Building a SciFi/Fantasy Library discussion

suggestions > Advice to a beginner in this genre

Comments Showing 1-48 of 48 (48 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 24 comments Ok so after Harry Potter, The Twilight series, His Dark Materials series, and Eragon I have decided I love fantasy books.

Any suggestions on what I should read next?

message 2: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments Well... that's a very broad question.

I do recommend both Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings, their reputation is deserved (start with The Hobbit though).

The latest fantasy discovery I've made is Lorna Freeman's Covenants ('discovery', right... a friend pressed it into my hands ^_^ ).

In a general sense, I recommend David Edding's Belgariad. It's not an all-time great, but is very solid and good. A bit weaker plot-wise, but nicely moody is Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow & Thorn trilogy.

Diane Duane's Young Wizards series is good YA contemporary fantasy.

I like them all, so it's hard to just pick out one thing and say 'this first!'

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I would suggest "The Sword of Truth" series by Terry Goodkind.

It's like "Lord of the Rings" meets a more mature "Harry Potter". The only downside is that about halfway into the series Goodkind still reintroduces characters and concepts throughout the book, and at times can be a little wordy on the philosophy of things.

But all things considered, an 11 book series is a pretty good haul for someone looking for some intense reading!

message 4: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments The Sword of Truth has some problems. I generally enjoyed the first book, despite some... really disturbing elements in the second half. Then a friend of mine pointed out that the entire 'females must not use their power' thing implies a really nasty subtext... and I haven't bothered after that.

I haven't read most of Seth's list, though my dad always recommended The Worm Ouroboros.

Thomas Covenant gets mixed reactions. People either really like it or really dislike it. I'm in the latter camp myself, not liking the main character for the first half of the first book, and then giving up when he basically resets to the same disagreeable state for the second book. I do recommend Donaldson's Mirror of Her Dreams/A Man Rides Through.

And it's probably criminal that none of us has mentioned Zelazny's Amber series yet. (Though I must say that it takes a while getting going, I only thought the first half of the first series was okayish... and then devoured the second half and the second series.)

Two long series with enthusiastic followings should be mentioned: The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. The individual books are all quite good, but I found that the overall plot of the series was foundering badly, and I gave up after the fifth book. George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones is some fine dynastic fantasy that I would rather see as several series, as the multiple major plotlines was too much for me.

Note, all of these have some really fine writing, and whether you like any of them will really depend on your own tastes.

message 5: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments Oh, and I forgot to mention the classic Harold Shea stories. A series of short stories and novels from the... '30s?, they're all collected in The Complete Compleat Enchanter. (So called as it includes two more stories than the earlier Compleat Enchanter, which included one more than the earlier Incomplete Enchanter.)

message 6: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 24 comments Thank you all so much! You have given me quite a bit to start with. I should mention, I read the hobbit and liked it, but could barely get through the first of the lord of the rings books. Maybe it was just where I was in life at the time (I was rehabbing from a broken femur) that the endless journeying in the book was just tedious for me to even read.

message 7: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments Fellowship, sadly, does get off to a very rough start. Tolkien was still trying to figure out many things about the story he was writing at that point, and there's a lot left in that I (and Peter Jackson) would leave out. Personally, I'd say to try again and stick it out until the beginning of Book II (that is, the second half of Fellowship). If you don't feel that it's been picking up since about the time the characters reached Weathertop... then perhaps it's not meant to be.

message 8: by Kerry (The Roaming Librarian) O'Donnell (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:15PM) (new)

Kerry (The Roaming Librarian) O'Donnell | 3 comments I had the same problem when I started Fellowship the first time. I couldn't even get past the party scene. The second time I went back to it though, it went much faster, and I was able to get through the whole Trilogy pretty fast. Stick with it, the books are totally worth it!

message 9: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:19PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 24 comments I check every now and then for the third Eragon book at the book store. So far no, and no word of when it might be comming.

message 10: by Amanda (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:21PM) (new)

