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Old 08-07-2009, 11:45 AM   #1
Shadowplay
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Think I want another fantasy book/series...

Heya gang! I need your help.

I'm generally a fantasy or science fiction reader and have had a pretty good run lately of reading choices thanks to recommendations here - good work everyone! I just finished Songs of Earth and Power by Greg Bear (enjoyed them a lot) and was ready to start in on something new so I pulled out some recommendations and found either free (as in Baen) or samples of non-free books so I could get a feel and had bad luck.

Tried the Deed of Paksanarrion by Elizabeth Moon. I barely made it through the couple pages of prologue. I know it's favored by many here, but that read like a high scool D&D session or something. Maybe I just didn't give it enough chance, but it turned me off quickly.

I then took a look at the Malazan Empire books by Steven Erikson. These sound interesting and "big" which I haven't done in a while. I knew going in that the first book, Gardens of the Moon, is initially hard to get into, but I'm willing to fight through that if something promises to be a worthwhile series. Unfortunately I'm having a rough go of it on this one, too, but I'll be the first to admit I'm only a few pages in.

So I'm hear looking for help, guidance, whatever you're selling I'm buying. Do I need to give either of the ones I just listed a better try? Is there something else that might be more engaging early on? I know I haven't told you what I've already read, but like many of you that's likely a long list so I'll just list a couple that I really liked as examples.

Farseer books by Robin Hobb - *loved* these
Tolkien - of course!
Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams

That's probably enough to say I prefer deep stories, deep characters and fulfilling stories than some of the "fluff" like Terry Brooks. Don't get me wrong, things like that can be fun (I've read my share!), but I'm looking for something "more".

Thanks everyone!
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:51 AM   #2
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Have you read any of Eddings stuff.. like The Belgariad to start? what about the Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind... although last I checked only the first book, Wizards First Rule was available as an ebook.

Not sure what you mean by "fluff"... Brooks is one of my favorites and The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara series was very good, at least IMNSHO.

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Old 08-07-2009, 11:52 AM   #3
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Oh, and how about "The Bakers Boy" and series by JV Jones. It was actually good but a bit slow and deep. I haven't read the rest of the series yet.

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Old 08-07-2009, 11:53 AM   #4
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Hi Shadowplay,

Because you asked, I can't resist. Give my series a try. It's 4 novels, and the first one "Union of Renegades" is free to download in its entirety. If you don't get into it, no harm done.

http://www.falbepublishing.com/brave...ree_ebook.html
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:57 AM   #5
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I'd urge you to give Deed another try - a couple of chapters at least. I just re-read the first few pages, and you're right - it's a little slow, and with a totally unnecessary prologue.

But for a more Sci-Fi series, The Council Wars by John Ringo is excellent.
http://www.webscription.net/p-412-th...e-dragons.aspx

And back to epic fantasy, The Lord of the Isles by David Drake.
No free ones here - but you can read the first few chapters on-line
http://www.webscription.net/chapters...0812522400.htm


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Tried the Deed of Paksanarrion by Elizabeth Moon. I barely made it through the couple pages of prologue. I know it's favored by many here, but that read like a high scool D&D session or something. Maybe I just didn't give it enough chance, but it turned me off quickly.
[...]
That's probably enough to say I prefer deep stories, deep characters and fulfilling stories than some of the "fluff" like Terry Brooks. Don't get me wrong, things like that can be fun (I've read my share!), but I'm looking for something "more".

Thanks everyone!
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:23 PM   #6
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Have you read any of Eddings stuff.. like The Belgariad to start? what about the Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind... although last I checked only the first book, Wizards First Rule was available as an ebook.
Thanks for the reminder, Bob. I've read several of Goodkind's books and enjoyed them. However, I sort of have a blind spot to his/her books and seem to forget about looking for them, although I'm always happy to be reminded. It's just me and my middle-age alzheimers... also known as middle-age having too much going on at the same time to think about anything for very long....

