Fantasy recommendation

#1
Hey all. I've read quite a few fantasy novels up until now but nothing has seemed to give me the kick. I mean, I've read LoTR and the writing doesn't seem to get me, same goes to most of the fantasy novels that have treaded the same path as LoTR. On the other hand I have looked at other books, as in the Bas Lag novels, or some oldies like Worm Ouroborus, Broken Sword and the writing and conceps are marvellous. However I also seem to be interested in the originality, as in the works of William Blake and his mythology. Is there any chance I may be recommended books that are both literary as well as carry the elements of, say Game of Thrones, while also having a completely original world and mythology? I'm a sucker for world building as such.

Thank you, all.



P.S. I've tried works of Erickson and Sanderson et al, and they don't seem to qualify as "well written books" ;)
 
#2
Sanderson is a wonderful world builder, but an okay writer.

Scott Lynch though...ho boy...read The Lies of Locke Lamora and the sequels, Red Seas Under Red Skies, and Republic of Thieves.

They aren't really as action focused as the others you've mentioned, but there are moments of complete badassness from the characters. It's mostly about being the best goddamn con men to ever be put to paper.
 
#3
Sanderson is a wonderful world builder, but an okay writer.

Scott Lynch though...ho boy...read The Lies of Locke Lamora and the sequels, Red Seas Under Red Skies, and Republic of Thieves.

They aren't really as action focused as the others you've mentioned, but there are moments of complete badassness from the characters. It's mostly about being the best goddamn con men to ever be put to paper.
Ah yes, Scott Lynch totally slipped my mind! Thank you, I ought to check him out
 
#5
As said in the other thread, check out Miles Cameron's Traitor's Son series. And have you read the Wheel of Time? How about Joe Abercrombie's First Law series and standalones?
Hey, thanks for your response. I have read the first book of the WoT as well as the first book of FL. While the WoT was somewhat a slog, giving me a lot of the Tolkeinesque vibe, the FL book came across as a fresh breath of air. However the writing failed in my interest. It was really saddening since the concept was brilliant. I will surely check out Traitor's Son. Thank you!!!
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#6
Hey, thanks for your response. I have read the first book of the WoT as well as the first book of FL. While the WoT was somewhat a slog, giving me a lot of the Tolkeinesque vibe, the FL book came across as a fresh breath of air. However the writing failed in my interest. It was really saddening since the concept was brilliant. I will surely check out Traitor's Son. Thank you!!!
Traitor's Son is really awesome in my opinion. There are some big fans of the series on this board like @kenubrion. The writing is pretty good (but not beautiful), but the editing leaves a bit to be desired (especially in books 1 and 2).

Some additions to my earlier suggestions: Black Company by Cook. Some people really like the terse prose. I didn't much care for it myself, but it is pretty well regarded.

I am currently reading the Vagrant trilogy by Peter Newman. If you're looking for a "breath of fresh air" then this is definitely something I would recommend. It's a mix of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and post-apocalyptic fiction and it is very imaginative. The prose is also beautiful. It's a bit weird/strange though, which I can imagine might put some people off.
 
#7
Traitor's Son is really awesome in my opinion. There are some big fans of the series on this board like @kenubrion. The writing is pretty good (but not beautiful), but the editing leaves a bit to be desired (especially in books 1 and 2).

Some additions to my earlier suggestions: Black Company by Cook. Some people really like the terse prose. I didn't much care for it myself, but it is pretty well regarded.

I am currently reading the Vagrant trilogy by Peter Newman. If you're looking for a "breath of fresh air" then this is definitely something I would recommend. It's a mix of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and post-apocalyptic fiction and it is very imaginative. The prose is also beautiful. It's a bit weird/strange though, which I can imagine might put some people off.
Vagrant sounds interesting, I'm going to put it in my list. By the way, have you read the books from the Realms of Elderlings? Also Bakker's Second Apocalypse? I would like to know if I'll be wasting my time reading it...
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#8
Vagrant sounds interesting, I'm going to put it in my list. By the way, have you read the books from the Realms of Elderlings? Also Bakker's Second Apocalypse? I would like to know if I'll be wasting my time reading it...
Elderlings: read most of them, except for the latest Fitz and the Fool books. The books are good, but very character based. If you don't like the main character (a lot of people think Fitz is whiney) then you probably not like the series. Still, I liked the books well enough, eventhough they lack that epic feel to them.

Bakker: didn't read the last book, but did read the rest. I loved them. It's very dark and cynical, which I like. The series has a lot of critics though, such as @TomTB . I think most of the members on this forum dislike the series actually.
 
#9
Elderlings: read most of them, except for the latest Fitz and the Fool books. The books are good, but very character based. If you don't like the main character (a lot of people think Fitz is whiney) then you probably not like the series. Still, I liked the books well enough, eventhough they lack that epic feel to them.

