Recommend a good Pulp-Adventure Fantasy for me?

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by huntsman79, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. huntsman79

    huntsman79 A Muggle

    In the mood for a certain type of book and can't find what I'm looking for or at least narrow it down.
    Seems like so many fantasy books are all about politics and war and are short on adventure and creatures.

    So I'd like the following:

    1.) More classic pulp adventure than politics and war. (quest/journey, trap-filled tombs, clever escapes)
    2.) Beasts, monsters, etc.
    3.) Preferably an adventurer as the main (as opposed to a magician, though they could have a few abilities)

    Just finished reading Kings of the Wyld, which, despite it's few flaws, seems like one of the few that remembers how to have fun, adventure, etc.

    Really appreciate the help.
  2. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    Sounds like you are interested in a subgenre of fantasy called sword and sorcery.

    S&S is generally very much so pulp, as it's roots are from ongoings in magazines. Always adventurous, rarely features war (a although skirmishing and combat are featured often) and very seldom delves into politics at all.

    Most I have read are filled with single main characters, monsters, and a variety of role types.

    The two authors that stick out most are Robert e Howard, and Michael Moorcock. Howard is responsible for the glorious Conan series. (Not very similar to the movie versions, as in Conan is not a meathead who can't form cohesive sentences , but a highly intelligent tactician and master swordsman with a plethora of knowledge skills) Conan does fight a war. But most of his stories revolve around treasure hunting, questing, archaeology, or a few times he's hired as a thief (rogue)

    My favorite is "red nails" (very questlike, includes monsters)

    Moorcock is more modern (60s, 70s, but his newer stuff is more recent) his books are all interconnected on a multiverse. As each main character is shares the same spirit, (But vastly differ in personality) he is most known for his elric saga, but a lot of people have found gloriana or some of his other titles to be better.

    My favs are sailor on the seas of fate, and Kane of old mars series.

    (Elric is an albino drug addicted cripple weilding a possessed sword which controls him when he is weak. ruling a decayed destroyed kingdom. He uses some magic)
  3. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    Two solid gold recs for you, huntsman: The Traitor Son series starting with The Red Knight, four books out and the finale comes out one month from now.

    The Immortal Treachery series, again four books out with the finale a few months away.

    Rather than trying to summarize, I'll let you read the blurbs.

    Also by hitting the home button at the top, you will find a huge array of fantasy books of every description possible.
  4. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    Ohh red nails is public domain, so you can find an audio book on youtube
  5. huntsman79

    huntsman79 A Muggle

    Appreciate those suggestions. The Conan movies definitely turned me off from the books, so glad to hear they aren't very similar.

    The Immortal Treachery series isn't on Audible, which is the only way I have time to read these days. Can you tell me more about the redcoats series? I've looked at them before, but always thought they were about war from some reason.

    Also, if someone could be so kind as to tell me which ones from my list above are NOT what I'm looking for? So hard to tell from the Amazon descriptions.

    Really do appreciate the help. Good forum here.
  6. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    I was going to suggest the Conan adventures yesterday but the site was messed up. I thought they were good (probably great in their day). Also, I've read The Once And Future King (IMO again probably greatcat the time and which I THINK is considered pulp.They are about the only pulp I've read but have you looked at the lists on this site. They're great and some list books by decades. You can find pulp in the early decades list.

    You asked for pulp fiction recommendations. Most people realize that means sword and sorcery written before 1970. I cannot imagine why Red Knight and Treachery were recommended? Those are certainly not pulp and not sword and sorcery. I believe both series originated within the last handful of years. Which is nearly a half century off the mark even if you only go back to 1969.

    Red Knight. IMO is great (except horrendous editing in the first couple books) but that isn't even close to what you asked for.

    Immortal Treachery I haven't read it but the writer is a good egg, hangs out here, and we all root for him. Almost everyone here who commented on it left only positive remarks. Again, far from what you requested in both time and content.
  7. btkong

    btkong Journeyed there and back again Staff Member

    Try reading "Sufficiently Advanced Magic".

    It's a fairly new book (this year), but a whole lot of fun -- one of the better fantasy reads this year for me. I'll probably be adding this to my Top Fantasy Books of 2017 list.

    Has that whole adventure/magic school YA feel that you get in part of The Name of the Wind, Harry Potter, The Magicians.

    There are even sort of trapped tombs (to attain magical power, or 'attunements', people have to ascent an impossibly difficult, trap+monster-filled tower where if they pass certain levels in the tower, they gain magical abilities for the resident deity; the higher you can acend, the more power you can gain but also the more difficult it is)

    The magic system is pretty cool, highly detailed and quite intricate.
  8. huntsman79

    huntsman79 A Muggle

    Hm interesting. I’ll have to read up on it.

    Maybe I misspoke about the pulp thing. I’m just looking for something that has a lot of adventure and peril and a quest with monsters and also good story/characters. So does the red knight series not cover this??
  9. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    I think it wouldn't be difficult at all finding a fantasy book that checks almost all those boxes. However, IMO, it will be hard to find many that do it as well.

    There are monsters (dragons, wyverns, etc), plenty of peril and battles, most agree it is a good story with well drawn characters. If by adventure and a quest you mean a long journey from point A across the continent to point B IIRC there is none of that. Armies move around but nothing like Lord Of The Rings.You'll learn a lot about knights and how they put on their battle gear.There is a lot of stuff you probably never think of. The weight of the armor, the vulnerable parts, etc. Those things take a lot of time effort and.assistance to put on. Which means when nature calls...well, I wouldn't want to be the person that cleans their armor.

    Incidentally, The Red Knight is the first book in The Traitor Son Cycle. The 5th and final book will be coming out very soon.
  10. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    huntsman said "Maybe I misspoke about the pulp thing. I’m just looking for something that has a lot of adventure and peril and a quest with monsters and also good story/characters. So does the red knight series not cover this??

    That's pretty much an exact description of The Red Knight.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  11. huntsman79

    huntsman79 A Muggle

    What can y’all tell me about these? Do you think any of these would work for what I’m looking for?

    Dawn of Wonder

    Theft of Swords

    The Waking Fire (The Draconis Memoria #1)

    Assassins Apprentice
  12. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    Assassin's Apprentice is a wonderful book if you like that sort of thing, but definitely not what you're looking for.

    I mean, the obvious recommendations here are the Howards, the Leibers, the Moorcocks and so on, and if you're okay with reading older fiction and not familiar with the names we're onto a winner here.

    The best modern recommendation I can give - dunno if its on audible but I'd presume so - is the Ninth Rain by Jen Williams. There's a bit of politics, but its mainly three nutters going into old ruins and discovering more gribblies than they'd like.

    I would have to add that the Red Knight is very war and politics heavy.
  13. huntsman79

    huntsman79 A Muggle

    Interesting. I'll have to check that one out. So not much adventure and monsters in Assassin's Apprentice huh? Too bad. Heard great things about the series. So what IS that series about if not adventure?
  14. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    Its a fairly classic bildungsroman with a heavy slant towards character building and character dynamics. Very much on the literary end of the genre. Not many inhuman monsters, but quite a few in human skin.
  15. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    Aside from monsters, this might be what you're looking for. It's lighthearted and fast paced, doesn't take itself too seriously.
    Not really what you want. I personally found it boring, it's bit slow in the beginning, not an adventure at all. It's more a cross between steampunk and epic fantasy. I dropped it, even though I like Ryan's first series a lot.
    One of the best books if you're looking for great character development and character based fantasy. But it is slow and not an adventure. Also no monsters, more like zombie-esk humans.

    If you want adventure look no further than this. It's a great series, but you might wanna forgo monsters, same as with Theft of Swords.

