recomendation for a good fantasy book

I am an avid reader, history, politics, every kind of literature are my constant companion. Lately I have been reading a lot of sci-fi (a genre I neglected in the past).
But today I want to start reading a good, no a very good fantasy book. Of course, I’ve read the Lord of the rings (and the hobbit, silmarilion, etc). Once I found Zelazny’s “Amber Chronicles” and I just loved it. Also I’ve read Thomas Covenant, a book a despise to this day. Finally, yesterday I finished readong the third book of “Songs of Ice and Fire”, and I want someone in here to tell me what I shouldread next.
I simply loved George R.R. Martin’s book and I can hardly wait to read the fourth (alas, it will be years before I get it in argentina). So to ease my waiting please I need a good one. Thanks.

Recommendations just off the top of my head.

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb (Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin’ Quest)

The Darwath Novels by Barbara Hambly (Time of the Dark, The Walls of Air, The Armies of Daylight, Mother of Winter, Icefalcon’s Quest)

A Night in the Lonesome October - Roger Zelazny dabbles in Lovecraft.

The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan. Although the latter books have become watered down and frustrating, the first five should probably be considered Must reads for Fantasy Enthusiasts.

the Riddlemaster Trilogy - Patricia McKillip. My favorite fantasy novel of all time (the trilogy is now available in one book)

His Dark Materials Trilogy - Phillip Pullman (although listed as a YA series it is not remotely) (the Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass)

I’ll stop there…

The Belgariad by David and Leah Eddings is an immensely readable series, and is followed by The Mallorean. Each series is five books, and while a bit formulaic (they wrote them as a bit of an exercise in the fantasy genre), they are wonderful and I’ve re-read them many times…
Hmmmmm, I wonder where they are, I could use a good book right about now…
I’m also fond of John Varley’s trilogy: Titan, Wizard, and Demon. Though it starts out as Science Fiction, it pretty much finishes off in the Fantasy realm.

Happy reading!

Try “The Last Unicorn”. I forget who wrote it, and I read a LONG time ago, but I do remember liking it quite a bit. It’s not in the mold of LOTR, where an entire world is created.

Terry Goodkind’s “Sword of Truth” series.

The “Bazil Broketail” series by Christopher Rowley is pretty good for the first few books, then it goes downhill FAST.

Back to work, djxiii!

H.P. Lovecraft did mostly short stuff, but great creepy horror.

(On preview, I see that John Mace mentioned this. I liked it too.) The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle starts out looking like a kid’s book, but isn’t. Some of it’s funny, some terrifying, some inspiring. His A Fine and Private Place is very different, but equally good.

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers is different again: a collection of short stories, all more or less connected to the play in the title. If you read the play, you go mad.

For sword-and-sorcery, Fritz Leiber’s books about Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser can’t be beat.

Then there’s Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy, full of strange and rather surreal characters. Some have said that they don’t really matter; Castle Gormenghast is the star.

I think all my big recommendations are already taken or read by the original poster. Since we’ve been talking about Michael Moorcock’s Elric books recently on this board I’ll mention them but also say that the quality in the series varies dramatically though they are available in a pair of very large collections. If you don’t mind pulp adventure style you’ll likely enjoy the better ones and they are one of the big stories in the genre.

Also, to add to rjk’s mention of Lovecraft, he did write some things that are more traditional fantasy than horror. Those stories are collectively known as the Dream Cycle or the Dreamlands. The biggest one in that being The Dream Quest of the Unknown Kadath…

And in a completely different direction, Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld books need to be at least encountered once…

In the fantasy vein, please try a set of books by Evangeline Walton - “Prince of Anwyn”, “Island of the Mighty”, “The Children of Llyr” and “Song of Rhiannon”. They are very loosely based on Welsh mythology & are wonderful.

I also recommend “The Last Unicorn” - a special book. The Gormenghast trilogy was interesting and worth a look.

Is “The Left Hand of Darkness” counted as Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

After reading LOTR you will find many series are just junk imitations with sex thrown in. I’m glad you have the other folks on this thread to steer you to a better way.

Don’t overlook so-called “young adult” or “juvenile” books - sometimes they cut to the chase and can be greater fantasy books than the “adult” ones. I’m thinking of things like L’Engle’s books, also “the Giver”, “Tuck Everlasting” and “Skellig”, tho there are probably many more.
(Still can’t understand why people like “The Golden Compass” & its sequels. I hated it - it was one of those books that I decided life was too short to try to keep bothering with - shortly after I got so angry with the stupid thing that I threw it across the room).

