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VicAndTheSquidSquad

Top 5 favorite fantasy series?

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After the first book they're reasonably dark. Many good guys die, the world is generally on a downward arc. 

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On 28 December 2015 at 7:28 PM, peterbound said:

That list makes me sad for you.

lol

 

anyway:

after 9 pages, I see no mention of:- 

1. Peter Morwood: The Book of Years (Horse Lord, etc)

2. Louise Cooper: The Time Master Trilogy (the associated pre and post series were pleasant but didn't have the same intensity)

 

I am sad for everyone

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Nothing new here but I'm helpless against list threads.

JRR Tolkien - The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.  Lord of the Rings is my favorite book by a fair margin.  It's not a series but others have included it so I will as well.  

Michelle Sagara West - The Sacred Hunt, The Sun Sword, The House War, Cast series.  Probably my favorite currently active fantasy author.  I prefer her work under the West name but the Cast series is great as well.

Gene Wolfe - Book of the New Sun.  This one might not count according to OP's guidelines but I'll include it anyway.

George RR Martin - Song of Ice and Fire.  This one became harder to enjoy when it became a TV show.  Not impossible, though, and it still ranks among my favorites pretty easily.

Steven Erikson - Malazan Book of the Fallen.  I hated Gardens of the Moon when I first read it.  What a difference a little perseverance makes.

Felix Gilman, Robin Hobb, Robert Jackson Bennett, JK Rowling and Robert Jordan all merit honorable mentions but were not included in the top five for one reason or another. 

 

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22 hours ago, SerTarod said:

lol

 

anyway:

after 9 pages, I see no mention of:- 

1. Peter Morwood: The Book of Years (Horse Lord, etc)

2. Louise Cooper: The Time Master Trilogy (the associated pre and post series were pleasant but didn't have the same intensity)

 

I am sad for everyone

Neither are kindle, so I probably won't be looking them up.

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In no order:

Lyonesse Trilogy - Jack Vance  A classic fairy tale. The writing is formal and beautiful, and heightened throughout with irony and a dry, dark humor.

The Dark Tower - Stephen King  Particularly the first 4 books, but I enjoyed the series as a whole.  Roland winning his guns from Cort is one of my all time favorite scenes.

First Law - Joe Abercrombie  A ripping good yarn.  Great, great fun to read.

The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien  I first read these as an adult and found them very moving.  The link between the choices of individuals and the outcome of events larger than these individuals is powerful.  Faramir's choice to let the hobbits and gollum continue their journey is another favorite scene.

Godhead Trilogy - James Morrow  My first exposure to religious satire, concepts of theodicy, and the tension between (Christian) religious dogma and secular humanism.  Morrow covers all this ground while being consistently funny.  These were important books to me through my early 20's.

 

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6 hours ago, ants said:

Neither are kindle, so I probably won't be looking them up.

Thats a pity. But I do understand. Both stories were published in the eighties and as their popularity (sadly) didn't sustain continuous prints a la Eddings or Brooks etc, are now most likely out of print and for those reasons also unlikely to ever make the grade of e-pub content. Having said that Peter Morwood wrote a prequel (two books) to the Book of Years series, called the Clan Wars, which are on Kindle, which is strange. The Clan Wars are a pleasant read, but imo don't have the same original intensity and therefore are not a proper reflection of his writing of that world.

Again, despite my tongue in cheek post above, they form part of a bunch of authors/series (being most of the names and titles previously mentioned by the posters above) that were very entertaining and meaningful to me. 

 

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37 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

I'm still trying to get over Terry Brooks: Master of GrimDark

He didn't say it was GrimDark, he said it was a grim and bleak look into the future. I'm not sure how you could argue that? Unless you think the future as painted is superior to what we have now?

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The ones with the elves and dwarves and magic and faeries? Often mocked in these parts as being mostly a LotR ripoff to begin with and super light fare more suitable to young readers? Are you next going to tell me that Star Wars is a dark and gritty re telling of the war of the roses? Not to mention it didn't become "Our future" til he ret conned the shit out of it post 9/11.

I seriously hope I'm being trolled at this point. You might as well start shelving Mercedes Lackey under horror if Brooks looks grim and bleak.

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Well, fairly easy to decide for me:

1- Malazan Cycle

2- Bakker's Second Apocalypse

3- Janny Wurts Light and Shadow

4- Glen Cook's Instrumentalities

The fifth spot has too many candidates.

The reason for the first four spots is also fairly simple: there's not something else that is similar to those works in the genre, but more importantly, it won't happen even in the future. Those works will remain unique in the course of history.

Instead I see the various Abercrombie, Martin, Sanderson, Rothfuss, Lawrence and so on, are far more likely to be reshaped in many forms in the future. They are the fuel of the market.

Those four instead are something you can read now or never, but no future writer will try to do something similar.

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These are my top 4:

  1. The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
  2. The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
  3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  4. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

I can't really put a number 5 in yet, hopefully by the end of this year when I will have finished Bakker as well as Janny Wurts Wars of Light and Shadow and see how they compare with Glen Cook's Black Company and Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire.

