Thanks a lot for the suggestions folks, much appreciated!
once again I have a few of your suggestions already on my reader or in my Calibre library, namely Terminal Velocity
and The Spell of the Black Dagger
(the entire Ethshar
series in fact). My book-buying habits are, somewhat unfortunately, akin to a splice of Scrat's
pathological hoarding instinct with the behavioural characteristics of the packrat*
, which makes for a rather too large selection to keep mental track of.
I'll move those up the TBR ladder, especially now that I've read Just Like Old Times
jgaiser: The First Law
is excellent and good guys are certainly thin on the ground, but the main characters aren't really even close to being evil bastards either. Admittedly they're seen as such by others, but the reader gets to find out otherwise.
AndrewH: The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
have been in my Top 5 list ever since I first read them three decades ago. Anti-hero and asshole leper rapist he may be, but nowhere near evil in my opinion. Simply woefully and tragically flawed.
Elric can't be said to be evil either, simply an amoral (sometimes less so), non-human übermensch who at times end up doing or causing very bad things without meaning to. Since you've not read the books I strongly suggest you remedy that forthwith and if you enjoy them go on to read more, much more. Moorcock's "Eternal Champion universe" is undoubtedly one of SFF's greatest creations (in my opinion, of course) and any fan of the fantastic ought to read up on Corum, Jerry Cornelius, Count Brass, Hawkmoon and the rest. Of the entire "super-cycle" my personal favourite is the first book dealing with Ulrich, Graf von Bek: The Warhound and the World's Pain
The Gentlemen Bastards
is very much on my TBR list, but there's no way I'm starting it before it's all done. A Song of Ice and Fire
taught me that, as well as Wheel of Time
before it. No more unfinished series for me, ever. Ice and Fire certainly has plenty evil people, but not as protagonists and I rather suspect that good may have triumphed (at least partly) when all is said and done.
Elizkcampbell: The Steel Remains
sounds like my kind of thing, if perhaps not exactly what I'm after here, so I'm certainly picking that up. Thanks for the tip!
despite being a computer game spin-off (I assume), Bitterwood
actually sounds quite intriguing, so I'll pick up this series too. Thanks!
jehane: The Collector
is an excellent book, but once again I wouldn't call Clegg evil. Mentally defective, sure, but without actual evil intent.
and the entire Paladin of Shadows
series sounds like it may be closest to the mark of all so far, so thanks a lot for that! A definite pick-up.
As for Guy Gavriel Kay, he's also in my permanent Top 5 list (which very likely has many more than 5 entries) and Lions of al-Rassan
is one of my favourite books ever. In fact, along with The Fionavar Tapestry
it's one of the very few books which have managed to bring tears to my eyes. Great books (every one of Kay's), but no evil protagonists.
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*- "A peculiar characteristic is that if they find something they want, they will drop what they are currently carrying, for example a piece of cactus, and "trade" it for the new item."