Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 32
  1. #16
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    In a Cloud
    Posts
    12,334
    The only people who write "lite" fantasy are the comic fantasy writers and even they slip in heavy stuff frequently. Lynch's Lies is definitely not light. It has some humor in it, but mostly it's black humor and there's plenty of violence. Guy Gavriel Kay's stuff is definitely not light and Novik's story, which is about war as much of fantasy is, doesn't sound light to me. Butcher's stories are not at all light and have quite a lot of violence and gore. Fantasy is predominantly battle and suspense fiction, so light really doesn't enter into it.

    Where books differ, and get the gritty label, is in the amount of raw, graphic content they contain -- how much you see versus how much happens off-stage and in how much detail and how violent what you are seeing might be and how frequently such violence occurs. If a novel is "gritty," it's very graphic and there's a lot of violence throughout the story and its described in full detail.

    Based on gritty content, then, with the least amount of gritty content first and then in increasing order, it would be:

    Farseer (and others like Liveship, etc)
    Song of Ice and Fire
    Malazan Book of the Fallen
    Prince of Nothing (yes, it's really gritty)

    But Hobb's stuff has plenty of grit in it. If you are dealing with stories about war, sabatoge, dark magic, dangerous creatures, deadly diseases and corruption, then it's going to be gritty. If you don't want much in the way of violence, then I'd recommend Peter S. Beagle's "A Fine and Private Place" and Kij Johnson's "The Fox Woman." Other than that, enjoy the grit.

  2. #17
    Thanx for all the helpful replies guys. Much appreciated.

    I know I may be steering away from the original point of the topic but all the other replies have helped me realize that I have been asking for the wrong things completely. I think using the words trying to use words like 'light' got me the wrong kind of recommendations. The reason I chose those four titles is because they sounded epic and fun but perhaps I was looking for something else altogether.

    I have realized that the kind of things I want to read is traditional fantasy or what many people call cliched fantasy. Books in this subgenre of fantasy seem to be the ones I enjoy I most, (and hate the most when done bad). Things like Lord of the Rings, Riftwar (especially the Magician Duology), Eragon (gasp! yes, the book that got me into fantasy), Memory, Sorrow & Thorn, Belgariad/Mallorean (not my favourite, got very repetitive, but a good example of traditional fantasy I suppose) etc.

    Yes, looking at my tastes, you can tell I am new reader to fantasy and honestly I don't why many people are put off by cliched elements. Maybe because I am a new reader. So, can you guys recommend more "good" titles in the traditional fantasy (should be epic ). Btw, I don't mind elves or dwarves or dragons in the story but rather enjoy them (especially elves). I also don't mind the farm boy becomes hero, saves princess, etc. I am just looking for something epic and traditional. So, please keep the suggestions coming. Phew, long post.

  3. #18
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    In a Cloud
    Posts
    12,334
    It's not your fault, kiddo. It's a war of words out there in fan-land. For instance, traditional epic fantasy -- that means classic works filled with: rape, bloodthirsty killing, sex scenes, soldiers dying in wars, torture, etc. YA books have less overall graphic violence, but they still have some -- far more than most other stories written for children and teens. Again, this is because fantasy, and epic fantasy in particular, is usually dealing with war and suspense/thriller events in which there is danger, violence, trauma and loss. Even humorous fantasy books are usually dealing with pretty serious issues, though there the violence has its funny side and may have less disasterous consequences.

    So what you seem to be asking is not how much grittiness is in the stories but for recommendations in general and for that, you may want to check out the Recommendations thread, which leads you to many other threads about various types of fantasy books. And you can take a look at the four series you have, all of which are in my view well written. Bakker is very, very military. Erikson is a cross between fantasy writers Glen Cook and Guy Gavriel Kay. Hobb reminds me of C.J. Cherryh mostly, and Martin combines about every fantasy tradition we've ever had into plaited ribbons of characters who are striking and may or may not be to your tastes. So they aren't bad 'uns to start with, but here are some older writers you might like:

