May 9th, 2012, 05:21 PM
Re what Alchemist said about Erikson's Malazan and Eddings' Belgariad being in many ways precise stylistic opposites: I really like that; it makes a lot of sense. Both deal with worldshaking powers and conflicts, but you're right: the approaches the series take are almost exact counterpoints to one another.
Another way in which they may be sort of opposed to one another, and I haven't read enough Erikson to say for sure but this is the impression I get, is in their approach to power. Both portray characters who are or become exceptionally powerful [Erikson somewhat more flashily, with more regular explosions and worldbreaking etc, but they're there in Eddings too]. Same applies to political and social power; many characters in both are gods, and Eddings' stories spend lots of their time hanging out with kings and queens. But how the stories feel about this power seems somewhat different. Power in Eddings is a responsibility, yes -- our hero, Garion, is frequently heard to ask "Why me?" But. The funnest, most memorable moments and characters in Eddings often seem to involve an almost playful, even smug, use of power -- often political, but sometimes physical. This is probably an outgrowth of the black-and-white morality which I think Alchemist mentioned being part of the Eddings experience. Erikson does not role this way, based on what little I have read.
Re Long Price: Loving the Long Price books crept up on me. In the case of the first two I liked the first half of each well enough, but it generally took me till around the middle to realize precisely how much I was enjoying myself. I found the third book really elevated the series. Not in that annoying "first x-number are kind of crap but it's worth pushing through to book y when it gets awesome" kind of way people try and foist on you sometimes, but in the sense that An Autumn War takes a story that was already quite good and turns it in a new, and very brave, direction, which retroactively makes the previous installments even better than they were. I'd say if you were enjoying A Shadow in Summer [the first book] but just not quite gripped yet, it might well be worth continuing. But the series' tone and style remains more or less constant, so if you fundamentally don't like how it is written that's probably not going to change.
I found that the story contained a number of awesome moments, but awesome moments of a kind slightly different from what I think we usually mean when we say that. Abraham's awesome moments aren't really thrown right at you. They're depth charges felt reverberating far below, or rocks making ripples when they're thrown into ponds. They unfold themselves in your head after the fact more than in the moment is what I'm trying to say. [This has been happening to me with several moments in The Dragon's Path, the first book in his new, more "traditional" epic fantasy series, as well.]
May 9th, 2012, 06:10 PM
Greg Keyes's The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone is also a good series. He is very much like Martian, but a little lighter and has actually finished his series. C.J. Cherryh's fantasties are acually pretty good too. I don't normally like fantasties that are written by science fiction authors, but she does it well.
David Eddings came on the scene about the same time as Terry Brooks. When they started there wasn't a whole lot of foundation to work with. They are some of the leaders of the second generation of fantasy authors. All we had before them were Tolkein, Lewis, and a handful of pulp quasi sci-fi authors. So yes their work is a little over done but they did it first.
That said I still am having trouble forgiving Brooks for including Furrys... Yuck.