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Author Topic: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre  (Read 4629 times)

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Offline Jinto

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Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« on: February 09, 2007, 10:56:53 PM »
This thread is for you to list your choice of the number one, absolute best Fantasy novel or series that you've ever read. No honorable mentions, no "this author has also written...", and no ties for first. If necessary, pretend you're going to be stranded in space by your evil mad-scientist boss(es) and you only get to grab one book (or series) to take with you. So think hard, and choose wisely. Oh, and try to say a little something about it, too.

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My own choice for number one would be George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series (even though it's not yet complete). Anyone who has read this series will possibly agree with me when I say that it's hard to talk about this series without giving away anything. The story is so intricately woven between all the characters and events, that talking about anything concerning one, may give away something concerning another. I'll try to describe it as best I can though with that restriction in mind.

The setting of this series is a medieval world that experiences the seasons of summer and winter in terms of years, not months, and the current setting begins with an extraordinary summer that has already lasted nine years. Also, it is a "low-magic" fantasy setting, with magic being a rare and often feared thing. The author does not dwell much on these facts however. The series is very character driven, to the point that each major character (most of which are of noble blood to some degree) gets a majority of their story told in character specific chapters, that tell the story from their points of view. It should also be noted that there are many major characters as well, and yet the author still brilliantly juggles the story between them and the story does not suffer from it in the least. Furthermore, the author writes the characters so well, that you'll often find yourself torn between cheering for them or cursing them with a passion, because few characters can be strictly classified as the "truly good guys" or the "truly evil guys". To me, it brought a sense of realism and believability to a medieval setting, where kings, queens, and nobles fight to survive and prosper in deadly political intrigue, and even wars, in what is known as the greatest game of all: the Game of Thrones. And in the midst of all the intrigue, other dangerous forces exist in the world that threaten everyone.

"A Game of Thrones" is the title of the first book in the series, and I highly recommend this series. Be warned however, that the story will rarely unfold as you expect, and can be gruesome and heart-pounding at times, but that's just another aspect that makes it so great. The author never pulls any punches. It will likely keep you up well past your bedtime on many occasions, so be warned of that as well.  :D


Offline Brak

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2007, 09:54:41 AM »
Mine would have to be The Earthsoul Prophecies by Greg Park. It isnt complete yet but he has the first two book out.  The first book is called Veil of Darkness. It's an underdog hero type of story with a normal farmer boy who doesnt feel like he is anything special, but he truly is. I dont want to give anything away, so i wont. What i can say though is that I like this story a lot.  I'm not great for words but i highly reccomend this book.  It's a pretty good read. Not too long or too short.  I compare him to Robert Jordan a little bit, but he has a greater story. I really hope he doesnt turn into Robert Jordan and make the last books of the series really crappy and just stretched out.  So anyway there ya go


Offline Trufire

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2007, 11:29:29 AM »
I guess my favorite fantasy series would have to be the Myth Series by Robert Lynn Asprin. Of course he incoporate Comedy and Sci-Fi in the story as well and it truely blends together perfectly. An outstanding series that had me hooked from the first book. As far as I know, he still creates books from time to time to add to the series. Great plots, funny, mature and overall a book that anyone can enjoy. That is, ages 12 and up ;)
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Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2007, 11:33:16 AM »
Pratchet ;)


Offline Tyrant

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2007, 02:07:35 PM »

   Michael Ende's "The Neverending Story". I used to like the movie better, but as I grew up/matured, I learned to appreciate the novel way more.


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2007, 02:22:25 PM »
So what the hell is her name anyways?


Offline Jinto

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2007, 04:31:23 PM »
Pratchet ;)

That's an author, not a book, and not even the full author name at that! Plus there's no description. Sorry, but you get a D minus for effort. :P

Also, I kind of intended 'series' to mean "a series of books with a continuous story", and not "a bunch of different tales set in the same universe", but I suppose that's my fault for leaving the definition wide-open like that (well, I suppose it's the standard definition of 'series' for books as well, so I can't really complain).

