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  1. #46
    Reader Moderator NickeeCoco's Avatar
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    The first two are duologies. I'm not really one for big sprawling series. I tend to get bored with them at about the book five mark, so generally, I stay away from them. There's some exceptions, but very few.


    1. Damar by Robin McKinley - This duology is my top one, because of sentiment/memory reasons. I loved these books as a kid, and I still do as an adult. I reread them just about every year. Sometimes more than once.
    2. The Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay - It's beautiful. It's well written, and it makes me cry every time. I've read these many times as well.
    3. The Deeds of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon - Some good ol' fashioned heroic fantasy. With a chick holding the sword. I grew up on stuff like She-ra, damn straight I'm into this trilogy. I've read this trilogy about four times now. They're easy to go back to and visit.

  2. #47
    1. Memory, Sorrow, And Thorn, by Tad Williams (which I'm glad to see a couple others mentioned). Williams' at his best, it highlights both incredibly poetic prose as well as an amazing ability to generate atmosphere. His Sithi are one of the only truly alien-feeling non-human races I've come across in fantasy.

    2. The Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson. Though she does plenty of other things well including great sword-fights, Roberson's true strength is in her dialogue. The series' two main characters have a...tempestuous...relationship, and some of the things they would say to each other made me physical wince.

    3. The Elenium by David Eddings. Though he's light fantasy, Eddings makes my list because he's a fun read, and he does one thing really, really, well, and that's write about family. Better than any other author I know, his characters feel like they're really close friends and family. That warmth is palpable in all his writing, particularly in the Elenium.

    As others have mentioned, these are really more like three of my favorite top then than the three absolute best series I've ever read. Just so hard to pare them down to three 'best' when different authors all have such different strengths and things to offer.

    I tried to avoid authors others have mentioned, though I couldn't resist putting Tad Williams up there, since I often find him underrepresented on these sorts of things.

  3. #48
    Creator of Worlds sullivan_riyria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heather Myst View Post
    I really wish this was a top five because I feel bad not being able to mention Michael J. Sullivan's Riyria series or any of the Joe Abercrombie books.
    Wow - I'll take an honorable mention nod any day in a post such as this. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

  4. #49
    Yeah to put Sullivan up there with Abercrombie. I haven't read so I can't comment, but Abercrombie is my #1 so that intrigues me to go grab one of his books!

  5. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by sullivan_riyria View Post
    Wow - I'll take an honorable mention nod any day in a post such as this. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
    Mr. Sullivan, this is off-topic (apologies to the thread), but I registered to this site today, mainly so I could express my gratitude to you for your wonderful Riyria Revelations series.

    Over the years, I've read most well-known fantasy authors (Tolkien, Williams, Erikson, Jordan, Bakker, Feist, Cook, Hobb, Martin, Rothfuss, Sanderson and on and on). However, while those authors wrote and continue to write excellent novels, and created worlds I would get lost in, I simply have not had as much pure, unadulterated FUN reading a book since, well, probably since reading Dave Duncan's Seventh Sword series more than 20 years ago. Frankly, I think I had a smile on my face the entire time I was reading this series. And there were parts that touched me in a way I hadn't expected a book to be able to do. I'll take that any day.

    My next step? I'm going to introduce my kids to this wonderful series that they simply must read.

    So, apologies for my long-windedness, and it may not mean much, But I at least wanted to say, "Thank you."

  6. #51
    Hrm. Wikipedia compares him to David Eddings, and he's published by a real publisher...I may have to pick up the first book myself.

  7. #52
    Registered User Inconnu's Avatar
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    I'm surprised I've read so many series that were mentioned here.

    1 - The Riddlemaster of Hed series - Patricia A. McKillip (One of the first books I ever read.)

    2 - The Tamir Trilogy - Lynn Flewelling - The first book, The Bone Doll's Twin stuck with me for a long time.

    3 - it's tough..Amber, Black Company, Kingkiller, Kate Daniels,Codex Alera, Guardians of the Flame (guilty pleasure), I guess I'd choose the Dresden Files by Butcher.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Pendragon View Post
    Hrm. Wikipedia compares him to David Eddings, and he's published by a real publisher...I may have to pick up the first book myself.
    Yeah, the post above yours would raise my suspicions too, but Sullivan's a legitimate author with "a real publisher" and quite a few fans.

    I haven't read the Riyria stuff yet, but it's been recommended to me. I should be able to reach that point in my to-read pile in about 24 million years.

