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  1. #76
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    Here are a few possibilities . . . .

    Epic fantasy: lots of magic and heroism and what not, but also something dark and well written. . . .

    Some ideas from Lists 'R' Us Central:

    • "The Arthor Tetralogy: (The Dragon and the Unicorn; The Eagle and the Sword aka Arthor; The Wolf and the Crown aka The Perilous Order; The Serpent and the Grail) by A. A. Attanasio. (I believe the variant titles are US/UK.)
    • Shardik by Richard Adams.
    • "The Dread Empire" Septet by Glen Cook (I'll spare you the seven individual titles, but check it out).
    • "The Black Company" Saga (9 books) by Glen Cook.
    • The Swordbearer by Glen Cook.
    • The Tower of Fear by Glen Cook.
    • "Chronicles of an Age of Darkness" Dexad by Hugh Cook.
    • Most anything by Dave Duncan.
    • The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison.
    • "The Zimiamvia Trilogy" (Mistress of Mistresses; A Fish Dinner in Memison; The Mezentian Gate) by E. R. Eddison.
    • Anything by David Gemmell (notably the "Drenai" cycle; the "Sipstrassi" cycle, aka "The Stones of Power"; and "The Jerusalem Man" cycle).
    • "The Forest Kingdom" Trio (Blue Moon Rising; Blood and Honor; Down Among the Dead Men) by Simon R. Green.
    • The many "The Windameir" books by Niel [stet] Hancock (sort of Tolkien lite).
    • "The Kencyrath Chronicles" by P. C. Hodgell.
    • Any fantasy by Tanith Lee (notably the "Flat Earth" cycle, 5 books with 2 more scheduled for this year; the "Paradys" quartet; and the "Venus" quartet).
    • "The Sunset Warrior" Quintet by Eric Van Lustbader (but skip the 5th).
    • Anything by Dennis McKiernan (decently done Tolkien pastiches).
    • The "Parsival" Quartet by Richard Monaco.
    • Large amounts of Michael Moorcock's idiosyncratic work.
    • "The War of the Gods on Earth" Trilogy by Andrew Offutt.
    • The "Tomoe Gozen" Trio by Jessica Amanda Salmonson (avoid the book titled Tomoe Gozen, which was editorially manhandled, in favor of the "author's cut" of it, The Disfavored Hero).
    • The "Nifft" Trio (Nifft the Lean; The Mines of Behemoth; The A'Rak) by Michael Shea.
    • The "Lyonesse" Trilogy (Suldrun's Garden; The Green Pearl; Madouc) by Jack Vance.


    What those have in common, besides, I hope and believe, more or less meeting the specified criteria (magic, heroism, dark, well-written), is that they meet the last--"well written"--better than most of their sort.

    If, incidentally, you want, for some variety, a warm, gentle turn on "heroic fiction", do try Lord Dunsany's delightful pair of novels of "The Shadow Valley Chronicles": Don Rodriguez and The Charwoman's Shadow.

  2. #77
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    Cross-chek the others . . . .

    There are two parallel threads running, well worth consulting: "Epic fantasy suggestions" and "Sword, Sorcery, Likes, Dislikes and Recommendations". (I have a long list of suggestions posted on the first, which I will not clutter this thread by duplicating here.)

  3. #78
    I would also have to recommend Melanie Rawn's (completed, yay!!!!) Dragon Prince Series (Dragon Prince, The Star Scroll, Sunrunner's Fire) and Dragon Star Series (Stronghold, The Dragon Token, Skybowl) - This is one of my favorite series and yearly re-reads. It has dark, light, magic, and real life emotions, plots, etc. It is a great story.

    Also Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel Series (Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen, Kushiel's Avatar), she also has another series after this if you like it.

  4. #79
    Tolkien Disciple Wayne Batson's Avatar
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    I'll third for Tad Williams and Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. I'm in the final book now. It's very intriguing. Great characterization. Superb villains. Though for some reason, every time I envision Pyrates, I think of the evil red Jedi in the SW prequels.

  5. #80
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    Whenever I think of Pyrates it always brings to mind the George MacDonald Fraser of Flashman fame spoof of the same name.

  6. #81
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    One never knows, do one?

    And I thought it was some sort of weird physical-fitness program . . . .

  7. #82
    Ranke Lidyek
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Batson View Post
    I'll third for Tad Williams and Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. I'm in the final book now. It's very intriguing. Great characterization. Superb villains. .
    Hold off your suggestion for Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn until you finish the last novel. I'm sorry to say that the series is very underwhelming as a whole.

    The first novel, however, does have a bangup ending and the second book is worth reading.

  8. #83
    In transit Muess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranke Lidyek View Post
    Hold off your suggestion for Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn until you finish the last novel. I'm sorry to say that the series is very underwhelming as a whole.

    The first novel, however, does have a bangup ending and the second book is worth reading.
    I have to agree, I found the books as a whole to be lacking something though I can't entirely put my finger on what. They are well written though, I think I would have enjoyed them immensely when I was 15.

  9. #84
    Registered User jordanscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muess View Post
    I have to agree, I found the books as a whole to be lacking something though I can't entirely put my finger on what. They are well written though, I think I would have enjoyed them immensely when I was 15.
    I agree about the feeling that something is missing.

    I thought it was a great story overall but coming to the end of the 3rd book he really started to telegraph where he was going (even if you hadn't already figured it out).

    And a big gripe I have about TW's writing is that he doesn't seem to know how to end a book or story. Whether it was MST or Otherland I always put down the book feeling he didn't know what he was trying to tie up or what he was trying to foreshadow or what he was trying to tell us.

    Still, overall i think MST was a great read overall.

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