bored, need a book: The Belgriad series, The Long Price Quartet, or Mazalan

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Pajak, May 5, 2012.

  1. Pajak

    Pajak Registered User

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    I have a few books in mind, and need some more thorough opinions on them, and you can also add other books that you might think I would like. First off, I have read:

    The First Law ( also stand alone books) -
    Codex Alara
    Wheel of Time
    A Song of Ice and Fire
    KingKiller chronicles (Name of The Wind, Wise Mans Fear(only read half of it))
    Sword of Truth ( yes I finished all books...hah!)

    As you can see, I'm mostly into Fantasy. The books I had in mind where The Belgriad series, The Long Price Quartet, Mazalan epic series, I've read the first book I THINK, but stopped half way through second because there are just so many characters that it gets really confusing following everyone along. I may be wrong, I can't remember if I really finished the first book or not. I would be willing to give it another try perhaps.

    Those are the three series I'm considering reading, but I'm open to other opinions if you have better books to suggest. I know this type of thread gets a bit tedious, but I would really appreciate any help.

    Thanks!
     
  2. hawkeyye

    hawkeyye Registered User

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    Read some Sanderson. Mistborn or Way of Kings.
     
  3. Pajak

    Pajak Registered User

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    I'll take a look into Way of Kings, looks interesting enough. However, I couldn't seem to get into Mistborn all that much, don't remember the reasons but I don't think I could finish the first book.

    Thanks
     
  4. shorinji_knight

    shorinji_knight New Member

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    Tad William's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. This series is what launched me into reading fantasy many years ago. It is still my all time favorite.
     
  5. Contrarius

    Contrarius You talkin' to me??

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    I have heard very good things about the Long Price books, but I haven't read them yet.

    Personally, I couldn't STAND the Belgariad. I gave up on the first book.
     
  6. shorinji_knight

    shorinji_knight New Member

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    Eddings isn't for everyone. I personally think that the series is one of the greats. I really liked the characterization of Silk the master spy/prince. Eddings has a good understanding of human personality which make his characters unique from one another. He puts a lot of hidden social commentary in his work which is interesting if sometimes a little heavy handed. His newer works a getting hard to read though. It's like he was just writing to sell a new book instead of furthering a story.
     
  7. DDCOrange

    DDCOrange Registered User

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    My only problem with Eddings is that his dialogue comes off as a little wooden. However I agree with your other points. I liked how each successive story shows a little more about the world he creates; sort of like opening a door and exploring a new room. For me, the pluses outweigh the minuses and I can give The Belgeriad and it's sequel series a marginal thumbs up.
     
  8. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Daniel Abraham is a superb writer. I'll be diving into The Long Price Quartet in the next month or two so I can't speak to this one specifically but two of his books last year - The Dragon's Path and Leviathan Wakes - were two of my top 2012 books

    Malazan is Epic on an Epic scale of Epic Epicness. Plus the main 10 book sequence is complete. If you are fine with the ENORMOUS castings in WOT and ASOIAF, this should be fine for you.

    From everything I've seen about Eddings, he's perfectly suitable to folks just getting into the genre so based on what you have read and enjoyed, I'd think you might not care for these books.

    Also, I modified the title of this thread to help it stand out amongst the sea of other "Please Tell Me What To Read" threads.
     
  9. mjolnir

    mjolnir Registered User

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    To make my bias clear right away, from the three series you've listed my personal choice would be Daniel Abraham's Long Price, no question, no contest. It is, however, very unlike some of the stuff you've read already. It prefers to involve you emotionally through exerting a kind of gentle power, rather than punching you in the stomach like say Abercrombie does, if that makes any sense. Wonderful books which, and I think this is key, get better as they go.

    I'd agree with RobB that if you've already read some stuff like Jordan and Martin and Abercrombie and Rothfuss then Eddings might not be quite your speed. I say this not because I think he's bad, but because those later authors are doing [to varying degrees] new things with the fantasy formulas that Eddings uses. And so the ways Eddings uses the genre might not seem as effective, having read those later books first. I haven't read any Eddings in years. My memories are very, very positive, and there was a time when he was my favourite writer [and his characters some of my favourites too -- Silk the master spy and merchant has a shoutout in this thread already, I see], but I'm pretty sure his stuff wouldn't hold up well. The dialogue can come off as overly cute, some of the characters are somewhat one note, the story is obsessed with prophecy and kingship to a troubling degree, etc, etc. I don't know what to suggest here, because I had an awesome time with the books and it'd be a shame if you took our advice and denied yourself possibly having that experience, but, ... just approach with caution, I guess.

    Tad Williams Memory Sorrow and Thorn, which has been mentioned, is definitely a favourite of mine too, yeah. [First book is The Dragonbone Chair.] It's one of those young-boy-with-great-destiny-in-medieval-Europish-world stories [as is Eddings], but there's a lot of love and detail and depth to it. You might well dig it. First book starts slow, though, like sloth kind of slow.

    I'll let others speak to Erikson's Malazan, which is indeed epic and may be more what you're looking for if you want another big sprawling saga like The Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire, as I know little about it and it's never really spoken to me.
     
  10. Alchemist

    Alchemist Registered User

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    Malazan and the Belgariad are in some sense the opposite side of the epic fantasy spectrum (or, even more so, R Scott Bakker and David Eddings). Erikson (and Bakker) are heavy, philosophical, and rather dark, with little warmth or humor (especially Bakker). Eddings is light, fun, and humorous - sometimes to a fault. His worldbuilding is rather provincial but adequate, the sense of mystery and wonder rather limited. In my first "Golden Age" of reading fantasy - pre-teen and teen years - the Belgariad was one of my favorites; I must have read it all in a few days and then re-read it right away. I've re-read it a couple of times since and it was still quite enjoyable. Eddings is very funny and his characters, while not enormously complex or subtle, are very real and alive, each with their own distinct personalities. You'll really fall in love with Silk, Polgara, Barak, Belgarath, Mandorallen, Ce'Nedra, etc.

    Malazan is a bit different. You won't fall in love with any of the characters or even become all that emotionally invested, but you will be awed by the worldbuilding and the epic grandeur. His backstory and mythology is as close to rivaling Tolkien as I've ever seen, and his world is very atmospheric and alive with magic.

    All in all, both are excellent, but with very different qualities. I'm still waiting for some writer to be able to include the warmth and humor of an Eddings with the worldbuilding and grandeur of an Erikson. Hopefully my books will capture that! ;)

    Oh yeah, I read about half of the first book of Long Price and liked it but didn't love it, but mjolnir's words might have convinced me to give it another shot. I really liked the intro sequence but got a bit bored once the main story started. Maybe I didn't give it long enough...?
     
  11. End Of Disc One

    End Of Disc One Registered User

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    Malazan is really something special. Not everyone likes it but a lot of people really love it, including myself.

    Long Price Quartet is good, but I don't think I would call it great. It's very well written and pretty moving, but it's short on truly awesome moments.

    Haven't read Belgariad.
     
  12. Snowy

    Snowy Registered User

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    One author conspicuously absent from your list is David Gemmell. In amongst the worldbuilders (Jordan, Erikson, Martin) and the edgy (Abercrombie, Lynch) he is often overlooked in here, although I am sure unconsciously - have you read much of his work because I would strongly recommend him if not.

    If not then his Drenai stories are excellent, but I think I most enjoyed the Rigante novelsall told - well worth a look.

    Also, I mentioned Scott Lynch above, if you liked Abercrombie and want a really excellently told couple of books with real likeable villain protagonists, you really can't go far wrong there.

    Also, how about H P Lovecraft (try The Horror in the Museum, or an anthology), Raymond Feist's Riftwar and Empire trilogies, Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell for some cracking historical fiction, some Robert Howard Conan and Fritz Lieber's Fafhrd and Grey Mouser books for some classic reading.

