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  1. #1

    Sword & sorcery feel, Epic story

    I'm looking for books that combine the feel and atmosphere of sword and sorcery with an epic story line. The story need not be "save the world" but it should be a matter of larger concern than simply "trick the sorcerer, kill the monster, and get the magical artifact"--but it should include those type of motifs. Make sense?

    What comes to mind is The Malazan Book of the Fallen and The Black Company. I suppose that Mistborn has an element of this, and some of the classic S&S writers include more epic elements--Karl Edward Wagner and Michael Moorcock come to mind (and I still haven't read Wagner!), not as much Lieber, Howard, or Smith, or at least the bulk of their work.

    Another way to put it is that I'm looking for sword & sorcery with an epic story line, or epic fantasy with a sword & sorcery atmosphere and thematic elements.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Nobody in Particular kcf's Avatar
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    You want The Conqueror's Shadow by Ari Marmell. It's pretty good stuff. See the thread below.

    http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26715
    Last edited by kcf; August 2nd, 2010 at 06:28 PM. Reason: added link

  3. #3
    Registered User Gabriele's Avatar
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    David Gemmell. The Drenai novels are technically standalones but if you take them together, they cover the same world over a few hundred years. Definitely strong on S&S elements and kickass fights. The Rigante books are good, too,

    Jim Butcher's Codex Alera (6 books and finished) might work for you as well.

    Joe Abercrombie and Brian Ruckley, if you like your S&S cynical and dark.

  4. #4
    Registered User Zsinj's Avatar
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    I'll second the Gemmell recommendation! R. Scott Bakker's works would fit in this to a certain degree, wouldn't they?

  5. #5
    Making it so. Orbison's Avatar
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    I would say Feist's Riftwar Saga sits firmly in this category.

  6. #6
    Too many books to read... Siberian's Avatar
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    I second Codex Alera.
    You can also check some Dragon Lance books if you don't mind some cheese

  7. #7
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    You should try Kushiels Dart by Jaqueline Carey

  8. #8
    Kushiel's Dart has a sword & sorcery atmosphere? I haven't read it but that doesn't sound at all what I've heard about it.

    I forgot about David Gemmell. I read a really liked Dark Moon, but that's it. I do own Legend and for some reason I am drawn to the Rigante books. Could someone characterize the difference between Drenai and Rigante?

  9. #9
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Sword & sorcery in a nostalgic sense? Give Karr's Rhone a try. Rather Howard-esque.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Alchemist View Post
    I'm looking for books that combine the feel and atmosphere of sword and sorcery with an epic story line. The story need not be "save the world" but it should be a matter of larger concern than simply "trick the sorcerer, kill the monster, and get the magical artifact"--but it should include those type of motifs. Make sense?
    Nomen est omen: Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe should fit the bill nicely.

    It's technically two books btw, "The Knight" and "The Wizard", but helpfully combined in "The Wizard Knight" by Gollancz (2005).

    And second Abercrombie.

    Cheers,

    Sfinx.

  11. #11
    The Magnificent Roy Ryders's Avatar
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    Conan or The Prince of Nothing has a good barbarian and stuff

  12. #12
    Quagaar Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alchemist View Post
    I'm looking for books that combine the feel and atmosphere of sword and sorcery with an epic story line.
    cool quest! very much my cup of tea too.

    ++Abercrombie. 'The First Law' series is very character driven, so it's small 'e' epic, if you know what i mean.

    just finished 'Monument' by Ian Graham which i enjoyed and i think would fit the bill here too. very unusual stuff: give it a chance and you might be surprised how nicely he pulls it off.

    an older, flawed but interesting, series: 'The Winter of the World' books by Michael Scott Rohan.

    also, i would think, 'The Black Company' stuff by Glen Cook. runs on a bit with additional books, etc, but the recent omnibus edition gathers the original series together. 'epic' here pretty much means "let's try and stay alive".

    i think you'll find Wagner is very much S&S and not so epic. i'd say pretty much in the Howard/Lieber episodic camp. marvelous stuff nevertheless!

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