I like *this* so recommend me.....

Dale

Mixes poisons and sharpens knives with Kylar
I used to read only girly books, ever since witnessing a making of A Game of Thrones (part of it) and reading the books I crossed to the dark side. I'm from Croatia (appologies for bad english) temporarily living in Boston for the additional schooling. Since I'm still new to this type of Fantasy I wanted to ask you for the series with the court intrigue, manipulation, dying..well you might say something like Martin's series. Something with a big brain and less brawn. Thanks.
The Gormenghast trilogy has a lot of those elements. At it's heart, the story is about an ambitious kitchen boy who tries to manipulate and scheme his way to the top of the castles hierarchy.
 
To Morrigan,
The Empire Trilogy -Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts is about a girl trying to outsmart and outmaneuver big bad wolves.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
I used to read only girly books, ever since witnessing a making of A Game of Thrones (part of it) and reading the books I crossed to the dark side. I'm from Croatia (appologies for bad english) temporarily living in Boston for the additional schooling. Since I'm still new to this type of Fantasy I wanted to ask you for the series with the court intrigue, manipulation, dying..well you might say something like Martin's series. Something with a big brain and less brawn. Thanks.
Welcome to the forums.

I would say try Joe Abercrombie. Many of today's brightest and most respected critics (mostly me) liken Abercrombie to a British Martin.

Except better.
 
I used to read only girly books, ever since witnessing a making of A Game of Thrones (part of it) and reading the books I crossed to the dark side. I'm from Croatia (appologies for bad english) temporarily living in Boston for the additional schooling. Since I'm still new to this type of Fantasy I wanted to ask you for the series with the court intrigue, manipulation, dying..well you might say something like Martin's series. Something with a big brain and less brawn. Thanks.
They will film some scenes for the third season in your country right?
 

Frizzo0133

Is a wondrous friend of modest Kruppe
Welcome to the forums.

I would say try Joe Abercrombie. Many of today's brightest and most respected critics (mostly me) liken Abercrombie to a British Martin.

Except better.
I'll second the recommendation, is there any surprise there, Abercrombie is really under appreciated, personally I think he's a top 5 fantasy writer. If you like Game of Thrones and appreciate what Martin was up to, you'll love what Abercrombie does.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
Here goes. This is my first post on this forum. Looks like a fun group and I was looking for a place to talk fantasy...

So, my absolute two favorite fantasy novels are Song of Ice and Fire and The Prince of Nothing. I tend to really lean towards dark, gritty stuff. I like the philosophical aspect of Prince of Nothing and I love my fantasy to be challenging. Prince of Nothing was great literature and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

As to what I have not liked. I tried reading The Blade Itself and stopped at 1/3 of the way through (I may pick it up again). The writing seemed amateurish compared to Martin and Bakker. I also could not get into Malazan or Name of the Wind. Same feeling of amateurish writing. I really like sophisticated, descriptive writing that is challenging.

So, looking for some recommendations based on my love of Prince of Nothing and Song of Ice and Fire.

Thanks in advance and looking forward to being a part of the community.
 

Antoxx

Journeyed there and back again
Here goes. This is my first post on this forum. Looks like a fun group and I was looking for a place to talk fantasy...

So, my absolute two favorite fantasy novels are Song of Ice and Fire and The Prince of Nothing. I tend to really lean towards dark, gritty stuff. I like the philosophical aspect of Prince of Nothing and I love my fantasy to be challenging. Prince of Nothing was great literature and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

As to what I have not liked. I tried reading The Blade Itself and stopped at 1/3 of the way through (I may pick it up again). The writing seemed amateurish compared to Martin and Bakker. I also could not get into Malazan or Name of the Wind. Same feeling of amateurish writing. I really like sophisticated, descriptive writing that is challenging.

So, looking for some recommendations based on my love of Prince of Nothing and Song of Ice and Fire.

Thanks in advance and looking forward to being a part of the community.
Wow, this might put the cat amongst the pigeons with respect both the authors you like and dislike! Firstly, welcome to the boards, it's a whole lot more fun when you participate. My recommendation for you given you love for Prince of Nothing and SoIaF would be to give Robin Hobb a read. I think she writes extremely well.

I'd also suggest you keep going with Abercrombie and Erikson - two of my all time favourites. Abercrombie's writing style just takes a little while to get used to and he tells rippingly good yarns. Erikson gets better and better the more you read and his world building is almost unparalleled. Gardens of the Moon is his weakest book so persevering with him in my opinion is worthwhile.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
Wow, this might put the cat amongst the pigeons with respect both the authors you like and dislike! Firstly, welcome to the boards, it's a whole lot more fun when you participate. My recommendation for you given you love for Prince of Nothing and SoIaF would be to give Robin Hobb a read. I think she writes extremely well.