    Ursula LeGuin, Earthsea books (YA)
    R.A. Salvatore, Dark Elf or Demon Awakening series (he has lots)
    Glen Cook, Garrett P.I. series (comic fantasy with a noir bent)
    C.J. Cherryh, Rusalka series
    Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
    Barbara Hambly, Dragonsbane
    David Gemmell
    Diana Wynne Jones
    Patricia A. McKillip
    Terry Pratchett, Discworld series (comic fantasy)
    Robert Silverberg
    Terry Brooks, Shanara series
    Stephen Donaldson, Thomas Convenant series

    There are dozens of other older writers, equally interesting and many of whom are still writing today. And there are hundreds of new ones, many of them excellent, but I'm not going to get into it, because I don't feel like dealing with the grief. (I'll be stoned enough for suggesting Brooks as it is.) Check out the recommendations, ignore when people tell you not to read something, feel around and see what you like most. And when you've read a bit more, you might find you want to try some other flavors of fantasy besides epic.

  4. #19
    Proto-man let me make this easy for you. Since it seems you haven't read it yet read WoT. If you want something shorter and hewing even closer to traditional epic fantasy (perhaps responsible for institutionalizing all the fantasy clichés of today) read Dragonlance Chronicles and Dragonlance Legends.

    Be prepared to skim through the first half of the first books though.

    From what I've seen if you like Magician more than MST you go the above route. If the opposite you might want to jump into ASoIaF and those on your list sooner.

    Maybe the previously mentioned Lies of Locke Lamora deserves priority but I haven't read it yet.
    Last edited by Bond; July 11th, 2007 at 09:08 PM.

  5. #20
    Hmm, well let's start with Ursuala Le Guin's Earthsea books. I was really expecting something exciting because of the great reviews and the basic storyline was that a boy would find he had magical powers and go train on an island, and start an adventure. I read the first book in the Earthsea series and was disappointed. Action isn't the only thing that I look for in a book, but I found A Wizard of Earthsea very much lacking in this area. Forget action, nothing much of anything happened. By the time I reached the last page, I realized that a very simple plot was embellished with much unnecessary detail and stretched into a 200-page book. While detail isn't necessarily bad, I think it had little effect on me as a reader other than annoy. For example, I found that I wasn't part of the story, but a spectator in the stands, even with all that detail. Very much disliked the character because there was little development. Sure you could say he "learned more about himself" and "conquered his evil side" but its one thing to be told something and another entirely to feel it. And there was little of that "feeling" from me.

    Also, about the Dark Elf and Dragonlance stuff, I try to steer clear of such stuff because there is so much pure drivel with these labels. Once, I tried to give them a try, and found Chronicles to be OK then but gave up after the first book of Legends. Now that I have read some more of fantasy, seems like I just wasted my time with even Chronicles and could have invested in my time with other reads.

    Also KatG, I tried Legend by David Gemell but gave up after the first 100 pages. Can't exactly point a finger at what I disliked. Maybe it was that the book moved way too fast (what else would you expect from a book entirely about the seige of a castle) and there little background history stuff about the world.

    Bond, I was thinking of reading Wot, and I seriously think I will enjoy the first three books, seems like the perfect traditional fantasy and Rand another classic just like Pug but after reading all those reviews about the books going downhill after three have made me skeptical. And when I am so far into the series as Book 3, I won't be able to stop. So, is it worth it to invest my time (I would be investing quite a lot of it) in all of those other books also part of the Wot series, when so many seem to dislike them?

    As for the recommendations thread, I have been through many of them and most of the series I have currently read are because of the recommendations from those threads (even the bad ones ). That said, I think I have provided enough details so that I may receive some more specific recommendations with general details on the books rather than huge lists like in the recommendation threads.

    It's not your fault, kiddo.
    Lol, was kind of expecting that after mentioning Eragon as one of my tastes. Or maybe, being a mod, she does that to everyone...

  6. #21
    dw4rf thrinidir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Realms of Speculative Fiction
    Posts
    713
    David Gemmell - Drenai Saga (Legend,...)

    I'm sorry to hear you didn't like it. It's fast paced so I can see what bothered you if you like a lot of worldbuilding and history background (god, I thought I would never see a person who likes wordiness when judging authors so much )...but it's a fun action packed read with likeable characters.