Amanda | 4 comments Yes, some may say he is a Tolkien wannabe, but Terry Brooks is an author that I love. His writing is much more accessible than "the master." He has three series, the Shannara series, Magic Kingdom, and The Word and the Void (which is a more present day fantasy) The latest series he has released bridges the Shannara series with the Word and the Void. Showing how what present day man has done to destroy the earth evolves into the fantastical world of Shannara as mother nature takes back what was taken from her. Worth a shot. I have to say also, I am not generally a fantasy or SF reader, but I bridged in with Harry Potter (I am a teacher) so I am always looking for books to suggest to students when they finish the HP series! So any suggestions for Adolescent lit and YA is always appreciated! (hint hint!!! :) )

message 11: by Colleen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:21PM) (new)

Colleen (inametaphor) | 7 comments I was lucky enough to have a father that encouraged fantasy when I was younger. I'm dragging from the depths of memory, here, but here's what I remember reading as a child:

Chronicles of Narnia, and the Young Wizards series, as have been mentioned.

The Prydain Chronicles, Lloyd Alexander (based on Welsh Mythology. The first book, Book of Three, was rather loosely interpreted into the Disney movie The Black Cauldron)

The Chrestomanci series, Dianne Wynne Jones (I think, been awhile)

The Last Unicorn, Peter Beagle

Heinlein's juveniles (Um, nothing comes readily to mind just at the moment)

I consinder Terry Brooks to be a YA author, but make of that what you will. :) Certainly his themes are suitable for children. The first three books of the Shannara series are very much "coming of age" stories.

The Time Quartet, Madeleine L'Engle (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters)

I've heard very good things about Eragon, and Artemis Fowl, but have never read them.

Feh, that's all I can seem to think of at the moment.

message 12: by Carla (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:22PM) (new)

Carla At the top of the list:
Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. The first book is "Storm Front." There was a series on sci-fi based on the series; the show was fun but the books are better. He also has another, more traditional, fantasy series that begins with the "Furies of Calderon." Butcher is probably my favorite fantasy writer. He has great character development, action-filled plots, and a fantastic sense of humor.

Runners Up:
Simon R. Green's Nightside series starting with "Tales from the Nightside."

Charles de Lint's "Dreams Underfoot"

message 13: by Alyssa Blaine B (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:22PM) (new)

Alyssa Blaine B (sdblaine) I'd try out Anne McCaffrey's Pern books and Anne Bishops Dark Jewel trilogy.

They are books I've been reading for years and still enjoy reading so I tend to recamend them to anyone who enjoys fantasy, or just the same type of writers I do~

message 14: by Kerry (The Roaming Librarian) O'Donnell (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new)

Kerry (The Roaming Librarian) O'Donnell | 3 comments Some different series that I've enjoyed are The Dark is Rising Series (which is being made into a movie) and I've heard great things about Philip Pullman's Dark Materials Trilogy, though I haven't gotten to reading them yet. I also enjoyed Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Going more towards the sci-fi/fantasy books, I also enjoyed books by Anne Bishop, but those are a little more mature, I'd say age 14+ due to content (seeing as you're a teacher I thought that might be important). Also books by Kate Forsyth and by David Eddings. Those were all authors I began reading at age 13 and 14.

message 15: by Tani (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:27PM) (new)

Tani | 8 comments Chrystal:

In the interests of mentioning some stuff that no one's brought up yet...

Carol Berg's Rai-kirah trilogy is one of my favorite series. She does an amazing job with character development and I honestly adore the main character of the series. Unfortunately, I thought that the first book, Transformation, was the best of the series, but the others, Revelation and Restoration, are also well worth the read.

Lynn Flewelling's Tamir Trilogy (The Bone Doll's Twin, Hidden Warrior, Queen's Oracle) is really great. Her other series, the Nightrunner books, is more hit and miss. I enjoyed it, but many haven't.

Robin Hobb is amazing. I haven't read her latest series yet, but I highly enjoyed her earlier books, which are three trilogies that are interconnected. The first trilogy is the Farseer trilogy. The Liveship Traders trilogy follows. It's in the same world as the Farseer, but the characters are quite different. Then the Tawny Man trilogy goes back to the characters from the first trilogy. Tawny Man is, imo, the best of the three.

Curt Benjamin is another author that I really enjoyed. I found his Seven Brothers trilogy really interesting, and the use of Chinese mythology rather than Greek or Roman was really refreshing.

Dave Duncan is really great for action/adventure type fantasy. I really like his King's Blades series. I also really enjoyed Children of Chaos, but I haven't read anything bad by him yet.