I do think it'd be better to pick a specific book out of that type of series. Maybe I should have said "a single novel or series encompassing a consistent, cohesive story-line" or something like that. I guess it's too late now. Doh! Oh well, no big deal really.


Offline SaucyRossy

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2007, 07:08:28 PM »
Easy enough--Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.  Not hard to understand why, I don't think. 

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Offline mrbasehart

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2007, 08:03:39 PM »
I'm not a big fantasy reader, but the Dragonlance Chronicles really struck me when I was younger.  Howeverr, I haven't read Lord of the Rings, so I might be promoting an inferior rip-off.


Offline Jinto

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2007, 08:19:53 PM »
I'm not a big fantasy reader, but the Dragonlance Chronicles really struck me when I was younger.  Howeverr, I haven't read Lord of the Rings, so I might be promoting an inferior rip-off.

In my opinion, you are indeed promoting an inferior rip-off. Many would disagree with me of course, but I found Dragonlance to be incredibly dull and lifeless writing. Oddly enough, the authors responsible for Dragonlance (Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman), did a much better job on a different series called "The Death Gate Cycle".
If you liked those authors due to Dragonlance, then it'd probably be worthwhile to check out the Death Gate Cycle. First book is "Dragon Wing". Should probably do yourself a favor and read Lord of the Rings first though. Or watch the extended versions of the movies I guess, they were pretty faithful overall.

Anyway, back to the #1's people! :D


Offline Trilaan

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2007, 05:31:21 AM »


Offline Fuzzy Necromancer

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2007, 05:44:25 AM »
Abarat. It is the most fantastic of fantasy I have read. High fantasy, true fantasy, packed from cover to cover with miracles and wonders. Sure, some of it's characters are "stock"ish, as in, the pure evil Lord of Midnight Christopher Carrion, the ruthless buisnessman Rojo Pixler, but if so, they're in a kind of ultimate stock approaching originality. They are the platonic ideals, multifaceted and in-depth. Carrion is what every james bond villain, each evil wizard and mad scientist wishes it could be. He's totally evil, and yet he has the capacity for a range of human emotions, and he's the only blacker than black villain I've seen to actually inspire my pity and sympathy. Rojo Pixler seems to unite all the most insidious traits of the bland Walt Disney Empire, sucking away true magic and creativity under the relentlessly cheerful face of a one-dimensional cartoon mascot, combined with several fantastic flourishes.

Abarat is a device, a story by which a plethora of creations, imaginations, and illustrations that each represent a peice of hand-painted high art, tied together by a narrative thread of silk, spun uranium, and moonbeams.
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Offline pwndabear

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2007, 09:59:05 AM »
Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Saga.  Its what got me into fantasy novels!
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Offline anubis

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2007, 01:22:17 PM »
My all-time favorite was always Lord of the Rings, and it still is, but a really close second is The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. The story is told in the first person voice, which I've always felt is a really powerful way to draw the reader into the narrative. It follows the tale of FistzChivalry Farseer, a royal bastard who has two magics: the Wit and the Skill. The Wit is cosidered "low" beast magic that allows you to bond with animals and "speak" with them and share their senses, and the Skill is a higher magic that is kind of like the Force in some ways. I just started reading the follow up trilogy that takes place years later and is told once again in first person by Fitz. It's called The Tawny Man trilogy, and in some ways it's even better than the first trilogy. There's the usual high fantasy stuff -- dragons, magic, and lots of descriptions of foliage and food. ;) Sometimes I get the feeling you've got to be a botanist to write high fantasy.
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Offline MarkAndrew

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Re: Your #1 pick in the Fantasy genre
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2007, 10:13:00 AM »
Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Saga.  Its what got me into fantasy novels!

Wow. You should read Tolkien, from whom Feist stole most of his ideas (not to mention cribbing wholesale from Tolkien's invented languages).  Surprised the estate never went after this guy.

95% of all fantasy writers have stolen from Tolkien, it doesn't mean it isn't a good read.  I enjoyed Feist's early work as well.