    R.A.Salvatore - The Dark Elf Trilogy

    Another legendary epic fantasy trilogy...Drizzit is an awesome char, and he is an elf besides ...

    Terry Brooks - Shannara Series

    This is kind of LOTR "lite", which Terry admitted himself...

    J V Jones - Book Of Words
    ect.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by proto-man View Post
    Also, about the Dark Elf and Dragonlance stuff, I try to steer clear of such stuff because there is so much pure drivel with these labels. Once, I tried to give them a try, and found Chronicles to be OK then but gave up after the first book of Legends. Now that I have read some more of fantasy, seems like I just wasted my time with even Chronicles and could have invested in my time with other reads.
    I find myself scratching my head and wondering "what was the drivel"? Personally I wouldn't think of exchanging my experience of reading the two original Dragonlance trilogies. Since we are far apart on that maybe that is one thing in favor of you taking the advice of others over mine.
    Bond, I was thinking of reading Wot, and I seriously think I will enjoy the first three books, seems like the perfect traditional fantasy and Rand another classic just like Pug but after reading all those reviews about the books going downhill after three have made me skeptical. And when I am so far into the series as Book 3, I won't be able to stop. So, is it worth it to invest my time (I would be investing quite a lot of it) in all of those other books also part of the Wot series, when so many seem to dislike them?
    WOT is my favorite fantasy series. What do you think I'm going to say?

    It is traditional epic on a scale you haven't seen before. It is suspenseful. It is funny. It has more eureka moments than you can shake a stick at. It also drives people absolutely batty when Jordan drops in 600 pages of filler involving imperious women inclining their heads, sniffing, adjusting their shawls, and fixing on their victims stares like awls. Mileage varies but despite all the complaints it is still one of the most popular series out there. It is likely that the majority of those b*tching about it are still going to pick up the next book. Does that make sense? Yes it does!

    As for what you should do, there comes a point where you simply have to dive in and find out for yourself. So choose already and start reading.
    Last edited by Bond; July 12th, 2007 at 10:44 AM.

  8. #23
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    In a Cloud
    Posts
    12,334
    As for the recommendations thread, I have been through many of them and most of the series I have currently read are because of the recommendations from those threads (even the bad ones ). That said, I think I have provided enough details so that I may receive some more specific recommendations with general details on the books rather than huge lists like in the recommendation threads.
    No, you haven't provided enough details. You like adventure, you're willing to read YA fiction if it has battle scenes, you are okay with serious themes and graphic material except maybe not at the extreme edge. Basically you are describing the parameters of thousands of epic fantasy novels. You like some you've read and others not, with no common thread between them. You've read a few tie-in books, didn't like them, and have therefore denounced the whole field as worthless, a common prejudice.

    All that being said, there's certainly no reason that you can't go through the Recommendation lists, check out linked threads that may offer something interesting and look for plots you like the sound of. But I'll give you your thread and people can make recommendations here. I don't know if they'll be new recommendations you haven't heard about on the Forum already, but you can see what you get. Since you seem to be willing to read widely, you're bound to find a few that work for you, including potentially the four that you have at the moment.

    I know one problem I often have is that people are much more interested in telling me whether they liked the book or not and feel the writer is any good or not than they are in telling me what the hey the story is about. But whether people discuss writing skill or plot elements, you really can't know if an author's work is for you unless you try it. So perhaps it is best if you read Prince of Nothing, and then you can tell us whether you think it really is gritty or not.

  9. #24
    Ranke Lidyek
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by proto-man View Post

    Also KatG, I tried Legend by David Gemell but gave up after the first 100 pages. Can't exactly point a finger at what I disliked. Maybe it was that the book moved way too fast (what else would you expect from a book entirely about the seige of a castle) and there little background history stuff about the world.

    ...
    Actually, the dirty little secret is that Legend is not one of Gemmell's better novels. Though I prefer his focus to the standard fantasy novel that requires reams of exposition in place of "world-building". If you pay attention, Gemmell's novels can be quite rich. Though he is so versed in history that he often makes allusions to past cultures and events and allows the reader's mind to fill in the blanks.

