Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22
  1. #1

    Red face I do hate to do this. Recommendations?

    Before anyone e-shouts at me or deletes this thread, please hear me out. I have spent a good few hours reading through the threads listed in the "recommendation thread" but it's very hard to amalgamate the information to find something that fits all of my criteria. There's so little time in which to read that it seems wasteful reading something that I do not whole-heartedly enjoy. So, if this thread, in helping me, ruffles a few feathers it's worth it. Lately I've been reading Robert Jordan and have found myself getting bored of it. I have nothing against "BFF", actually I rather enjoy it as it lets me remain longer in the world I've come to love. That is, if the writing does not diminish. So what am I looking for? Firstly, good characters whom I can come to care about and grow attached to. I was more annoyed with Robert Jordan's... Good characterization is the most important thing. I want a story with decent length and good writing. Very Important. I also like there to be good (and believable) love story, or two, present. That's also important. When it comes to scope, I'm looking for a large scale story in a beautiful, believable word with some enjoyable one-on-one fight scenes (Particularly fond of fine bowmen and quarterstaff-users) as well as grand battles (though the latter is less important). Magic... I'm not fussed whether there is a lot of a little, but it's nice when it's there. I also prefer the story not to be too linear, I like tangents and don't enjoy it too much when the book follows just one character. That is one thing I do enjoy about Jordan. I think that's about it, though political story lines don't appeal to be at the moment. Get enough of that in the real world... Thanks.

    Sorry again. Please don't hate me

  2. #2
    Cranky old broad AuntiePam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    2,062
    Quote Originally Posted by UL. View Post
    *good characters whom I can come to care about and grow attached to
    *decent length and good writing
    *good (and believable) love story
    *large scale story in a beautiful, believable world *some enjoyable one-on-one fight scenes as well as grand battles
    *not too linear, I like tangents
    * political story lines don't appeal
    I think your want-list is specific enough that you won't get yelled at.

    Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series fits your wants quite well, except there's no traditional love story, and it's a bit political.

    I think Tigana and The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay have everything you're looking for.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply. I'm just looking into Guy Gavriel Kay now, looks promising On a side note, could you (or anyone) tell me how Hobb fits in with my wants, for I've heard that she has incredible characters.

  4. #4
    Registered User Alessan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    33
    I'd recommend Kay too. Tigana, Lions of Al-Rassan and The Sarantine Mosaic are all wonderful. Also, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials fits most of your criteria. It's an incredible series and not only for kids.


    Personally, I thought Hobb got really old, really fast... but everyone else seems to love it, so maybe I'm just wrong
    Last edited by Alessan; September 16th, 2007 at 05:15 PM.

  5. #5
    boss of several cats... Severn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Aotearoa (NZ)
    Posts
    885
    There are four Hobb trilogies. She is amazing at characterisation, so I'd say she definitely fits your criteria. The first trilogy, The Farseer trilogy, is told from first person perspective. The second trilogy, Liveships, is set on the same world but with different characters and told from a multitude of perspectives - this one therefore more thoroughly fits your criteria. The third trilogy, The Tawny Man, features the same characters as the first trilogy and is told from first person perspective again. Her latest trilogy, The Soldier Son, is set on a different world.

    Now, while Liveships might fit the bill more precisely, I still recommend starting with The Farseer Trilogy. The three trilogies link in together, and it's important (I think) for reading integrity to read them in order. Her characters, her world-building, her sheer story-telling, are a breath of fresh air. High fantasy that breaks a few high fantasy cliches.

    Guy Gavriel Kay - get him. He doesn't put a foot wrong, seriously - well, as far as his standalone's go. (Personally, I'd steer away from his Fionavar Tapestry though: it's weak, and not a good representation of his works). I'd recommend Tigana, Lions of Al Rassan, and A Song for Arbonne for you.

    I also recommend Carol Berg's The Rai-Kirah trilogy, and Sarah Zettel's Isavalta trilogy - both underrated, both brilliant in terms of story, world-building and characters.

    Try Lynn Flewelling's Tamir Triad - it definitely has all you're looking for.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Severn View Post
    Guy Gavriel Kay - get him. He doesn't put a foot wrong, seriously - well, as far as his standalone's go. (Personally, I'd steer away from his Fionavar Tapestry though: it's weak, and not a good representation of his works). I'd recommend Tigana, Lions of Al Rassan, and A Song for Arbonne for you.
    Lions of Al Rassan is the perfect Kay book, I can't think of any way it could have been improved. Definitely recommended. Tigana and Sarantium mosaic are also both very good, with characters and a story that really suck you in, but he has a tendency to go off on too many tangents that don't add anything to the story in these too, especially Tigana. Song for Arbonne wasn't bad but I didn't find the story or characters as compelling as the others. He was on autopilot when he wrote Last Light of the Sun and it shows. Fionavar was by far his worst, I couldn't even finish the first book without putting it down in disgust.

    So yes I would recommend Kay, except for Fionavar.

  7. #7
    Lost in a large book nicba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    331

    Bf(f)f

    Well, you could try some of the otherr BFF's out there, like:

    Memory, Thorn & Sorrow - Tad William

    I would think that this one would fit all of your criteria. But then you've probably already read it.

