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Customer Discussions > fantasy discussion forum

Another request for recommendations!

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Showing 1-25 of 80 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Feb 2010, 09:49:09 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Feb 2012, 15:32:43 GMT
Isobel Ayres says:
Hi all -

I've always liked the idea of fantasty (with the magic, getting to live in mediaeval type periods without being filthy and disease ridden, dragons, unicorns, vampires, werewolves etc etc). However, I've often been disappointed by the fantasty books I've picked up. Many of them seem to be light on plot and characterisation and 'feel', and heavy on silly names (I have a problem with all the apostrophes that crop up in fantasy names sometimes, it's irrational, but they irritate me).

So, I had hoped that if I give people some examples of fantasy novels I've enjoyed (and those I've not), people may be able to give me some recommendations?

So - I've enjoyed
- The Lord of the Rings (and the Hobbit, not the Silmarillion though)
- Harry Potter
- His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman writes so beautifully)
- Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen (loving the original ideas and the strong female characters)
- Anne McCaffrey's dragon books
- The Belgariad (I didn't enjoy the Malloreon so much)
- Anne Rice's earlier books (before Memnoch the Devil)
- There were some vampire books I remember loving but I can't remember the titles or the author - something about a ring, and vampires were from this other worldly ring (anyone have any idea what I'm talking about?)
- Stardust and Neil Gaiman's work in general (not too keen on Terry Pratchett, though)
- Melanie Rawn's Sunrunner series (really original idea, I thought. I loved the beginning of the series but thought it tailed off towards the end)
- Trudy Canavan

I really didn't like Eragon. I loathe and despise Twilight!

Any ideas would be gratefully received - I'm sure that there are many fantastic fantasy writers and I would dearly like to know who they are!

EDIT 16/02/2012: I do not read self-published work and self-promotion is banned outside the 'Meet Our Authors' forum. Please do not self-promote on this thread, or I will have to click the 'report abuse' link.

Posted on 16 Feb 2010, 10:26:10 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Feb 2010, 10:26:40 GMT
Auraya says:
Hi Isobel, your taste in fantasy novels seems to be quite similar to mine. Here are a few books that I have enjoyed recently:

Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy

Katherine Kerr's Deverry books - I have only read the first one in the series (Daggerspell) but I found the story intriguing (it has to do with reincarnation) and I can't wait to read the rest.

Diana Wynne Jones - she is one of my favourite authors of all time. Her books are meant to be for kids but I think they are considerably better than a lot of books written for adults. The ones I like best are Fire and Hemlock, the Chrestomanci series and Howl's Moving Castle and its sequels.

Hope you find something you like!

Posted on 16 Feb 2010, 10:42:11 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Feb 2010, 11:39:20 GMT
Isobel Ayres says:
Thanks Auraya - I'll have a look.

EDIT: Looked, and ordered the first couple of the Deverry books. They look good and they've got great reviews. Plus there's loads of them so I hope I like them as then I'll have many happy reading hours ahead!

Ordered the first of the Robin Hobb books, too - not quite so sure about that one but it looked worth a try.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Feb 2010, 13:25:48 GMT
Nick Brett says:
Magicians by Grossman I really enjoyed, a kind of dark Harry Potter....

Posted on 16 Feb 2010, 13:50:19 GMT
Auraya says:
I've just ordered the second Deverry book myself :o) I had been unsure of the Robin Hobb book too - but a friend recommended it very highly and I found that I really liked it, even though it isn't exactly the kind of book I usually go for. Hope you like them.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Feb 2010, 17:36:03 GMT
S. Hingston says:
The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper.
Diana Wynne Jones...all but love Deep secret!

Posted on 16 Feb 2010, 19:08:14 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Feb 2010, 19:08:51 GMT
Jen Errik says:
Cartoon about the silly names: http://xkcd.com/483/

Bujold's Chalion series - starts with The Curse of Chalion, though the second is the one with the strong female protagonist.

in YA - Megan Whalen Turner's series, starts with 'The Thief'
Sarah Rees Brennan 'The Demon's Lexicon'
Patricia Wrede 'Mairelon the Magician'
Sherwood Smith 'Crown Duel'
China Mieville Un Lun Dun (if you liked Gaiman's Neverwhere, you may well like this)

And I agree with N. Brett, if you've read Harry Potter and the Narnia books, 'Magicians' is an interesting read. I really enjoyed it too.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Feb 2010, 19:19:52 GMT
Isobel Ayres says:
The cartoon is great!

I appreciate everyone's responses - so many recommendations - this is going to keep me in good reading for months :)

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Feb 2010, 19:38:50 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 16 Feb 2010, 19:39:20 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Feb 2010, 19:40:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Feb 2010, 19:44:29 GMT
Isobel Ayres says:

Sorry - just seeing if HTML tags work but obviously they don't!

Posted on 16 Feb 2010, 20:27:40 GMT
AnetteF says:
Carol Berg - any of her books, Rai-Kirah is probably my favourite
Maggie Furey - Shadow league trilogy
Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory - Obsidion trilogy

Posted on 16 Feb 2010, 20:59:43 GMT
S W Hagan says:
Hi Isobel

Here are some titles which may be exactly what you are looking for,

The Truth of the Unicorns or Unicorn Sacrifices (Set in the time of the Great Flood and focusing around A young unicorn, 2 squirrels, a dog, and adult unicorns. It is a serious story and is seenthrough the eyes of the creatures. The kind of names you may have to put up with are Laranki (Lar-ran-key) and Soreecilor (Soar-reece-e-lore). Hope that hasn't put you off straight away! lol)

Danny and Bongo Wiggins go to Caterpillar Kingdom ( A humerous tale of a young boy and a seagul - it may sound like it is for children but I can assure that it is not)

The Truth of the Dragons - Dealing with the lives of 2 female dragons in a land where humans are intent on wiping them out. However, all is not as straightforward as it first appears. Tracing the origins from thier arrival on the Earth to their relationship with man and the discovery of an ancient and terrible enemy, the story comes right up to the time of the Great Flood and links with the Unicorn's book.

