Recent Chat Activity (Main Lobby)
Join Chat

Loading Chat Log...

Prefer not to see ads? Become a Community Supporter.
Page 1 of 17 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 250

Thread: Fantasy novels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Broken Arrow
    Age
    43
    Posts
    1,025
    Blog Entries
    78
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Fantasy novels

    Prefer not to see ads?
    Become a Community Supporter.
    I'm not a big fan of the fantasy novel genre at all. It seems to me that either the books are really cheesy, poorly written (like I have room to complain) or both. Several years ago I got this book from a garage sale for a quarter, I don't remember the name of the book, but it was by R. A. Salvatore (you know, about the Drow guy). I was reading it one night and my wife asked me how it was. I told her it was horrible. So of course she asked why was still reading then. I just stared at her, "oh right" she said, and then rolled over and went to sleep. It's because I have a compulsion to finish reading any book I start. I once read an entire book on the history of Eurasian fish hooks, a horrible, horrible, massive and useless tome, but I read it, cover-to-agonizingly-far away-cover. Anyway, I digress as usual. So after reading the R. A. Salvatore book I later learned, much to my surprise and dismay, that he is considered to be one of the top fantasy writers (or popular anyway). So this Christmas my mother-in-law bought a bunch of fantasy novels real cheap from a book sale and gave them to me. She knows I'm a nerd and thought I might like them. So now they have been setting on the shelf staring at me for the last month, and I'm tempted to start reading one, but I'm also wary. (I think I may have read one of his books already, and it was mostly about sheep and woodworking with some magic thrown in, kinda wierd.) They are pretty thick books and will likely consome my free time for at least a week each. So the question is (finally), are these books any good? I've read online reviews already, but I just wanted your opions.

    They are all by Robert Jordan, "The Wheel of time" series.

    I would also appreciate any recommendations for other good fantasy authors.

    If you have not read "Pillars of the Earth" and "World without end" by Ken Follet, I highly recommend them. They are not fantasy novels, but they are good books, set in 12th century England.
    It's as if there are people who play RPGs that don't have computers or something. Seriously, people need to upgrade to 1994 already. - - -TheRedRobedWizard

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Portland
    Posts
    722
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    A friend once told me that Fantasy novels were the Romance novels for men. Yes, there is a lot of fluff but they still can be a good read. They will not generally challenge you in a literary sense. As far as the Wheel of Time don't start them unless you plan to finish them. I feel like the man came up with a really cool world but was in desperate need of an editor. I really think he could have told his entire story in 7 books instead of 12. Sadly, Jordan died before he could finish the series. He knew he was dieing and tried to outline the last book so it could be written by someone else. He promised that all his little plot threads would be wrapped up in this 1 book. Last I heard this one book will need to be released in two volumes because it is already way too long.

    As far as other fantasy I would recommend anything by Neil Gaiman.

    If you like the idea of fantasy with a strong historical flavor I would say pick up Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles. This is his historical re-telling of the Arthurian legend. Cornwell is mostly known for his Sharpe's series a great set of books about a English rifleman during the Penninsular wars of the early 1800's. He has a great passion for accurate historical fiction.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,020
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    The trouble I have with recommending books is that the author gets better at his craft as he goes, so you have the choice of starting late in the series and missing the background, or having to slog through the author's early attempts.

    Terry Pratchett is the best example of this. His early books were too cutesy-clever to be a good read, but his latest books are excellent, but you'll lack the background of the characters if you start with his latest stuff.

    Comic books are like this too, come to think of it- the cheesiness of early X-Men and the like was acceptable when I was 12, and it's the background for the current stories, but man... Claremont's Dark Phoenix saga was epic, and was the basis for the third movie, but it's a really terrible read these days, and the pre-computer art quality mirrors the writing...

    Terry Goodkind seems to be the opposite- his early stuff is excellent, but I wasn't able to finish anything after Debt of Bones.

    Piers Anthony is another one whose earlier stuff is the best- young-adult to be sure, but it's safe to say that you can stick to the original Xanth trilogy and get the best of his writing.

    Robert Jordan and George R. R. Martin I'm guessing are in the first camp- I haven't been able to get through the first few books to get to the good stuff, even after getting Eye of the World on CD...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Jordan
    Posts
    5,207
    Blog Entries
    42
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    beth hilgartner: colors of the dreamweavers loom.

    sylvia louise engdahl: enchantress from the stars.

    patricia mckillip: any.

    mike resnik: santiago.

    andre norton: just about any.

    cathy livoni: element of time.

    sylvia louise: the books of indigo series.

    just a few that have struck me as having useful ideas to draw from over the years.
    Last edited by nijineko; 02-09-2009 at 08:18 PM.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Age
    48
    Posts
    429
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    My favorite is Stephen R Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

    Many, many people hate his work though.
    -Etarnon
    Refereeing RPGs since 1977

    Old School Gamers (Online) Meetup Group Organizer
    http://www.meetup.com/Old-School/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Jordan
    Posts
    5,207
    Blog Entries
    42
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    i disliked the character rather much. however i did remember the giants who regenerate through fire, and the bracelet of sustenance. that was pretty wild usage of such an item.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Stroudsburg
    Age
    30
    Posts
    903
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Bearfoot_Adam View Post
    As far as other fantasy I would recommend anything by Neil Gaiman.
    I second this. I love Gaiman!!

    I am ashamed I could never get into any Salvatore novel! A sidestep, I have read and enjoyed the Dragonlance Novels and some of the DL anthologies.

    The last fantasy book I read, and enjoyed was "The Bard of Sorcery" by Gerard Daniel Houarner. Really nice variant world type of thing, makes me almost want to do a campaign similar to it.

    I also like many of Louise Cooper's books and love the Angel series by Sharon Shinn. If you can get your hands on any books in the Heroes in Hell series, I highly recommend them!

    I can go on....
    Last edited by Anaesthesia; 02-09-2009 at 09:12 PM.
    There's nothing to fear except fear itself and, of course, the boogeyman.

    Co-Organizer of NEPA D&D and Stroudsburg Geeks. Member of Stroudsburg Area Gaming Association.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Jordan
    Posts
    5,207
    Blog Entries
    42
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    may i suggest you try "the highwayman" by salvatore? it was what turned me onto his books in the first place.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tuscaloosa
    Age
    43
    Posts
    141
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by kirksmithicus View Post
    So after reading the R. A. Salvatore book I later learned, much to my surprise and dismay, that he is considered to be one of the top fantasy writers (or popular anyway).
    I couldn't disagree more. I've never read anything by Salvatore that I liked. (I haven't read anything by him recently, so perhaps he got better.) In fact, of all the D&D-based novels I've read, only one or two were worthwhile -- and the same with Star Wars novels.

    My advice is to avoid any books based on role-playing games, television, or movies. I think there are a couple of reasons they tend to be poor quality. They have a built-in fan base, which means they don't need to be good; people are going to read them anyway. Also, different mediums usually don't translate; a good movie may not make a good book, and a good RPG almost never does. Gygax's books are the perfect example. I remember thinking, "This must have been a great module, but he should never have written it up as a book." After all, if you took notes during your next session and wrote it up in book form, how many people would be interested in reading it? Very few, unless you modified it drastically.

    As for books I would recommend . . . all the classics, of course. J.R.R. Tolkien; C.S. Lewis; H. Rider Haggard; Edgar Rice Burroughs; H.P. Lovecraft; Robert E. Howard; Robert Heinlein; and so forth.

    These aren't all fantasy, but I'd suggest Fred Saberhagen (The Empire of the East, The First Book of Swords, Berserker), Fritz Leiber (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series), Michael Moorcock (Elric of Melnibone), Roger Zelazny (Amber series), Susan Cooper (The Dark Is Rising series), Glen Cook (The Black Company), Jack Vance (The Demon Princes, Araminta Station), David Farland (The Runelords), Terry Brooks (Magic Kingdom for Sale -- Sold!), L.E. Modesitt (The Magic of Recluse), L. Ron Hubbard (Battlefield Earth), Brian Lumley (Necroscope), Timothy Zahn (Heir to the Empire, Blackcollar), George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones), Jerry Pournelle (Janissaries, Falkenberg's Legion), Larry Niven (The Man-Kzin Wars), Gordon Dickson (Tactics of Mistake), Steven Pressfield (Gates of Fire), William Hoffman (Tidewater Blood), Alastair Maclean (The Guns of Navarone).

    Some authors are almost always good, but most are pretty inconsistent. Quite often the first book in the series is excellent and the rest are mediocre. Something about sequels, I suppose. And sometimes I like books that aren't really that good, just because they have good ideas -- an innovative system of magic, a very interesting character, a novel approach to an old plotline, etc.

    Everyone who plays fantasy RPG's should read Vance's The Dying Earth, since the D&D spell system is based on it (and it heavily influenced D&D in other ways).

    I've been meaning to read The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones, but haven't picked it up yet. Looks like an interesting critique of the standard formula.
    --- Merged from Double Post ---
    Quote Originally Posted by kirksmithicus View Post
    So the question is (finally), are these books any good? I've read online reviews already, but I just wanted your opions.

