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

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Jon Snow, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    You might like The Traitor's Son Cycle by Miles Cameron. It's a military fantasy which reads away easily.
    And did you read Abercrombie's standalone books that take place in the First Law universe? They're stellar, even better than the main trilogy.
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  2. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    Definitely try the Immortal Treachery series beginning with Steel, Blood and Fire by Allan Batchelder. Great grimdark fantasy like First Law and the anti-hero would make Logen run home to his mommy. The first book is only $0.99 and is definitely a favorite of this forum:

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  3. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again


    I can think of a couple stand alones but I think you are asking for a series

    Codex Alera by Jim Butcher (6 books) sounds like it fits just right for you.

    Fionovar Tapestry (3 books) and/orthe Sarantium duology by Guy Gavriel Kay

    Perhaps even the Shadowmarch series byTad Williams.

    Agree with Silvion on Traitor Son cycle as long as you can deal with half a million characters.
  4. ReguIa

    ReguIa Journeyed there and back again

    I'm curious, what didn't you like about Mistborn? I've read a lot by Sanderson and the first 3 books in the Lightbringer series, and IMO these two series and authors are so much alike in all aspects that I could totally see Mistborn being written by Weeks and Lightbringer by Sanderson. It's odd you'd love one and dislike the other.

    How about trying something a little less epic. If you've had a hard time getting into these big series lately, try giving the Dresden Files or Iron Druid a go. They're both very popular here.
  5. Noob

    Noob A Muggle

    I don't know...just flicking coins around and being spiderman didn't do it for me.
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  6. tenthousand

    tenthousand Got in a fistfight with Dresden

    I'm a bit struggling with Mistborn right now too. Coming off of Nemisin's Inheritance, which I liked but didn't love as much as Fifth Season - I wanted another trilogy to get into. I dunno, it seems like the characters are kinda 2-D and I'm not understanding the hugely positive reviews of the book. I'm only 90 pages in, but I may be with you Noob.
  7. Maxal

    Maxal Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry

    Mistborn is a highly polarizing pick: there are those whom loved it and there are those whom do not understand the hype. I personally thought Mistborn was an alright series, but it does start slow. I recall it took me quite a while to finally start to sink into the story. In the end, I thought it was an entertaining enough trilogy with decent plot twists, but it kept missing the mark on other aspects. For instances, I thought the world's premises was interesting, but we didn't get to travel through it: the map inserted in the book seemed useless. The characters were uneven: I found some interesting and others not so much. In the last book, he gave viewpoints to two additional characters: one I loved reading about, the other not so much. It has been a recurring problem for me with Sanderson: he often doesn't give voice to the characters I would personally enjoy the most, often preferring disabled misfits which isn't my personal cup of tea.

    Hence, Mistborn is sometimes a hit, sometimes a miss, for me this is, and based upon what I have read elsewhere, it is a shared feeling. Obviously, since Brandon Sanderson is a very popular author, every one of his books tend to get a lot of praise. I have always felt Mistborn was over-rated compared to other books. It is good, but it is not that good: it has serious flaws. Those who loved it much tend to be, on average, readers preferring to read about detailed mechanical magic systems, which is kind of the current trend when it comes to fantasy. I have seen people talk at wits end about the effect of that metal over this other one: so it truly has its hardcore fans. Not everyone, however, will feel the same or be interested within those aspects of the story.

    Typically, I have the hundred pages rule: if I am unsure about a book, I give it about a hundred pages before deciding if I should read through it or not. This way, I avoid ruling out a book which starts slow, but picks up afterwards. I also try to read long enough to figure what the story is about before quitting, if I feel I need to quit.
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  8. Noob

    Noob A Muggle

    I'm trying to read the Codex Alera but it's just too poor, I can't do it!

    I bought Immortal Treachery but am struggling with that too...it feels like a play!

    Will update as I try the other recommendations. Thanks guys.
  9. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    The author actually worked (or works?) as a playwright.