Lois McMaster Bujold is better known for her Vorkosigan series, I guess, which is scifi, but she's done some really good fantasy too. Her Chalion series is really great.


Some other young adult fantasy that I haven't seen mentioned...

Tamora Pierce has a lot of fans. I haven't read much of her stuff, so I can't say personally, but a lot of people seem to like her.

I would say that anything by Diana Wynne Jones is pretty much guaranteed to be good. Personally, my favorite is "Howl's Moving Castle."

Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles were also really good.

Elizabeth Winthrop wrote two books, "The Castle in the Attic" and "The Battle for the Castle" that I also really enjoyed when I was younger.

I also tend to think of Mercedes Lackey as really good for teenage readers, even though I guess she's not really marketed that way. Lots of teenaged protagonists and coming of age stories, though, especially in her Valdemar books.

I agree with Arian that Terry Brooks' Shannara books probably also wouldn't be out of place. Oh, and The Belgariad by David and Leigh Eddings seems like it would also be a good choice.

I'm sure there are more I could suggest to both of you, but I'm drawing a blank. Still, hopefully I at least gave you some ideas. ^-^

message 16: by Carl (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:28PM) (new)

Carl | 38 comments Well, everyone's probably given enough here for several years worth of reading, but I can't help mentioning Michael Scott Rohan's Winter of the World Trilogy-- which is insanely hard to find in the US, I think, but really enjoyable and original in its approach to epic fantasy (plus the author is far more intimately familiar with Germanic myth and folklore than most fantasy authors). Well, maybe there's a bit of enthusiasm carrying over from my first encounter with the series in 6th grade.
I have to disagree with those who enjoy Terry Brooks-- I tried to read Sword of Shannara in Jr College and hated it (the prose felt so incredibly amateurish, though I mildly enjoyed one of his book in Jr Hi), but then again, he's insanely popular and there must be a reason for that. I'm happy to hear reasons why I should try again. I also would warn you away from anything by Dennis McKiernan or Raymond Feist, but again am willing to hear other points of view. I know McKiernan has a novel out based on a Scandinavian folktale (basically the Scandi cognate to the Cupid and Psyche myth, if you believe in common origins for typologically similar tale types), which I should read as a student of Scandi folklore and a fantasy reader, but I'm worried that his talents may not have improved since the 80's, or whenever the last book I read by him was written. Though I haven't read any books by these authors for at least 6 or 7 years, so I may have to give them another go.

message 17: by h (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:28PM) (new)

h (dragonbird) | 1 comments in the young adult category i completely loved tamora pierce's "song of the lioness quartet" growing up and when i reread them recently i still enjoyed them immensely. another ya pierce i loved is meredith ann pierce's "darkangel trilogy." i'd also recommend jennifer roberson's "tiger and del" novels for older ya reading.

message 18: by Tom (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:28PM) (new)

Tom | 1 comments Some great suggestions here! Might as well throw in a few more:

Jonathan Stroud's "Bartimaeus Trilogy" is pretty great, at least, the first two book are hilarious. (The feisty, smarmy narrative voice of the titular character, a mid-level djinn who has been enslaved by a wizard, makes the whole enterprise worth it.)

It's not immediately clear where these books would be categorized, because they're a mix of a lot of genres, but Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" is aptly named and, really, a unique endeavor in literature. Snicket's narrative style is roguish, snippy, sarcastic, mysterious, and very, very funny.

Another series that I'd classify as fantasy even though they defy the label is the "Gormenghast" series, by Mervyn Peake. Though I've only read "Titus Groan" (which was dark and intricate and very well done), I do intend to read the next two when they come out in October '07.

"Winter's Tale" by Mark Helprin is haunting, poignant, and beautiful - about an alternate New York City, complete with a flying horse, secret rooms in Grand Central Terminal, and mysterious fog walls beyond the Hudson River that shroud New Jersey from the rest of the world.

"Summerland" by Michael Chabon is a fun and modern mix of American myths, with some fairies, bigfoot, and baseball games thrown in for good measure. The ending is not as strong as I'd like it to be, but, in general, this book makes for a great read.

"The Hyperion Cantos," by Dan Simmons, (beginning with "Hyperion") are romantic and complex, and literate-literate-literate. The pages are covered with references to some of my favorite classics (John Keats and the Canterbury Tales, for example), and the books themselves are so powerful, and on such a grand scale, that they are sometimes called 'space opera.' A deep love for the classics and for the movements of history radiates through these novels.

