Building a SciFi/Fantasy Library discussion

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message 1: by Colleen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:45PM) (new)

Colleen (inametaphor) | 7 comments Rindis' post about "dynastic" fantasy versus "epic" fantasy raises a good point. I particularly like the distinction that epic fantasy tends to be about world, good vs evil concerns, and dynasty fantasy tends to be about mortal politics. (In sweeping, general terms, of course)

I'd add Kate Elliot's Crown of Stars series to that list. Well worth a read if you love politics in fantasy realms. (Disclosure: yes, they're big. Yes, there's 7 of them. But at least it's been completed.)

How about some others?

I'd consider adding Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel books to the list, because at heart they're about politics, but I think they get swept too easily under the "romantic fantasy" label.


message 2: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:45PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments Just to re-iterate from the other thread, the other members of Dynastic Fantasy:
Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin: Three thick, dense volumes and still going.

Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn: Two trilogies that I've read, plus I believe a third (and every volume thick). I wasn't so impressed by the later volumes, so I lost track.

Cheysuli by Jennifer Roberson: One series of generally independent novels, length ranges from short to average. Despite the lower word-count, this lives up to the 'dynastic' title the best, as it covers multiple generations.

Crown of Stars is definitely dynastic fantasy, I've only read through the fourth or fifth book, and need to catch up. Kushiel I've heard of before, but haven't read.

I note that dynastic fantasy may be the only genre with an average story length longer than epic fantasy....


message 3: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:45PM) (new)

Rob | 19 comments Great post Arian. Great topic as well Rindis. I'll have to look into a few other authors in this sub-genre. It'll have to wait until I get through the Martin series.


message 4: by Caroline (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:45PM) (new)

Caroline A new-comer to the genre that's shaping up to be really great is David Anthony Durham. The first book of his series, Acacia, was released earlier this year and was definitely the fun political-intrigue style. It's one I've been hand-selling to customers that enjoy George R.R. Martin but are in a drought due to the next book not even being finished yet...

And the Cheysuli series! I loved that while growing up--I'm really going to have to re-read those soon. I was really excited to hear Jennifer Roberson is going to be returning to the series with three new books that will fill in some of the missing gaps from the original series.

http://www.cheysuli.com/author/a.chey...


message 5: by Carl (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:45PM) (new)

Carl | 38 comments Would Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series count? Started it a while back but haven't gotten far as I've had my dissertation interfering.
Seems good so far, but then again, hasn't been able to compete with viking poetry.


message 6: by J-Lynn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:45PM) (new)

J-Lynn (JVanPelt) | 19 comments Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy should be added to the list. "Mortal politics" for sure through the eyes of the gifted bastard son of the late King.

I think you could also argue all of Tamora Pierce's books would fall into this category, but especially Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen.


message 7: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:46PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments I was thinking yesterday afternoon that I had missed an important component of what makes me consider something 'dynastic'. The continuance of government must be an important theme in the story, that is, one of the concerns of the characters must be dynastic in nature.

I've only read the first two books of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce, and I would not characterize them as dynastic. Certainly there is a plot afoot to usurp the throne, but that is not enough (indeed, that is merely plot #343). The king is generally secure on the throne, there is no doubt about the succession, no mutterings of "but his younger brother would make a better king"....

A Song of Fire and Ice and is about (among other things) a civil war where the succession is disputed. Cheysuli concerns a prophecy where "a prince of all blood shall bring peace", and there is a continuing theme of bringing bloodlines together to create this person. The first part of Dragon Prince is about a newly ascended prince looking for the wife who will bear his heir.

Not to say what anyone else thinks, of course, but that's what defines the genre to me, and why I consider it separate, it has concerns that are not present in most books.

As for Malazan and Farseer, I haven't read those either, so I can't say. Yet.


message 8: by Colleen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:47PM) (new)

Colleen (inametaphor) | 7 comments And Crown of Stars is all about sucession - several of them, in fact.

Good point, Rindis. I'd agree. :)

I've read only the first of the Farseer books (Assassin ... something?) It was a while ago, and I remember absolutely loving it. I can't recall now why I didn't go on. Perhaps I just wasn't in the mood at the time for depressing.

Hmmm. What about the Amber novels? I don't know that those are necessarily dynastic, but I think it could be argued either way, so I'm throwing it out there for discussion.


message 9: by J-Lynn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:48PM) (new)

J-Lynn (JVanPelt) | 19 comments Rindis,

The 3rd and 4th books of the Alanna Quartet are all about Jonathan fighting to keep his throne and Alanna scheming for ways to help him keep it including arranging a marriage for him even though she loves him. I think it counts.

But, maybe I am missing something. Could you spell out your full definition again? Was it on another thread?


message 10: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:48PM) (new)

Rindis | 80 comments The definition is spelled out here better than anywhere else. (Which is also to say, it isn't all that firm.)

But I haven't read the last two books yet, so it sounds like the character of the series may well change.


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