    To me this was one of the coolest things about this series. Relatively short scenes with an introduction on who the characters in that scene were and the location. It made me keep turning the pages for more.
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  10. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    The beginning of book one of Codex Alera DOES suck but it improves as it goes. I was not sure if I was going to try book 2. But I am really glad I did. Things really take off and tie together in a neat way.
  11. Maxal

    Maxal Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry

    I am not a huge fan of Codex Alera: I do not understand the several great critics it keeps on getting. The world and the settings are interesting, but the characters are, with a few notable exceptions, bland and stereotypical. The main protagonist truly brings nothing innovative to the table: he is your very average farm boy who's story arc revolves around the most classical cliches. The romance aspect is platonic and never truly steers any emotions: I am always surprised to see people rate it positively. Some side characters are nothing more than name holders while others end up sounding more interesting than the main protagonists, but they sadly never get any decent page time.

    This being said, the books aren't worthless or a complete waste of time: they are entertaining enough, but I felt the series get stretch too thin starting on book 5. At that point in time, I was hoping for the story to evolve, to take a step up. Instead, it kept on fishing cliche and stereotypical plot devices out of the "How to write a fantasy book User Manual". The last book was just.... boring. There were a few interesting scenes, but they were stretched too thin in between endless boredom: I understand why armies need to be moved, but I sure don't want to spend 500 pages reading about it, not if you can't devise a satisfying outcome once they get there. Just like Goodkind, Butcher stupidly increases the odds against our heroes to the point where the final denouement falls completely flat, sounding uninspired and implausible. I mean, when you spend so many pages explaining how the heroes cannot possibly win, you can't just pick a rabbit out of the hat to untangle it all.

    Also, coming from Sanderson's world, I would say Butcher doesn't have a good handling on climaxes as he fails to deliver them on numerous occasions. There were so many moments where I thought the story would elevate, it would steer emotion in me, only for the moment to pass and the story to end up flat and dispassionate.

    The ending was also... bad and it brought me little satisfaction. It was just too much, way too much.

    I would recommend this book for someone looking for an interesting world, someone loving world-building more than characters and to someone looking for a classical fantasy story following all the generic story-telling line as if it tried to check points on a list.
  12. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    I agree on the ending being "too much" and the outnumbered armies thing. Typical Butcher Deus ex machina every other page. I did not think it was anything deep or great literature but I sure enjoyed it. I recommended it because the person was looking for something that was that complicated with a lot of characters and I thought that fit the bill.

    I really enjoyed the bad guys.
  13. Maxal

    Maxal Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry

    Oh as I said, it isn't removed from any qualities: it is entertaining enough. Book 2 to 4 are good reads, even if they over-used your average fantasy cliches. For someone looking to read easy fantasy, for someone not too focused on character growth (or at least someone not tired of the farm-boy miraculous boy tropes), for someone interesting in the Pokemon meets Romans base idea, it is a good pick.

    I however recall how I thought the series had good promises, how it seemed to be steered in a good direction only to slowly deflate itself... leaving me with a feeling of dissatisfaction which ruined the good moments I had in previous books. There are only so many Deus Ex Machina I can muster in a given series, I can close my eyes a few times, but Codex Alera jump the shark a few times too many.

    It doesn't help I feel the same series could have been good, had it been narrated differently.
  14. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    Yeah, I enjoyed the hell out of it, in much the same way I enjoyed Eddings. There's a lot of problems and its tropey as all hell but I still enjoyed the hell out of it.

    For me, a lot of the fun comes from the authorial voice. I like Butcher's voice, I like his sense of humour. I'm pretty easy to keep happy when I like the voice.

    I think you're being a bit harsh Maxal. I think the fact that Tavi is relying on his wits and is a low-power guy in a high-power world, rather than the other way about as with most farmboy heroes, is a decent twist. He's an interesting model of the type. I like Tavi and Kitai partly because they don't go around making gigantically bad hormonal decisions because of each other; it helps that they act mainly as equals and Kitai has a role beyond trophy. That's more than enough for a positive rating given some of what's out there. Side characters being more interesting than the main characters is a very common thing.

