in this series, divided into 'cycles' of multiple volumes. The first five are 'The Delian Cycle': Transit to Scorpio, Suns of Scorpio, Warrior of Scorpio, Swordships of Scorpio, and Prince of Scorpio.

The story follows Dray Prescott, a 17th century sailor, and his adventures on the planet Kregan, in the Antarres solor system, in the constellation of Scorpio. Prescott is trasnported to Kregan by a super scientific race called the Savanti, who want to guide Kregan, a pre-industrial planet, along a certain line of development. Opposing them are the mysterious Star Lords, who have their own ideas about Kregan. Prescott is the pawn caught in the middle. He is transported from place to place throughout the series, battling armies, monsters, and entire kingdoms. Along the way he falls in love with the Princess Delia, and travels over much of the planet.

I though Kregan was one of the most complex sword and sorcery worlds I'd ever read. The stories are fast paced, with lots of action and exotic descriptions. The series is out of print, but is usually easy to find on-line or at used bookstores.

#5 Pontifex

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 04:56 PM

I would recommend EVERY Discworld book. Terry Pratchett is probably my favorite author. Even his non-Discworld books are great.

I also want to recommend the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser series of books by Fritz Lieber (its either Lieber or Leiber, I can never remember). Very good sword and sorcery books.

Edited by Pontifex, 26 October 2006 - 07:06 PM.


#6 ToledoMan1971

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 05:32 PM

I would reccomend anything by Clark Ashton Smith. Along with Howard and Lovecraft, they were known as the Big Three for Weird Tales. I finished a copy of Ashton Smith's Hyperborea some time ago. Interesting stuff. Lin Carter put together a series of his works in the 70's. Also, speaking of Lin Carter, His Green Star Series is fun.

#7 Ant

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 06:21 PM

I would unreservedly second Fritz Leiber's Swords series: more details here.

And - "of course" - Micheal Moorcock's Elric saga: more details here. And other series in his Tale of the Eternal Champion: more details here.

Also Clark Ashton Smith, C. L. Moore (Jirel of Joiry), Poul Anderson (The Broken Sword only), and Karl Edward Wagner (Kane): more details here.

Straying away from S&S to a more mannered high-fantasy, Jack Vance's Dying Earth (anyone know of a good site covering this?) and Lyonesse (Wikipedia) series.

And the quite unconventional The Warrior Who Carried Life by Geoff Ryman.

Cheers,
Ant
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#8 tiger54

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 06:58 PM

I would also recommend Gloriana, or the Unfulfilled Queen by Moorcock. A weirdly vivid fantasy/romance that is an alternate history of Elizabethan England. Very strange and kinky. Right up Buxom Sorceress's alley!

#9 Gath

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 07:12 PM

I would recommend the guardian of the flame series by Joel Rosenberg, it is about a group of college kids who play d and d but one day they get sent into the dimension that their game was set in and become their characters. One character being a barbarian and having known of Conan even make references and thinks wwcd what would Conan do.

Edited by GATH, 31 October 2006 - 04:41 AM.

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#10 Carlos

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 09:14 PM

The Rigante Trilogy by the recently departed David Gemmell. I hope he made it to Valhalla. Very well written. A basic retelling of the Roman conquest of Britain with names changes to confuse the historically ignorant.
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#11 Kull1964

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 01:36 PM

The Rigante Trilogy by the recently departed David Gemmell. I hope he made it to Valhalla. Very well written. A basic retelling of the Roman conquest of Britain with names changes to confuse the historically ignorant.



I too loved the Rigante series (actually there are four books, so it's not a trilogy... ;) ). Most of Gemmell's novels are great, his Drenai series is also very good, not too much magical stuff but grim characters and mean battle scenes! Gemmell was truly one of the best and will be deeply missed...

#12 Nekromantisprincipiaphilosopher

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 06:50 PM

though i don't remember anything of the book to talk about
i liked King of the Dead (March 1996), by Gene DeWeese, (ISBN 0-78690-483-6)
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from the ravenloft setting

Edited by Nekromantisprincipiaphilosopher, 02 November 2006 - 02:44 AM.


#13 Mikey_C

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 09:29 PM

Posted Image
I've reread this one several times. The others in the series become a bit too obscure and confusing for my liking (being a Bear of Little Brain, of course... ;) ), but MW deserves to be known as a real classic.

