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  1. #16
    Glen cook's The black company (particularly the first trilogy) has been mentioned already, but you might also consider his Dread empire series (the first trilogy is available used in component volumes or omnibus as "A Cruel Wind." ) I did consider the little-or-no-magic requirement, and concluded that the series in great part relies on characters with no magic skill (ex-varthlokkur), it might qualify. Some major military events might (do) have a magical component.

    While on the topic of glen cook, his Tower of Fear (fantasy loosely based on carthage after the 2nd punic war, as far as I can figure) is just great. There is a magic-related overall plot, but the various characters do not have magical skills or uses themselves.

  2. #17
    Is Winter Coming? R.J.'s Avatar
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    Well my tastes are quite similar to the OP but I find myself enjoying the Malazan books of the fallen immensely nonetheless.

  3. #18
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    Sword of Shadows by JV Jones might be mentioned in addition to Bakker's 4 books out sofar, maybe Glen Cook though I personally don't like it. Certainly Gemmell, but you may also want to look at some historical epics. To narrow that down a bit, Bernard Cornwell, Cecelia Holland, Giles Kristian, Robert Low and Tim Severin have written series in the last few years, in some cases still ongoing about Viking warriors travelling across the world and encountering all sorts of stuff, this might be worth your time since like me your are fond of Abercrombie's Northmen. There's little to no no magic. You might also check out the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. And a book by Guy Gavriel Kay, just because he's a superb and much loved author. His books are semi-historical fantasy epics, big books with lots of characters, very well-written and engaging, plenty of betrayal and emotion and very little ( if any) magic and certainly no dragons. Lions of Al-Rassan for starters perhaps.

  4. #19
    Thanks guys. I've gone ahead and picked up Gardens of the Moon, and The Black Company. Ill give those a try.

  5. #20
    Registered User Gabriele's Avatar
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    Robert Low, The Whale Road (and sequels, if you like the first one)
    Ben Kane, The Forgotten Legion (ditto; the third and final book will be out this summer)
    -- Both historical fiction, but definitely on the rough side.

    Brian Ruckley, The Godless World trilogy. It gets mixed reviews but I liked it.

    You could also give Bernard Cornwell's Warlord trilogy and the Saxon books a try. He does some GREAT battle scenes.

  6. #21
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    So much for little or no magic. Goodluck with Gardens.

  7. #22
    Registered User murf99's Avatar
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    I second The Godless World trilogy. Sounds pretty close to what you're looking for, although there isn't much humour.

  8. #23
    Registered User SLASH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriele View Post
    Brian Ruckley, The Godless World trilogy. It gets mixed reviews but I liked it.
    I am reading The Godless World trilogy at the moment. About hundred pages into the second one, Bloodheir, and I love the series so far !

    Maybe the topic starter should give The Raven series by James Barclay a try but it's got quite some magic in it but it's still a great series with lot's of hardcore violence oh and it has dragons lol
    Nevermind then.
    Last edited by SLASH; June 15th, 2010 at 05:34 PM.

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by SLASH View Post
    Maybe the topic starter should give The Raven series by James Barclay a try
    Read the first one. Didn't care for it. Not enough character development.

    Anyhow, I'm 100 pages into gardens of the moon. Absolutely loving it. Not sure why everyone says they are so confused and/or bored by this book. I'm finding it very fascinating. I have a feeling this series will keep me busy for months. Yea it has magic but it's so well done I'm enjoying it regardless!

  10. #25
    Shadow's Lure (June 2011)
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    The rougher, the better, eh? I like the way you think.

    I loved Abercrombie's First Law, and I'm reading the Malazan series by Erikson now -- I agree, his presentation of his world and characters is tremendous.

    As was said above, when you finish the Malazan, go back and read The Black Company by Glen Cook.

  11. #26
    Registered User Gabriele's Avatar
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    I never had problems with Gardens of the Moon, either. I blamed it on all that post-something stuff I had to read at university (the peak of post-makinganysense was Kjartan Flogstad).

    And GotM is a damn lot more fun than most of that post-something stuff.

  12. #27
    I also like my books gritty. Really enjoyed the First Law series by Abercrombie. Particularly because it seems more real than other authors who have cut and dried "good" and "bad" characters.

    The Night Angel series by Brent Weeks was also enjoyable. Looking for more recommendations along the lines of these two authors. Particularly authors that are have an easy flow and fast pace of action.

    One of the reasons I put of fantasy for so long was because I tried to read LOTR and the Shannara series and they were so descriptive of useless stuff and just rambled on and on IMO that it took a long time for me to get back into fantasy, but the above mentioned authors and a few others have really gotten me excited about the genre again.

  13. #28
    Is Winter Coming? R.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriele View Post
    I never had problems with Gardens of the Moon, either. I blamed it on all that post-something stuff I had to read at university (the peak of post-makinganysense was Kjartan Flogstad).

    And GotM is a damn lot more fun than most of that post-something stuff.
    I came to A Song of Ice and Fire cause I wanted a darker, grittier, more realistic, less vanilla / Middle-earth / AD&D take on the genre. And loved it.

    I came to The Malazan Books of the Fallen because, you know, A Dance with Dragons isn't exactly being published everyday, and I thought, so this is dark and gritty too but wow the magic/supernatural here knows no bounds, how can I like this (not to mention the story's demanding nature)?

    And here I am, finished book six last night, totally engrossed and thinking about the series.

  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Slynt View Post
    I came to A Song of Ice and Fire cause I wanted a darker, grittier, more realistic, less vanilla / Middle-earth / AD&D take on the genre. And loved it.

    I came to The Malazan Books of the Fallen because, you know, A Dance with Dragons isn't exactly being published everyday, and I thought, so this is dark and gritty too but wow the magic/supernatural here knows no bounds, how can I like this (not to mention the story's demanding nature)?

    And here I am, finished book six last night, totally engrossed and thinking about the series.
    I was recommended the Malazn books but haven't got round to buying them yet- I have this terrible clothes/shoe/accessory obsession... (I am a really girly-girl- proper housewife with a dark side )

    I really enjoy gritty, violent, twisted books- magic etc there or not doesn't bother me- oh and lots of sex but not mills and boon rubbish.

    I tend to only pick up what in the library but like Chris Bunch and read a lot of Warhammer- Malekith and Malus Darkblade was good for my twisted side

    I will get round to buying the Malazan books and giving them a go.

  15. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyye View Post
    Thanks guys. I've gone ahead and picked up Gardens of the Moon, and The Black Company. Ill give those a try.
    I'm fairly sure that if you like those, you will also enjoy the Takeshi Kovacs novels by Richard Morgen (Altered Carbon / Broken Angels / Woken Furies). It's SF, so no worries about magic and/or dragons. But should be right up your alley

    Cheers,

    Sfinx.

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