Right now I'm reading the "Dune Chronicles," which are jaw-droppingly astonishing and just seem to get better with each entry.

message 19: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:28PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 24 comments I just finished the first of the "Dune Chronicles", I truely loved it! I am a bit of an obsessive reader. I tend to do nothing but read when I get a good book. So I listen to audio's a lot. I can do dishes, laundry, all kinds of things while "reading". I am having no luck finding the rest of them on audio so I am gonna have to wait till have time to just read for the day or so it takes to get through them.

message 20: by Carl (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:29PM) (new)

Carl | 38 comments I loved the first Dune, not the second and haven't read more. But I heartily second Helprin and Simmons as additions to this list.

message 21: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:29PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments I've been keeping to Fantasy here, as that's what the original poster asked about. Even so, I must admit, I haven't read much of what's been thrown around this thread lately.

Of what I do know, I do agree with recommending Dreams Underfoot, and I really need to get around to reading more de Lint. The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander is indeed very good YA fantasy along with The Last Unicorn.

message 22: by Fibrowitch (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:29PM) (new)

Fibrowitch | 2 comments I would recommend anything by Esther Friesner, Ursula K. LeGuin, Neil Gaiman, Diane Duane, Anne McCaffrey, and Jane Yolen, George R.R. Martin

I would wait a bit on Lord of the Rings, and the rest of the epic.

message 23: by Fibrowitch (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:29PM) (new)

Fibrowitch | 2 comments Here is a link the 07 World Fantasy Award Nominees. So we can add some new recommendations to the list.

message 24: by Esther (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:29PM) (new)

Esther (eshchory) I loved Dune then stupidly lent my books to someone who never returned them.

I am now in the process of re-buying them all and once I have them I will read them again.

I am definitely looking forward to it.

message 25: by Peggy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:30PM) (new)

Peggy | 1 comments I remember really loving Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy: The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment (a fourth book, The Wicked Day, is the story of Mordred, but is not narrated by Merlin like the others). They almost read more like historical fiction than fantasy, and it offers a really different perspective on the whole King Arthur cycle.

message 26: by Amanda (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:32PM) (new)

Amanda | 4 comments You are all my heros! Thank you so much for all the recommendations! I actually teach 2nd grade, but our school goes up to 5th, with a lot of students wanting to continue after reading Harry Potter (yay!!!) So we are all trying to amass more and more in our library for these students, particularly the students who are reading at a much higher reading level! I have forwarded the list onto our librarian in order to pass on to our students. Again, I can't thank you all enough! And if you ever come across anything, please be sure to continue passing it on! :)

message 27: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:32PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 24 comments Amanda, I don't think I saw the Septamus Heap books, by Angie Sage on the list. My 14yo loved them. They are not the best written books, however they are entertaining. She also very much enjoys the Bloody Jack series. I don't think they are fantasy they are about pirates and are adventure novels. She is an avid reader and loves them so I thought I would suggest them to you.

message 28: by Flitterkit (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:32PM) (new)

Flitterkit | 9 comments ((Amanda)) I just want to point out the the Dark Jewels Trilogy is HIGHLY inappropriate for children. I don't have that many moral issues with things children should read, but it is very adult and erotic in places and shouldn't be included in a library where children might get at them inadvertently, not knowing what they are. I am not saying I don't love them, I do. But I would say adult only.

Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey I would definitely recommend to a YA audience. Also Tanya Huff.. Haven't seen here name here yet. Lots f good YA stuff.

message 29: by Morgan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:34PM) (new)

Morgan | 2 comments I don't rember seeing Terry Pratchett mentioned his books are set in a fantasy universe and usually take a humorus approach in dealing with/examining subjects. They Granny Weatherwax and City Watch books are usually the best. Also Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines was good and it was funny.

message 30: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:34PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments Terry Pratchett has been mentioned in passing, but not really pointed out. The books have a very good reputation, but so far they've just been okay by me. Probably the fault of grabbing random later books off the used bookstore shelf. I need to try one of the first ones and see if the series just got a bit tired.

My favorite fantasy humor would definitely be the Myth Adventures series by Robert Asprin, especially if you can find the trade editions illustrated by Phil Foglio. The 'second series' (starting with M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link) isn't as good, but at least attempts to keep it from devolving into 'yet another book of the same jokes syndrome'. (Though I'm way behind, I never got past M.Y.T.H. Inc. In Action—mostly because the trade editions became much harder to come by.)

And as I missed it before, I would like to second the recommendation of Carol Berg's Transformation. I haven't read the last two, but have also heard that they're not nearly as good. But as the first was meant as a stand-alone story, they can safely be skipped.

message 31: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:34PM) (new)

Lisa Thumma | 1 comments I have to recommend Diana Wynne Jones. She was very original stories. The down side is that she writes mostly for children so some of her books are quite juvenille but there are some really excellent stories in the mix. My favorite by her is Howl's Moving Castle. Everyone whom I recommended this book to so far has loved it.

message 32: by Shawn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:38PM) (new)

Shawn I have found that science fiction started with the short story, the 30's, 40's, and 50's forged the trunk of science fiction. For me, reading collections of short stories from these decades, with a broad range of authors, styles and subjects laid a great groundwork for and understanding and appreciation of science fiction.


message 33: by Rachel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:45PM) (new)

Rachel | 1 comments Slightly different than the books you're talking about, but in the same strain, I've really enjoyed "The Timetraveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger and am reading "The Stolen Child" by Keith Donohue right now. I've also gotten stellar recommedations (on my to-read list) for "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman, "The Sherwood Ring" by Elizabeth Marie Pope and "Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus" by Orson Scott Card.

Good luck!!!

message 34: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments Neverwhere is certainly very good (in both book and video form). I don't know the others, except that Time-Traveler's Wife sounds potentially intriguing.

message 35: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Rob | 19 comments I would try Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series starting with the book, "Wizard's First Rule" or better yet the Fire and Ice series, "A Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin. I found Martin from discussions in GoodReads, I haven't finished the book yet, but I'm definitely not disappointed. He may turn out to be a favorite author for sure. *These books tend to be heavier and darker than Potter but the stories are excellent.

message 36: by ScottK (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:50PM) (new)

ScottK OK I can't believe no one has mentioned the Last Rune Series by Mark Anthony ( no not Jlo's Husband).Anyway these books are all awesome with very likeable characters. The first book is perhaps the best but in a series of 6 they are all pretty good. However there are some Homosexuality issues in the books . For an adult I think they are tastfully done but maybe not for a youngster.

message 37: by ScottK (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:50PM) (new)

ScottK Oh I forgot another good series is the "Incarnations of Immortality" books by Piers Anthony. Well let me qualify that by saying the first 3 or 4 are good, after that they kinda fall off.Stories about real people becoming the Immortals IE Death,Time,War,Mother Nature Etc etc

message 38: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:55PM) (new)

Rob | 19 comments Hey Jack - I agree for the most part with you on Goodkind. I hate his "philosophy" that he tries to inject into the books. They sound like pointless rambles. The overall story for face-value is pretty good. I agree that the series degenerates. I'm still working on Matin's "A Game of Thrones" - he's definitely a top fantasy writer!

message 39: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:55PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments I've gone into Goodkind before, so I'll mention my problems with Martin.

It can be really hard for me to talk about his books, because, well, I think he's a wonderful writer, writing in a genre I adore. But I find his books almost impossible to read.

I like the setting for A Song of Fire and Ice, and am willing to overlook the problems inherent in the variable seasons (remember, the real reason spring is celebrated is it means the danger of starving to death has passed) and see it purely a mood indicator. He has lots of great characters that I enjoy following around. He has great plots that unfold in a very good manner.

The problem is there's too many major plots and characters. A cast of thousands is fine by me, but by the end of the second book, there's three major, independently running, plot lines each with their own bevy of sub-plots. I like them all, but the switching back and forth leaves me cold for chapters at a time as I struggle to get back into the flow of the current plotline.

Personally, I'd love it if it were written as three or so separate series all interleaved into each other. I can enjoy sprawl, but multiple-zip codes worth in one book is too much for me.

message 40: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:55PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 24 comments Rindis,
Sounds like the perfect book for a person with ADD. Think I will suggest them to my daughter.

message 41: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:56PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments Might be the other way around. He spends good time with each plot he has, I've just forgotten about it by the time it comes up again. It probably needs more focus than I brought to it.