    Also, for a standalone, one of the best adventure fantasy I've read is Princess Bride by William Goldman. Again, no monsters.
    Also, might be an unorthodox recommendation, but Dresden Files is really one of the best when it comes to action, traps, monsters, etc. It's very low on politics and war (probably could safely say those things are non existent). It is also kind of pulpy in my opinion. The main character is a wizard, so that might not fit with your requirements.
  16. huntsman79

    huntsman79 A Muggle

    Thanks for taking the time for that post.

    Odd I thought Theft of Swords had monsters in it?? Also I’ve seen the Dresden books around but I always thought they were just all crime solving. Had no idea to expect adventure, monsters, traps, etc??

    I read the Prydain series. It’s for a younger audience but really had the exact type of stuff I was looking for. Is there an “adult” prydain? Lord of the Rings is the only one I can think of. Is there anything else like it?
  17. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    Well, I've only read the first book The Crown Conspiracy, and there was no monsters there. I really dislike omnibus editions, so I didn't immediately go for Avempartha, which is the second book in The Theft of Swords. I will one day, I liked the first book well enough.
    It's not exactly crime solving. Sure, Harry is a private detective, but that's not the same as police detective. He gets clients more often than victims. You can be sure that he gets in plenty of traps and usually has to deal with all kinds of creatures (vampires, demons, monsters).

    I've also read first two books of Prydain, and I had to give up. It was a copy of LotR but so simplistic and crude. I really disliked the writing style. I don't think I would like it even as a kid.
    Unfortunately I don't know of anything like that but for adults. Prydain is a product of its time, when LotR clones were the mainstream of fantasy genre. Nowdays, the genre has moved on a bit for these kinds of books.
  18. huntsman79

    huntsman79 A Muggle

    Yeah Prydain isn’t the greatest prose, but it was fun. I’d never read a kids book before (well since I stopped being one) and it had what I was looking for. So odd that fantasy books have moved on so much. I would’ve bet good money that there were piles of LOTR clones out there waiting to be read. I read some of these book descriptions now and they don’t even sound like fantasy. Just a medieval war book mainly with no mention of a quest/journey/monster, etc.

    What about Shannara (heard they weren’t that great though) or Memory Sorrow Thorn?
  19. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    There's a decent chance you'll like Shannara. Opinion ranges on them from great to crap with most I think at "They're alright". Tbh, given your request, I'd kinda assumed you'd read all the big 80s 'Quest' fantasies - Shannara, Riftwar, Belgariad, Mage Winds - if any of these names sound unfamiliar, say and I'll talk more. Gemmell's Drenai series is pretty quest heavy, although the foes are usually human. There's a lot of Moorcock that fits too - The War Hound and the World's Pain particularly springs to mind.

    The genre grabbed onto the big political arcs of Wheel of Time (which also contains several long and good quest segments with inhuman monsters around) and A Song of Ice and Fire (contains a few) and started making that its meat and drink. There's a lot of hybrid books now. The Blade Itself features a mix of exactly what you want, and a crap ton of politics, for example.

    What you want is still out there - its just not always top of the pile.
  20. huntsman79

    huntsman79 A Muggle

    Actually I’ve barely read any fantasy. Usually more of a western/adventure guy. My experience with fantasy is pretty much I’ve seen LOTR and Game of Thrones. And read Kong’s of the Wyld and the Prydain series. Tried Wheel of Time but just wasn’t pulled in by the writing or characters even though I really wanted to be. So anyway feel free to suggest any old series -I’ve probably never heard of it.

    I liked Kings of the Wyld a lot. It was an impossible quest, had a interesting tone, fun magic items, a ton of monsters, etc.

    Heard a lot about the First Law series but always imagined them as more large scale war/politics type thing solely.

    Of course I want good characters and an epic story. I doubt I’d really get into something that was just shallow action the whole time. There’s just something I like about an adventurer having a clear goal but encounters characters and dangers and adventure along the way. Another book I love is the Walking Drum. Would love a fantasy version of that.

    Thank y’all again for the continuing help.

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