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SF/F Book Recommendations > New to Fantasy, Help me discover more gems by adding to my list?

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message 1: by Uptick (new)

Uptick | 4 comments Many veterans and long time fans no doubt have noticed the influx of newcomers to the Fantasy genre lately due to HBO's hit series: Game of Thrones.
I too am one of them! Although, I did read the books few years before the show started ^_^ Yet, the fact remains, as my first ever Fantasy series, ASoIaF has really shown me the depth and complexity that this genre has to offer. Now, I'm completely hooked; left wanting more, yet completely spoiled by having AsoIaF as my first love. T_T

 

Below are a list of fantasy books/series which I've bookmarked after some research. If anyone have any good series or books they would like to recommend, I would love to check them out! I like a lot of court intrigue, low fantasy type story, but of course if you look at the list below, I've also listed many of the popular series that are considered high fantasy, so I'm opened to all suggestions!

 

Currently starting with these two: my goal is to start off with a few shorter and completed series before attempting to start any on-going or long series due to fear of having to wait around for the next installment or being occupied by one series for way too long. At the moment, I just want to explore!

 

**The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison**
A oen off book that I can finish relatively quickly.
**Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) - Robin Hobb**
A finished series that consists of only 3 books.

 

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) - Patrick Rothfuss
The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) - Brandon Sanderson
The Lies of Locke Mora (Gentleman Bastard #1) - Scott Lynch
The Red Knight (The Traitor Son Cycle #1) - Miles Cameron
Prince of Fools (The Red Queen's War #1) - Mark Lawrence
Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire #1) - Mark Lawrence
Traitor's Blade (Greatcoats #1) - Sebastien de Castell
Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations) - Michael J. Sullivan
Curse of Chalion (Chalion #1) - Lois McMaster Bujold
The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) - Brandon Sanderson
Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) - Leigh Bardugo
Promise of Blood (Powder Mage #1) - Brian McClellan
The Thousand Names (The Shadow Campaigns #1) - Django Wexler
The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn #1) - Tad Williams
The Killing Moon (Dreamblood #1) - N.K. Jemisin
The Blade Itself (The First Law #1) - Joe Abercrombie
Blood Song (Raven's Shadow #1) - Anthony Ryan
The Great Book of Amber (The Chronicles of Amber #1-10 ) - Roger Zelazny
The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) - Brent Weeks
The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1) - Brent Weeks
Daughter of the Empire (The Empire Trilogy #1) - Raymond E. Feist, Janny Wurts
Magician: Apprentice (The Riftwar Saga #1) - Raymond E. Feist
Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen #1) - Steven Erikson
The Demon Princes, Volume One: The Star King, The Killing Machine, The Palace of Love (Demon Princes #1-3 omnibus) - Jack Vance
A Cavern of Black Ice (Sword of Shadows #1) - J.V. Jones
The Warded Man (The Demon Cycle #1) - Peter V. Brett

 

**Please feel free to make any recommendations !!**


message 2: by Natalie (last edited Jul 27, 2016 10:38AM) (new)

Natalie (haveah) | 123 comments If you end up liking the Farseer Trilogy (as so many of us have)- Robin Hobb has started another series called The Fitz and The Fool. I haven't been able to start this one yet, but I am looking forward to it!

Also- you might like the Study series by Maria Snyder (Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study). Most bookstores will list them in the Romance category, since they were published by Harlequin, but there's only a bit of romance in them. I was very frustrated to have to surf romance novels to find the next book in that series.