Or I could be wrong. Be interesting to see what she thinks.

message 42: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:56PM) (new)

Rob | 19 comments Rindis - I think your argument captures Martins best aspects. As you say, his writing is excellent and personally I think the multi-storylines are extremely well handled & drive the books to be fast paced.

I love the dynamics within his writing. It is simply incredible! The stories are even more intriguing due to each chapter dedicated to a particular character's perspective in the story. As a reader, I am driven find out what each character is thinking. He paints each individual so well and differently. It amazing how many times I read through a character's eyes, start to hate an opposing character. Then arrive at the opposing character's chapter and start to dislike someone else, and so on.

There four major stories/setting that occur in the first books, but they all tied tightly together and each story has impacts the depending stories. Personally I love this. I keeps me involved in each storyline.

Martin's works are definitely not geared for children in regards to his book's content of violence, sex, or complexity. This is not a "Harry Potter" of loosely connected events and the grand finale. Everything in Martin's books is written with intent and deliberation. I agree the books are not for everyone. I would definitely recommend them to adult high fantasy-mystery fans.


message 43: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:57PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments In general, I agree. But frankly, I'd really wish he'd stick with one major concept. The civil war is the source four-plus pretty beefy plotlines on it's own, and if he trimmed it down to that, I'd be ecstatic.

But there's also the entire 'returning menace' in the north, which is pretty well disconnected from the rest, and the struggles of the heir of the previous dynasty, which is on another continent, for cryin' out loud (yeah, I know she'll show up at a critical juncture in the civil war and smash up whoever's in a good position at that point, and help drag the entire thing out for another couple of books, and it's important to know all about her, but...).

At first, I thought this was going to be an exploration of how the House of Stark makes it's way through all the chaos of the long winter. The theme of an extended family's troubles would have supported the civil war (though some of the non-Stark parts would need trimming) and the menace to the north, and kept things thematically strong enough for the series to work for me.

I just want tighter plotting.

(And just to be clear, I really think people should read the series—and I'll probably pick it up again myself—because it's got really good writing. I'm just annoyed because there's this one thing that keeps me from really enjoying it.)

message 44: by Servius Heiner (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:43PM) (new)

Servius  Heiner  | 38 comments I have to agree with rob. The multi layered approach has been pulled off flawlessly, by Martin. I have seen writers try the same thing only to end up with disjointed stories chalked full of flat characters.

message 45: by Servius Heiner (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:43PM) (new)

Servius  Heiner  | 38 comments "The deed of paksenarrion" by elizabeth Moon was a great read, Some of her other stuff is really hit or miss though, but paks is one of my top five. I think mostly everything else has been mentioned

message 46: by Travis (new)

Travis | 6 comments David Gemmell - Legend
Weis & Hickman - Chronicles (series)
Weis & Hickman - Legends (series)
George RR Martin - Game of Thrones (series)

Those are probably some of the best fantasy novels I've read. I did not particularly enjoy Eragon (too many descriptions that make no sense). LoTR was a very slow starter, but did get better. The first 5 books of the Wheel of Time series (Robert Jordan) are wonderful. The series by Terry mentioned several times, is decent.

message 47: by khrome (new)

khrome Crystal, since the books you mentioned are young-adult fantasy, I'm going to recommend my favorite which is The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. Get the hardcover edition - it has beautiful illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, and the text is in color. The paperback has the illustrations too, but the ink is just black.

message 48: by Lori (new)

Lori George RR Martin is most definitely NOT for kids! It's very dark, and quite gruesome. And I've got a precocious advanced 11 year old, who I let read adult books, but haven't pointed him to Game of Thrones, etc.

He read Ender's Game in 3rd grade and loved it. It's scifi but most definitely in the category of what you're looking at. His favorite of all time is Eragon, and that's saying alot - he's very fussy! Another was Gregor the Overlander - a series, I may not have the exact title but it's close. Over the summer he thoroughly enjoyed another but I forget the name, I'll ask tomorrow.

As for the Martin series, I agree with both sides here. I was thinking it would follow the Starks, then it went off with Danni. I think in the end it will all come together.

AND I just joined this wonderful site, and in my previous 2 posts I have raved about Robin Hobb's The Farseer Trilogy which is followed by the Tawny Man. I loved it, even more than Martin.

back to top