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  1. #1
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    Need help picking new fantasy series to read

    I am rather new to fantasy novels and I need help picking a new series to read. Here is a little background on my previous fantasy experiences.

    I read LOTR in high school which was followed by an 8 year absence from reading. Until around a year and a half ago a friend lent me his copy of GAME OF THRONES. After that I went on a bit of a binge. In the last year and a half I read:

    all of the released Song of ice and fire - loved um.
    The 9 books in the farseer series - loved um.
    HEROS DIE - liked alot, sequel not so much (possibly out of print for a reason)
    Sword of Truth - Regret reading
    eragon - ehhh (massive cliche).
    The malazan book of the fallen series - my favorite just ahead of aSoIaF.
    Black Company - It was ok, but I stopped reading after 4 books when I realized I would have to pay 50-100 dollars to get SHE IS THE DARKNESS.

    Sadly, I picked most of those series off amazons recommendations, but now I am out of leads. I need some quality suggestions.

    I like interesting characters that evolve with the story and can die at any time. Violence is a plus. I have avoided the wheel of time since I heard it goes on forever and gets progressively worse. Chances are if I read one book I will finish the series just to see what happens(sword of truth).

    Please help me out with some quality suggestions of books/series that I should like.

    thanks,

  2. #2
    http://is.gd/4flJX Gilgamesh's Avatar
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    I read The Blade Itself and am currently reading Before They Are Hanged. (And I decided to buy Last Argument Of Kings). I can't speak for the 3rd book of the trilogy however if it flows with the same quality then they will become classics. I loved the first book and I'm loving the second one. I cannot recommend them enough...

  3. #3
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    First, welcome to SFFWorld JC.

    Second let me point you to our great big Recommendation thread.

    I'd also suggest poking around the forum for a bit, since a lot of the series that will likely be recommended have topics dedicated to them. Offhand, I'd suggest Tad Williams's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn, Gene Wolfe's WizardKnight, Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing, Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, and Greg Keyes's Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone.

  4. #4
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    I have avoided the wheel of time since I heard it goes on forever and gets progressively worse

    Your loss.

    Violent books eh. I'll second the First Law trilogy.

    Can't go wrong with a little Gemmell. Start with "Legend".

  5. #5
    Registered User Gabriele's Avatar
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    There's an 2 volume omnibus re-relase of the Black Company.

    I second the Tad Williams, Greg Keyes and Joe Abercrombie recommendations. Bernard Cornwell's Warlord trilgoy (Winter King, Enemy of Good, Excalibur) should be to your liking as well, there's plenty of war stuff. I also liked Brian Ruckley's Winterbirth and Bloodheir. Definitely check out David Gemmell.

    Haven't read them myself, but there's a lot of talk about Scott Lynch's Lies of Locke Lamorra and the sequel.

    I've stayed away from Wheel of Time as well, but people kept telling me the first books (1-4 or 1-6 depending on taste) are good and the series gets down the river in book 7-10, while 11 is better again, so I decided to buy the boxed set of the first three and have a look. If I like it, I'll buy the second set and book 11 - there are enough summaries of 7-10 online so you don't have to read them, I think.

  6. #6
    Registered User Trinuviel's Avatar
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    I would like to recommend some series/books that I myself have enjoyed immensely:

    Garth Nix - Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen. They are classified as YA, but I found them very original. An interesting world, and a different take on death.

    Jacqueline Carey - her Kushiel's Legacy series is now includes 6 volumes. The first three (Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen, Kushiel's Avatar) follows the exploits of courtesan and spy Phèdre nó Delaunay (she is IMO one of the really great heroines in contemporary fantasy), while the last three (Kushiel's Scion, Kushiel's Justice, Kushiel's Mercy) is about Phèdre's foster-son Imriel. Carey's books can be categorized as alternate history. Beautiful prose as well.

    Guy Gavriel Kay is another favorite of mine. Also historical fantasy, A Song for Arbonne and The Lions of al-Rassan are wonderful.

    Ellen Kushner's fantasy of manners (Swordspoint, The Privilege of the Sword) are also very good.

    Naomi Novik has written an engaging series about a man and his dragon, set in an alternate version of the Napoleonic Wars: Temeraire, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles.

    Another series that I've recently enjoyed is the Gentlemen Bastards sequence by Scott Lynch. It is to be a seven book series, of which two (The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas under Red Skies) are already published. Highly entertaining caper story that features a group of con artists and their schemes.

    Jasper fforde has written some hilariously funny books about literary dectective Thursday Next, set in an alternate universe where the Crimean wars has lasted 150 years and where people clone their own dodos. Lots of tongue-in-cheek references to the great classics of English literature, but they are very enjoyable even if you don't get all the references. The series consists of four books: The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots and Something Rotten.

  7. #7
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinuviel View Post
    Jasper fforde has written some hilariously funny books about literary dectective Thursday Next, set in an alternate universe where the Crimean wars has lasted 150 years and where people clone their own dodos. Lots of tongue-in-cheek references to the great classics of English literature, but they are very enjoyable even if you don't get all the references. The series consists of four books: The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots and Something Rotten.
    Add to that Thursday Next: First Among Sequels, the fifth book.

  8. #8
    Registered User Trinuviel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erfael View Post
    Add to that Thursday Next: First Among Sequels, the fifth book.
    Haven't read that one yet, but I also really liked his other series Nursery Crimes

  9. #9
    I'll second the Lies of Locke Lamora (scott Lynch) and third (i think) The Blade Itself (Joe Abercrombie)

    Just finished Lies, and its superb. I've read all of the first law and that to is fantastic

  10. #10
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    I've stayed away from Wheel of Time as well, but people kept telling me the first books (1-4 or 1-6 depending on taste) are good and the series gets down the river in book 7-10, while 11 is better again, so I decided to buy the boxed set of the first three and have a look. If I like it, I'll buy the second set and book 11 - there are enough summaries of 7-10 online so you don't have to read them, I think.
    Instead of being a mindless drone how about you form your own opinion before skipping books.

  11. #11
    Registered User Gabriele's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisW View Post
    Instead of being a mindless drone how about you form your own opinion before skipping books.
    Mindless drone? Because I read reviews and use them to pick books - or not pick them? I don't have money to waste on books that get such an amount of bad press that I'm sure I won't like them. The later Wot books aren't the only ones, they keep Eragon, Sword of Truth and the Da Vinci Code company, among others.

  12. #12
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisW View Post
    Instead of being a mindless drone how about you form your own opinion before skipping books.
    I'd also say that Book 7 is actually pretty good (better than 5, maybe the equal of 6). Books 8-9 aren't the best but the inertia from the first seven will carry you through them and major stuff does happen in them. The only one you can get away with not reading and just picking up an online summary is Book 10. Whilst all of the other books in the series cover months or weeks, Book 10 covers maybe one week at the most, so when Book 11 starts you haven't really missed anything at all. That said, there are a few good Mat chapters in 10.

    Meh, I'd say give them all a go. Frankly, if you read all of 1-9 and enjoy them, I don't think 10 will slow you down that much any way.

  13. #13
    Registered User Gabriele's Avatar
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    Step by step, Wert. I've ordered the first three (they come in a boxed set) and if I like them, I'll order the next box.

    I can't remember a Fantasy/SciFi series I haven't abandoned somewhere between book 3 and 5* (haven't reached that point with Malazan Book of the Fallen yet; I'm at book 2, so it might be the first exception). Plus I'm easily annoyed by female characters. I can't abide some male characters either, but female ones trigger the annyoance button more easily.

    * Except maybe Gemmell, but his Drenaii books are rather standalones in the same world.

  14. #14
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    First off, thank you to everyone that responded. Its really nice to have somewhere to get advice and talk about fantasy/scifi since I don't really know anyone personally who reads them. This seems to be a really helpful online community, I am glad I found it.

    After reviewing your responses, reading through the if you like xxxxxxx than you should like yyyyyy thread, and reading the top ten thread, I have come to the conclusion that my decision making skills need work. Instead of picking one I bought/ordered the following:

    lies of locke lamora - Lynch
    the blade itself - abercrombie
    the darkness that comes before - Bakker
    Kushiels dart - Carey
    the Briar King - keyes
    legend - gemmell
    a cavern of black ice - jones
    magician: apprentice - feist

    I seem to find myself in a smaller version of the same boat I was in before; which book/series do I read next? Perhaps I am not suppose you use this forum in this way, but if ppl could rank the books from this list they have read that would help me decide.

    It would also help to know which of those titles are more adult themed(like GRRM, Erikson, or Stover).

    Thanks again,

  15. #15
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    Can't go wrong with Lynch & The 'Crombie!

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