Best Fantasy Books

Recommendations, discussions, and odes to your favorites
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HillaryJ
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by HillaryJ » July 25th, 2010, 3:08 pm

CharleeVale wrote:I love Robin McKinley! Longest sentence structure in the world, but good.

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Rashda
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by Rashda » July 26th, 2010, 1:10 pm

Besides the traditional favorites mentioned by others, I also read some wonderful contemporary writers.

Ilona Andrews (great characters and the world just draws you in...I'm thinking of her Kate Daniels series)
Patricia Briggs
Maria Snyder
Jay Lake
Terry Pratchett (when I need a good laugh, I pick one of his books up. Really cool worlds, characters, and ideas)

Enjoy!

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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by steve » July 27th, 2010, 11:21 pm

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

Orlando - Virginia Woolf

Blindness - Jose Saramago
Read one of the best stories by Borges.

Margo
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by Margo » August 4th, 2010, 12:30 pm

Ack! How could I have forgotten Charles de Lint??? Anything by Charles de Lint! Did someone else mention him already? If so, I'll list him again for emphasis.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by jakek » September 5th, 2010, 5:50 pm

I second the recommendation of Scott Lynch. I loved The Lies of Locke Lamora, which is pretty much a caper flick (think Oceans 11 or The Italian Job) set in middle earth. It's kind of an inversion of the Dresden Files formula (which I also really like).

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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by Louise Curtis » September 24th, 2010, 8:09 pm

I read hundreds of kids' and YA fantasy books each year. The ones that finally outdid narnia for me are (in order of youngest to oldest target audience):

Most uplifting, funny, warmest books ever: Sandy Fussell's "Samurai Kids" series, starting with "White Crane". These books make life better. G

Funniest (and steampunk - and there are pirates, and illustrations): Philip Reeve's "Larklight" series, starting with "Larklight". G

Best-written YA fantasy series: Garth Nix's "Sabriel", "Lirael" and "Abhorsen". PG/M for horror violence.

Best written adult fantasy series: Pamela Freeman's "Blood Ties", "Deep Water" and "Full Circle." M for rape and violence (never gratuitous). This series takes my breath away.
Louise Curtis
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by Margo » September 25th, 2010, 2:34 pm

Bryan Russell/Ink wrote: ...
China Mieville
...
I recently read an excerpt from The City and the City and was delighted . Of course, I'm trying to rein in my enthusiasm until I pick up a copy and really get into it. I went all weak in the knees over the first 20+ pages of Sixty-One Nails by Mike Shevdon but then found it shifted in tone immediately after that excerpt. It didn't quite work for me after that. On the upside, I lent it to a close friend, and she adores it.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

Moni12
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by Moni12 » October 3rd, 2010, 9:37 am

Pellinor series by Alison Croggon
Stardust by Neil Gaiman (and just about anything else he's written)
East by Edith Pattou
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (for younger audiences, but definitely a classic)
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Chronicles of Narnia, of course

Is it just me or does it seem like Fantasy is a dying genre? Right now most people are writing Urban Fantasy, which is fine, I actually have plans for one, but what happened to straight up Fantasy that took place in a make believe world with magic, elves, etc. It feels like the genre is moving on so much that the original idea for it is gonna be forgotten in a matter of years.

Claudie
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by Claudie » October 3rd, 2010, 3:45 pm

Moni12 wrote:Is it just me or does it seem like Fantasy is a dying genre? Right now most people are writing Urban Fantasy, which is fine, I actually have plans for one, but what happened to straight up Fantasy that took place in a make believe world with magic, elves, etc. It feels like the genre is moving on so much that the original idea for it is gonna be forgotten in a matter of years.
There are many writers that work on such projects at the moment. It's not dying in the community. It's just not what sells best at the moment, and thus not what you find on the shelves. All I'm writing is 'pure' fantasy, and if I have to wait for the market to shift back my way, I shall. ;)

To contribute to the actual thread:

A Song of Ice and Fire, G.R.R. Martin (but he's been named already, often)
Tigana or The Lions of Al-Rassan, Guy Gavriel Kay. I adore Kay. :)
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by Margo » October 3rd, 2010, 5:26 pm

Moni12 wrote: It feels like the genre is moving on so much that the original idea for it is gonna be forgotten in a matter of years.
I gotta agree with Claudie that I don't see this happening. Selling well right now...Terry Brooks, Mercedes Lackey, Brent Weeks, Todd McCaffrey, Amanda Downum, R.A. Salvatore, Robin Hobb, Lyn McConchie, even Robert Jordan. Sci-fi and fantasy ebb and flow, especially with economic cycles. Subgenres surge and settle. One subgenre being more high profile than another at the moment doesn't mean it gets all the sales or that people who read one are not also reading the other. I've got Amanda Downum in my To Read pile right alongside Jim Butcher.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

Moni12
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by Moni12 » October 3rd, 2010, 6:39 pm

Claudie and Margo,

I see your point. I guess with urban fantasy being as popular as it is right now it's difficult to hear news of other genres. However, looking on the internet I see news of every type of novel, but rarely fantasy.

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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by dios4vida » October 4th, 2010, 12:01 pm

If you're worried about traditional sword-and-sorcery fantasy going by the wayside, just wait until tomorrow. R.A. Salvatore's newest book in the Forgotten Realms series is released tomorrow, so next week you'll be seeing him on the NYT Bestseller List (again), I can almost guarantee it! (Not that I'm excited about the release or have it preordered on Amazon or anything...)

It's out there, and I think it will always be out there. There are too many of us who live and breathe for a good fantasy. I love urban fantasy (I'm in love with Harry Dresden, don't tell my husband!) but there's nothing like old fashioned fantasy for a good, enjoyable story.

And I'm like Claudie, also. I write sword-and-sorcery, and I'll keep doing it until the market picks back up. Then I'll have several books to offer, just like the rest of the fantasy writers on the forums, and there'll be a deluge of Bransfordite fantasy books out there. :)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by Margo » October 4th, 2010, 12:11 pm

Moni12 wrote:I guess with urban fantasy being as popular as it is right now it's difficult to hear news of other genres. However, looking on the internet I see news of every type of novel, but rarely fantasy.
Really? Cuz I've seen an awful lot of press for Brent Weeks. Also, lots of blog buzz for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin. Also, That Amanda Downum book I bought was something I picked up after seeing several print and internet ads for it.

Do you mean you aren't seeing it in mainstream media rather than spec fic media? That's nothing new. I don't pick up the Atlantic if I want to know what's new and good in fantasy. I go to Locus or Realms of Fantasy or an industry blog.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

Moni12
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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by Moni12 » October 4th, 2010, 1:34 pm

Margo,

I wasn't talking about mainstream, but maybe I haven't been keeping up with the right blogs. I've never heard of the ones you mentioned. Guess I'll have to check them out. Thanks!

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Re: Best Fantasy Books

Post by Margo » October 4th, 2010, 2:40 pm

Moni12 wrote:Margo,

I wasn't talking about mainstream, but maybe I haven't been keeping up with the right blogs. I've never heard of the ones you mentioned. Guess I'll have to check them out. Thanks!

You're welcome. I definitely recommend Locus magazine (an industry mag) for anyone serious about going pro in sci-fi or fantasy or anyone who is a hardcore fan.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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