If you like "haunted wood" tales, by the way, this is another damn fine read:

Posted Image

Very different from Mythago Wood, (although similar in theme with its themes of weirded out woods and dark family obsessions), its actually a Cthulhu mythos tale and a return to Ramsey Campbell's Severn Valley setting Brichester.

I was a little taken aback to read RC's thanks to his manager at Borders Books, who arranged his hours so he could write part of the novel whilst doing a full-time job there. All power to the manager, but what on earth has gone wrong when Britain's greatest living horror writer can't make a living from his books? (TDPotW didn't even get a UK publisher... :angry: )

Edited by Mikey_C, 01 November 2006 - 09:30 PM.

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#14 Relic

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 10:59 PM

George RR Martin's ongoing series ? Song of Fire and Ice ? is one of the best series out there today, in my opinion. Not too much fantastical (no magic weapons or over-the-top magical beasts), but much more "realistic" fantasy in general, with oogles of authentic political intrigue.

I'm currently reading "Gardens of the Moon," Canadian writer Steven Erikson's series - "Malazan Book of the Fallen." It's projected to be a 10-volume series. A bit jumpy and complicated to keep track of as he sets up a number of characters, but nicely done so far and very gritty, ala Martin.

#15 Croms Bones

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 02:27 AM

I third the Rigante series.. IMO Gemmell's best work and a top notch read.

I second Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.... it's the best fantasy that's been written since Howard left us... though Martin and Howard have very little in common in their writing styles.

I didn't like Erikson though.
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Posted 02 November 2006 - 02:37 PM

Wizards First Rule

By: Terry Goodkind


Quite possibly one of the greatest Fantasy Novels ever!...alot of you may have already read this but if you havent its a MUST READ!...a great series as well...but i must admit much like Robert Jordon books...in the middle of the series some of the books get alittle repetitive...however the last part of the series 3 final books (the 2 that are out are excellent as well!)

...but Wizards first rule is IMO one of the greatest books ever written!

#17 slideyfoot

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 06:50 PM

As I'm sure is true of everyone posting on the forum, lots I could recommend, but not too many I've reviewed (would have to re-read to do justice to old faves ;) ). Been trying to remember to do so more recently (when I get to do some non-academic reading, that is), so I can stick a few up here:

Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake

This classic of the 1940s deserves the name, mainly due to the expert command of language (for example, ?his flat feet sucking at the stones like porridge?) possessed by Mervyn Peake. He also has a talent for the Dickensian; names like ?Steerpike?, ?Swelter?, ?Prunesquallor? and ?Sourdust? would have sat happily in Bleak House or Great Expectations. Similarly, Peake leans towards a fantastical description of these characters, though still in a ?realistic? style; there are no orcs or elves to be found here. The central problem with the book is what Anthony Burgess (quoting an opening passage from the book) its ?ponderous architecture?. Certain sections become extended and tedious ? though Peake is to be applauded for his attempts at Joycean experimentation in the ?reveries? - with the irrelevant and irritating inclusion of bland poetry, in a manner reminiscent of Tolkien?s equally annoying habit exemplified by such damp squibs as Tom Bombadil. Nevertheless, with a bit of digging, there is plenty to savour in this novel; I get the impression it is one of those books which would profit from multiple readings, and perhaps be all the more treasured for the struggle.

The Shadow of the Torturer - Gene Wolfe

From what I've read so far of 'The Book of the New Sun' tetralogy (i.e., the first two), Wolfe deserves at least a part of his considerable acclaim. He expertly lays out his rather gothic, intricately detailed scenes, and proceeds to fill them with a satisfyingly varied host of characters. Some of these characters will only appear in a single chapter or two, but Wolfe is always careful to clearly delineate each creation, pumping them full of personality and luscious description that fills the words with vivid physicality. The plot can occasionally appear a bit unconnected, and Wolfe is prone to philosophical flights of fancy that don't always fit with the picture of the character he has built up, but any failings are more than made up for atmospherically. It is in this that Wolfe excels - his world is immersive, outlandish, but consistently engaging. He is also highly inventive, producing streams of neologisms as well as reviving medieval terminology (e.g., 'leman', 'destrier'), which provides a certain degree of archaic authenticity to Wolfe's world of Urth. As this is also intended to be Earth, but a million years in the future, that authenticity is especially well applied. My one problem with the book, thus far, is that he is somewhat conventional in his treatment of women, in that he tends to use them to decorate his text rather than engage fully into an investigation of gender issues. The female characters are invariably attractive, and almost always attracted to his main character, Severian. Still, this one chauvinistic failing aside, The Shadow of the Torturer is a rewarding piece of fiction.