  9. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister View Post
    Yeah, the post above yours would raise my suspicions too, but Sullivan's a legitimate author with "a real publisher" and quite a few fans.
    Please allow me to clarify my post above. The Riyria Revelations is not the best fantasy series I have ever read. But it's likely one of the most fun. And that's what I was thanking Mr. Sullivan for.

    There are certainly flaws with the novel. Character development is not very deep, world building can be enhanced, the magic system is weak. It's not dark and gritty. There's no incest. The world is not fantastical. It follows many fantasy staples. I could go on. But when reading this series, I realized I just didn't care about all of that. I was having too much fun to be critical. These books weren't trying to be super-serious. They simply entertained, and it was great that a series was able to remind me what got me into fantasy in the first place when I was a kid. If I wanted all those things I mentioned, well, I've got all those great authors of past and present to rely on. But for just plain fun, and old fashioned swashbuckling fantasy, I'll rank the Riyria Revelations up there with the best of them.

  10. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by flickwizard View Post
    Please allow me to clarify my post above. The Riyria Revelations is not the best fantasy series I have ever read. But it's likely one of the most fun. And that's what I was thanking Mr. Sullivan for.

    There are certainly flaws with the novel. Character development is not very deep, world building can be enhanced, the magic system is weak. It's not dark and gritty. There's no incest. The world is not fantastical. It follows many fantasy staples. I could go on. But when reading this series, I realized I just didn't care about all of that. I was having too much fun to be critical. These books weren't trying to be super-serious. They simply entertained, and it was great that a series was able to remind me what got me into fantasy in the first place when I was a kid. If I wanted all those things I mentioned, well, I've got all those great authors of past and present to rely on. But for just plain fun, and old fashioned swashbuckling fantasy, I'll rank the Riyria Revelations up there with the best of them.
    You should try the Goblin Corps. by Ari Marnell.

  11. #56
    1. A Song of Ice and Fire
    2.The Dark Tower
    3.The Elric Saga

  12. #57
    Thanks! I'll look into it.

    And while I'm here:

    1. Jim Butcher - The Dresden Files
    2. Dave Duncan - The King's Blades (Tales & Chronicles)
    3. Patrick Rothfuss - The Kingkiller Chronicles (I know it's not finished, but still....awesome)

    There are so many great authors and phenomenal series to choose from, but those are probably my favorites from a readability, fun, and willingness to go back and re-read just for the hell of it, standpoint.

  13. #58
    1. A Song of Ice and Fire.
    Loved this series through the first three but felt four and five weren't quite as good. Still I'm hooked on some of the characters.
    2. stormlight archive. I've read all of Sandersons work except his mopping up of Jordan's Wheel of Time series, and I'm a big fan. Way of Kings is the road to fantasy series awesomeness

    These are the only two series I'm really excited about that are still being written. I've enjoyed a lot of others and have probably read about 70 percent of all the series listed in this thread so far. I have not read Abercrombie yet but want to

    3. The Kingkiller chronicles- a distant 3rd for me but still a series I will defintely finish. I am not a big fan of the going back and forth from past to present through the first 2 books even though it worked for me in Talion:Revenant.(a nice underrated stand alone book)
    Last edited by meatsim; August 15th, 2012 at 09:56 PM.

  14. #59
    The all time top 3 is hard to say because it may change depending on my mood. Here are 3 though that are always high in my list.

    1. Chronicles of Amber / Zelazny (1st 5 books only)
    2. The World of Tiers / Philip Jose Farmer
    3.0. The Hyperion Cantos / Dan Simmons
    3.5 The Faded Sun / C.J. Cherryh
    Last edited by kshRox; August 15th, 2012 at 11:57 PM.

  15. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by flickwizard View Post
    Please allow me to clarify my post above. The Riyria Revelations is not the best fantasy series I have ever read. But it's likely one of the most fun. And that's what I was thanking Mr. Sullivan for.

    There are certainly flaws with the novel. Character development is not very deep, world building can be enhanced, the magic system is weak. It's not dark and gritty. There's no incest. The world is not fantastical. It follows many fantasy staples. I could go on. But when reading this series, I realized I just didn't care about all of that. I was having too much fun to be critical. These books weren't trying to be super-serious. They simply entertained, and it was great that a series was able to remind me what got me into fantasy in the first place when I was a kid. If I wanted all those things I mentioned, well, I've got all those great authors of past and present to rely on. But for just plain fun, and old fashioned swashbuckling fantasy, I'll rank the Riyria Revelations up there with the best of them.
    Wait...wait...you consider the fact that there is "no incest" in a book to be a flaw????? Perhaps that didnt come out right!

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