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What next? Enough with grimdark!


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#1 Green Gogol

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:17 PM

I'm a third of the way through A Dance With Dragons, and I'm kind of fed up with all this gritty grimy grit. It's just an endless festival of depressing things and I'd like to read something a little lighter next.

 

I'm interested in reading Malazan book of the fallen, but is it again the same crapsack world of endless rape, killing, betrayal and starvation as in Song of Ice and Fire?



#2 Ru´ner

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:28 PM

Malazan is worse when it comes to that actually.



#3 Rhom

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:39 PM

I'm a third of the way through A Dance With Dragons, and I'm kind of fed up with all this gritty grimy grit. It's just an endless festival of depressing things and I'd like to read something a little lighter next.
 
I'm interested in reading Malazan book of the fallen, but is it again the same crapsack world of endless rape, killing, betrayal and starvation as in Song of Ice and Fire?


Hrmmm... so most modern fantasy is out.

What do you like? And what are a few things you've read already? And yes... Malazan is probably worse than ASoIaF when it comes to gritty/depressing stuff.

#4 protar

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:46 PM

I don't actually think that ASOIAF is grimdark. Firstly that term is generally reserved for trashy gratuitous gore and darkness, whereas I think ASOIAF handles the darker topics tastefully and skilfully. And there's just enough lightness in there, just enough bad guys getting their comeuppance that it's reputation for darkness and death has always seemed overblown to me.

 

Maybe try Wheel of Time? That's quite a bit lighter. Not really sure what you do like though.



#5 MisterOJ

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:47 PM

Hrmmm... so most modern fantasy is out.
 

 

Missed your chance to suggest Sanderson. :)



#6 Green Gogol

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:48 PM

Hrmmm... so most modern fantasy is out.

What do you like? And what are a few things you've read already? And yes... Malazan is probably worse than ASoIaF when it comes to gritty/depressing stuff.

 

 

Mmm, I enjoyed Farseer trilogy. First few books of Wheel of Time. Read all of it but found the last 9 books boring and too long. Really like Fafrd and the Grey Mouser. Lord of the rings is great. The Hobbit not so much. Didn't enjoy Pratchett too much. Enjoyed Dragonlance a million years ago, but I've outgrown it.

 

And I'm not against depressing stuff. Farseer trilogy was depressing, but in a different way to ASOIAF.

 

I just get the impression that Martin is writing the worst possible outcome for every scene. He set his character in a situation, let's you imagine the outcome according to traditional fantasy, then tells you that you are wrong, and crush your hope. My feeling is that he painted himself in a corner. In the first book, it was interesting to go against fantasy tropes. But now it's become the norm in his book, and he can't reverse the rend without betraying his readers.

 

 

EDIT: Also tried, Gene Wolfe, didn't like it.


Edited by Green Gogol, 20 January 2014 - 02:53 PM.


#7 Rhom

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:48 PM

Missed your chance to suggest Sanderson. :)


That's what I was thinking, but I thought maybe he'd already tried it.

#8 Ru´ner

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:50 PM

Yeah, try Sanderson... or Bakker. 



#9 The BlackBear

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:54 PM

You should probably stay away from Joe Abercrombie then.

 

I'd say DwD has to be seen in the context of the whole series, GRRM said the ending of the series will be bittersweet, things just have to get worse before they get better.



#10 Rhom

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:55 PM

Yeah, try Sanderson... or Bakker.


:lmao:

I would love to see him come back and post his comments after having read Bakker.

In all seriousness, I do think something by Sanderson would fit the OP's request. Any of his work could be good. May also want to finish up WoT.

#11 dietl

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:56 PM

Try Prince of Nothing by Scott Bakker...

:leaving:



#12 Green Gogol

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:59 PM

:lmao:

I would love to see him come back and post his comments after having read Bakker.

In all seriousness, I do think something by Sanderson would fit the OP's request. Any of his work could be good. May also want to finish up WoT.

 

 

Hehe, I've hear about the guy ;)

 

I read the first Abercrombie, don't remember the title, and didn't enjoy it too much.

 

I did finish WoT. The Last Battle chapter was not what I would call an exciting battle scene.



#13 dietl

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:00 PM

Oh...I know the right answer: The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham



#14 polishgenius

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:00 PM

Malazan is in some places more outright sad than Malazan, but it's more epic tragedy than the continuous grind of aSoIaF, so it's worth a try I guess.

 

 

Other than that, must it be epic medieval fantasy? If not, try Steph Swainston or Felix Gilman...



#15 Eugene V. Debspalm

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:02 PM

Serious suggestion: Dagger and Coin, by Daniel Abrahams.



#16 The BlackBear

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:02 PM

I read the first Abercrombie, don't remember the title, and didn't enjoy it too much.

The Blade Itslef is really more of a set-up for the rest of the trilogy, I loved them, but don't go looking for a particularly happy ending. Red Country is by a long way the least downbeat of the books, but also my least favourite.



#17 Green Gogol

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:03 PM

Malazan is in some places more outright sad than Malazan, but it's more epic tragedy than the continuous grind of aSoIaF, so it's worth a try I guess.

 

 

Other than that, must it be epic medieval fantasy? If not, try Steph Swainston or Felix Gilman...

 

 

Mmm, never heard of those two.

 

Not necessarily epic medieval fantasy no.

 

I'm a bit wary of Sanderson because of the last 3 WoT books.

 

For ASOIAF and Malazan, I don't know how to express my feelings about ASOIAF. Tragedy could be great. GRRM makes me feel like I am swimming in a sewer and it keeps getting longer and longer, and with more and more sewage, with no end in sight.


Edited by Green Gogol, 20 January 2014 - 03:07 PM.


#18 Rhom

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:08 PM

I'm a bit wary of Sanderson because of the last 3 WoT books.


His other stuff is a bit easier to read. I would recommend Mistborn. Its fairly light and short and actually stands alone pretty well if you decided not to continue on with the trilogy.

And yes, as was mentioned on Abercrombie... The Blade Itself is far and away the worst of his books IMHO, but establishes the foundation for the next two which are great reads. However, if your issue with Martin is that he sets up familiar tropes seemingly just to knock them down; then Abercrombie probably isn't for you.

I'm currently reading the Dagger and Coin as was recommended upthread. I like it, but I'm still a couple hundred pages away from the end of the first book; so I can't comment on the direction of the rest of the series.

I really think Lies of Locke Lamora could be good for you as well. It was a fun/fast paced read and while its certainly not all sunshine and rainbows, I wouldn't necessarily call it grimdark.

#19 David Selig

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:09 PM

Try Patricia A. McKillip's books. Riddlemaster or The Bards of Bone's Plan for example, though you can't really go wrong with her. No grimdark stuff and they are beautifully written, her style is really evocative.



#20 WrathOfTinyKittens

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:10 PM

Try Elantris by Sanderson - it's a quick read, not a bad book in its own right, and will show you his writing style when he doesn't have to work with someone else's world. It was (I believe) his first novel, though, so I am sure his prose improves later on.

Note: I have only read Elantris and the WOT books of his, so I have no idea if his prose improves.

Another suggestion would be the Recluse books. Not grimdark at all, probably a little YA by today's standards, but solid light reads with some really interesting concepts explored. There are a ton of them, but most are self-contained novels in the same world and a few are duologies. Just read them in publication order starting with The Magic of Recluse.