Favorite fantasy books
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16-06-2017, 08:35 AM
Favorite fantasy books
What's your favorite fantasy books or series? What caught your interest and made you stay with particular book?

For me one of my favorites is series of books by Jacek Piekara about inquisitor in world where Jesus didn't died on the cross and where christianity in result does not sugar coat it's violence. Premise itself makes for interesting read, even if heroes or rather "heroes" can be bit of bland. Worst thing is author talking about his political stance through mouth of characters but apart from that books are quite solid.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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16-06-2017, 09:23 AM
RE: Favorite fantasy books
My earliest favorites were the Tolkien books, which I read for the first time at about age 8 and then reread many times. I also read fantasies by others of Tolkien's writers group, the Inklings, including C.S. Lewis (condescending and overly allegorical) and Charles Williams (weird), neither of Tolkien's quality.

Nowadays I prefer my fantasy on the funny and/or urban side. Terry Pratchett's Discworld was a great series for many years, and my overall favorite, up until about the last four or five books, when the dementia (I think it was Alzheimers?) started to take hold.

I also like Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London fantasies and Tom Holt's Beyond Good and Evil novels. Neil Gaiman spends a lot of time in the fantasy realm; he's a fantastic writer. Tim Powers, an acquired taste but I really like his Fault Lines series. Charles Stross Laundry novels are also great, combining a Lovecraftian universe with the greater horror of the corporate life.

Also shoutout to Jack Vance, a writer who's hard to find these days but whose prose style is much missed by me. His fantasy series include The Dying Earth and Lyonesse.
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16-06-2017, 09:31 AM
RE: Favorite fantasy books
The first fantasy book I read was The Hobbit. Next came Dennis L. McKiernan's The Eye of the Hunter. The Eye of the Hunter is what was responsible for developing a love of fantasy. It was until later that I read his Iron Tower Trilogy that I realized he got started by ripping off Tolkien and he has the balls to condemn fanfic of his work. Angry

It's a shame because he is a fantastic writer in my opinion, and I really enjoy some of his stories. I'll keep reading them and rereading them occasionally, but once I learned that it took the wind from my sails.
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16-06-2017, 09:51 AM
RE: Favorite fantasy books
(16-06-2017 09:23 AM)julep Wrote:  My earliest favorites were the Tolkien books, which I read for the first time at about age 8 and then reread many times. I also read fantasies by others of Tolkien's writers group, the Inklings, including C.S. Lewis (condescending and overly allegorical) and Charles Williams (weird), neither of Tolkien's quality.

I liked Tolkien Silmarillion so much that I after reading it I immediately read it second time. I'm still fond of this book. Tried Lewis but didn't read more than few pages of his first Narnia book.

Also writing something of Tolkien quality is quite tall order. One thing that make me think that book will be bad is writing that this one writer is next Tolkien on the back. It's almost sure sign of book quality being similar to horny teenager fanfiction.

Quote:Nowadays I prefer my fantasy on the funny and/or urban side. Terry Pratchett's Discworld was a great series for many years, and my overall favorite, up until about the last four or five books, when the dementia (I think it was Alzheimers?) started to take hold.

Never seen appeal of Pratchett novels. Preffer Lukyanenko, Carey or Le Guin. Too much humor is something that I don't really like in books except very occasionally.

Quote:I also like Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London fantasies and Tom Holt's Beyond Good and Evil novels. Neil Gaiman spends a lot of time in the fantasy realm; he's a fantastic writer. Tim Powers, an acquired taste but I really like his Fault Lines series. Charles Stross Laundry novels are also great, combining a Lovecraftian universe with the greater horror of the corporate life.

Also shoutout to Jack Vance, a writer who's hard to find these days but whose prose style is much missed by me. His fantasy series include The Dying Earth and Lyonesse.

Never heard of them (except Gaiman, American Gods were great. Sadly his new book Norse Mythology is dissapointing) Hopefully their works are translated.
[/quote]

(16-06-2017 09:31 AM)Emma Wrote:  The first fantasy book I read was The Hobbit. Next came Dennis L. McKiernan's The Eye of the Hunter. The Eye of the Hunter is what was responsible for developing a love of fantasy. It was until later that I read his Iron Tower Trilogy that I realized he got started by ripping off Tolkien and he has the balls to condemn fanfic of his work. Angry

It's a shame because he is a fantastic writer in my opinion, and I really enjoy some of his stories. I'll keep reading them and rereading them occasionally, but once I learned that it took the wind from my sails.