I'd also suggest you keep going with Abercrombie and Erikson - two of my all time favourites. Abercrombie's writing style just takes a little while to get used to and he tells rippingly good yarns. Erikson gets better and better the more you read and his world building is almost unparalleled. Gardens of the Moon is his weakest book so persevering with him in my opinion is worthwhile.
Thanks so much for the reply. I will definitely look into Robin Hobb.

As for Abercrombie, I could not get into the humor and odd flirting that went on in the beginning of the first novel. I felt like I was reading a "young adult" story. There was something about the story that had me intrigued, but the writing kind of annoyed me.

With Erikson, I felt the writing was weak. I remember one part where someone (can't remember characters right now) was running from an assassin in GOTM. It was like a 4 page description of hopping from roof top to roof top. No depth.

Now, I admit that writing style is probably #1 on my list of important things when I read. More important than character or plot. I feel the characters in Prince of Nothing were not well thought out at all, but I was hooked from the first paragraph.

I'm thinking Black Company might also fall into the category I like based on what I have read.
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
Thanks so much for the reply. I will definitely look into Robin Hobb.

As for Abercrombie, I could not get into the humor and odd flirting that went on in the beginning of the first novel. I felt like I was reading a "young adult" story. There was something about the story that had me intrigued, but the writing kind of annoyed me.

With Erikson, I felt the writing was weak. I remember one part where someone (can't remember characters right now) was running from an assassin in GOTM. It was like a 4 page description of hopping from roof top to roof top. No depth.

Now, I admit that writing style is probably #1 on my list of important things when I read. More important than character or plot. I feel the characters in Prince of Nothing were not well thought out at all, but I was hooked from the first paragraph.

I'm thinking Black Company might also fall into the category I like based on what I have read.
Welcome to the boards! I probably have zero recommendations for you since I hated Prince of Nothing and Loved The First Law =P

I would second Hobb though, start with Assassin's Apprentice. If it's all about writing style, you could check out Dune (hybrid sci-fi/fantasy). Try Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. And The Lord of the Silver Bow (Troy Trilogy) by David Gemmell.
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
WELCOME!! times a million. You seem to have a really interestingly developed taste for fantasy and I think we all welcome that. We went through a few months were we all just read the same stuff and loved it and their wasn't all that much that was out of our comfort zone.

It seems you are looking for some incredibily well written stuff. Personally I think it's less about characterisation and more about style as you mentioned. I think Hobb more tends to well written characters and less well written overall.

As for my recs, Sanderson is a master writter in almost every way shape and form, his last book (the start of a 10? book series) was amazing. That's The Way of Kings. Jon suggested Warbreaker so go with that first, it's a stand alone.

David Gemmell is another heavy weight and I would suggest Legend first as it's a stand alone. His is a great descriptive writer, he says more with fewer words.

Black Company I loved and I think it would fit. Read the first three in the series and then take a break, too much of him will turn your brain to mush. I kind of think of it as a mini ASoIaF with a lead character.

Last one is The Anubis Gates. We did this for book club last month and most people ended up really enjoying it, even reading it twice. This I think is in my top 5 best written books I've ever read.

Overall I think you should start with stand alones from most of the authors suggested so you can broaden your tastes and find stuff you sctually like. It's why I like to read short story anotholgies every so often.

Hope it helps!
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
Sorry to derail you Danica, but I suggested Lord of the Silver Bow because he wanted great writing rather than storyline or characterization. Yes Gemmell is a great writer, but I think Troy is the series he shines the most.
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
I'm not sure how you derailed. I think he would like Gemmell more than Hobb, because Gemmell is a better writer imo. I agree with your rec for Gemmell.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
WELCOME!! times a million. You seem to have a really interestingly developed taste for fantasy and I think we all welcome that. We went through a few months were we all just read the same stuff and loved it and their wasn't all that much that was out of our comfort zone.

It seems you are looking for some incredibily well written stuff. Personally I think it's less about characterisation and more about style as you mentioned. I think Hobb more tends to well written characters and less well written overall.

As for my recs, Sanderson is a master writter in almost every way shape and form, his last book (the start of a 10? book series) was amazing. That's The Way of Kings. Jon suggested Warbreaker so go with that first, it's a stand alone.

David Gemmell is another heavy weight and I would suggest Legend first as it's a stand alone. His is a great descriptive writer, he says more with fewer words.

Black Company I loved and I think it would fit. Read the first three in the series and then take a break, too much of him will turn your brain to mush. I kind of think of it as a mini ASoIaF with a lead character.

Last one is The Anubis Gates. We did this for book club last month and most people ended up really enjoying it, even reading it twice. This I think is in my top 5 best written books I've ever read.

Overall I think you should start with stand alones from most of the authors suggested so you can broaden your tastes and find stuff you sctually like. It's why I like to read short story anotholgies every so often.