You haven't put anything on your Read shelf, so I can't make any recommendations based on things you've already read. Only on what you WANT to read.


message 3: by Victor (new)

Victor (ace-geek) Wow, your tbr/fantasy list looks a lot like mine. The only thing that I can spot right away that's on mine but not yours it the LoTR trilogy and The Hobbit. All four books are really good and a lot of modern fantasy draws at least a little from them.


message 4: by infael (last edited Jul 27, 2016 12:58PM) (new)

infael | 65 comments How about if I just list authors? That'd make the list easier to manage. :)

Michael J Sullivan
Brandon Sanderson
Brent Weeks
Peter Brett
Brian McClelland
Jim Butcher
Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman
Raymond Feist
Terry Brooks
Michael J. Hicks
Melissa McPhail
and....
Glen Cook's The Black Company. That's my sentimental fave...I sure wish I still had my Black Company books!


message 5: by Hillary (new)

Hillary Major | 436 comments I think Janny Wurts' fantasy includes a lot of the elements that many ASOIF fans appreciate ... aside from the trilogy she co-wrote with Raymond Feist, which is already on your list, her biggest series is the still-in-progress Wars of Light and Shadow, but one of my favorites in the (rather angsty) single volume Master of Whitestorm.

Guy Gavriel Kay has some excellent stand-alone fantasy novels that give an epic story in a mere 500 pages or so. Tigana and A Song for Arbonne hew more toward fantasy, while his most recent work (and my fav, The Lions of Al-Rassan) are much closer to historical fantasy/historical fiction.

Kate Elliot's A Crown of Stars has great world-building in a complex medieval setting. I also enjoyed her Crossroads trilogy.

Robert Jackson Bennet's City of Stairs & City of Blades are two of the best fantasy novels I've read recently, along with Max Gladstone's work.

I consider Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner a fantasy classic, and I think it would fall in the "low fantasy" category.

If you like your fantasy with a side of very black humor, I'd recommend K.J. Parker.


message 6: by Phil (new)

Phil J | 329 comments In my mind, LotR is the only "required" text for becoming a fantasy fan. Most other books in the genre can be described by how much they do or do not resemble it, either as precursors or followers.

I would encourage you to think in terms of broader categories rather than individual authors. Here are a couple that come to mind:

High Fantasy/Tolkein's followers: Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, David Eddings

Antiheroes and rogues: Jack Vance, Roger Zelazny, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock

Really, though, I'm struggling to think of the next logical step after ASOIAF. It's unique. It combines a Tolkienesque setting with a plot rooted in the War of the Roses. The characters act on a scale as broad as LotR, but they have the moral grey area I would expect from a Michael Moorcock novel. Personally, I discovered ASOIAF when it was recommended to me as a follow up on Tales of the Dying Earth. I suppose if you like one then you may like the other.

I haven't read Guy Gavriel Kay, but his work sounds like the closest thing to GRRM's.


message 7: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2764 comments Digging through my Read shelf to pick out some of my favorites. Trying to stick to ones that are along the same themes of the ones you already listed, but added a few additional favorites just in case they tempt you after all ^__^

Watership Down - Richard Adams

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke

A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin (it's a series, but if you will read only one of it, read this one, the others sort of trail off as far as quality)

Temeraire Series - Naomi Novik (another series that starts of strong, sort of muddles along in the middle but seems to be picking up again at the end). This one is alternate history but is also gunpoweder fantasy (like Wexler and McClellan)

The Chronicles of Elantra - Michelle Sagara (don't be turned off by the Harlequin label, the romance aspect is near non-existent but if you want a very complex and unusual magic system you might want to give it a try)

Pern - Anne McCaffrey (technically its SF, but could read it as a fantasy given it has dragons, they are just genetically engineered rather than magical, but you don't need to be concerned about that ^.^)

Already mentioned by others, but you can't have a full list without the classics, Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Looks like someone also beat me to the Dragonlance books (Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman)

Anything by Jim Butcher, I've only read his Dresden Files but I can't get enough of his stuff.

And finally, gotta point out The Thousand Names already on your list, highly recommended!