    His best book, for my money is Hero in the Shadows. I recommend the whole Waylander series as each of the three novels is better than the last. Winter Warriors is great as well. Though my favorites were the Jon Shannow books for some reason.

    Sword in the Storm is also great.

    I intensely disliked the WOT novels (thin plot and hackneyed character) and I'm laboring through LoLL by Lynch either (too smug). I really thought I'd love the Lynch book. I'm disappointed, really.

    I keep hearing about John Marco, so I think he's my next stab at finding a writer I can latch onto.

    Talion: Revenant by Michael Stackpole, to me, is an overlooked classic that no one mentions. Great book.

  10. #25
    boss of several cats... Severn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Aotearoa (NZ)
    Posts
    964
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranke Lidyek View Post
    I keep hearing about John Marco, so I think he's my next stab at finding a writer I can latch onto.
    Be careful with Marco - I read one book by him, The Eyes of God, and honestly I struggle to think of another book with such hackneyed characters, lacklustre writing, and a plot that just became, well, nonsensical. One of the rare few I actually turfed out into the bin. I, personally, can't understand the hype, at all. I think if you're looking for an intelligent great to latch onto - it won't be him.

  11. #26
    The Night Angel trilogy has some grittiness but also has some fun action and things. And ppl tell me its not as dark and gritty as Malazan,Fire and Ice,and Prince of Nothing. To me though, Farseer isn't gritty, but its certainly depressing. Poor little Fitz, damn i love that book, I cant wait to read the second, such great characters...

  12. #27
    The New ... MARK LAWRENCE Mark Lawrence's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    504
    Blog Entries
    3
    so I picked up The Darkness THat Comes Before in the parents' room at the children's hospital (been in most of a week with my youngest). I'm enjoying it so far - complex, clever fantasy with good prose. I'll even forgive the fantasy names with their circumflexs and umlauts. But I'd heard lots of times that Bakker is very 'dark'. I'm 250 pages in and haven't seen anything that I wouldn't see in half the fantasy books on the shelves. Does it get darker as you go? I don't need it to in order to enjoy it... Just curious given the reports.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Lawrence View Post
    so I picked up The Darkness THat Comes Before in the parents' room at the children's hospital (been in most of a week with my youngest). I'm enjoying it so far - complex, clever fantasy with good prose. I'll even forgive the fantasy names with their circumflexs and umlauts. But I'd heard lots of times that Bakker is very 'dark'. I'm 250 pages in and haven't seen anything that I wouldn't see in half the fantasy books on the shelves. Does it get darker as you go? I don't need it to in order to enjoy it... Just curious given the reports.
    First post!
    I wish the very best for your child. Also, I want to thank you for Prince/King of Thorns. I finished the second book last night (kept me up very late) and consider the series one of my top 5.

    If you continue reading The Darkness That Comes Before, you will undoubtedly encounter some things that wouldn't appear in other series (in terms of violence). The violence however, is not more frequent nor in a wholly different dimension from your own books. While Bakker's world is just a brutal place, the books do not get overly depressing or constantly let your one favourite character suffer. While it does get darker with the following books, the narrative improves a lot too. So the things you have enjoyed so far will get better/ more focused (prose, complexity).

    To me, it is incredible imagining two of my favourite fantasy authors (Bakker's Second Apocalypse remains at the top) reading each other's work.

  14. #29
    I haven't read Prince of Nothing yet, but i have read the others and I just want to warn you that Malazan is a very intense, time consuming read. Erkison's writing is some of my favorite, but at times its like he wants to put the plot on hold and just introduce a bunch of new characters every book.

    These characters are 95% dark/grimy/gritty/depressed characters so i think this might be right up your alley. The series is epic in every sense of the word, and its easy to lose hours at a time in these books. The world is violent and cruel. GotM is a top 3 book, so why not give that a try first and just see how you feel about it? This is my suggestion : )

  15. #30
    The New ... MARK LAWRENCE Mark Lawrence's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    504
    Blog Entries
    3
    Well I finished and enjoyed the book. I wouldn't though, if asked to describe it, reach for dark as my first adjective nor propose it as an important element in any deconstruction.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •