Best Fantasy Books

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Best Fantasy Books

Postby dios4vida » 20 Jul 2010, 09:43

I've noticed there are a few of us out there who are fantasy fans (woo!). So, for those who read fantasy, what are the must-reads in the genre? (You notice I'm not saying THE best book - I can't choose my favorite, so why should I make you?)

Here are my favorites:

The DemonWars Saga - R.A. Salvatore
Forgotten Realms (Drizzt series) - R.A. Salvatore
Dragondoom - Dennis L. McKiernan
The Sword of Truth series - Terry Goodkind (even though the last books weren't nearly as good as the first - but Wizard's First Rule is a must read!)
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel - Michael Scott (YA)
The Dresden Files - Jim Butcher (urban)

Oh, and the ever-present Chronicles of Narnia, LOTR, and Harry Potter.

Anyone else read those? Any other suggestions (please please please, I'm almost out of books to read!)?
Brenda :)

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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby Mira » 20 Jul 2010, 10:12

Love fantasy!

I tend to avoid the really bloody ones, so if you like that, check out George Martin or Robin Hobbs.

The ones I like - some are oldies but goodies:


Stephen Donaldson - the Thomas Covenant series
Terry Brooks - Sword of Shannara series
Garth Nix - Sabriel series

Alot of folks like Raymond Feist, but I've never gotten into him.

Also, Terry Pratchett, if you like humor with a large dose of physics. I think he's awesome. :)
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby Margo » 20 Jul 2010, 11:20

Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel trilogy (warning: explicit sex, some from a bdsm slant, but it's easy to just skip a few pages).

Jo Walton's The King's Peace and The King's Name (great if you're into Celtic myth and history and prefer no sex scenes).

Early Anita Blake books by Laurell K. Hamilton (early books are heavy on gore and sexual tension - but no sex). The later books change focus. I am still working my way through the series.

I've read glorious short stories by Seanan McGuire (urban fantasy), and her newest book A Local Habitation is out now. I want to read her Rosemary and Rue first, though, can't find a copy on the shelves, and haven't gotten around yet to having the bookstore order it for me.
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby Heather B » 20 Jul 2010, 16:25

Anything by Richelle Mead! Seriously! Her books are amazing because the characters are so real.

Her YA books are the Vampire Academy series. (Sneer at the name - seriously, do it - but the books rip your heart out).
Then she has two adult series, Succubus and Dark Swan.

They all manage to get you very emotional and thankful for your own life. Not to mention her protags kick-arse.

Then there's the Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Claire. I thought they were a good read but everyone else seems to think they're absolutely stellar; I can't help but feel I'm missing something here...
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby dios4vida » 20 Jul 2010, 16:39

Heather B wrote:I thought they were a good read but everyone else seems to think they're absolutely stellar; I can't help but feel I'm missing something here...


I know the feeling! I've tried - twice - to read the Sword of Shannara. I know it's a fantasy classic, supposedly the best of the best, but I could not get past the first 150 pages! Super long sentences (45-50 words!) with super slow plot (all I learned was that he was half-elf, something large and frightening was chasing him, and they ran through a field to some friend's house for help. Really? 150 pages just for that?). I so wanted to love the series but I just couldn't.

Same with The Wheel of Time. Read the first book, still don't know what the Eye of the World really was, and was so muddled with characters and things that I really didn't want to continue. There must be something wrong with me - that's the only conclusion I could draw.

I'm so excited to research these books! A lot of what you guys have mentioned I've never heard of and I'm super thrilled to find new books to fall in love with. I hope we keep exchanging, this is great!! Thanks guys!!
Brenda :)

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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby CharleeVale » 20 Jul 2010, 20:20

Margo wrote:Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel trilogy (warning: explicit sex, some from a bdsm slant, but it's easy to just skip a few pages).


Don't forget the second trilogy! Kushiel's scion, mercy, justice. I agree, the sex is a bit too graphic, but the plots are tantalizing.

Also, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan should keep you busy for awhile. excellent reading, plus it's got something like eleven books.

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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby WilliamMJones » 20 Jul 2010, 22:51

I'll second Terry Brooks and the Mortal Instruments. If you don't like the slow pace and long sentances of the Shannara series, try Terry Brooks's Word and Void Series, and his Magic Kingdom of Landover Series.

A couple I would add is The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron, The Pendragon Series (Not hard fantasy) and (though many disagree) The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby knight_tour » 21 Jul 2010, 03:56

There are so many. I certainly can't list them all. Besides the obvious Tolkien books (though I would mention the Silmarillion as being an overlooked great one), there are:

George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series
Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea series
Robert Howard's Conan series and others like the Bran Mak Morn books
Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and Gray Mouser books
The Thieves World novels edited by Robert Asprin and Lynn Abbey
Dennis McKiernan's Iron Tower trilogy and Silver Call duology
Harry Turtledove's Misplaced Legion series
Katherine Kurtz's Deryni series
Philip Jose Farmer's Dungeon series
Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind

...loads of others I am not remembering right now.
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby AMSchilling » 21 Jul 2010, 05:51

Completely agree with Jim Butcher's Dresden series! Since that's the fantasy type I prefer, rather than the more traditional sword and sorcery, I also like Simon R. Greene's Nightside series, and Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series. Also Robert Aspirin for both his Myth and Phule series, and pretty much anything by Neil Gaiman. I enjoyed Piers Anthony's Xanth series as a kid, too, plus all the usual suspects like LOTR and Harry Potter. There's more, but some have already been mentioned and it's way too early here for my brain to be fully functional on the others.
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby Bryan Russell/Ink » 21 Jul 2010, 06:23

Some that haven't been mentioned:

Steven Erikson (Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series)
Glen Cook (Black Company series)
Lloyd Alexander (Chronciles of Prydain)
Joe Abercrombie
Scott Lynch
China Mieville
Sean Russell
Tad Williams
Guy Gavriel Kay
David Eddings (the early series, like The Belgariad, The Mallorean, and The Elenium)
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby wetair » 21 Jul 2010, 18:09

love the drizzt books and the dresden files! but i couldn't get into The Sword of Truth series!

One of my favorite series all time the black jewels trilogy by anne bishop
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby Heather B » 22 Jul 2010, 03:50

Has anyone read the House of Night series by P.C and Kristen Cast? I've bought them for the cool covers but I 'm hesitant to read them due to the amount of books P.C. Cast pumps out. It may be naive of me but I have doubts on the quality.

Also two of Richelle Mead's series have just been optioned. :D I'm still undecided if it's a good thing.

There's also the 'Undead' series by Mary-Janice Davidson.
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby AMSchilling » 22 Jul 2010, 05:43

I read the first few House of Night books. I enjoyed the first couple, but then she started switching POV by chapter in the later ones and I wasn't as big of a fan of that. Nothing against Stevie Rae and the other characters, but I wanted to stay in Zoe's head. That was personal preference.

They definitely have an interesting premise, and the characters weren't as one-dimensional as some YA I've read. They did have some of the YA cliches that seem to pop up everywhere, tho - gorgeous African American friend (just one), funny gay guy friend, etc. Not a horrible read however.
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby Sommer Leigh » 22 Jul 2010, 06:01

I prefer urban fantasy to more traditional fantasy, so I'm going to agree with everyone who has said The Dresden Files. I'm a big fan! I also concur with pretty much anything Neil Gaiman has penned, but particularly Neverwhere.

One series not mentioned is The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. I love this series.
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Postby dios4vida » 22 Jul 2010, 12:30

I forgot another of the great but often-overlooked urban fantasy series: Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. It's dark, gritty, sexy (yummy Irish men!), and just a gorgeous read. The last one comes out in December and I can barely wait!

The first of the series, Darkfever, is available for free on Podiobooks.com, read by Ms. Moning herself. I don't like audiobooks and I still think it's fabulous.
Brenda :)

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