    There you go, hope that is useful :)

    EDIT: As so many are commenting on him, personally I cannot abide David Eddings. In my view he writes high fantasy of the very worst kind, with characters verging on godlike abilities and enemies that never actually trouble them in any meaningful way. I tried him years ago when a friend raved about him, and found the saccharine sweet storytelling just too cloying.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  13. Shayna

    Shayna Greyscale

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    EDIT: As so many are commenting on him, personally I cannot abide David Eddings. In my view he writes high fantasy of the very worst kind, with characters verging on godlike abilities and enemies that never actually trouble them in any meaningful way. I tried him years ago when a friend raved about him, and found the saccharine sweet storytelling just too cloying.[/QUOTE]

    I am sorry to be one of the people to disagree here. I like old school fantasy and David Eddings is among great company of authors who can write a great story for those of us who like good characters, plot is simple, but good and the backgroud of landscaping he creates is to say the least, fantastic! :rolleyes:

    You sometimes have to sit back and go along the journey to find yourself wrapped up in a well-told story. Fantasy is not only battles and magic. it can be based on a slow moving storyline that takes us towards a climax that most of us like just time to take that walk along with the author. Isn't this why we read? I do! ;)
     
  14. Snowy

    Snowy Registered User

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    Horses for courses I guess mate, but he really doesn't do it for me.
     
  15. The Master™

    The Master™ Here with muffins!!!

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    there are so many really good authors out there... so many series...

    old and new...

    karen miller, raymond e feist, trudi canavan...

    greg bear, harry harrison...
     
  16. mjolnir

    mjolnir Registered User

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    Re what Alchemist said about Erikson's Malazan and Eddings' Belgariad being in many ways precise stylistic opposites: I really like that; it makes a lot of sense. Both deal with worldshaking powers and conflicts, but you're right: the approaches the series take are almost exact counterpoints to one another.

    Another way in which they may be sort of opposed to one another, and I haven't read enough Erikson to say for sure but this is the impression I get, is in their approach to power. Both portray characters who are or become exceptionally powerful [Erikson somewhat more flashily, with more regular explosions and worldbreaking etc, but they're there in Eddings too]. Same applies to political and social power; many characters in both are gods, and Eddings' stories spend lots of their time hanging out with kings and queens. But how the stories feel about this power seems somewhat different. Power in Eddings is a responsibility, yes -- our hero, Garion, is frequently heard to ask "Why me?" But. The funnest, most memorable moments and characters in Eddings often seem to involve an almost playful, even smug, use of power -- often political, but sometimes physical. This is probably an outgrowth of the black-and-white morality which I think Alchemist mentioned being part of the Eddings experience. Erikson does not role this way, based on what little I have read.

    Re Long Price: Loving the Long Price books crept up on me. In the case of the first two I liked the first half of each well enough, but it generally took me till around the middle to realize precisely how much I was enjoying myself. I found the third book really elevated the series. Not in that annoying "first x-number are kind of crap but it's worth pushing through to book y when it gets awesome" kind of way people try and foist on you sometimes, but in the sense that An Autumn War takes a story that was already quite good and turns it in a new, and very brave, direction, which retroactively makes the previous installments even better than they were. I'd say if you were enjoying A Shadow in Summer [the first book] but just not quite gripped yet, it might well be worth continuing. But the series' tone and style remains more or less constant, so if you fundamentally don't like how it is written that's probably not going to change.

    I found that the story contained a number of awesome moments, but awesome moments of a kind slightly different from what I think we usually mean when we say that. Abraham's awesome moments aren't really thrown right at you. They're depth charges felt reverberating far below, or rocks making ripples when they're thrown into ponds. They unfold themselves in your head after the fact more than in the moment is what I'm trying to say. [This has been happening to me with several moments in The Dragon's Path, the first book in his new, more "traditional" epic fantasy series, as well.]
     
  17. shorinji_knight

    shorinji_knight New Member

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    Greg Keyes's The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone is also a good series. He is very much like Martian, but a little lighter and has actually finished his series. C.J. Cherryh's fantasties are acually pretty good too. I don't normally like fantasties that are written by science fiction authors, but she does it well.

    David Eddings came on the scene about the same time as Terry Brooks. When they started there wasn't a whole lot of foundation to work with. They are some of the leaders of the second generation of fantasy authors. All we had before them were Tolkein, Lewis, and a handful of pulp quasi sci-fi authors. So yes their work is a little over done but they did it first.

    That said I still am having trouble forgiving Brooks for including Furrys... Yuck.