I read Hobbit quite lately, after Silmarillion if I recall correctly.

Never heard of guy.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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16-06-2017, 10:19 AM
RE: Favorite fantasy books
It's hard to outclass The Silmarillion. My personal favorite of all of that work is the excerpted story The Children of Húrin. Any fantasy fan should own the edition that was illustrated by Alan Lee. It still moves me every time I read it, and Lee does such a great job of capturing some of the epic imagery in the story.

I loved Elizabeth Moon's The Deed of Paksennarion trilogy. She's an ex-Marine, and writes from a more "realistic" (for a world of monsters and magic) point of view than most fantasy books, including Tolkien. She also delves into secular motivations for honor and moral behavior, even though there are gods loosely involved in the story-- Paks goes from farmgirl to mercenary soldier to Paladin. I think that D&D players shouldn't be allowed to play the Paladin class unless they have read and understood this book.

If you have not read them, I think Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series are worth the effort... there's a lot of seemingly trivial stuff in the middle books, but in the end it turns out that every single thread is woven together in the final battle, and it's worth the payoff. As excellent as I think the Game of Thrones books are, Jordan wins hands down in my opinion, and Sanderson does a good job of writing the final three books from Jordan's notes, in the wake of Jordan's premature death. It's a lot to read, but I really enjoyed most of the characters, and consider the time I spent reading it well invested.

Finally, I'd recommend the relatively new series by Joe Abercrombie, the only one of which I have thus far read is The Heroes (which actually refers to a set of standing stones akin to Stonehenge, on the battlefield where the story primarily takes place, not to the soldiers upon it... indeed, the story's point is to kind of poke holes in the notion of a "hero" on something as awful as a blood-soaked battlefield), but I'm informed by other fantasy fans that the others are just as interesting.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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16-06-2017, 10:35 AM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2017 11:05 AM by Szuchow.)
RE: Favorite fantasy books
(16-06-2017 10:19 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  It's hard to outclass The Silmarillion. My personal favorite of all of that work is the excerpted story The Children of Húrin. Any fantasy fan should own the edition that was illustrated by Alan Lee. It still moves me every time I read it, and Lee does such a great job of capturing some of the epic imagery in the story.

I read The Children of Húrin and while I found it good it wasn't outstanding. Would preffer something dedicated to Nirnaeth Arnoediad - Fingon cry after he saw Turgon “Utulie'n aure! Aiya Eldalie ar Atanatari, utulie'n aure! still moves me somewhat. Not to mention Hurin last stand.

Quote:I loved Elizabeth Moon's The Deed of Paksennarion trilogy. She's an ex-Marine, and writes from a more "realistic" (for a world of monsters and magic) point of view than most fantasy books, including Tolkien. She also delves into secular motivations for honor and moral behavior, even though there are gods loosely involved in the story-- Paks goes from farmgirl to mercenary soldier to Paladin. I think that D&D players shouldn't be allowed to play the Paladin class unless they have read and understood this book.

You wrote about this book already if I remember correctly. Judging by reviews it isn't something that I would like.

Quote:If you have not read them, I think Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series are worth the effort... there's a lot of seemingly trivial stuff in the middle books, but in the end it turns out that every single thread is woven together in the final battle, and it's worth the payoff. As excellent as I think the Game of Thrones books are, Jordan wins hands down in my opinion, and Sanderson does a good job of writing the final three books from Jordan's notes, in the wake of Jordan's premature death. It's a lot to read, but I really enjoyed most of the characters, and consider the time I spent reading it well invested.

I heard about Jordan series but I didn't started it for some reason which I now can't recall. Probably will check it when I return to walk. Never take laptop with me so I have much time for books. Last time I read entire Jim Butcher Dresden Files so I imagine I will find time for Jordan too.

Quote:Finally, I'd recommend the relatively new series by Joe Abercrombie, the only one of which I have thus far read is The Heroes (which actually refers to a set of standing stones akin to Stonehenge, on the battlefield where the story primarily takes place, not to the soldiers upon it... indeed, the story's point is to kind of poke holes in the notion of a "hero" on something as awful as a blood-soaked battlefield), but I'm informed by other fantasy fans that the others are just as interesting.

Can't remember if I tried something of his or no but from your description it looks promising.

