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Old 01-03-2015, 01:50 PM   #1
Dr. Drib
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Which Fantasy series should I read first?

I'm interested in starting the first book in one of the fantasy series below, but am uncertain which one to go with. Your help and suggestions would be appreciated.



1) Song of Ice and Fire - George R.R. Martin
Why? [General thoughts]:
Pro:
Con:


2) Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson
Why? [General thoughts]:
Pro:
Con:


3) Chronicles of the Black Company - Glen Cook
Why? [General thoughts]:
Pro:
Con:





Thanks.

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 01-03-2015 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:38 PM   #2
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Well of the ones you've listed, I have only read one.....or at least I am halfway through one, haha.

Song of Ice and Fire will absolutely not be done by the time you reach the last book and then you will play the looooong waiting game everyone else is.

I don't know much about The Black Company except that I've seen it recommended here.



I'm currently on book 7 of Malazan and its fantastic so far. Pros are the great world building, very deep story, interesting characters and I consider it a pro that each of the 10 books is about 800 pages or more.

Cons are that it can be grim at times (i had to take a break after book 4 and read something lighter inbetween) and it can also be confusing. You are thrown in to the world and learn as you go.


So in my not so qualified opinion, I would go with Malazan.
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Old 01-03-2015, 05:23 PM   #3
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Of the 3 series you want to read, I have only read A Song Of Ice and Fire. While It's a great series, George R.R. Martin is taking his sweet time writing and it may not ever be finished.

Malazan is a finished 10 book series. Haven't read it, except for part of the 1st book years ago. I think the Black Company is also complete so either one of these would be a good choice.
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:11 PM   #4
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Again, I have only read the first series; and I too recommend you may want to hold off reading it-- the series is seriously good, and well worth the wait, but yeah, kind of painful getting to the end of book five and knowing you have several years before the next installment comes out.

I havve read some Glenn Cook, and he is a good writer, but I don't think I have read teh Black Company series of books.
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:30 PM   #5
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Read them in reverse order...

3) Chronicles of the Black Company

2) Malazan Book of the Fallen

...and save the best for last

1) Song of Ice and Fire
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunbad View Post
Read them in reverse order...

3) Chronicles of the Black Company

2) Malazan Book of the Fallen

...and save the best for last

1) Song of Ice and Fire


Why, for you, is it the best?


Thanks.
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
I'm interested in starting the first book in one of the fantasy series below, but am uncertain which one to go with. Your help and suggestions would be appreciated.



1) Song of Ice and Fire - George R.R. Martin
Why? [General thoughts]:
Pro:
Con:


2) Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson
Why? [General thoughts]:
Pro:
Con:


3) Chronicles of the Black Company - Glen Cook
Why? [General thoughts]:
Pro:
Con:





Thanks.
I've only read two of the three series. I really, really like the Chronicles of the Black Company.
why - Glen Cook is an excellent author and the Black Company is one of his best series. It's a very gritty, dark series with lots of twists and turns. I liked the early books a lot, the later books not quite as much.
Pro - like I said, it's a heck of a series.
Con - It's dark and don't get too attached to anyone.

Song of Ice and Fire -
General - I don't seem to be in the majority. I think it's ok, but it never has really hooked me in. It's basically a retelling of the War of the Roses.
Pro - A lot of other people really seem to like it and the HBO mini series based on it.]
Con - It's not finished yet and the author writes real, real slow.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:15 PM   #8
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Because it's the rare kind of series that I can pick up any of the books, begin reading at any point and thoroughly enjoy the magic all over again. I don't even care if Martin finishes the series, someone will do it for him.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:01 PM   #9
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I prefer Glen Cook's Garrett P.I. Series best.
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:55 AM   #10
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I've only read ASOIAF, and liked it a lot, but I have to agree -- hold off on it.

I recently made a resolution to wait on starting any series that will take more than 5 years from the current time to finish, because there are many great books and no need to agonize over any in particular. You can always read it later.

Yes, this was primarily motivated by frustration over GRRM's glacial sense of time.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:20 AM   #11
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I have read each of the series. First let me say that they are all excellent. In time you want to read each or at least try each one. That said, here are some thoughts about them. Maybe this helps you to decide which to read first ;-)

The black company is in my opinion not quite as good as the others, but that is personal preference. It is about a mercenary army, fighting for the bad guys (this is a little bit simplified) and later searching for its origins. It is very gritty and dark. The perspective is from the common soldiers mostly. And it is interesting in a fantasy historical viw, as Glen Cook has written it, long before that type of fantasy was en vogue. Last thing: The tone and the view from the soldiers is also in the malazan books. No wonder, cause Erikson said that cook was a major influence to him.

The Malazan series. Difficult to say something objective about it, if you love it as much as I do. It seems that this series is one of this love it or hate it things. The scope and the world building is the best I ever read in fantasy. The concepts and philosophy in it are quite sophisticated but are largely from the more cynical side. Of course there are positive thoughts in it, but they are on the personal level. The style could need some time to get used to. Specifically in the first few books, there is a little bit much spitting and grunting etc. Not every scene is necessary and it is not so good composed and thought out in every scene as A Song of Ice and Fire. His style is nonetheless brilliant in his way.
I think this is overall the best fantasy I have read and recommend it very much.

Ice and Fire is wonderful too. Martins prose is very good. It just flows. Every chapter is out of the perspective of one person. Often this chapters are even like little short stories. Each character has his own personality and tone. It deserves every praise it gets. It is the most accessible of the three series too. The first three books are just pure brilliance. And this books should be attractive to not fantasy readers also. It is just overall a very good book. Caveat: It is not finished.

So I would say start with Ice and Fire or Malazan. Both are excellent.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:29 AM   #12
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ASFOIF is great for three books. Four and Five are so-so, in fact I never made it through 5 and just was disgusted for having to wait so long for it.

I'd go with Malazan for sure.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
I've only read ASOIAF, and liked it a lot, but I have to agree -- hold off on it.

I recently made a resolution to wait on starting any series that will take more than 5 years from the current time to finish, because there are many great books and no need to agonize over any in particular. You can always read it later.

Yes, this was primarily motivated by frustration over GRRM's glacial sense of time.

How many projected volumes will there be?

There are currently five - correct?
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:42 AM   #14
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Into the mix, I will now have to add Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan.

I'll have to be honest here:

I've had Terry Goodkind's first novel in his series, in calibre, for some time. While examining all these major series, I started reading Goodkind's book and I'm now on page 45 (5% into it). This was not planned, but it looks like I'll continue with it since I'm enjoying it.

My original question still remains, but please add Goodkind and Jordan to the mix.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:57 AM   #15
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Terry Goodkind I can't recommend. Or better: the first few books are quite good. But then it turns into one of the worst books I have ever read. Just propaganda for a very strange world view. Nothing happens anymore just Richard repeating the same sentences all again. If you enjoy it until now, read the books until the evil barbarian emperor is the adversary. Then get the hell out.

I liked jordan. The first books are realy good. But the man/women thing gets annoying very fast and somewhen the story stales and not much happens in the books. So it is a mixed bag. I would recommend the other series more.
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