Standalones

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#1
Just from thinking about it for another thread I've realised that I don't know too many fantasy standalone novels. So let's see what people recommend.

Rules are it can't be part of a series, even if the plot is standalone. A singular window into another world (By which I mean the Hobbitt is not standalone for instance). Must be fantasy, not sci-fi. I guess we'll accept urban fantasy but magical realism may not be quite the thing. How about if it has magic and melee combat? (Edit: Rabbit paws don't count)

Only one that springs to mind recently for me was The Goblin Emperor, which I wouldn't really recommend as I didn't finish it.

What say you?
 
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Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#2
Guy Gavriel Kay often writes standalone novels. I can recommend Tigana (I read it recently and I thought it was superb). I have also heard good stories about the Lions of Al-Rassan and Ysabel, both by the same author.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
Here's some I've enjoyed ..

Neverwhere, Stardust, Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
The Night Circus- Erin Morgenstern
Deerskin - Robin Mckinley
The Hero's Guide to Saving your Kingdom- Christopher Healy
The War of the Flowers - Tad Williams
Tigana- GGK
Elantris- Brandon Sanderson
Vicious - VE Schwabb
Talion: Revenant- Michael Stackpole
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#4
I recognise a lot of those but have never read them. I wonder if it's a subconcious thing with me that I go for series books. Which of those are your favs then @TomTB ?
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
I recognise a lot of those but have never read them. I wonder if it's a subconcious thing with me that I go for series books. Which of those are your favs then @TomTB ?
I gave top marks to Vicious, Stardust and The Night Circus ... all absolutely brilliant. I rated them all highly though, so take your pick :)
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#9
A Game of Universe-fantastic, mix of fantasy and a little sci-fi-Eric Nylund, great author
Good Omens
American Gods
Watership Down
The Drawing of the Dark, Anubis Gate-Tim Powers
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#10
  • The Tower of Fear and The Swordbearer by Glen Cook
  • Elantris and Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (yeah, yeah, Cosmere and stuff, I know, but neither is part of a series yet unless I have really not been paying attention, which is possible -- for the record, I was not a fan of Warbreaker, but some people here liked it)
  • The Barbed Coil by J.V. Jones
  • Pretty much anything by Guy Gavriel Kay (except Fionavar and Sarantium books, which were parts of series)
  • Blackdog by K.V. Johansen
  • Song of the Beast by Carol Berg
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#13
..and Watership Down can do one. That's not fantasy. Not unless Woundwort is going to bring some serious fireballs to the party.... and it would need way more armour and swords. Nope... I'm vetoing that one.

And no cosmere. Because I said so and Sanderson stood me up once. :spitoutdummy:

Might give Karen Memory ago - I seem to remember loving the cover art: Traditionally the best way to ascertain a novel's worth.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#14
Umm..the one I quoted. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

Might give Karen Memory ago - I seem to remember loving the cover art: Traditionally the best way to ascertain a novel's worth.
lol
It's a really fun book, but it's low on fantasy high on steampunk. Not sure if that bothers you or not.
 

Kalavan

Journeyed there and back again
#15
Blackdog by K.V. Johansen
I'm not sure, since I've only read Blackdog, but isn't it part of her Marakand series?
Kudos for Tower of Fear, truly an amazing book.

Anyway, most of Gemmell's books are, albeit stand-alones, part of a series, but a few are "properly" stand-alone: I would recommend Morningstar, Knights of Dark Renown and Echoes of the Great Song
Most of K.J. Parker's books, at the very least The Folding Knife
Martha Wells' Wheel of the Infinite
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#16
I'm not sure, since I've only read Blackdog, but isn't it part of her Marakand series?
They're not really connected at all in terms of the narrative, just the setting is related and maybe a few characters cross over. The Lady and The Leopard make up a duology that's separate from Blackdog, by my understanding.

There is also The Company by K.J. Parker but I can't even express how much I hated that book. All the characters are self-centered assholes. Also there's no magic.
 

Kalavan

Journeyed there and back again
#17
They're not really connected at all in terms of the narrative, just the setting is related and maybe a few characters cross over. The Lady and The Leopard make up a duology that's separate from Blackdog, by my understanding.
Thanks, I'll have to check out this duology, I didn't really liked the 2nd half of Blackdog, but it surely had a lot of potential.
 

Theophania

Journeyed there and back again
#19
The Carpet People, by Terry Pratchett. Early Pratchett. A fun read!
The Spirit Ring, by Lois McMaster Bujold.
Ladylord, by Sasha Miller. Don't read if you're prudish.
To Ride Hell's Chasm, by Janny Wurts. Excellent.
Sorcerer's Legacy, by Janny Wurts. Very good.
A Horsewoman in Godsland, by Claudia J. Edwards. Interesting - doesn't reach the heights of brilliance, but recommended.
Dogsbody, by Diana Wynne Jones. Children's.
A Sudden Wild Magic, by Diana Wynne Jones. Written for adults, but Jones doesn't have quite the touch for adult writing that she does for children. Interesting ideas, a nice read, but lacks complexity.
The Changeover, by Margaret Mahy. Young adult, but thoroughly recommended. Very thoroughly. Still one of my all-time favourites.

I can think of more that are standalones but occur in the same universe as other books (which may or may not also be standalones).

And I'd say that Watership Down is definitely fantasy. I hate to break it to anyone, but real rabbits don't do that. :)

Karen Memory - I really, really wanted to like that book. The premise was brilliant, and I'd heard that Bear was a great author. But I was really, really disappointed. Unrealistic characters, and an unrealistic plot. I'm a fantasy reader - I can suspend my disbelief with the best of them - but things do have to be internally logical, and the characters do have to act with a certain degree of common sense. Still, other people enjoyed it.
 

JHBSmith

Told lies with Locke
#20
  • Elantris and Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (yeah, yeah, Cosmere and stuff, I know, but neither is part of a series yet unless I have really not been paying attention, which is possible -- for the record, I was not a fan of Warbreaker, but some people here liked it)
They've both got sequels lined up to come in a few years. Elantris has a couple of short stories set on the same world already released.