Robin Hobb is the best fantasy author of the current generation. The Farseer Trilogy (Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin’s Quest) is an extremely good and very intense series with a terrific main character and some extremely powerful scenes. Hobb is a master of simple, elegant, and moody writing, and like Martin, she handles royal intrigue, plotting, and double-crossing extremely well. The Liveship Traders trilogy (Ship of Magic, Mad Ship, and Ship of Destiny) is also well worth reading. It has epic scale, some very interesting concepts, and a much larger cast, although the writing isn’t quite as powerful and the plot leaves something to be desired.

Martha Wells has written several good single fantasy novels, including City of Bones and The Death of the Necromancer. She weaves together a lot of plot lines and keeps you guessing until the end.

The High House, by James Stoddard, is one of the most astonishing books I’ve ever read. Not only is it beautifully written, but it also has some fascinating ideas about religion. And the cover art is great.

Not all of his books are fantasy, but I would recommend anything by Guy Gavriel Kay. The Fionavar Tapestry (The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, The Darkest Road) is pure fantasy and is quite excellent. IMO his best work is probably The Lions of Al-Rassan but that’s not necessarily what everyone will think of as fantasy.

Another suggestion, especially since you liked A Song of Ice and Fire, is the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series by Tad Williams - The Dragonbone Chair, Stone of Farewell, To Green Angel Tower.

And a hearty second to the The Belgeriad and The Mallorean by David Eddings.

Anything by Glen Cook, but especially the “Black Company” series.
Lawrence Watt-Evans Ethshar books are light but good. Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos series is excellent.

You might also like the Acorna series (Acorna the Unicorn Girl,etc…can’t remember the names of the rest of them right now)by Anne McCaffrey.The Acorna series,while still in the scifi vein,deviates fom her normal dragon-laden stories and is quite refreshing.
I also recommend the Redwall series by Brian Jacques(Redwall,Mattimeo,Martin the Warrior,Legend of Luke,Pearls of Lutra,etc).:slight_smile:


That’s by Peter Beagle. Also check out his book The Folk of the Air, a contemporary story.

I’d recommend Lord Dunsany’s novels, such as The King of Elfland’s Daughter and The Charwoman’s Shadow. Not a lot of plot, really, but beautiful writing.

If you can find it, The Worm Oroborous by Eddison is an odd little read.

James Branch Cabell wrote a series of wry, cynical fantasies.

I’d also recommend almost anything by Poul Anderson or L. Sprague de Camp.

I really enjoyed the A Man of His Word and Handful of Men series by Dave Duncan.

I totally agree with most of the suggestions thus far.
I would add:
Magician by Raymond E. Feist. He’s not the greatest wirter ever (by a long shot), but the book is quite entertaining. I think Magician has recently been split into two different books. It is also the begining of a horrendously long series that isn’t great but worth a try.
Loydd Alexander worte the Black Cauldron series which is geared toward younger readers, but I enjoyed it none the less.

I’d also recommend the Robin Hobb series, although they can be quite depressing.
Most imaginative books I’ve read have to be Tanith Lee’s
Night’s Sorceries and the rest of the trilogy.
Hugh Cook’s world in
The Wizards and the Warriors, The Wordsmiths and the Warguild, etc, is really well done with excellent characterization. Truly epic.

Two classics are “The Bridge of Birds” by Barry Hughart and “The Princess Bride” by William Goldman. If you’re looking for something more unusual, try “The Devil’s Tower” by Mark Sumner. It’s definitely a fantasy novel with wizards, magic duels, shapeshifters, etc. But it’s also a western with gunfights, cattle stampedes, and Indian attacks.

I’ve got a totally different kind of suggestion for you…
A Baroque Fable by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. It is a fantasy fairy-tale, perhaps more towards the Harry Potter side of things, but more adult. Not like LoTR at all.
It is a very very funny novel by an author who usually writes well-researched historical novels, most of which revolve around her vampire characters. A Baroque Fable is not like those at all.

Check out this mini synopsis for an idea of what I’m talking about.

Only problem is, this is not a common book, so may be difficult to find. (You can borrow my copy!)

I can second the Guy Gavriel Kay recommendations. IIRC, he also did some of the editorial work on the Silmarillion. His latest duology, The Sarantine Mosaic books, are some of his best, IMHO.

I also liked the Tad Williams fantasy trilogy. He’s riffing a little on Tolkien, but his stuff is different enough not to look like a total rip-off.

The David Eddings stuff left me cold personally.

And if you haven’t read The Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart, you should. It’s wonderful. It’s my second favorite book in the whole world (first is The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.

If you’re going to read Guy Gavriel Kay, read Tigana. Excellent book, killer ending.

Have you read C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia? They’re YA books but worth the read. Same goes for A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine Lengle.

I also enjoyed Maia, Shardik, and Watership Down by Richard Adams.

If you like a more cyberpunk noir genre, try Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash.