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  1. #1

    Fantasy novels with older (non-adolescent) protagonists or POV

    My son and I were in a bookstore yesterday, and he commented on the fact that the Young Adult section (Twilight-style books and such) seemed to be taking more shelf space than fantasy.

    And I realized that there are a fair amount of fantasy novels and series that have young protagonists or at least young major characters. Raymond E. Feist, for example, seems to have a pattern of adolescent boys in his novels, Terry Brooks often has young protagonists, and GRR Martin has several younger POV characters.

    So I'm looking for fantasy novels that are NOT coming-of-age books and that do not include teenage POVs. I can go with characters in their twenties, but not teens. I'm wondering if you experienced fantasy readers can contribute to this thread.

    So, off the top of my head, here are some for starters:

    -Lord of the Rings -- JRR Tolkien (Yes, Frodo is young, but he doesn't seem to be a teenager)
    -Malazan series -- Steven Erikson/Ian C Esslemont
    -Ryria Revelations -- Michael J. Sullivan
    -Chronicles of Thomas Covenant -- Stephen R Donalson
    -Terra Incognita trilogy -- Kevin J Anderson

    I know that there must be many more! Thanks!

  2. #2
    20-somethings are basically extended adolescence, at least over the last couple generations (or maybe I just speak for my Gen X self? ).

    Anyhow, I wouldn't know where to start - there are so many. George RR Martin has a mixture of viewpoint characters of different ages. The main characters of Jordan's the Wheel of Time are all in their early 20s, I think, but basically act like teenagers.

    I would even go so far as to say that there are just as many 20-something protagonists as teen protagonists in fantasy. What is harder to find is 30+ year old protagonists.

    One that comes to mind is the Prince of Nothing series by R Scott Bakker. I don't know if it is ever stated how old the main viewpoint character, Achamian is, but I think he's about 40. In the sequel series he's about 60.

    Most Guy Gavriel Kay books involve adult characters, some 30+.

    I remember Tiger in the Tiger and Del books being in his 30s and often bemoaning the fact.

  3. #3
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    Off the top of my head, some of my favorites with older protagonists.

    The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold, and the 2nd book who's name escapes me right now.
    Anything by Guy Gavriel Kay Though maybe Tigana does have a younger main character in the book.
    Joe Abercrombie's first law series.
    Elantris by Brandon Sanderson, all older PoV also.

  4. #4
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    The second Chalion book is called Paladin of Souls and the protagonist is a mature lady in her forties (Royina Ista). It isone of my favorites.

    Caine from Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover is also well past his prime at the start of the series. There are some flshback to his years in school, but most of the action is focused on his mature years.

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