What should I read next (recomend a good Fantasy novel)

I have a stack of books next to my bed that is 4 feet high, (my reading list), and I am not interested in starting a single one of them. :rolleyes: I want to read a fantasy novel. I don’t have much experience with fantasy books, which is probably why I want to read one. I have read all of Tolkien, The Song of Ice and Fire by GRR Martin (up to the most recent one, can’t wait for murder of crows to finally be released) and Assasin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb, but that’s it as far as Fantasy goes. I am looking for a really traditional sword and sorcery type book, magical creatures, dragons, the whole nine yards. Also, if it could be a relatively self contained novel, or a completed series that would be a plus. (a novel that is a part of an ongoing series is ok as long as the story in that novel is self contained, no cliffhangers please) So can y’all help. This is a totally new world for me so any advice pertaining to authors, styles etc is welcome, but mostly I am looking for a good involving read to get me through the next few weeks.


Hobb and Martin are where it’s at for High Fantasy. If you’re after something on the sword and sorcery scale you could do worse than David Gemmell. Not so much on the dragons, but writes a damn fine heroic fantasy novel. I particularly enjoyed Lion of Macedon(ancient Greece), but his Drenai and Rigante(Celtic) and Jerusalem Man(post apocalypse) stuff are good too. Most of his books are self contained stories, even though they are part of a series (helps to start at the beginning) So you get the added advantage of having more to go to if you have enjoyed the book.

Couple of suggestions. One would be Mercedes Lackey. I’ve only read a couple of her books, but they seem to be what you’re looking for. They all take place in the same universe, but the stories seem to be self-contained, and you can easily read one without reading any others. I haven’t encountered any dragons yet, but all the other stuff you’re looking for is in there.

The other would be the Kushiel Trilogy by Jaqueline Carey (Kusiel’s Dart, Kushiel’s Chosen and Kusiel’s Avatar). Word of warning though–the main character is a prostitute, and there are bedroom scenes. Nothing all that graphic I’d say–it’s mostly left to the imagination, and Carey tends to skim over the particulars. The books are very well written, though there really isn’t much magic or magical creatures (actually, the fantasy element tends to be more for setting than plot). The setting is a sort of altered history–for one, gods are certainly real. For another, the gods of the main character stem from Christianity, but they’re not any of the characters we’re familiar with. So the fantasy elemtn is more mythological than anything else. I’d still place it in the realm or High Fantasy though, at least partly for the writing style

I recommend Raymond Feist’s Riftwar Saga; I just finished it and found it quite enjoyable. It is a four book series. It was recommended to me by a D&D fanatic, and I can see why: it is heavy on the sorcery and resourcefulness of characters. Some of their actions really seem like they were chosen from a roll of the die.

There is nothing especially new and, to me, it read as Tolkien lite. But I found to be an entertaing and swift read. It has likeable characters although no deep characterizations or subtext. The action scenes-- and there are a lot of them since the characters seem to never rest-- are exciting and well laid out. There is also a surprising secret about one of the main characters: Macros the wizard is the son of the Wandering Jew. Kinda out of left field.
but that is revealed in the fourth book. While the series does have the expected blond elves and burly dwarves and colorful dragons, Feist has an interesting cosmological theory on how the universe was fashioned.

But overall, I would recommend the series: it has a good narrative, good characters, it has fewer books that Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and it uses the perspective of many characters. I especially liked that Feist gave an equal hand to all the protagonists; there were not clear cut good guy/bad guy dichotomy.

David Eddings and Terry Brooks are always mainstays. I suggest you stay away from Robert Jordan until he ends The Wheel of Time series; my mom is getting very frustrated. I will put in a (wholehearted) plug for my good friend Paul Thompson who contributes to the Dragon Lance series (with co-author Tonya Carter).

Keep in mind that I am not a huge fantasy reader. The bulk of my readings are Tolkien and Piers Anthony(and I will not apologize!) so YMMV.

Jane Lindskold’s Firekeeper books, beginning with Through Wolf’s Eyes. High fantasy, but with several twists. The central character in the books is a girl who had been raised by intelligent wolves in the wilds, and the first book deals with her re-introduction to human society. I cannot reccomend highly enough.

Everybody’s waiting on the GRR Martin book now, but a few years ago it was the final part of Memory, Sorrow & Thorn by Tad Williams that everyone was waiting to read… It’s a four (paperback) book series starting with The Dragonbone Chair

Robin Hobb has a new series starting soon, the first book will be out in a few weeks down in this part of the world. Shaman’s Crossing

I recommend the Discworld. Guards Guards has a dragon in it, and is a good introduction to his universe.

If you haven’t read it, I heartily recommend T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. King Artghur done right. In the same vein, read John Steinbeck’s king Arthur book (Yes, that John Steinbeck*.
Read Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories (They’re reprinting them now, minus the embellishments and rewrites of others).

Read H.P. Lovecraft’s horror stories.
Harry Turtledove’s The Toxic Spell Dump is a hoot.
Alan Garner’s The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and its lesser-known sequel, The Moon of Gomrath.
If you can find them, the Compleat/Incomplet Enchanter stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (and the continuations by Christopher Stashieff. In fact, Stashieff’s books on his own are pretty good). Also de Camp’s own fantasy novels, like The Carnelian Cube, if you can find them. It’s unfair that so many of them are out of print.

I second the Feist recommendation (Darkness at Sethanon is one of my favorites, as is Betrayal at Krondor)…and encourage you to finish Hobb’s Assassin’s trilogy. Her **Tawny Man ** trilogy is also spectacular, but can’t be read without the first series as reference. Fitz is the man!

Have also read the **Kushiel ** series…while not usually my cup of tea, it was very well done.

Some folks also like the **Dragonlance ** series (to me, it had a lot of cool concepts, but horrible writing).

There’s also Sarah Douglass’ Wayfarer Redemption trilogy, and it’s sequel trilogy. Very cool- the first trilogy is very classic swords and sorcery, the second one is much darker.

**Hero and the Crown ** is a good, fast read as well, and stands alone.
There’s also Stephen King’s Eyes of the Dragon- much better than I thought it would be.

I imagine you’ll not be interested in Robert Jordan at all. :slight_smile:

Juliett McKenna’s Thief’s Gamble is a pretty good read if you’re in the mood for some low-key non-sprawling non-ambitious fantasy. Probably one of the better new fantasy series I’ve read in a while, and it is finished. Plus you have to admire heroic fantasy with a main character who has a tendency to hide during fights. :slight_smile:

You should definitely finish Hobb’s novels about Fitz! I loved her last three books. And a second for Feist. I read the Serpentwar Saga series (four books, I think) and it was good. Not as good as Martin (imho, at least) but worth a read.

I also like Haydon’s Rhapsody series. It isn’t finished yet but the first three books complete a trilogy that is contained. Has dragons, magic, other races, etc, etc. The only thing that might bother you is the dialogue - sometimes the characters talk like they live next door. Didn’t bother me, but I’ve heard other fantasy fans complain.

Have you read the Chronicles of Prydain? It’s a series for children, but I still love it. Five books, short and sweet.

The first book of the Dragonlance Chronicles series is a good read. Dragon of Autum something another.

It ends (no spoilers here) like the first Star Wars movie.

A definite conclusion but you know there are more bad guys left to conquer.

Also, let me suggest The Gilded Chain by Dave Duncan. It is an interesting sword and sorcery (more sword) book about knights who are magically bound to the people they are sworn to defend. The magic controls them to do things they wouldn’t want to do if it means protecting their charge. Kind of like magically bound secret service agents.

It is part of a series, by Gilded Chain, the first of the series, is completely self-contained.

Legend by David Gemmell. I really like Gemmell even if he is getting somewhat formulaic. Or the Fionovar Tapestry (I linked to book one, but all 3 are out.)

Thanks, keep em coming! I decided to start a list that I will keep on my computer for whenever I get the mood to read a fantasy. The only book recommended that I already read was The Once and Future King (which for some reason I don’t associate with fantasy)

I do plan to finish the Robin Hobb Trilogy. I liked Assassin’s Apprentice, but didn’t feel compelled to rush out and get the next one. I am told that the Tawneyman trilogy is really the one to read, but that I do have to finish this one first. Also was told to read her Liveship series before the Tawney Man, is this necessary or merely suggested?

Anyway, thanks all.

**Terry Pratchett’s ** Diskworld novels. Funny, literate fantasy. Puts all the others to shame. :smiley:

For high fantasy, yeah, Guy Gavriel Kay (Fionavar Tapestry, and some other stuff) is a good suggestion. Also, Tad Williams. I’m reading his Memory, Sorrow, Thorn trilogy right now, and it’s an excellent series (plus, it’s finished), and he wrote The Flower War, which is a standalone and also good, but less of the high fantasy.

I picked up Tawny Man right after the Assassin trilogy…didn’t feel like I missed anything. My Lady wife began Liveship, but coudn’t finish it.

I think it depends on who your favoirite character is- the Liveship traders have a lot to do with the Fool (I don’t think Fitz is even in them).

Hmm. My favorite fantasy series right now is unfinished, curse it, so I can’t recommend it. (If I kidnap Greg Keyes, can I make him write faster?)
I highly recommend Chaz Brenchley’s Outremer novels, starting with The Devil in the Dust.

Even more, I recommend Garth Nix’s outstanding Abhorsen Trilogy. It’s sometimes classified as YA, but I really wouldn’t call it that.

Also called YA, but wholly enjoyable for adults is Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.

I’d highly recommend RA Salvatore’s books set in the Forgotten Realms (Dungeons & Dragons setting.) It starts with the Icewind Dale Trilogy, then he switches focus to his main character, Drizzt, following his exodus from the Dark Elf underworld to the surface and onward. He writes excellent battle and close combat scenes in my opinion. I’m not sure how many books he’s completed in the series now, but I think it could be around 12-15 now.

And that he’s Merlin.

But you find out in a later book:

He’s lying about that. He was really just a poor boy from Kesh who discovered a secret magical temple.