Series recommendation for a new reader.

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by JD78, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. JD78

    JD78 Registered User

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    I recently decided that I want to get into reading. Outside of the required reading for school and college, I don't think I've read a book for my own entertainment or pleasure. So, I recently decided there is a lot of good stuff out there that I have been missing out on.

    I've always been a fan of the Fantasy/Sci-Fi genre. I played PnP RPGs in high school (DnD, Rifts, Shadowrun, etc.). I enjoy Fantasy/Sci-Fi type movies and TV shows, and still love a good Computer RPG (Witcher, Dragon Age, or pretty much any of the Bioware games).

    I'm looking for recommendations on a good starter series. I'm 31 years old, so mature content is not an issue. Also, I'm looking for something with a good solid story and a good mix of action, suspense, and romance. Even though I familiar with the Fantasy/Sci-Fi genre, outside of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, I'm not that familiar with most authors or series.

    Thanks in advance for your recommendations.

    JD
     
  2. Cymric

    Cymric cynical master of time

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    I would suggest

    The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
    Most anything by David Gemmel (now deceased)
    Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
    Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
    Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
    A song of Fire and Ice Series by George RR Martin
    The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
    Malazan Book of the Fallen Series by Steven Erikson

    what i can think of off the top of my head but for a little guidance or research websites i would suggest.
    Fantasy Book Critic http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com/
    Pats Fantasy Hotlist http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/
    Fantasy Book Review http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/

    And as always feel free to PM me if you want to know my thoughts on any praticular book
     
  3. Bastard

    Bastard Jack Bauer

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    Although only one book of the series is out so far, I think The Name of the Wind might be a really good place to start your fantasy reading experience. While you'll get a good read out of this novel, you'll also start to suffering with the rest of us for the next book to come out... though a great portion of the waiting has already occurred.
     
  4. fast200

    fast200 Registered User

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    Start with George RR Martin.

    A Game of Thrones

    He's widely recognized as one of the better fantasy writers of the decade.
     
  5. JD78

    JD78 Registered User

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    Thank you all for the suggestions thus far!

    Cymric - Thanks for the list and the sites. I especially like the Fantasy Book Review.

    A Song of Ice and Fire is a series I keep hearing a lot, so I definitely will be considering it. Another one I have heard about recently is the Sword of Truth series due to the Legend of the Seeker TV show. I've actually enjoyed the show, but realize that it doesn't really follow the book series. What are your opinions on the book series?

    Thanks again,

    JD
     
  6. Bastard

    Bastard Jack Bauer

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    Sword of Truth is as dividing of a series as it gets. It has many fans just as many detractors, plus the author is a jackass.

    In all, I enjoyed the series quite a bit, though it had some bad books as it went on. I thought the first handful or so of the series were pretty good.

    I was going to suggest it myself as a good place to start, but considering the opinion of many posters here on the series I decided not to open that can of worms.

    But since you mention action, suspense, and romance, Sword of Truth might be quite appealing to you. And this is particularly true if you don't have much experience with reading fantasy novels.
     
  7. ChrisW

    ChrisW Banned

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    one tip for you.

    Avoid any unfinished series. There are plenty of complete series out there to keep you reading for years. Save yourself the waiting and start with those.
     
  8. TheEvilKing

    TheEvilKing Registered User

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    Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy is a great place to start.
     
  9. cule

    cule Registered User

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    Chech out Daniel Abraham, Guy Gavriel Kay, Gene Wolfe and Scott R Bakker. And, though I'm not a fan, you might want to give Joe Abercrombie a shot, most people love him.
     
  10. wwfward

    wwfward Registered User

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    Since you've played The Witcher videogame, you should go ahead and read the Witcher book series starting with The Last Wish, which was the book series the videogame was based on.

    The Last Wish is a series of short stories connected by an overall story and has Geralt doing his monster hunting duties in a dark fairy tale type setting (sometimes literally, he put a dark twist on several fairy tales).

    Two books have been translated so far in the US: The Last Wish and Blood of Elves.
     
  11. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    With this effort, Sapkowski also won the first ever David Gemmell Legend Award.
     
  12. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Hi JD78 and welcome to the forums. We hope your stay is enjoyable and you find good people and good books to read here.

    Since you've already got suggestions from some of the peanut gallery and you didn't get too too specific in terms of what you might like, I'll leave you with links to some series- related threads where members have made suggestions in the past:

    Need help picking new fantasy series to read
    Looking to start new series
    Hopefully putting this in the right place (looking for a new series to read)
    **looking For Fantasy Trilogies**
    my next series to read
    Fantasy series
    Rate fantasy series you've read out of 10
     
  13. JD78

    JD78 Registered User

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    Thanks again everyone for the continued recommendations. This is truly a wonderful and helpful community.

    I realized that I did not really give too much information on what I was looking for. I guess part of the reason was that I really did not know what I wanted or what is out there. I spent most of last night combing through the various recommendation threads and then I took a closer look at some of the suggestions to see if I could get a better idea of what I am looking for.

    The following criteria is what I think I am looking for from a "starter" series:

    1. I would like the series to already have been completed. For my first trek into the world of fantasy novels, I would like to be able to enjoy from start to finish.

