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Epic Fantasy Book/Series Recommendations?

  1. Jan 5, 2012 #1
    What is you guys' favorite fantasy book/series?

    I love when a book has:
    1.) a very creative and interesting world
    2.) very creative and interesting power or magic systems
    3.) dynamic characters that have flaws and real personalities rather than cliche cut-outs
    4.) a "chosen one" who still has to earn his/her powers and work hard to unlock their potential rather than some deus ex machina granting god-mode status to them in an instant

    But I hate when a book has:
    1.) too many fantasy cliches (I realize that this genre is inherently cliched but I like when the author handles recurring fantasy plot characteristics in unique ways)
    2.) overdramatics
    3.) gary stus/ mary sues
    4.) too much romance, admiring beauty, every character is beautiful, storybook romance, unrealistically perfect witty exchanges

    feel free to mention your favorite even if it doesn't match what i like tho!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2012 #2


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    Well, Lord of the Rings.
  4. Jan 5, 2012 #3


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    On the epic side I Claudius is pretty cool.

    Another is game of thrones...

    Or the golden compass...
  5. Jan 5, 2012 #4
    The Wheel of Time
  6. Jan 5, 2012 #5


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    I am actually reading The Golden Compass right now. Just starting Book II.
  7. Jan 5, 2012 #6


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    I am a hadrcore Fantasy fan and these are the best. My number one suggestion, "The Wheel of time" books by Robert Jordan


    Raymond E Feist - Magician Master, Riftwar Saga

    David Eddings - The Belgarian, The Malorian, The Elenium and The Tamuli

    Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman = Time of the Twins is a fantasy novel in the Dragonlance series written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. It is the beginning of the Dragonlance Legends Trilogy, a series detailing the journey of fictional twins, the warrior Caramon Majere and the mage Raistlin Majere, along with the cleric Crysania. The book details the start of their adventure.

    Terry Goodkind - sword of truth series (a bit more mature audience than the previous books)


    These should give you the best months of reading of your life.

    Hope you haven't already finished these.
  8. Jan 5, 2012 #7


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    The lightning thief
  9. Jan 6, 2012 #8
    Terry Brook's Shannara world is very interesting and his storys are pretty character driven. If you're interested in a place to start my personal favorite series of his are the original Sword of Shannara series and the Genesis of Shannara series.

  10. Jan 6, 2012 #9
    +1000 for His Dark Materials. By far my favourite fantasy fiction books. :approve:
  11. Jan 6, 2012 #10
    I think The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever fills your requirements pretty nicely.

    I found it to be very original as far as fantasy series go. The characters are definitely not clich├ęd- no elves, dwarves, fairies, etc. The main character, who you might call an antihero, is definitely flawed.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  12. Jan 6, 2012 #11
    How about the greek epics, The Iliad or Odysseus?
  13. Jan 6, 2012 #12
    I haven't started with the final trilogy of The Wheel of Time. How does Sanderson's writing style compare to Jordan's? Was it a good choice to let him finish the series?

    I also like Robin Hobb, especially, the Assassin series. and Tad Williams' Dragonbone Chair. And Ursula le Guin's Earthsea saga.

    But my favorites are the first three books of the wheel of time and the sword of truth, already mentioned above.
  14. Jan 6, 2012 #13
    The Magicians & The Magician King by Lev Grossman

    There are only 2 so far but, I believe there will be more! Love them!
  15. Jan 6, 2012 #14
    I would recommend The Silmarillion as well; likely the greatest work of high fantasy ever written.
  16. Jan 6, 2012 #15

    Vanadium 50

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    Steve Brust's Vlad Taltos series. He certainly avoids cliches - the protagonist is a hit man for the elvish mafia.
  17. Jan 6, 2012 #16
    Tolkien's legendarium is probably the best high fantasy. George Martin's Song of Ice and Fire is also very good, without copying everything Tolkien did.

    Someone mentioned The Iliad & The Odyssey. I approve of this recommendation.

    I'm going to get in trouble for this, but I thought His Dark Materials wasn't that great. I mean, it dragged me in emotionally while I was a teenager, (the same way a couple of Harry Potter books did as a preteen, and they are truly awful), but I don't think I could enjoy it as an adult.

    I also tried Raymond Feist. Magician was actually pretty good, and I've read a few others of his, but I thought he falls into the trap of making characters far too powerful and the writing gets fairly bland after that.

    If you like stuff that really doesn't follow from standard fantasy fare I recommmend China Mieville. He deliberately avoids the cliches of fantasy. His writing is very weird, and that's the only way I can describe it (apart from saying it's excellent) without repeating myself by using words like bizarre, which mean the same thing.

    I can't think of much other fantasy I've read so far, but I have heard very good things about the Mistborn series and The First Law series, so you might want to check those out sometime.
  18. Jan 6, 2012 #17


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    Ugh. Gotta draw the line there. Greatest work of politics in fantasy you mean... :tongue:
  19. Jan 7, 2012 #18


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  20. Jan 8, 2012 #19
    The Deathgate Cycle by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis
    single best series of fantasy novels I've read
  21. Jan 8, 2012 #20

    I like Serena

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    I've already seen a lot of the authors here that I've read and reread.
    Here are the others that I have read and reread.

    David Gemmell with his Drenai series among others.

    Celia S. Friedman with the Coldfire trilogy.

    Dave Duncan with the Man of His Word series.

    Patricia McKillip with the Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy.

    Piers Anthony with his Xanth series and the Incarnations of Immortality series.
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