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Reading Recommendations > Epic fantasy without war & battles

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message 1: by Franzi (last edited Feb 07, 2014 05:20AM) (new)

Franzi (abookparty) | 7 comments Hey guys!
I love to read epic & heroic fantasy, but I get sooo tired of all those battle descriptions & planning of a war and to read about the same stuff over and over.
Are there great fantasy series/stand-alones out there that don't center around these things? At least not as much?

My favorite fantasy book is The Name of the Wind. I really love Rothfuss & Sanderson (although he has a bit more battle in his books).

I'm looking for a good writing style & a plot that has a really good pace. Not too much down time & no series that needs a whole book to introduce the setting.
I love to read about adventures and books that have a great & believable world building.

Fantasy books I didn't like as much was The Warded Man by Peter v. Brett. I thought his writing style was annoying at times, read like a draft of a book in some chapters & also The Song of Ice and Fire series because it moved so slow and had wayyy too many protagonists in it/too much boring war talk.

Thank you very much in advance!

message 2: by Michelle Von (last edited Feb 07, 2014 06:59AM) (new)

Michelle Von  (catsandfantasy) I just read Sabriel recently and was pretty impressed. It's part of a series but can be read as a stand alone (as future books don't follow Sabriel). An aside: The back cover of my paperback said it won some science fiction award in Austraila, and I'm very baffeled by that since it's pure fantasy.

message 3: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments A lot of people who like Rothfuss also enjoy Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora.

message 4: by Franzi (new)

Franzi (abookparty) | 7 comments @Michelle Thank you! Never heard of Sabriel before, but it sounds great! I will definitely check it out!

@MrsJospeh: I have a book club read for The Lies of Locke Lamora next month and I'm totally looking forward to that one! Heard lots of great things about this book.

message 5: by Michelle Von (new)

Michelle Von  (catsandfantasy) Oh yes, I feel like I should mention the character of Sabriel is 18, so it's not typical YA, if that sort of thing matters :)

message 6: by Franzi (new)

Franzi (abookparty) | 7 comments it definitely helps ;-) I prefer adult fantasy. But YA can be great too.

message 7: by Michelle Von (new)

Michelle Von  (catsandfantasy) Sabriel certainly isn't whiny and lovestruck! LOL Really, Sabriel is just written in a slightly less complex way than a lot of adult epics, which is really all that marks it as YA; there's no teenage angst here at all. =D

message 8: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) I really enjoyed Sabriel. I need to go back and re-read it so I can tackle the rest of the series. Isn't there a new one coming out soon?

message 9: by Franzi (last edited Feb 07, 2014 08:05AM) (new)

Franzi (abookparty) | 7 comments What, no love triangle? Then I have to pass. Hahaha ;-)

@Chris: looks like the 4th book is coming out in october!

message 10: by Michelle Von (last edited Feb 07, 2014 07:54AM) (new)

Michelle Von  (catsandfantasy) It's called Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen. Thanks for mentioning this, I had no idea! :)

message 11: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 197 comments BRIDGE OF BIRDS, by Barry Hughart. Superb.

message 12: by Em Lost In Books (new)

Em Lost In Books (emlostinbooks) Try Tigana & Blood Song. Both are awesome books.

message 13: by Patrick (new)

Patrick I'd second Tigana, but it does get into some war-type stuff towards the end. Not the focus of the book, but it's there.
Assassin's Apprentice would be a fairly good choice. Has some politics in it, but the focus is on individual characters as opposed to some sort of war, so you don't have to worry about that.

message 14: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 197 comments CURSE OF CHALION has some minor fights, but no war.

message 15: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) Clariel in October. Great - gives me time to re-read and catch up for it.

message 16: by malrubius (new)

malrubius | 71 comments Bridge of Birds is one of the best but very different from usual fantasy. I just reread Riddle Master of Hed. No battles and great writing. Broken Kingdom series (Prince of Thorns) by Mark Lawrence is great. Some battles but not of the huge, staged type (IMHO).

message 17: by Thaddeus (new)

Thaddeus White | 50 comments Tigana was a very good read.