    Deverry - Katharine Kerr
    I've only read the first four books (yet) but they were very good. I thought they had an almost Shakespeare-ian feel about them, full of high emotions: love, jealousy, hate etc. Maybe a bit melodramatic at times, though. Also, I don't remember that many battles and fights. They were there, but not as a central part of the story.

    Wars of Light and Shadow - Janny Wurts
    This is a very long series too. Actually, when people complain about the never-ending Wheel of Time I can't imagine why they are not also attacking Wurst for the same faults. Maybe just because fewer people has read her books? But anyway, I think she writes beautifully and has some very engaging characters. But she does tend to draw things out. A lot happens in her books, but somehow it doesn't seem to advance the storyline much, especially in the later books (very Jordan-like in that respect).

    Crown of Stars - Kate Elliott
    This one gets extra points because it's actually a BFFF - a Big Fat Finished Fantasy. It got all the things you listed too: Good characters, many characters, love stories, length (7 books), battles and some magic. But it also has a bit of politics and plotting (esp. in the later books).

  8. #8
    Thanks a lot everyone. I'm definitely going to have to look into all of these before I go shopping (hopefully Tuesday). I'd like to know, what's the extent of the magical content in Guy Gavriel Kay's books? Also, would I be right in thinking that the first-person-ness of Farseer makes it rather linear? Thanks again. Feel free to continue with the recommendations :-)

  9. #9
    boss of several cats... Severn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Aotearoa (NZ)
    Posts
    885
    GGK uses minimalist magic. For example, in Tigana, the source of conflict revolves around a magical act, yet the use of magic itself isn't prominent in the story. It doesn't, I promise, detract from his stories though.

    Robin Hobb's stuff is linear yes, but Liveships is told from many different perspectives so it loosens the linear sense up a little.

  10. #10
    Registered User Alessan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    33
    Quote Originally Posted by Michigan View Post
    Fionavar was by far his worst, I couldn't even finish the first book without putting it down in disgust.
    In Disgust? Really?!

    Sure, it lacks the polish of his more mature works, but it's well written and a hell of an adventure. My only regret with fionavar is that I let all the bad opinions on here keep me from reading it sooner.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
    In Disgust? Really?!

    Sure, it lacks the polish of his more mature works, but it's well written and a hell of an adventure. My only regret with fionavar is that I let all the bad opinions on here keep me from reading it sooner.

    I found the characters more one dimensional and unbelievable than anything Goodkind can write. Good thing I had already read Tigana and knew what he was capable of or I would probably never have given Kay another chance.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by nicba View Post

    Deverry - Katharine Kerr
    I've only read the first four books (yet) but they were very good. I thought they had an almost Shakespeare-ian feel about them, full of high emotions: love, jealousy, hate etc. Maybe a bit melodramatic at times, though. Also, I don't remember that many battles and fights. They were there, but not as a central part of the story.
    I'd have a hard time recommending Kerr, it's the same thing over and over. The story has zero direction, it just goes on and on and on with whatever Kerr feels like writing about. I figure I must have read maybe the first 7 books before giving up.

    I would second Tad Williams though. A bit slow at times as he gets bogged down in descriptions but interesting none the less.

  13. #13
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Widdershins
    Posts
    2,096
    i would second Crown of Stars which i finished recently and add "Second Sons" trilogy by Jennifer Fallon and Kushiel books by Jacqueline Carey. Kushiel books have some adult content, but it's done in a restrained and indirect way, more suggested than graphic, and the characters, worldbuilding and battles are top notch.

    I was also dissapointed in Fionnavar Tapestry, and i'm glad i have not given up on Guy Gavriel Kay after starting with these novels. I was not disgusted by them, but the standalones are much better.

  14. #14
    Registered User Raule's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Georgia USA
    Posts
    510
    I'll 2nd Algernoninc's rec for Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michigan View Post
    Lions of Al Rassan is the perfect Kay book, I can't think of any way it could have been improved. .... He was on autopilot when he wrote Last Light of the Sun and it shows.
    I couldn't disagree more with this. I did like Lions of Al Rassan, but it most definitely isn't a perfect novel. I wouldn't underestimate Last Light of the Sun. I guess I'm in the minority here for liking it much better than LoAR or Tigana, which are the usual ones that get raves here. I guess it all depends on how you like your fantasies and how you relate to the characters and the world they inhabit.

  15. #15
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    In a Cloud
    Posts
    12,316
    Since your thread has generated a discussion, UL, we will leave it, but I'm afraid that asking for imaginary realm fantasy series with battles is about as unspecific as it gets. Further, all of the authors being recommended here in this thread have been frequently mentioned in numerous threads on imaginary realm/epic fantasy and in threads specifically about the authors as well. Your question has been asked and answered repeatedly in the Recommendation Thread, which is why we have the Recommendation Thread, so that members don't have to repeat themselves.

    Luckily for you, they are tolerant folk, willing to lend a helping hand. And I approve of you for not being so picky and having a criteria that is NOT very specific. So we'll let it stand. Next time, though, we may sick Rob B on you with a butterfly net.

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
  •