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  1. #31
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    May 2004
    Just in order to mention something else than Hobb and Martin, I'll pick:
    1) Adrian Tchaikovsky - Shadows of the Apt
    2) J V Jones - Sword of Shadows
    3) Paul Kearney - Monarchies of God

  2. #32
    Registered User MattNY's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy M. View Post
    I try to be flexible. When people ask me what my favorite stand-alones are, I'll include LOTR, "You know it was split into three by the publisher, right, but intended as a single novel by Tolkein?"

    But here, I'll declare it's one of my favorite series and bolster the declaration by adding to it The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. Why? The landscape of Middle Earth seems real to me, as did the characters and their the journey through Middle Earth awed me. LOTR as a whole has a majesty that enveloped me as I read, and the other two books add rather than detract from that sense of a whole world well-developed.
    Amen Randy, this is how I feel as well.

    For my Top 3, of series I have read completely (either to where the series stands or in its finished state), I would go with:

    1. Lord of the Rings (using Randy's explanation)

    2. A Song of Ice and Fire

    3. First Law

  3. #33
    1. gord the rogue by gary gygax.
    2. harry potter by jo rowling.
    3. memory, sorrow, and thorn by tad williams.

    honorable mention to a song of ice and fire by george rr martin, as i've only read the first three books.

    on the other hand, even if lord of the rings were an actual trilogy i'm not sure it would make my top 3...

  4. #34
    Registered User ian_sales's Avatar
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    May 2012
    1. A Princess of Roumania, Paul Park
    2. The Forsaken Isles and Ison of the Isles, Carolyn Ives Gilman
    3. The Lens of the World trilogy, RA MacAvoy

  5. #35
    Hell! Ochos's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Manchester, UK
    couldnt begin to narrow it down to just 3, but definately in the top 10 are

    1.The Hobbit, Lord of the rings, silmarillion. i class these as the full series???
    2. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
    3. The Malazan Book of the Fallen.

    also up there would be Kingkiller, Belgariad/mallorean, Amber, Ranger's apprentice, first law, the black company, the painted man (if it developes into a series). all these amongst many others i think.

  6. #36
    Carl Alves
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Central Pennsylvania
    Conan by Robert Howard
    Shannara by Terry Brooks
    The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Obtuse View Post
    The top three is actually pretty easy for me. After that it gets difficult though, so I appreciate the constraint.

    Prince of Nothing/The Aspect-Emperor by Bakker
    Malazan Book of the Fallen by Erikson
    The Wars of Light and Shadow by Wurts

    There are a variety of reasons I love these series, but the one they have in common is that they provide, in some way, a challenge. Bakker is challenging with his philosophical themes, Erikson with the sheer complexity of his world and Wurts with her dense writing style.
    This is... wow. We're talking three of my favourite series of all time right there. I'm not the biggest fan of Bakker's Aspect-Emperor, but his original Prince of Nothing ranks among my favourite reads. Erikson can prove hit or miss, but when he does hit it's out of the park (Deadhouse Gates, Crack'd Pot Trail). And Wurts is simply criminally under-read. Her Wars of Light and Shadow is such an ambitious beast and I can't wait until she's done. Only two more to go.

    All three of those mentioned would make the cut if I were doing a top 10, but my own top 3 features none of them. Instead we have...

    The Acts of Caine by Stover
    Book of the New Sun by Wolfe
    Ambergris Cycle by VanderMeer

    Trying to explain my choices is an exercise in futility. There is no weak link in any of the three series -- each individual book speaks to me on a level unrivalled by most other complete series.

  8. #38
    1. Malazan
    2. Black Company

    the Third is hard for me. Too many open ended series that need more books or resolution. JV Jones is a possibility. Covenant was one of my favorites, but Donaldson reopened that world for no good reason. First law and its progeny are wildly entertaining, but lack that extra factor. WOT has improved since Sanderson took over...

    I'll go with the Dresden files for 3. Entertaining, powerful, voluminous, and getting better with each new book.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Alrin View Post
    ...And Wurts is simply criminally under-read...
    I couldn't agree more, but I also understand why a lot folks don't like her writing style. The things I love about her writing, its complexity and density, are the very things that turn many off. She's certainly not for everyone.

  10. #40
    Creator of Worlds sullivan_riyria's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Fairfax, VA
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by Obtuse View Post
    I couldn't agree more, but I also understand why a lot folks don't like her writing style. The things I love about her writing, its complexity and density, are the very things that turn many off. She's certainly not for everyone.
    I agree. Her style is unique and done very purposefully, but it can be difficult to get used to. But...for those that like that style they'll be extremely satisfied.

  11. #41
    Is Winter Coming? R.J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    The North
    #1 used to be 'A Song of Ice and Fire', but with the latest two installments being what they are, Martin has been deposed.

    1. The Malazan Book of the Fallen
    2. A Song of Ice and Fire
    3. Circle of the World (Abercrombie)

  12. #42
    A mere player txshusker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    1st Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and if you aount the 2nd trilogy with it, I'd put it here.
    Camber of Culdi - Katherine Kurtz - and most of the Deryni series
    The Reluctant Swordsman - Dave Duncan

    I don't know why anything written in the last 15 yrs hasn't displaced these as my favorites. Some have tried - Like TWoT and I even enjoyed 1-4 SoT books... but those wore out their welcome. Haven't been able to delve into GRRM or Malazan, either. Could be the time of life I read them or re-read them. There's a lot of recent things I've enjoyed, but they just haven't left the lasting enjoyment the above have. I especially think the Kurtz stuff is under-rated and under-read in SFF these days. Especially the Camber trilogy.

  13. #43
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    The Omnibus District
    all things Middle Earth - Tolkien
    Covenant Chronicles - Donaldson
    MST - Williams

  14. #44
    Unless I missed it - no one seems to have mentioned one of the (cq. my) all time gems of fantasy literature:

    The books of the New, Long and Short Sun, by Gene Wolfe. Great depth of character, a compelling story and fantastically envisioned world(s). Doesn't get any better than this.
    Then, the Dying Earth series by Jack Vance. Another classic, I never get tired of rereading them.
    Same for Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series by Fritz Leiber. Think I read each single story at least five times - still enjoying them.

    The authors in this on-the-spot top-3 share one particular quality: they are exceptionally good writers - in the sense of pure craftsmanship. Each and every sentence is a small work of art in itself.

    Honorable mention for the Riddlemaster (McKillip), Malazan Book of the Fallen (Erikson), LotR (Tolkien) and Earthsea (LeGuin).



  15. #45
    Analyze That
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Now off an island
    Quote Originally Posted by End Of Disc One View Post
    1. The Malazan Book of the Fallen
    2. The Wheel of Time
    3. A Song of Ice and Fire

    You can tell I like the big epic stuff.
    Malazan's number 1 even with how badly you found Toll the Hounds, EODO?

    In no particular order:
    Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
    A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin
    The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

    There is a very good chance that The Dagger and the Coin could sneak into here someday too, but right now it's just a very good introduction and a spectacular book.

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