There is a possibility that you would like Vera Kamsha Gleams of Aeterna, low fantasy series of book taking inspiration from both Dumas and Martin. I'm not sure if they were translated to English though.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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16-06-2017, 10:52 AM
RE: Favorite fantasy books
Not mine, but the most popular fantasy book I've read is The King James Bible....

Spoiler alert - the main character dies...

Sad

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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16-06-2017, 10:56 AM
RE: Favorite fantasy books
(16-06-2017 10:52 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Not mine, but the most popular fantasy book I've read is The King James Bible....

Spoiler alert - the main character dies...

Sad

Not really. It lives in another two different personas Wink

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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16-06-2017, 11:03 AM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2017 11:09 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Favorite fantasy books
(16-06-2017 10:35 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  I read The Children of Húrin and while I found it good it wasn't outstanding. Would preffer something dedicated to Nirnaeth Arnoediad - Fingon cry after he saw Turgon “Utulie'n aure! Aiya Eldalie ar Atanatari, utulie'n aure! still moves me somewhat. Not to mention Hurin last stand.

Indeed! I love the description of Húrin (and his personal guard unit)'s last stand, showing both the honor of mankind and buying time for the great elf-king and his forces to escape...

"Last of all Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed; and it is sung that the axe smoked in the black blood of the troll-guard of Gothmog until it withered, and each time that he slew Hurin cried: 'Aure entuluva! Day shall come again!’ Seventy times he uttered that cry; but they took him at last alive, by the command of Morgoth, for the Orcs grappled him with their hands, which clung to him still though he hewed off their arms, and ever their numbers were renewed, until at last he fell buried beneath them."

Yep. Hard to outclass The Silmarillion.

Edit: The part that brings me to tears, though, is when Húrin is finally released from captivity, after decades of being in stasis and forced to watch from the high throne as tragedy befell his family and his people, when he finally reunites with his wife, Morwen, only to find her dying:

[Image: tumblr_luvspa4VQ41qez3u2o1_1280.jpg]

This is why I say to get the Alan Lee illustrated edition of The Children of Húrin.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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16-06-2017, 11:10 AM
RE: Favorite fantasy books
(16-06-2017 11:03 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(16-06-2017 10:35 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  I read The Children of Húrin and while I found it good it wasn't outstanding. Would preffer something dedicated to Nirnaeth Arnoediad - Fingon cry after he saw Turgon “Utulie'n aure! Aiya Eldalie ar Atanatari, utulie'n aure! still moves me somewhat. Not to mention Hurin last stand.

Indeed! I love the description of Húrin (and his personal guard unit)'s last stand, showing both the honor of mankind and buying time for the great elf-king and his forces to escape...

"Last of all Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed; and it is sung that the axe smoked in the black blood of the troll-guard of Gothmog until it withered, and each time that he slew Hurin cried: 'Aure entuluva! Day shall come again!’ Seventy times he uttered that cry; but they took him at last alive, by the command of Morgoth, for the Orcs grappled him with their hands, which clung to him still though he hewed off their arms, and ever their numbers were renewed, until at last he fell buried beneath them."

Yep. Hard to outclass The Silmarillion.

Edit: The part that brings me to tears, though, is when Húrin is finally released from captivity, after decades of being in stasis and forced to watch from the high throne as tragedy befell his family and his people, when he finally reunites with his wife, only to find her dying:

[Image: Alan_Lee_-_The_Death_of_Morwen.jpg]

This is why I say to get the Alan Lee illustrated edition of The Children of Húrin.

Maybe History of Middle Earth could outclass The Silmarillion but English used there is out of my league. Just like in case of Silmarillion.

There's another fragment that I see as worthy of being quoted:

Now news came to Hithlum that Dorthonion was lost and the sons of Finarfin overthrown, and that the sons of Fëanor were driven from their lands. Then Fingolfin beheld... the utter ruin of the Noldor, and the defeat beyond redress of all their houses; and filled with wrath and despair he mounted upon Rochallor his great horse and rode forth alone, and none might restrain him. He passed over Dor-nu-Fauglith like a wind amid the dust, and all that beheld his onset fled in amaze, thinking that Oromë himself was come: for a great madness of rage was upon him, so that his eyes shone like the eyes of the Valar. Thus he came alone to Angband's gates, and he sounded his horn, and smote once more upon the brazen doors, and challenged Morgoth to come forth to single combat. And Morgoth came.

I think that Fingolfin used wheelbarrow to carry his giant balls.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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