    2. I would like to start off with a series that is not too long. Something like 3-6 books/volumes. I'm not really firm on this, but I thought it might be a useful criteria.

    3. I would also like to start off with a more traditional fantasy type story. I don't know If I can really describe what I mean by this, but I will try. For my starter series I think I want to stick with a story that is close to the standard fantasy formula (ie. good vs. evil with magic, swords, intrigue, and romance). I am not against stories that break the mold, but I figured that I should stay with the familiar as I get my feet wet. I will definitely be checking out some of the other series as I grow as a reader.

    I would like to think of myself as a pretty intelligent person, but as I have mentioned previously, I have next to zero experience with reading literature outside what I read for school and college. I have spent most of my adult life reading textbooks, technical documents, and manuals. Even though I enjoy the fantasy genre, it's going to be a new experience for me to sit down and read a book, so I want to ease into it. Ideally, I would be looking for a traditional fantasy that flows well, but is not juvenile, and captures my attention.

    I really hope my criteria helps give you all an idea of what I am looking for. I really appreciate all the suggestions and ideas. This is a great community and I am glad I came here.

    Thanks,

    JD
     
  14. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Two of the best completed fantasy series, IMHO, in recent years are Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy and Joe Abercrombie's First Law Trilogy. Both are fairly traditional fantasies in one respect, but they also have modern sensibilities.

    Right up there is James Barclay's Chronicles of the Raven. The first three books, which tell a complete story, have recently been reissued in the us by Pyr. Great combination of sword & sorcery, high magic, and some terrific dragons. Plus James hanks around here.
     
  15. JD78

    JD78 Registered User

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    Thank you again. There are just so many options it's a bit overwhelming. I keep telling myself that I just need to pick a series then go from there, and it sounds like there are so many good options I can't really go wrong. I plan on heading to the book store tomorrow, so hopefully I will leave with my first adventure.
     
  16. Seak

    Seak and I like to party.

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    And please come back and tell us what you picked and how you liked it. I know I always enjoy knowing a good recommendation made someone a believer. :)

    P.S. I would also recommend much of what has been recommended, especially A Song of Ice and Fire (George RR Martin), The First Law Trilogy (Abercrombie), Lies of Locke Lamora (Lynch), Gemmell, Sanderson, etc., etc.
     
  17. Whiskeyjack

    Whiskeyjack sapper-in-chief

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    To the extent that you might be looking for a traditional fantasy series, I'd like to recommend the first 3 (in publication order) Sword of Shannara books by Terry Brooks, each of which reads as a stand-alone, though with some cross references. They may not meet another criterion of yours, since they can be easily read by a more juvenile audience. Nevertheless, I think they are still a decent choice for someone just starting out in the genre. They contain most of the standard fantasy tropes, manifest the "good vs. evil" dynamic to its fullest extent, and are pretty quick reads to boot.
     
  18. JD78

    JD78 Registered User

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    Thank you for the recommendation. From what I have read on the series, I was thinking along the same lines. I'm heading to the book store in a couple hours and I think I've narrowed it down to three.

    Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy
    James Barclay - The Chronicles of the Raven
    Terry Brooks - Shannara Trilogy

    It was really hard to ever narrow it down since it seems like there are so many great options. I kept having to tell myself that regardless of the series I choose, this is just the beginning.
     
  19. Bastard

    Bastard Jack Bauer

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    Well, since you're new... make sure you always check bookdepository.com or amazon.com, for new books they seem to have good prices. I'm sure there are other sites with good prices, but those are the two I use for the most part. At the moment I'm buying pretty much all my books from bookdepository.com.

    At the moment you might be better off buying from the book store (the first book) since you don't have anything to read, but when you start piling up the books, you can manage the wait for the books to get shipped.

    If you're fine with used books, well I wouldn't know where the best places to look for them are.

    Also worth checking out the first Riftwar Saga by Feist composed of Magician: Apprentice, Magician: Master, Silverthorn, and A Darkness at Sethanon. The Riftwar series has a lot of books, but those 4 books compose the first original story... since you're considering Shannara, this shouldn't be a problem.

    You should also try to find The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny, a well liked series by many... the book has all the 10 novels of the series collected.

    The Lyonesse trilogy by Jack Vance might be worth checking out. Haven't read it myself, but it seems something worth checking out from what I've read around.

    Edit: If what you're looking for is a classic good vs. evil tale, then The First Law trilogy is not what you're looking for at the moment. Not saying not to read it because I thought the trilogy was excellent, but might not be what you're looking for at the moment. Many shades of gray here, and many bad people are the good people, and vice-versa, etc. But, who cares what you're looking for... just go read something good and enjoy it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  20. JD78

    JD78 Registered User

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    I had planned to only buy my first book from the local bookstore and then buy the rest online. I was mainly looking at Amazon, but I will definitely check out bookdepository.com. I almost forgot about the Riftwar Saga! I was really considering it and am not sure why I left it off my list. I'm going to have to take a look at it when I am at the store. This trip might be longer than I had expected. :p