Bakker: didn't read the last book, but did read the rest. I loved them. It's very dark and cynical, which I like. The series has a lot of critics though, such as @TomTB . I think most of the members on this forum dislike the series actually.
I'm really interested in Bakkers works given the polar views. I do hope they don't come across as insipid as Gardens of the Moon, though.
 
#10
It would be awesome if someone comes up with a book, stand alone if anything, which covers an original cosmology and myths, with prose beautiful and flowing, and a story comprising of politics, darkness, moral questioning, etc. Perhaps not as groundbreaking given we already have LoTR and Game of Thrones. Maybe there are, but I got to dig in more.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#11
The traditional 'great prose' recommendation for Epic Fantasy these days seems to be Patrick Rothfuss. Personally I am utterly nonplussed on the fuss based on what I've read so far, but his prose is fairly literary and plenty like him, so worth checking.
 
#12
The traditional 'great prose' recommendation for Epic Fantasy these days seems to be Patrick Rothfuss. Personally I am utterly nonplussed on the fuss based on what I've read so far, but his prose is fairly literary and plenty like him, so worth checking.
Thank you, Peat. I'll surely check on Rothfuss. I've heard a lot about him. His books are always topping the lists of fantasy fiction, maybe that's the reason why I'm afraid to pick up his works. :D
 
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Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#13
I'm really interested in Bakkers works given the polar views. I do hope they don't come across as insipid as Gardens of the Moon, though.
If Gardens of the Moon is your only experience with Erikson I would suggest that you try out Deadhouse Gates. Gardens was written as a screenplay and was written 10 years before the rest of the series. The rest of the series is very well written.
 
#14
If Gardens of the Moon is your only experience with Erikson I would suggest that you try out Deadhouse Gates. Gardens was written as a screenplay and was written 10 years before the rest of the series. The rest of the series is very well written.
Is that so? I'm intrigued. I shall continue with Deadhouse Gates then! I've got quite a number of recommendation now, hoping for more.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#15
Tad Williams writes beautifully. IMO, you cannot go wrong with Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn or Shadowmarch.

I assume you've already checked out this sites top 50 epic fantasy or top standalones, or subgenres? There is a super good spoiler free description for each book/series listed. :)
 
#16
Tad Williams writes beautifully. IMO, you cannot go wrong with Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn or Shadowmarch.

I assume you've already checked out this sites top 50 epic fantasy or top standalones, or subgenres? There is a super good spoiler free description for each book/series listed. :)
Hey, thank you for the response. I've not read Tad Williams yet, been thinking of but I seem to have forgotten. Will do.
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#17
Tad Williams writes beautifully. IMO, you cannot go wrong with Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn or Shadowmarch.

I assume you've already checked out this sites top 50 epic fantasy or top standalones, or subgenres? There is a super good spoiler free description for each book/series listed. :)
Hey, thank you for the response. I've not read Tad Williams yet, been thinking of but I seem to have forgotten. Will do.
Seconded! I just finished Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. It's fantastic.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#18
Thank you, Peat. I'll surely check on Rothfuss. I've heard a lot about him. His books are always topping the lists of fantasy fiction, maybe that's the reason why I'm afraid to pick up his works. :D
I loved the Name of the Wind. The writing is fantastic. It is a unique story imo and very well written. But it's a trilogy with the first excellent book written in 2007, the second book (which dragged a tiny bit but still excellent) in 2011 and the third and final book expected to be published in 2035. Who knows when the final book will come out but it is frustrating.
 

Diziet Sma

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
#19
. Is there any chance I may be recommended books that are both literary as well as carry the elements of, say Game of Thrones, while also having a completely original world and mythology? I'm a sucker for world building as such.
Ignoring the Game of Thrones part, what about Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstoc? This story is inspired in Celtic, Nordic even Pictish mythology. Beautifully written with rather original and primal elements in it. It takes place right after WWII.
It is a series, but Mythago can be read as a stand alone.
 

jo zebedee

Journeyed there and back again
#20
It would be awesome if someone comes up with a book, stand alone if anything, which covers an original cosmology and myths, with prose beautiful and flowing, and a story comprising of politics, darkness, moral questioning, etc. Perhaps not as groundbreaking given we already have LoTR and Game of Thrones. Maybe there are, but I got to dig in more.
Not a standalone but satisfying none the less. I've recommended it here before but still worth a shout out - Bryan Wigmore's The Goddess Project.

Rothfuss's Slow Regard of Silent Things is literary and beautiful but better enjoyed after the bigger books.

Also - The Shadow of the Wind and its companions by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende. Technically magical realism they are both beautifully written