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And back to epic fantasy, The Lord of the Isles by David Drake.
No free ones here - but you can read the first few chapters on-line
http://www.webscription.net/chapters...0812522400.htm
This was one of the TOR freebies last year. I'll check our ebooks section and see if a copy is here.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:24 PM   #7
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well the rest of the other what 9 robin Hobb books would obviously be good.

Also i really enjoyed The night angel trilogy by Brent weeks if you like Hobb and toklien you love them. and also trudi canavans series the magicians apprentice this series made me feel genuine emotion toward the charecters really really good.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:28 PM   #8
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Eddings - Yep, I've read almost all of Eddings' work. Fun, good dialogue... same ideas over and over, but I read 'em all anyway.

Goodkind - for some reason I've never read any of his books. I don't know why either. I had always meant to, but never got around to it and then in more recent times I got a bit turned off by all the talk of him heavily pushing his politics in the later books.

Brooks - The Sword of Shanara was the first book I ever read totally of my own volition (earlier books I enjoyed, but had been through school generally) in mabye 9th grade. I ended up reading most of the Shannara books and recently reread Sword of Shannara. I know it's rough as it was done to cash in on the Tolkien craze and all that... let's just say I enjoyed them all much more as a young adult.

JV Jones - I've heard of and seen his books before and I *think* I've read the Baker's Boy, but it must not have made a big impression. I read it all the way through so couldn't have been too bad.

John Ringo - not familiar with him so I'll check this out.

David Drake - know the name, but never read any of his work so I'll check this out, too.

And to "Falbe Publishing" - I'll check out your books!

Thanks everyone. I'll let you know what I end up liking or disliking.

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Old 08-07-2009, 12:35 PM   #9
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It does not look like Lord of the Isles is free anymore, at least at FW where it is about $6.
Some new freebies at TOR: http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=...t&view=stories
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:37 PM   #10
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Oh and something else real quick - I've heard great things about Joe Abercrombie, but I can't find eBooks for his work. Am I not looking in the right place?
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:47 PM   #11
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Oh and something else real quick - I've heard great things about Joe Abercrombie, but I can't find eBooks for his work. Am I not looking in the right place?
Only his new stand alone is out as an ebook AFAIK.
http://www.booksonboard.com/index.ph...ok&BOOK=470488


Scott Lynch is popular with a lot of folks. Haven't tried him yet myself...
http://www.booksonboard.com/index.ph...Lynch,%20Scott



Greg Keyes and Mogan Howells first books are free right now...
http://www.suvudu.com/freelibrary/
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:50 PM   #12
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Farseer books by Robin Hobb - *loved* these
If you like Robin Hobb, you ought to try the Liveship Traders trilogy. It is my favorite of hers, with Farseer second. The characters are excellent, IMO. When she is freed from first person narrative (ala Fitz), she can really develop others! It's also set in the same world (but different continent, essentially) so there are some important links to the first series.

There's the Tawny Man trilogy, which is a followup to the Farseer trilogy, and features Fitz as an adult. He's a pretty angsty/irritable grown man, let me tell you! It's pretty good, and answers a lot of questions left by the first series. Though it was written after the Liveship Traders, and it's helpful to read them in order because of certain links (spoiler to tell which ones).

She has another recent trilogy set in a different world (starts with Soldier Son? I think?) but I haven't seen it garnishing as high of reviews. My wife read the first one (she's read all the others) and decided the trilogy wasn't worth reading.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:51 PM   #13
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Head off to the Baen Free Library, and try Pyramid Scheme by Flint and Freer. It's something of an SF/Fantasy hybrid, well written, and quite amusing. Be prepared to see Greek Myth totally skewered. Same with Egyptian myth. There's also a sequel Pyramid Power that's not free.

Also from Baen, try P. C. Hodgell's Godstalker Chronicles. You can either buy the first four books in two re-issue volumes (at $6 ea.) or the entire 6-book series for $25. It's not clear whether or not there'll be a combo re-issue of books 5 & 6, so I don't know which is the better deal. Here's a quick blurb:
Quote:
Jame is a Kencyr. Kencyrs are not native to the planet where they now live. For thirty centuries they have been the weapon that their Three-Faced God has used against the power of the Perimal Darkling. And though they have fought well, the Darkling has come to planet after planet, and the Kencyrs have moved on.

Jame knows this as she stumbles out of the hilly, barren Haunted Lands into the city of Tai-tastigon. But she knows little else. She does not remember where she has been or what she has done for the last ten years of her life. Her memory goes back only a week or two—to finding her home destroyed and all her family dead.

In Tai-tastigon Jame begins a new life that seems to be at odds with all that the Kencyrs stand for. Kencyrs are honest and just, but Jame becomes an apprentice to the most renowned thief in the powerful Thieves' Guild. Kencyrs are confirmed monotheists, yet Jame explores the rituals and activities of the thousands of gods, templed and untempled, in this religious center; she even kills a god and then resurrects him. And at the inn, the Res aB'tyrr, where she lives, she finds herself using the most sacred dances of her people, dances she does not even remember learning, for the entertainment and sometimes the destruction of the inn's patrons.

Within herself Jame finds power she does not want and doubts she defies her heredity to harbor. She moves through the rich and bloody stew of Tai-tastigon like a hot spice. Her probings, to find herself and to discover what her powers mean to her and her people, combined with influences already at work, very nearly destroy the city. And yet, they bring her face to face with a destiny she must accept.
Very highly recommended. Not at all your usual Swords & Sorcery thud-n-blunder.

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Old 08-07-2009, 01:29 PM   #14
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Ok it's a new day and along with it comes fresh, new perspective on things.

I just read the first chapter of the Sheepfarmer's Daughter (Deed of Parksenarrion) and it was much more enjoyable. It still feels rough, but I can see the fun in it. I'll read this one and then see if I want to continue the series.

There are some great suggestions in this thread that I will definitely come back to though!
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:37 PM   #15
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Tried the Deed of Paksanarrion by Elizabeth Moon. I barely made it through the couple pages of prologue. I know it's favored by many here, but that read like a high scool D&D session or something. Maybe I just didn't give it enough chance, but it turned me off quickly.
I hear you. I think you made it a little farther than I did.

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I then took a look at the Malazan Empire books by Steven Erikson. These sound interesting and "big" which I haven't done in a while. I knew going in that the first book, Gardens of the Moon, is initially hard to get into, but I'm willing to fight through that if something promises to be a worthwhile series. Unfortunately I'm having a rough go of it on this one, too, but I'll be the first to admit I'm only a few pages in.
This books is on my reading list, if you finish reading it I'd like to hear your opinion.

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So I'm hear looking for help, guidance, whatever you're selling I'm buying.
Well since we have somewhat like minds, I'll share

Have you read any of the Conan stories, these stories got me reading fantasy again after more than 10+ of reading any fantasy.


The Warcraft series has some good books. Christie-Golden's "Lord of the Clans" she's great a character development and good story. Christie is an excellent writer I am currently reading Rise of the Hoard, a squeal(prequel) and am enjoying it just as much. --Warning even though this is the 2nd book in a series it has nothing to do with the two other books and those books are written by other authors.

Richard A. Knaak is also very good, his character development is usually weak but his plots are very good with lots of twists and conspiracy. I've read "Day of the Dragon", "AoC: Silent Enemy" and "WoC: War of the Ancients".
I'll have to admit of the three Silent Enemy was the best and actually fooled me in the end, warning however while Conan is alive in this era he rarely comes out.

William King's Trollslayer series are excellent. These books break the fantasy mold, there are no quests and no plots. Very much like the Conan series it is the writers style that brings charm to the book. Unfortunately these books are not eBooks

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