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

I’ll second Mercedes Lackey (particularly for her Valgarth (Valdemar) stuff.)

I’d also suggest either set of series by David Eddings, which I read when we were still waiting for all the books in The Tamuli (the second universe second trilogy) to be released. My favorites are The Elenium & The Tamuli, which are both trilogies set in the same universe with the same charactor groups but the others (which are 5 book series each set in a different universe with different characters) are good too.

For something still fantasy-based, but with a crossover detective/horror feel, the Harry Dresden books by Jim Butcher are excellent. I think there are 6 now, with another one possibly due later this year.

I’m keeping a list too, now. :slight_smile:

I am not sure if this is anything you might be interested in, but I like feminist sci-fi/fantasy. I am not a “feminist” per se and most definitely not a “femi-nazi.” But I like that the stories give a distinctly different view from traditional fantasy. Keeps me on my toes. This site has a list of some authors and reviews. Oddly, a lot of these titles are distopias and contain sexual content, so keep that in mind.


If you don’t mind that it’s an e-book, you might want to try Rentwing. It’s really dang good.


The web page is temporarily down, but should be back up within a day or so.

I quite enjoy the Jim Butcher series. The seventh was just released in hard back.

Looks like it’s up to me to mention the old warhorses.

If you can tolerate sorcery without the swords, try Ursula K. LeGuin’s **Earthsea ** trilogy (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs as Atuan, The Farthest Shore.) Before anyone points out that LeGuin finished off the series with the much more recent Tehannu and (I think) Other Winds, I am not unaware of the later, more “mature” additions to the series. I read them. I just didn’t like them, and I find them depressing. Sure, the original three books were sexist as all getout, but I don’t care, and I’m a woman.

If you can stand juvenalia, (and Christian allegorical juvenalia, to boot), there’s always C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. (Please start with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, not The Magician’s Nephew, which is best read sixth of the seven books, IMHO and that of many others.) You may or may not be able to stand them, but at least if you read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, you’ll be in a better position to judge the Walt Disney movie coming out at Christmas. Anyway, they’re better than they sound, if undeniably preachy.

If you can deal with overblown language and an overwrought protagonist, give The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Stephen R. Donaldson a shot. Personally, I’d stick with the first three books if I had it to do over again. Donaldson wrote two trilogies and is now (20 years later) in the process of following them up with a final four-book series, but he would have been better off quitting after Lord Foul’s Bane, The Illearth War and The Power that Preserves. Thomas Covenant, too, is soon to be “a major motion picture,” for better or worse. Note that Covenant, himself, isn’t much for hacking and slashing at his enemies, but he does wield magic power (much to his dismay), and there is no shortage of strange beasts, fey people, fell creatures and carnage in the books, to put it mildly.

Some that haven’t been mentioned yet—correction, make that hadn’t been mentioned, when I first started writing this. Oh well…

If you don’t mind venturing into the YA section of the bookstore/library, I highly recommend Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydian. (It’s a 5-book series, each of which is somewhat self-contained, but they tell a bigger story and should be read in order.) (Okay, on preview, I see this one has been mentioned, but it’s definitely worth mentioning again.)

Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea Trilogy is rightly considered a classic. (She later went back and wrote more; by now there are six volumes, but you can stop after the first three, or even after one or two.) There are wizards and dragons and fun stuff like that, but it’s more philosophical and mystical than it is action and swordplay.

C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books are, of course, enormously popular and might be close to what you’re looking for.

Meanwhile, back in the adult section…

Fritz Lieber’s stories about Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser are classic Swords-n-Sorcery; they’re one of the first things Terry Pratchett parodied in Discworld. The stories, of varying lengths, have been collected in six volumes that all start with the word Swords.

The first thing I read after finishing The Lord of the Rings for the first time was Stephen R. Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Some people love it, some hate it—partly it depends on how you react to Donaldson’s prose style and to having a protagonist who isn’t very likable. But I’ll give Donaldson this: he did write a series that is both very Tolkienesque and highly original. Donaldson also wrote Mordant’s Need, a separate fantasy in two large volumes (takes several hundred pages to really get going, but worth it if you can stick it out that long), and two impressive volumes of short stories.

I’m sure there are others that I’m not thinking of right now. In fact, there have been threads like this before, so if you don’t get enough good suggestions out of this one…

For some interesting fantasy, try Gene Wolfe. His Soldier of the Mist is about a main character who has no long-term memory, and how he tries to deal with being on the fringes of the Persian War (IIRC) with gods and goddesses all interested in him, and he doesn’t know why. The follow up book isn’t as good, IMNSHO, but still worth a read.

Another recommendation for Raymond Feist - I really think he is one of the best fantasy authors ever.

Also I recommend Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, and the Earthsea books, and the Narnia series (starting with Lion, of course).

One I haven’t seen yet is the Elric books by Michael Moorcock. Wonderfully overwritten, and if you’ve seen the parodies about the doom-laden antihero, this is the inspiration for them. Still a good read.
Not so much “high fantasy”, but very good are the Taltos books by Steven Brust - a human assassin in a world of ‘elfs’, where humans are a despised minority. Taltos becoming a mob boss - and later

throwing that all away.
Lessee…there’s a Poul Anderson book, Hearts and Three Lions I think - good book, forgettable title (at least for me :D)

If you like Conan, try the Brak the Barbarian series by John Jakes. IIRC, Jakes admits that Brak started as a Conan clone, but he’s still good. Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser are better than either - they have brains and humour as well as the big sword.

For a turn away from swords, try Master of the Five Magics by Lyndon Hardy. No dragons, but there are demons. He has two more in the series.

Even farther from the OP’s request is the huge amount of stuff by Lord Dunsany. He mostly doesn’t have either dragons or demons, but read him anyway. I like Fifty-one Tales, or the novel The King of Elfland’s Daughter, but just about anything is great.

And he started a new more traditional fantasy series, The Codex Alera, with the first book, Furies of Calderon, out in hardback, due in paperback in August. It ends, but the bad guys are still around and will be back. Fun book.

Holy cow, I hadn’t heard about this one! Thanks for the heads up, GuanoLad!!

Re Lord Dunsany: absolutely beautiful language and imagery. A lot of his work is available online for free on Project Gutenberg: Lord Dunsany

Really good swords & worcery books. Let’s see, I’m sure I’ve read a few.

The Antero Saga, by Allan Cole and Chris Bunch, consisting of The Far Kingdoms , The Warrior’s Tale, Kingdoms of the Night, and The Warrior Returns . Each book is reasonably self-contained. Fantasy with elements taken from traditional classics such as The Seven Voyages of Sinbad. Stories about exploring unknown territory, with huge action sequences and lots of hot lesbian sex.

The High House and The False House, by James Stoddard. An odd but very entertaining mixture of quest fantasy and dark gothic horror, with truly outstanding writing. Not to be missed. About a young boy raised in a sprawling Victorian mansion with tigers in the basement, dinosaurs in the attic, vilanous furniture, magic books, and all sorts of other stuff.

And last but not least, The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison. These days it’s known mainly as the book that inspired The Lord of the Rings, but it’s a great story in its own right, with huge battles, monsters, villainous sorcerers, and lots more.

Some of the classics:
The Last Unicorn and A Fine and Private Place by Peter Beagle.

The Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart

Nine Princes in Amber by Zelazny.   (Actually, almost any early Zelazny)

Good Omens by Gaiman and Pratchett

If you like Song of Ice and Fire, then I heartily recommend:

The Black Company by Glen Cook

It’s emotionally tough going (and sorry, no dragons), but the series is damn good. And finished.

Jack Vance’s Tales of the Dying Earth.

I enjoyed the Black Company - but take my advice and stop at the first 3!

Want to read a book that is really good that’ll leaving you longing for a sequel, which doesn’t exist? War for the Oaks by Emma Bull. I was really sad to finish it, because there’s no more. However, Tithe by Holly Black is similar enough to give you the same atmosphere, yet different enough to keep you interested, were you to read both.

I love David and Leigh Eddings’ first two series (all the books were co-written, but that wasn’t made public until the last decade), and I like Terry Brooks non-Shanara books too: Magic Kingdom for Sale–Sold! ** is the beginning of the Landover series, and ** Running With the Demon is the beginning of The Word and the Void Trilogy.

At the moment I’m reading Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s… books and Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters Trilogy, and both are good one book in - I picked up the second of each today, along with the first Song of Ice and Fire novel, which the library finally has.

At the other end of the spectrum, if you ever feel the need to read the worst books by the most famous authors, I dare you to read Dragon’s Gold, Serpent’s Silver & Chimera’s Copper by Piers Anthony & Robert Margroff. Holy God, each book is just a little bit worse than the last…I skipped the last two, fearing that reading them would cause irreversible brain damage.

Gotta recommend this highly. I’ve got it, & the two sequels. Very Prime.

A Night In The Lonesome October by Zelazny is very good, albeit a trifle outside the OP.

Also, try Glen Cook’s Garret series. Very fine.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West - I picked it up on a whim to read on an airplane, and I barely put it down until I had finished it! A gorgeous and clever look at an old favorite fantasy - and I can’t wait to read the author’s take on Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.

I recommend anything by Robin McKinley. She’s a fantastic writer and her stories are all quick reads. Anything else I say would quickly devolve into fangirl gushing, so I’ll let you judge for yourself.