Cobwebs of Pearl - A 'special angel' trapped inside a giant spider, fighting for her own survival and that of the Earth.

The Little's Voyage -

Within The Heart of Time - Part I

and a few more.

These are stories written by me and I have some examples of the works on a basic website that I endeavour to update whenever I get the chance. Check out www.stuartwilliamhagan.co.uk

All of the stories are stand alone in thier own right but progression through them reveals many links between the stories... be they fantasy, humour, or horror...

I hope you do not mind me placing this info here and apologies if you did not want self-published authors to be recommended.

Check out my website and let me know your 'feelings' on what you see there.... I would appreciate feedback.

Best wishes


In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2010, 08:48:23 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 7 Oct 2011, 19:33:59 BST]

Posted on 17 Feb 2010, 11:50:39 GMT
I'd also have to agree about the Robin Hobb Farseer trilogy, it's worth a read. I've also enjoyed Raymond E Feist's books and also Janny Wurts.

In particular by both Janny Wurts and Feist is the Empire trilogy. Lots of depth to the characters and not too many silly names!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2010, 21:27:51 GMT
J. Cahill says:
New Series of four books. The Chronicles of Valonia. Meant for children but a good easy read. Jewels of Valonia is the lead in book where the characters plunge into history and end up solving mysteries. The Golden Casket and the Spectres of light gets much deeper with a historical twist. The Battle of the Underworld is out in June and we are told that this is where it all starts to get much darker. There is an underlying story, which will be revealed in the last book The Quest for the Immortal Walker. I shall be reading the next two!

Posted on 17 Feb 2010, 23:37:17 GMT
Sorry says:
Hi Isobel,

You could try The Wind on Fire Trilogy by William Nicholson. I read it a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Also Jonathan Strouds Bartimaeus books, I remember enjoying those and the Bartimeus character was quite witty. They are more Young Adults but they had good plot progression and character development. I third Diana Wynne Jones, I love Chrestomanci.

For something a little more adult you could try George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. That is very character driven, I've only read the first book so far but I enjoyed it a lot. There is a lot of political intrigues and the story is told from several perspectives that all have some kind of interest in the political games being played. The magic so far has been quite subtle though, so it is not one of the most prominent world features.

Posted on 18 Feb 2010, 09:39:25 GMT
Isobel Ayres says:
Finding this and the fiction forum might prove extremely detrimental to my finances! I've ordered 14 books this month, and there's another 12 on my wish list. . .

Posted on 18 Feb 2010, 11:14:46 GMT
AnetteF says:
Which ones did you go for, Isobel?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2010, 11:45:31 GMT
Isobel Ayres says:
Of the fantasy ones, I've ordered the Robin Hobb and the first couple from the Deverry series, as well as a book called Torc of Moonlight. I've got The Dark is Rising, The Magicians and The Song of Ice & Fire series on my wish list for next month's pay!

Posted on 18 Feb 2010, 14:35:26 GMT
AnetteF says:
Well, we won't be surprised then if we don't see much of you, lol. Hope you enjoy Robin Hobb, I did. If you do and once you have made your way through her trail of trilogies, do consider Carol Berg as I would say she has similarly quirky stories and interesting characters.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2010, 15:15:16 GMT
smiler says:
i have to agree with Auraya about Robin Hobb and Diana Wynne Jones espeicially Diana Wynne Jones, she has written some adult books such as The Dark Lork of Derkholm. Would also recommend Tamora Pierce for an author to try!

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2010, 15:19:03 GMT
Isobel Ayres says:
Thanks Smiler - I've read a lot of Tamora Pierce. I used to read it to my sister when she was younger and it was rainy and we were bored :)

Posted on 10 Oct 2011, 20:59:12 BST
[Deleted by Amazon on 10 Oct 2011, 20:59:57 BST]

Posted on 3 Nov 2011, 12:08:28 GMT
Luthor says:
Try this one - the Broken and the Damned (The Legend of Silvermane) - Admittedly the main character has a funny name (it's pronounced Row-ad apparently), but the book is well worth the apostrophe. Brilliantly written with quiet little gems of genius woven in, it is dark, mysterious, subtle and poignant. Totally recommend it.

Posted on 6 Nov 2011, 21:54:58 GMT
Katy May says:
I definitely agree with the recommendations for Diana Wynne Jones - she's ace and I even read the children's books although I've never managed to get my daughter to read them.

In addition to the other posts I'd suggest trying Kristen Cashore - I really enjoyed Fire and Graceling. Patrick Ness is also godd - the Ask and the Answer trilogy was gripping.

The Unicorn Crisis was a surprise, it's on Kindle and was v cheap (which was why I bought it!) and I bought the sequel straight away.

Since getting a Kindle I've been seduced into buying stuff that I wouldn't normally have tried (largely because of the lurid American covers) but I did enjoy Illona Andrews and Patricia Briggs - classed as Urban Fantasy I think). I also liked Delirium and The Hunger Games - both for teenagers but very well written.

Have fun and try not to spend too much!
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Discussion in:  fantasy discussion forum
Participants:  46
Total posts:  80
Initial post:  16 Feb 2010
Latest post:  12 Apr 2012

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