    But yes, lots of flaws. And the weird thing, to me at least, is that a lot of them just aren't in the Dresden Files. Its like dipping into Epic Fantasy made him a lesser writer. A lot of what you're pointing at in terms of climax is something I think he's fantastic at with the Dresden Files. I don't think you're entirely right here (for me at least, all subjective innit) but you're not entirely wrong either.

    And this little baby...

    Is coming with me to The Worst Things Fantasy Authors Do thread.
  15. Maxal

    Maxal Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry

    Fair enough. I agree I am being slightly harsh: the story was sold to me as good portrayal of an under-powered character within a magical world. I liked the idea, at first, but it disappointingly stops mattering after book 3 which is when the series goes downhill, though I recall I enjoyed book 4.

    I did not like Tavi and Kitai's love story because I felt it was non-existent. Them falling in love seems to have sprout out of nowhere and while I do not wish for sappy romance combined with endless bad decisions made in the name of love, I also like having context which the story didn't provide to my satisfaction. Also, while I did enjoy Kitai, in the early books, I felt she morphs into a lackey somewhere around book 4. There is also this one thing I cannot mention because spoilers, within the last book, which was completely implausible and it rubbed me the wrong way.

    Side character being more interesting than the main protagonists is a common, but it can be a problem when the reader starts to wish he/she were reading about them and not the main protagonist.

    I guess I just do not think the series deserve the high praises it tends to get: it did some good, it isn't a bad read, but it did too many wrongs to deserve the title, but then again, those things are highly subjective. What works for me does not work for another reader and what works for another might not work for me.
  16. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    Troot dat its all subjective bruv.

    I think I'd put book 5 as the series going downhill (I think I enjoyed 5 & 6, but as an inveterate re-reader, I'm not sure I'd bother with them, except maybe to skim for moments).

    I see what you mean about the romance; it didn't bother me at the time, but I can see what you mean looking back.

    And that's what e-books and searching by character name is for :p Just re-read their arcs over and over!

    Final demurral/question - does it actually get high praise? At least on forums, I know plenty of people who criticise it, or who like it but admit flaws. I thought the consensus was that its a fun but flawed work, with the exact level of each depending on subjective views. Although I guess a 4.12 on GR from 70,000+ ratings isn't to be sniffed at.

    Looking back at the recommendation... if Noob doesn't like the fantasy master warrior trope, I'd anti-suggest Codex Alera and Fionavar Tapestry. Tbh, I struggle to think of any long convoluted works that don't involve that.
  17. Maxal

    Maxal Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry

    Everything is subjective, especially books appreciation.

    The series notably drops down quality starting in book 5 and book 6 tends to get the worst reviews, still the series is often highly recommended. I see it popping out often enough on Reddit whenever someone asks reading suggestions. Maybe high praised was an over-statement, but I do feel the series is more appreciated then it is criticized. Obviously, an imperfect work can still be pleasing to read, but I felt Butcher over did it in too many instances which sort of killed the fun I initially had while reading.

    As for Noob, his/her tastes seem variate enough: some Abercrombie, some Brent Weeks, appreciated GoT, but didn't like Mistborn, so I take it a more character oriented reader with a penchant for grimmest.

    May I suggest Emperor's Blades? It does seem like a good in between.
  18. tenthousand

    tenthousand Got in a fistfight with Dresden

    Ooo, I loved Emperor's Blades! Great series.

    I'm getting into Brent Weeks right now - gave up on Mistborn (and didn't look back!) - this series is much more up my alley. I have Kushiel's Dart sitting on deck, hoping that'll be good.
  19. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

  20. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    This forum is always good at showing me a wide variety of tastes.

    I check in to the thread and find people bashing two of my favorite series ever: Mistborn and Codex Alera.

    That's the great thing about books. Not every book is going to work for every reader, but there are enough books out there that you'll usually find something that works for you.
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