The Lies of Locke Lamora is a little bit slow at the start, but the middle and end might be the best of any modern book I've read. It's fantastic.

message 18: by malrubius (new)

malrubius | 71 comments Yeah, Tigana. Also, the Lions of Al Rassan.

message 19: by Franzi (new)

Franzi (abookparty) | 7 comments Wow, thank you all for the recommendations! I really appreciate that.
They all sound super interesting & most I never heard of. I'm going to check out a few samples from Amazon now!

message 20: by Olga (new)

Olga Godim (olgagodim) | 308 comments Franzi, I'd like to suggest my favorite fantasy author Sharon Shinn. Her Archangel is an amazing book, and the entire Samaria series is one of the best in fantasy, in my opinion. :))
No battles, just people's problems. Most of her stories are a blend of fantasy and romance.
In my own novel Almost Adept, there are no battles either.

message 21: by Greg (new)

Greg Strandberg (gregstrandberg) Wow, great thread!

I'd go with Tigana as well. Curse of Chalion wasn't my thing. Prince of Thorns is high on my to-read list.

I like big battles in books, but I agree they can be too big. For instance, is 2 chapters alright, or what about 5? Ha, does anyone know any books where the whole book is just a big battle?

I think this could be a pretty fun "battle" thread about pros and cons and books that have both.

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay Tigana

The Curse of Chalion (Chalion, #1) by Lois McMaster Bujold The Curse of Chalion

Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1) by Mark Lawrence Prince of Thorns

message 22: by Scott (new)

Scott Marlowe (scottmarlowe) | 39 comments How about Robin Hobb's Farseer, Liveship, and Rain Wilds books? There's a war going on in the Farseer books, but no big battles that I can recall, just lots of great characters and storytelling. I'm finishing up the Rain Wilds books now and am eagerly awaiting the return of FitzChivalry in a few months with the new book Hobb has coming out.

Another series I'm enjoying is Joseph Delaney's Last Apprentice series. It's (I think) middle grade reading level, but some of the books are so dark I'm not sure they're really appropriate for kids.

message 23: by Maria (new)

Maria | 1 comments I liked Kate Elliott's COlD FIRE. First in a series and not that violent. Haven't had the chance to read the other two in the series.

message 24: by Robin P (last edited Apr 21, 2014 05:13PM) (new)

Robin P I also find that battles are not very interesting. I feel that way in movies when there is a battle or fight (or car chase in modern times) - "wake me up when something interesting happens". I'm usually most interested in relationships between characters, or in the world-building aspect of fantasy and what it says about humanity.

I concur on Guy Gavriel Kay, author of Tigana and a number of others. if there is warfare, it's not a central issue, often taking place offstage. There are a few battles in Michael J Sullivan's Riyria series but again they aren't the main focus and he has a positive view of human nature which is a nice change after some of the very dark series that are currently popular. It also has some laughs, something usually lacking in epic fantasy.

message 25: by Franzi (new)

Franzi (abookparty) | 7 comments Thank you, that sounds great! I don't mind fantasy with a more positive attitude :D I'll look them up!

message 26: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 197 comments Oh, I have a great one for you -- THE PRESTIGE, by Christopher Priest. Not a war in sight.

message 27: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 4 comments Maybe Juliet Marillier and Fiona McIntosh. Both do good world building, with interesting stories. Definitely worth a look. :)

message 28: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 284 comments N.K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and sequels have barely any military focus and are very good reads.

message 29: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 288 comments I recently read Draykon (Draykon, #1) by Charlotte E. English and it didn't have any big battles. It was a good read, too.

message 30: by Carl (new)

Carl Alves (carlalves) | 44 comments Elantris by Brandon Sanderson was a great novel, and I don't think it had much in terms of battle scenes.

message 31: by Marion (new)

Marion Hill (kammbia1) | 16 comments Carl wrote: "Elantris by Brandon Sanderson was a great novel, and I don't think it had much in terms of battle scenes."

I agree witn Cal about Elantris. Not a lot of battle scenes. Here's my full review:

message 32: by Marion (new)

Marion Hill (kammbia1) | 16 comments Robin wrote: "I also find that battles are not very interesting. I feel that way in movies when there is a battle or fight (or car chase in modern times) - "wake me up when something interesting happens". I'm us..."

I'm a huge fan of Guy Gavriel Kay. I have read the The Sarantine Mosaic series, Ysabel, and my favorite Kay novel, Children of Earth and Sky. I recommend that novel to read.

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