Hope it helps!
Sorry to derail you Danica, but I suggested Lord of the Silver Bow because he wanted great writing rather than storyline or characterization. Yes Gemmell is a great writer, but I think Troy is the series he shines the most.
Wow, thanks to both of you for recommendations that should last me for a couple of years. :)

I did read the first chapter of the Farseer Trilogy and it seemed up my alley, but I have been fooled/disappointed before.

The stand alone recommendation is a great idea. I think this will give me a feel for an author's writing style in a condensed package before committing to a deep series.

This seems like a great little forum with helpful and informative people. Exciting!

BTW, I'm reading Dark Tower right now by Stephen King. Basically out of necessity more than anything else. I had purchased Gunslinger and never read it. I am on the second book and it is nothing like The Gunslinger. I'm sort of iffy on it right now. Off topic a little, but any thoughts on this series?
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
I couldn't finished the Gunslinger, just wasn't my cup of tea. However people who like the series said that Gunslinger is the weakest book.

Re: David Gemmell, yes Stand-Alone is great and Legend is *cough* legendary in terms of Heroic fantasy. I mention Troy because that was the last books he wrote and in my opinion the best literature out there. Not many on this forum has read them (perhaps 2 other than me?) and I think, seriously underrated. Oh that gives me an idea...top 5 or 10 underrated series ^_^

I hope you stay on and become a regular contributor, I'm sick of afa and danica's opinions...*chortle* I'm just kidding.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
I couldn't finished the Gunslinger, just wasn't my cup of tea. However people who like the series said that Gunslinger is the weakest book.

Re: David Gemmell, yes Stand-Alone is great and Legend is *cough* legendary in terms of Heroic fantasy. I mention Troy because that was the last books he wrote and in my opinion the best literature out there. Not many on this forum has read them (perhaps 2 other than me?) and I think, seriously underrated. Oh that gives me an idea...top 5 or 10 underrated series ^_^

I hope you stay on and become a regular contributor, I'm sick of afa and danica's opinions...*chortle* I'm just kidding.
To be honest I'm even sick of my own opinions :p

so yeah ....stay, read and tell us about it
I will certainly stick around. Hopefully long enough to be able to throw out some snide insulta myself. :) I think I might give Legend a go once I'm done with the second book of the Dark Tower series. The Dark Tower is interesting, just not the true fantasy I love.

Legend seems up my alley though.....reading a free sample from Amazon as we speak!
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
Watch out, 'cause here comes another one of my opinions!

Regarding The Dark Tower, I read the series a few years ago, and thought it was decent enough. The first book is a weird one, and the story really only picks up from the second. The disclaimer I should add here is that I was relatively new to Fantasy when I read it, and I wonder how I would feel about it if I were to read it now? I do remember the fifth book, Wolves of the Calla, was random to the point where I still don't get how it was relevant to the story,* and the sixth book, Song of Susannah, was pretty slow and boring. The seventh was decent, and unlike many I kind of like the ending and found it to be strangely appropriate. I guess in the end I would say that while I certainly don't regret having spent my time on it, I can't quite go all the way to recommending it, either.

As for recommendations, I can not urge you strongly enough to stick with Abercrombie. Yes, the first book takes a little time to get it going but once it does The First Law is a terrific trilogy. Keep in mind that The Blade Itself was Abercrombie's first novel and I don't think he had quite found his voice yet. His writing has gone better with literally every book he has written, and his last book (The Heroes) was his best yet. I honestly think you would be doing yourself a disservice by ignoring Joe Abercrombie novels.

Other than that, I would second Jon's recommendation for Sanderson. The original Mistborn trilogy and Warbreaker are his best novels, I think. And try The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss if you haven't already. Not really similar to ASoIaF; not at all, in fact. But a good book nonetheless, and very well written.

Also - welcome to the forums!


* I think, perhaps, Stephen King realizes this as well. He has written a new book called The Wind Through the Keyhole that is supposed to be placed between the fourth and fifth book of the original series, and I guess might help tie things together.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
I actually loved the Gunslinger. The story was so abstract and mysterious. I loved the whole concept of him chasing the man in black across the desert and the people he meets along the way. I thought King did a great job developing the character of the Gunslinger in such a short book. I was sucked into this dark, mysterious world and this dark mysterious man. Kings writing style really took me as well. There was an abstract nature too it. Felt like he was truly painting a picture with his words. I was quite impressed.

Then we get to book 2 and the entire nature of the story changes. The story seems intriguing, but I'm not loving it. It's funny because the Gunslinger becomes more real in this book and that is what is turning me off. I loved how distant his persona was in the first book. Reminded me of Cnaiur in Prince of Nothing. :)

Anyway, I have gotten such great recommendations from you all based on my likes that I may be forced to put this down and come back to it at a later date. "Legend" is really calling me at this point.

...and based on what everyone has said, I am definitely going to give Abercrombie another chance and have an open mind. Too many people highly recommend him. I don't think anyone can get me to go back to Malazan though.