Monday, April 27, 2009

The Greatest Fantasy Books of All Time

Well we have a pretty good movie list but what about a good read? Some of my favorites and a brief description of the book (or series)

Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan. Great books 1-6 but the plot kept expanding and after book 7 things just never came together again - and then the author died before he finished the last book.

Song of Ice and Fire - George R. R. Martin. Medieval political thriller. Amazing character development, and unpredictable plot lines. No one is safe. Compared to the first three books, four is a bit of a dud.

Magician - Raymond E Feist - Interesting plot. A great quick read.

Assasin - Robin Hobb - More great characters. The books have a sense of moodiness and irony that is missing in most fantasy books.

The Lions of Al-Rassan - Guy Gavriel Kay - loosly based on medieval Spain. Starts r e a l l y slow but builds steam to a great finale if you can stick with it.

A few other come to mind that I am leaving out intentionally:

Lord of the Rings/Hobbit - epic in every sense but painful to read. I have an easier time of it now then I used to but still, you can tell Tolkien was a linguist.

DragonLance Chronicles - used to be my favorite but doesn't age well. The legends series is the only series I still consider readable (and actually quite good). Most dragonlance books are trash.

In fact most D&D books suck. Drizzt used to be entertaining when he was still somewhat novel but after 20 years the whole moody self examining thing has gotten very old.

I'm sure I'm missing some. Suggestions?


Rognar said...

I have to add The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks and The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (Lord Foul's Bane, The Ilearth War and The Power That Preserves) by Stephen R. Donaldson. The awesomeness of those books knows no bounds.

Obiri said...

I admit to having alterior motives to this post. I am looking for new books to read and looking for suggestions.

I forgot about the Sword of Shannara. While some people find the plot twist 2/3 of the way through the book maddening I thought it was great.

Rognar said...

You'll have to jog my memory re: Shannara plot twist. It's been many years since I last read it. Incidentally, both The Sword of Shannara and The Elfstones of Shannara are being made into movies, though oddly, in the reverse order from how the were published.

Check out the first Thomas Covenant series if you can find it. You may have to look for used copies or buy it online. Also, get Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead after the Derobane-bane is through with it. It's more historical fiction than sword-and-sorcery, but it's a good read.

Obiri said...

Just before they reach the druid castle where everything was supposed to be resolved, the hero falls off the path into the river and is lost. Having lost their purpose, the rest of the squad breaks up and goes in separate directions. Its basically a plot reboot.

Polemides said...

I have found two really good series in the last year.

The series Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steve Erikson is great. I have just start the 8th book of 10, only 8 have been published. The first book Gardens of the Moon starts of a little confusing but has a great ending. Be prepared each book is in the 1000 page range.

Also good is The Black Company seris by Glen Cook. It started as a trilogoy and expanded. I have read every book and the middle ones can be slow, but it is worth reading them all for the ending.

I'll even let you borrow them.