    They are all by Robert Jordan, "The Wheel of time" series.
    I didn't actually address your question. I thought the first book was excellent (though I agree it could have been cut down quite a bit). The later books . . . weren't. Do you just have to finish the book, or do you have to finish the entire series? If the latter, run away very quickly. Having to plow through the entire series when you only like the first couple would be a fate worse than death.
    Last edited by Edward; 02-09-2009 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Automerged Double Post

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ajax
    Age
    44
    Posts
    322
    Blog Entries
    20
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Re: Wheel of Time

    They're okay, but nothing happens in books four, seven and ten.

    Re: Other Authors

    The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon is one of my favourites.
    I also liked the Rhapsody, Prophecy, Destiny series by Elizabeth Hayden.
    Though I couldn't really recommend going beyond the original trilogy for either.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Lynnwood
    Age
    52
    Posts
    134
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    I'm not quite as compulsive as you seem to be about finishing books, but if I start a book, I almost always finish it. That being said, I tried reading the first book of Jordan's Wheel of Time series and couldn't even make it through. It was boring, and the characters didn't appeal to me at all.

    I do recommend George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, starting with A Game of Thrones. I also recommend Katherine Kurtz's Deryni series. It amounts to about four trilogies, set at different times in the history of the fictional Kingdom of Gwynedd.
    "You know spies gamers, a bunch of *****y little girls." - Sam Axe

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,288
    Blog Entries
    11
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Clint L. Werner. My favorite of his is a short story called meat wagon. I would suggest reading that first to see if you like his style. He mostly writes for Warhammer Fantasy but I know he has done a lot more than that.

    The book with the short story is called Swords of the Empire I believe.
    http://www.amazon.com/Swords-Empire-...4284421&sr=1-1
    Last edited by MortonStromgal; 02-10-2009 at 11:48 AM.
    Playing: Pathfinder
    Running: infrequent VtM game


    "I'm beautifully hideous!" - Sven the Nosferatu

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Bellevue
    Posts
    2,899
    Blog Entries
    28
    Downloads
    43
    Uploads
    3
    I used to be a big fan of R.A. Salvatore, and in fact, I still read his novels. But, I'm tired of hearing stories of Drizzt and his friends. But, if you really want to give Salvatore another chance, I recommend his Demon Wars series, which is set in a world of his own making instead of Forgotten Realms where he has limited control.

    I'd also STRONGLY recommend staying away from Terry Brooks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aidan View Post
    I tried reading the first book of Jordan's Wheel of Time series and couldn't even make it through. It was boring, and the characters didn't appeal to me at all.


    I couldn't agree with you more. When the first novel came out, I think it was, Waldenbooks was giving away copies of the first-half of the first-book. I forced my way through it and then tossed that sucker and never looked back. I'm told the story got better, but if you can't capture my attention in the first 300 pages, for god's sake, then it is very unlikely that I'm going to keep going after that.
    Robert A. Howard
    Pen & Paper Games
    Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Dearborn
    Posts
    7,298
    Blog Entries
    14
    Downloads
    1
    Uploads
    1
    I read one FR novel. I found it to be harmless light reading. Neither prose to make the ages or dreadful beyond reason. A reasonably decent waste of 90 minutes.

    Salvatore you will love or hate.

    Wheel of Time will eat your brain. The only thing that stopped that series was Jordan passed to the other side of. Death will really cut into you output.

    The general problem I have found with fantasy and this goes for a good deal of SF as well, some writers get the mistaken idea that because it is a F/SF book you don't have to try as hard. If anything, you have to work all the harder to get the reader to buy into your story.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Jordan
    Posts
    5,207
    Blog Entries
    42
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    according to the press release the bookstore i worked for at the time received, his wife had functioned as his pre-editor for the entire series. he made notes up till he couldn't, and then she recorded all that he was able to verbally relate until the end. his wife and one of his best friends will finish the last book as per his request, apparently.

    besides, douglas adams already "published a book post-humously".
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

Page 1 of 17 1234511 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. 3rd ed Low fantasy vs 4th ed high fantasy
    By Wulfenstien in forum Dungeons & Dragons
    Replies: 59
    Last Post: 12-23-2008, 08:51 AM
  2. Star Wars Novels
    By rabkala in forum Sci-Fi / Futuristic
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 06-26-2008, 12:53 PM
  3. Novels
    By RealmsDM in forum Dungeons & Dragons
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-10-2008, 09:05 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •