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  1. #196
    Ok, I have a different view than most, I read quite a lot and can read quite a different range of writers, I love some and others I can't get past the first few pages, Melanie Rawn is one I can't read at all. LOTR was a waste of time for me, I read it but will never read it again. I love the Anita Blake series and the 2 JR Ward books, also loved the first 6 books of the Crown of stars series, the last of this series I am still trying to get into, maybe it was too long before the last book was written and thats why I'm not interested.
    I wish I'd never picked up George RR Martins Song of Ice, I absolutely love this series but fear I will die before he brings out the conclussion to it.
    I liked and read Anne Rices books when they came out and yet I can't read them now. My son loves Bernard Cornwell and yet I can't get through one of his books. Since coming to SFFWorld I will say I'm trying new authors I would never have thought of reading before and some have been great, others were an experience.

  2. #197
    Hyperpower! Jack's Avatar
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    I usually do a fine job researching books for myself, spelunking the vast depths of the mighty recc thread, but I must admit I am at a lost, and I am drawing to the end of The Blood Knight, not sure of what to read next. Let me tell you what I'm currently into, and what specific details I like at the moment, and maybe somebody can point me in the right direction.

    I've read all the available releases in the US of Erikson's Malazan books, which is what has me on my current epic fantasy kick. Per this thread, I then moved on to Greg Keyes' Kingdom of Thorn and Bone, which I have enjoyed quite a lot. What I am looking for is another epic fantasy with multiple volumes to get into. However, some epic fantasies employ devices which annoy me greatly:

    1. Whiny main characters.
    2. Delay techniques, or, characters making incredibly poor decisions that only serve to streeeeetch the plot out.

    So if we could avoid this, that would be great. A completed series is a plus, though by no means mandatory, but it'd be good if at least 3 books in the series are released. I'm looking for adult books, in the vein of the aforementioned Erikson, Keyes, as well as Bakker and Martin. Action is good, romance is fine, political intrigue a plus. Horrific elements are fun, as is violence. I don't mind good vs. evil, though a blurring of the lines is always nice. Memorable characters are always a pleasure to have, but at this time I do not require "superb" character development. I've developed quite a penchant for wars in my books, but again, this is not a requirement (Keyes' books haven't had any "war" per se, at least not like Erikson, but there have been some pretty cool charges/mini battles).

    EDIT: If there is one quality I greatly desire, it is a mature writing style. No poor writing, please.

    I've considered Kate Eliot's Crown Of Stars, but I haven't been able to find quite enough feedback in the areas I described, not due to lack of searching so much as fear of spoilers. I've also considered Tad Williams' MS&T, though I've read about a whiny main character, and I fear the book might be to YA/youngish for me, though I could be wrong here.

    So what you got? Help me out sffworld'ers, you always have in the past!

  3. #198
    Jack,

    Have you read Paul Kearney's Monarchies of God series?

    Advantages

    - Completed series

    - short, compact books

    - adult characters, adult themes and a very well realized world

    - sea battles, huge land battles, squabbling city states, mysterious western journeys, threat of being overrun by eastern invasions

    - gritty, unflinching description of the horrors of war/violence

    - the characters aren't well developed, so to speak, however, they have substance and fit the role perfectly as enhancers of storylines. They are well done stereotypes, for the most part.

    - the magic is pretty low-key, specially in the beginnings.

    lots and lots of battles, wars, alliances, bloodshed etc. The historical parallels are pretty unmissable.

    Very good writing quality.

  4. #199
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    If you like Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen, you might also like China Mieville's New Crobuzon books (I'm fond of dark surreal epic fantasy that makes a political statement without being overly preachy, and any recommendations in that department would sound like something worth my time).
    Both Erikson and Mieville are difficult, but worth the effort. What's great about both is that they leave a lot up to the reader to figure out without dumping too much information at once. (a literary technique I learned to appreciate after reading a lot of J.D. Salinger in high school). Not only that, but both authors seem to leave characters' personalities and motivations open to interperetation. And both are surreal and inventive in the best of all possible ways.
    As for Tad Williams, I used to be a big fan, but after rereading Otherland and MS&T I've found that he overuses lengthy infodumps and hits readers too hard over the head with his own personal philosophy (and he overdoes it on political correctness, but that's another issue). But if you like Williams and haven't read George R.R. Martin, you should definitely give Song of Ice and Fire a try. The settings are similar and both series start out in a similar fashion, but Song of Ice and Fire is more complex, character-driven, emotionally intense, and adventurous by far.
    Last edited by Shadowguard; December 6th, 2006 at 07:44 PM.

  5. #200
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    Crown of Stars is a complete epic fantasy. It has politics, war, love and all the other stuff that you're looking at. The concluding volume, Crown of Stars, is the best epic fantasy I've read this year.

  6. #201
    Hyperpower! Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beleg View Post
    Have you read Paul Kearney's Monarchies of God series?
    No Beleg, I think I had only heard the name Paul Kearney, but looking at those books on amazon, I think I would enjoy them. Thanks for the detailed recc, I'll do some more research and probably pickup the first book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowguard View Post
    If you like Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen, you might also like China Mieville's New Crobuzon books (I'm fond of dark surreal epic fantasy that makes a political statement without being overly preachy, and any recommendations in that department would sound like something worth my time).
    O RLY? I like Mieville quite a bit as well Shadowguard. I know I'm the one asking for recc's here, but if you like dark, surreal, epic fantasy, you have to give Jeff Vandermeer's Veniss Underground a shot. What an amazing book! I don't know if he is making any strong political statement, if he is, he is definitely not being overly preachy. But it is one of the most horrific books of "fantasy" I have ever read. Terrifyingly beautiful.

    Both Erikson and Mieville are difficult, but worth the effort. What's great about both is that they leave a lot up to the reader to figure out without dumping too much information at once. (a literary technique I learned to appreciate after reading a lot of J.D. Salinger in high school).
    Absolutely, I am with you 100%. I dislike it when an author insults the reader's intelligence by holding their hand throughout the story.

    Not only that, but both authors seem to leave characters' personalities and motivations open to interperetation. And both are surreal and inventive in the best of all possible ways.
    As for Tad Williams, I used to be a big fan, but after rereading Otherland and MS&T I've found that he overuses lengthy infodumps and hits readers too hard over the head with his own personal philosophy (and he overdoes it on political correctness, but that's another issue). But if you like Williams and haven't read George R.R. Martin, you should definitely give Song of Ice and Fire a try. The settings are similar and both series start out in a similar fashion, but Song of Ice and Fire is more complex, character-driven, emotionally intense, and adventurous by far.
    So Williams heads once again to the backburner. I've owned a copy of the Dragonbone Chair for years and have never got around to it (Actually come to think I was just rooting around in the boxed-book room, and I might have given it away). I read a bit of the first book in Otherland, but VR turns me off. I'm just not a cyberpunk guy, it all feels tired and lame. And yes, I've read and enjoyed Martin thoroughly, at least through book 3. I probably won't read book 4 until I can read it and 5 together.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eventine View Post
    Crown of Stars is a complete epic fantasy. It has politics, war, love and all the other stuff that you're looking at. The concluding volume, Crown of Stars, is the best epic fantasy I've read this year.
    Ladies and gentlemen, per Eventine's recc and mine own research, we have my next read. I'll run by Barnes & Noble after work tomorrow and pick up the first one.

    Thanks all for your time and your input, it is greatly appreciated.

  7. #202
    I like to rock the party Corporal Blues's Avatar
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    I second the notion of Paul Kearney and the Monarchies of God. I really like authors like Martin, Erikson, and Bakker, and I felt like I could put Kearney's books on the same "adult themed" fantasy level as those other dudes. The character Corfe is one of my all time faves, and I found myself wanting more after the series was done.

    My only complaint is that the final book felt a little rushed...but let that deter you from reading a great relatively unknown fantasy series.

  8. #203
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    I only got a little way through the first book of Kate Elliot's Crown of Stars before I realized it was the same kind of thing I'd read a million times before. I mean, I'm not sure how it is in the later books of the series, but it's about an orphaned boy working on a farm who has a mysterious parentage... and then a damsel in distress. Not only that, but neither of the aforementioned main characters seem to be written in a way that the reader can really sympathize with all that much. And the magic and mythical races are pretty trite and unconvincing as well.

  9. #204
    This comparison may be counterintuitive but I think if you like Frank Herbert you might like Erikson. Erikson's the only other author i've found that describes things minimally but allows dialogue to develop the scene. It's a powerful method.


    IF you like terry goodkind you may also enjoy Treason by ann Coulter


    I recently read the Briar King by Greg Keyes and it reminded me alot of the original Shanara ...Sextology? Both are entertaining and light but filled with intrigue as you try to grasp the world.

  10. #205
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    If you like books with Elves or Elflke creatures in them, check the following. These can be Elves in the Tolkien tradition, books with Elves in modern day society, books with fairies, and books with fairies in modern day society.

    Mythago Wood and Lavondyss-Holdstock
    Widdershins-Charles de Lint
    Fionavar Tapestry-Kay
    Song of Albion-Lawhead
    Good fairies of New York-Millar
    War of the Flowers-Williams
    Lyonesse-Vance
    Rhymer and the Ravens-Forrest
    Age of Misrule-Chadbourn
    The Riftwar saga-Feist
    Memory, Sorrow and Thorn-Williams
    The last hot time-John Ford

  11. #206
    i think if you like mieville, vandermeer, erikson, bakker - all different but demanding reads, u should read stovers "heroes die" and "blade of tyshalle"

  12. #207
    High Priest of Cainism Shehzad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeStat View Post
    i think if you like mieville, vandermeer, erikson, bakker - all different but demanding reads, u should read stovers "heroes die" and "blade of tyshalle"
    Second that. The Acts of Caine are brilliant novels, which work on many different levels.

  13. #208
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    Bit lack, Jack, but to me, Kate Elliott's series was quite disappointing. The first few had promise, then the rest were just fillers- as in their sole purpose was to drag the story on further. I haven't read the last one yet, so I can't comment on that.
    Kearney I found to be quite lame. It was short for the sake of being short- It skimps on a lot of detail IMO that would have made it quite a good series.

  14. #209
    I can without reserve say that if you like ...

    Vandermeer (City of Saints and Madmen, Veniss Underground), K.J.Bishop (The Etched City), Mieville (Perdidio Street Station) or Harrison (Viroconium) you will love ...

    Trial of Flowers by Jay Lake

    Even though i'm only a third of the way through, it screams of all of the above.
    Last edited by Gildor; March 22nd, 2007 at 10:37 AM. Reason: I before Can, Oook!

  15. #210

    something new something dark! :)

    Ijeffrey thomas - "punktown" and "everybody scream!"

    GREAAAAAT STUUUUF!

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