The Claw of the Conciliator - Gene Wolfe

This second volume in the tetralogy has many of the strengths of its predecessor, but also some weaknesses. In particular, the chapters in which Wolfe attempts stylistic and structural innovation, such as his play and 'extract', fall short of his usual writing. Of course, that still means falling short of a very high standard, so while these sections are less enjoyable than others, they still manage to expand Wolfe's 'New Sun' mythos. The narrative also continues the occasionally disconnected sensation prevalent in the first, which is a part of Wolfe's style, albeit one which can be confusing when the jump-cuts follow in quick succession. This is noticeable at the beginning of the novel, where it takes a while to establish a connection with the end of Wolfe's previous work, The Shadow of the Torturer. One point of special interest is Wolfe's greater emphasis on science fiction elements, though these are cleverly interwoven with the fantasy milieu in a way that doesn't jar. Hence the reason these books are categorised as science fantasy rather than either one or the other genre.

#18 Zula

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 02:51 AM

Well, I think The Malazan Books of the Fallen should be at the top of the list (Relic, the 1st book is definitely the hardest one to read, though that isn't the right term. Normally, if I read a book and am somewhat confused after the first 150 pages, I tend to give up, but after those first 150, the book takes off and doesn't stop.) The series is incredible (I've just finished reading the seventh one) and I recommend it to everyone here with the utmost respect and admiration. I can offer it no higher praise.
China Mieville is another tremendous author, as is Neil Gaiman. Check out his American GOds and Neverwhere. Great stuff.
Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun should be a classic of modern sci-fantasy. Incredible story.
Wizard's First Rule. Well. I thought this was one of the worst books I've ever written. Predictable. Bland. I actually had to force myself to finish it. In all honesty, I can't understand how this author sells books; it's amazing to my mind.
If Woody had gone straight to the Snowhawk Clan, this would never have happened.

#19 Zula

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 02:53 AM

Well, I think The Malazan Books of the Fallen should be at the top of the list (Relic, the 1st book is definitely the hardest one to read, though that isn't the right term. Normally, if I read a book and am somewhat confused after the first 150 pages, I tend to give up, but after those first 150, the book takes off and doesn't stop.) The series is incredible (I've just finished reading the seventh one) and I recommend it to everyone here with the utmost respect and admiration. I can offer it no higher praise.
China Mieville is another tremendous author, as is Neil Gaiman. Check out his American GOds and Neverwhere. Great stuff.
Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun should be a classic of modern sci-fantasy. Incredible story.
Wizard's First Rule. Well. I thought this was one of the worst books I've ever written. Predictable. Bland. I actually had to force myself to finish it. In all honesty, I can't understand how this author sells books; it's amazing to my mind.

Well. I thought this was one of the worst books I've ever written
Uhm, obviosuly I didn't write it, and I meant to say 'read', not 'written.' Doh! :rolleyes:
If Woody had gone straight to the Snowhawk Clan, this would never have happened.

#20 Strom

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 07:01 AM

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Visited an out of town library book sale a couple of weekends ago and found some cool older books. One of them was Book 1 - Greyhawk Adventures - Saga of the Old City by Gary Gygax of D&D and AD & D fame. I've never read any of Gary's work before and wasn't really sure what to expect. Surprisingly, the novel read fast and I breezed through the book relatively quick. The book centers around the life of young Gord who finds himself all alone in the slums of the Old City. The plot takes some twists and turns and climaxes with an exciting dungeon expedition. The text does meander occasionally when it's describing the geography and the proximity of other nations/towns etc. But, that is almost standard fare in fantasy literature. I would've thought there would be more monsters and demi-humans in this tale but Gary explains in the back of the book that since much of the story resolves around cities, there are few monsters. So Gord's biggest enemies are just men - much like in the Hyborian Age with Conan.

If I find the second book in the series I'll definitely read it. Not the greatest story I ever read - and Gary is probably not the best writer - but altogether Saga of the Old City was an interesting tale that others may find fun as well.

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