My sister would recommend Tad Williams and Steven Erikson, one day I'll get around to trying out those series.


message 8: by Emmanuelle (new)

Emmanuelle | 44 comments As Hillary said: Guy Gavriel Kay has some really nice books, I would add The last light of the Sun and Ysabel (I loved those two as well although the Lions hold my heart).
Steven Erikson with Ian C. Esslemont created the 'Malazan' series. But those are HUGE : 10 books plus 5 (all finished now) and now they are writing prequel and legends in this same world.
Other authors I just loved are C.J. Cherryh with her Ealdwood stories and Tanith Lee with the Unicorn serie and the Tales from the Flat Earth serie.
Have fun and welcome in this wonderful world!


message 9: by Phil (new)

Phil J | 329 comments I might get heat for this, but I think The Iron Dragon's Daughter was a forerunner of ASOIAF in terms of its protagonist and the overall gritty feel.


message 10: by John (new)

John Meszaros | 14 comments Phil wrote: "I might get heat for this, but I think The Iron Dragon's Daughter was a forerunner of ASOIAF in terms of its protagonist and the overall gritty feel."

I was actually just going to recommend that one. I love The Iron Dragon's Daughter. The way Swanwick welds fantasy tropes to world that looks a lot like ours is really interesting. I'd call it "urban fantasy", though it feels different from the kind of books that title usually calls to mind.


message 11: by John (last edited Jul 27, 2016 09:35PM) (new)

John Meszaros | 14 comments I would highly recommend anything by China Mieville. His Bas-Lag series is a great dark fantasy setting with lots of original ideas and unusual races.
The Bas-lag books are:
Perdido Street Station
The Scar
Iron Council

If you're into really dark, dark fantasy, then The Throne of Bones] is a good one to look into.


message 12: by Kivrin (new)

Kivrin | 480 comments Uptick wrote: "Many veterans and long time fans no doubt have noticed the influx of newcomers to the Fantasy genre lately due to HBO's hit series: Game of Thrones.
I too am one of them! Although, I did read the ..."


First off, add Jim Butcher's Codex Alera to your list! There are 6 books, and they're all great!

I loved Miles Cameron's Traitor's Son series. The battles were exceptionally well done.

Zelazny's Amber books were some of my earliest (and still some of my fave) fantasy reads.

Joe Abercrombie is dark. Love the First Law books, but just be prepared. His characters are not your typical good guys/bad guys.

Someone else mentioned Michelle Sagara's Elantra series. I love these books for the unique world building.


message 13: by Uptick (new)

Uptick | 4 comments Thanks so much everyone for all the wonderful recommendations!
Most of the books I have bookmarked initially have all been the popular series from recent years that everyone are familiar with.

So thanks to everyone for helping me discover some of the older or lesser known books and authors that I have been missing out on! ^_^


message 14: by David (last edited Jul 29, 2016 03:56PM) (new)

David OK here are some suggestions, trying to get a bit off the beaten track into new areas:

As someone else has already said, Jim Butcher's Codex Alera books are a change from his usual Dresden fare, a bit light-weight maybe but good to read if you're in that mood.

Robin Hobb's Soldier Son trilogy has a different feel to it and the hero is conflicted in an interesting way, it's not a straight-forward "good vs. bad" scenario.

Joe Abercrombie (also mentioned by someone else) because his characters feel and act like real people.

Michael Scott Rohan's Winter Of The World series (the first book is great, the rest maybe not so much).

Richard Morgan's The Steel Remains and the sequels. If you're looking for an anti-hero this will definitely meet your criteria. But it is pretty extreme for a lot of people so be warned, you may find some of the themes are a bit outside your comfort zone.

I'm not sure if Sheri S Tepper's Mavin Manyshaped books count as fantasy but I'll mention them anyway as I loved them.

Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant novels. I loved the first trilogy, hated the rest. OK, that's not really off the beaten track but I'm going to recommend it anyway if you're new to fantasy you should definitely check these out.

Michael Moorcock is great because he's been through so many different phases like the Elric books, Dancers at the End of Time, or Gloriana, all of which have a completely different feel so there's always something new to discover with him.

Echoing other people's suggestions: Steven Erikson's Malazan books, Ellen Kushner's Swordpoint, Glen Cook's Black Company, Zelazny's Amber, Fritz Leiber, Tanith Lee, Anthony Ryan, all great.


message 15: by Victor (new)

Victor (ace-geek) Also, if you like humorous fantasy, try reading a Discworld book. There is technically an order to them all, but reading them randomly is fine, it's what I'm doing. A book might reference another, but they work really well as stand-alone. If I had to pick a favorite what I've read to recommend, Hogfather


message 16: by Kivrin (new)

Kivrin | 480 comments David wrote: "OK here are some suggestions, trying to get a bit off the beaten track into new areas:

Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant novels. I loved the first trilogy, hated the rest. OK, that's not really off the beaten track but I'm going to recommend it anyway if you're new to fantasy you should definitely check these out.."


Can't believe I didn't bring up Thomas Covenant. Read these in high school, and the first trilogy still ranks VERY high on my list of faves!


message 17: by Emmanuelle (new)

Emmanuelle | 44 comments I forgot one of the first authors I read when I was young: Abraham Merritt: ''The Face in the Abyss'' was my very first. ''The Ship of Ishtar'' broke my heart, a lot and the one I just loved to pieces was ''the Dwellers in the Mirage''. I realise now that, perhaps those are a bit dated (well I don't remember the but I think it's around 1930 for some of them). And, in the same type: Robert E. Howard with Conan? And, last but not least Lord Dunsanny with ''The King of Elfland's Daughter''... Ok, I'll stop here, there are so many!!!


message 18: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2764 comments Funny, I must be one of the few people that thought Thomas Covenant whined, and complained too much. Some introspection is good but that guy just went on, and on, and on...so if that kind of character bothers you, then you might have trouble with that series.

Though somehow I did get through the entire series in the end, definitely no complaints on the secondary characters and the world building itself, and there were moments where Covenant was actually strong and I was happy to read his POV again....but then the moaning and groaning and the "I'm not worthy" starts up again.

And the use of every possible big word in the dictionary...repetitively, till the author lost interest and picked up the next big word to use 10 times in a handful of paragraphs ^.^ Having read his short stories though, I can see it wasn't his overall style, just something he used in this series.

On the other hand it has some refreshing realism that other fantasies sometimes lack. If you're going to run across the entire Land, you're gonna get tired at some point and have to stop and take a nap, even if the end of the world is pending. In most books characters have infinite stamina (the last Eragon book pops to mind).

Though most people who love this series read it first while in high school (like my brother who suggested I try it), not when already out of university for a decade, so maybe that makes a difference too?


message 19: by Phil (new)

Phil J | 329 comments Next month's classic read is Jack of Shadows. If you like GoT, then I recommend it.


message 20: by Uptick (new)

Uptick | 4 comments Phil wrote: "Next month's classic read is Jack of Shadows. If you like GoT, then I recommend it."

Nice! I just bookmarked it.

A standaloen book and only 236 pages, I will definitely join in on the fun!


message 21: by Uptick (new)

Uptick | 4 comments Natalie wrote: "If you end up liking the Farseer Trilogy (as so many of us have)- Robin Hobb has started another series called The Fitz and The Fool. I haven't been able to start this one yet, but I am looking for..."

I see that Robin Hobb has a prequel to the Farseer Trilogy called "The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince." It is however, published in 2013 though.

When do you think I should read that book? Should I start that one before the Farseer Trilogy? or is it not an important one at all ? ^_^


message 22: by Eric (new)

Eric | 24 comments Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun is fantastic. Not only a great story, but great writing. I know this forum has some people who hate literary fiction, but this is where F/SF and literary fiction meet and triumph.


message 23: by Natalie (new)

Natalie (haveah) | 123 comments Uptick wrote: "I see that Robin Hobb has a prequel to the Farseer Trilogy called "The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince." It is however, published in 2013 though.

When do you think I should read that book? Should I start that one before the Farseer Trilogy? or is it not an important one at all ? ^_^ "


I wouldn't worry about the prequels, unless you are a Completionist, and NEED to read them all. The Farseer Trilogy is complete with just the three books.

I would also say the same with the numbered 0.6 and 1.5 books in the Maria V. Snyder series. They are short stories that deal with the same characters, but are not necessary to enjoy the full books themselves.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Nice list. I loved the Amber series (I only read the first 5-book series though, never got around to the 2nd 5-book series) and the Riftwar series.

I agree with Adrian that you should read The Hobbit. Lord of the Rings is probably worth reading too, although I found it tedious at times - maybe just watch the movies which cut out Tom Bombadil and the other boring stuff?

You could also check out:
- Fafhrd and Grey Mouser series by Fritz Lieber - start with Swords and Deviltry
- Elric series by Michael Moorcock
- Stardust by Neil Gaiman
- Ethshar series by Lawrence Watt-Evans - a light-hearted parody of various fantasy elements. The series is ongoing but each book is self-contained. Start with The Mis-Enchanted Sword.
- Myth series by Robert Asprin was pretty funny for the first few books. Even better, try the graphic novel version drawn by Phil Foglio who used to do the "What's New with Phil and Dixie" series in Dragon magazine.


message 25: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 204 comments I love the Myth Series. I've read, the first 6 or so, all by the late Robert Aspirin. Jody Lynn Nye is writing the current books.


message 26: by Michael (new)

Michael | 152 comments Andrea wrote: "Funny, I must be one of the few people that thought Thomas Covenant whined, and complained too much. Some introspection is good but that guy just went on, and on, and on...so if that kind of charac..."
You were not alone. I found the character of Thomas Covenant so incredibly unlikable that I was unable to finish the first book of that series and ended up never reading anything else by Donaldson.


message 27: by Mike (last edited Aug 04, 2016 01:50PM) (new)

Mike (mikekeating) | 242 comments I'm glad I'm not alone on disliking the Covenant series. I managed to get through the first book, but I found it to be a mind-numbingly slow read. I never really felt like I was getting pulled into the world of the book.

The whining and complaining bothered me, but what really broke the book for me was the rape scene. Not the fact that there was a rape, but more that Covenant commits rape, and then somehow we are supposed to keep rooting for him as the hero and a champion of good. What he did should be an unequivocally evil act, but the book came off as trying to make it seem not so bad. I don't get offended by depictions of villainous acts so long as they are done by villains and the story makes it clear these are evil deeds by evil people. Donaldson failed there.


message 28: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 204 comments Another fun light fantasy series from "back in the day" is The Chronicles of Ebenezum trilogy by Craig Shaw Gardner. The poor wizard gets cursed by a demon with an allergy to magic. Off he heads with his relatively new apprentice in tow to seek a cure


message 29: by Gary (new)

Gary Sundell | 204 comments Re Thomas Covenant, I read the first trilogy straight through in the original hardcover editions. The world is cool as are the supporting cast but Covenant is absolutely one of the most unlikeable characters in fantasy literature. A local Judge's clerk for many years had a sign on her desk in the courtroom....the word "Whining" in the middle of a red circle with a red line through it. Covenant needs to get a clue.


message 30: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2764 comments I'm not usually into comedic fantasy but I did read a good part of the Myth series. The first few are actually pretty good, but then the humour kind of drops off and the series becomes downright depressing. Apparently the author was struggling through a few issues himself at the time and it got unintentionally reflected in his writing. It does pick up again as it goes along.


message 31: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 774 comments for comedy, I recommend Terry Pratchett. I don't recommend starting with the very first Discworld books, because they are unrepresentative. Mort, starting the Death sequence, and Guards! Guards!, starting the City Watch sequence, are better introductions.

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones is also good.

In a more serious vein,

The Queen's Necklace by Teresa Edgerton
Neverwhere and Stardust by Neil Gaiman
The Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia A. McKillip


message 32: by Noor (new)

Noor Al-Shanti | 69 comments I second Temeraire and anything by Guy Gavriel Kay - his historical fantasies are epic, if a little bit explicit and gory at times.


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