These are standalones that easily make their way into any of my "Top Fantasy" lists

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

 

 

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  1. A Song of Ice and Fire - GRRM
  2. The First Law - Joe Abercrombie
  3. The Gentlemen Bastard Sequence - Scott Lynch
  4. The Stormlight Archive - Brandon Sanderson
  5. Lightbringer - Brent Weeks

The irony here (to my surprise) is only one of the above is actually finished!

Honourable mentions to; 

  • The Powder Mage Trilogy - Douglas Hulick
  • Riyria revelations - Michael J Sullivan. 
  • The Kingkiller Chronicles - Patrick Rothfuss

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8 hours ago, Gormenghast said:

Well, fairly easy to decide for me:

1- Malazan Cycle

2- Bakker's Second Apocalypse

3- Janny Wurts Light and Shadow

4- Glen Cook's Instrumentalities

The fifth spot has too many candidates.

The reason for the first four spots is also fairly simple: there's not something else that is similar to those works in the genre, but more importantly, it won't happen even in the future. Those works will remain unique in the course of history.

Instead I see the various Abercrombie, Martin, Sanderson, Rothfuss, Lawrence and so on, are far more likely to be reshaped in many forms in the future. They are the fuel of the market.

Those four instead are something you can read now or never, but no future writer will try to do something similar.

Interesting post and while I haven't read those last two yet (though I have read Black Company), I actually kind of agree with what you're saying.

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9 hours ago, Gormenghast said:

there's not something else that is similar to those works in the genre, but more importantly, it won't happen even in the future. Those works will remain unique in the course of history.

The whole course of history is a long time, but I appreciate and agree with the sentiment.  A similar thought was running through my head when I was reading the first trilogy of Bakker's work.  Nobody gets points in the game for being unique if the content itself if crap.  But if the work itself is well done (I think Bakker's is) then it is further impressive if that work is truly original.  Peake's work that is your namesake comes to mind as does House of Leaves by Danielewski.

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6 hours ago, Seiche said:

The whole course of history is a long time, but I appreciate and agree with the sentiment.  A similar thought was running through my head when I was reading the first trilogy of Bakker's work.  Nobody gets points in the game for being unique if the content itself if crap.  But if the work itself is well done (I think Bakker's is) then it is further impressive if that work is truly original.  Peake's work that is your namesake comes to mind as does House of Leaves by Danielewski.

There's plenty of truly unique and original stuff. Everything that I read outside the genre pretty much is.

But if we're talking about the genre then we're dealing with something that is well codified. So truly original/personal stuff is rarer. Even KJ Parker has a personal style and originality, but it's not as marked, and not setting itself so much apart.

House of Leaves has its own experimental tradition that is a genre in itself, so not so original, and also not directly fantasy.

Every writer, even in fantasy, has something recognizable and personal, it's just that the bulk of the result isn't as substantial compared to the four series I listed.

In a way, you can't be more weird and personal than Gene Wolfe, and yet that too is part of its own tradition that is more likely to be followed in the future, like Borges.

 

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Not that they're my favourite, but on the uniqueness scale then probably Stephen R Donaldson would be a contender. I mean, he probably is anyway, but I don't know if anyone will try something too like Thomas Covenant for a while.

On ‎21‎/‎04‎/‎2016 at 1:10 PM, Darth Richard II said:

The ones with the elves and dwarves and magic and faeries? Often mocked in these parts as being mostly a LotR ripoff to begin with and super light fare more suitable to young readers? Are you next going to tell me that Star Wars is a dark and gritty re telling of the war of the roses? Not to mention it didn't become "Our future" til he ret conned the shit out of it post 9/11.

I seriously hope I'm being trolled at this point. You might as well start shelving Mercedes Lackey under horror if Brooks looks grim and bleak.

The first book is clearly a knock-off of LOTR. However, it also sets out that the world is a post-apocalyptic one, and hints pretty heavily that it is earth. So I'm not sure what the 9/11 ret conning you are talking about. But then, I've only read the first 7 books.

But the books generally have a downward spiral, with things worse off in the second series than they were in the first. Generally there is a destruction of knowledge and many of the "good guys" die. I'm not sure why the presence of dwarves and elves precludes it from being bleak. Its certainly not grimdark, but its not all roses and sunshine either.

 

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There are zero hints about the world being post apocalyptic in the first 8 books at least... I don't even know where to start. You sure you didn;t just watch the tv show and are now talking out your ass?

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Of course there is. There's the whole thing with that the initial belief is that all the races are ex-men, and its a shock in the second book when it turns out that the elves are actually a separate race. There are also a few other things with how the old world before the disaster that drove the dwarves and other races into seclusion was far more advanced.

That said, its probably 25 years since I read the first trilogy, so maybe I'm remembering things wrong.

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6 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

There are zero hints about the world being post apocalyptic in the first 8 books at least... I don't even know where to start. You sure you didn;t just watch the tv show and are now talking out your ass?

Yeah there are.  And I've only read the first 3-4.

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