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Author Topic: Fantasy Recommendations?  (Read 3783 times)
weatherman
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« on: June 09, 2013, 06:44:30 AM »

My wife finds herself these days with a lot of time on her hands, but not enough books to fill the time. After being introduced to the genre through trashy vampire novels and Harry Potter, she had to admit she is now a fantasy fan. She's read a few books of the Game of Thrones and also the Mistborn series, and dabbled around with others here and there but I don't think she's really found another series that she has really enjoyed to the point of reading more than one.

Being a sci-fi fan myself, I don't really have a lot of recommendations for her, so I'm asking here; what good fantasy would you recommend? It would be especially good if it involved strong or lead female characters and a series of at least three books...
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lowky
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2013, 08:16:13 AM »

Terry Brooks is always a good place to start, for lighter fare I would recommend his Magic Kingdom for Sale series. 
Not sure how much of the older Xanth books are available, I enjoyed those.  It sounds like from the ones you listed that she tends to like the YA fantasy stuff somewhat.  The Xanth books would qualify in that regard. 

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Scattercat
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2013, 10:45:55 AM »

Barbara Hambly almost always has a strong female character (albeit one who usually falls in love with a much older and more worldly man).  The Darwath Trilogy (Time of the Dark, Walls of Air, Armies of Daylight, and then Mother of Winter and Icefalcon's Quest) and the Windrose Chronicles (The Silent Tower, The Silicon Mage, Dog Wizard, and Stranger at the Wedding) are both extremely good.

Tad Williams is another personal favorite, with Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn (The Dragonbone Chair, The Stone of Farewell, and To Green Angel Tower Pts. I and II).  If you want a more starter-level story, Tailchaser's Song is self-contained and can be summarized as "Watership Down with cats and evil deities."
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Fenrix
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2013, 10:50:54 AM »

You can't go wrong with ensuring that she reads The Hobbit.

Checking out L Frank Baum's Oz books might be worthwhile. They're quick and easy and in the public domain.

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lowky
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2013, 01:03:54 PM »

Arthurian Legend is also always good, Stephen Lawhead's Pendragon series was good, The Once and Future King, Mary Stewart's quintet starting with The Crystal Cave. 
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olivaw
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2013, 02:42:22 PM »

I'd recommend Earthsea for anyone breaking into fantasy, even though the sexism in the world doesn't really get addressed until the later books.

Strong female lead? Try most books by Mary Gentle. Particularly Ash, which is only a single volume but longer than some trilogies.
Or Sherri S Tepper - maybe Beauty which reworks the classic fairy story with a strong feminist slant.

On the slightly pulpier side, and some might call them SF - the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. Mostly your classic 'farmgirl grows up to defeat prejudice and save the world' type stuff, but still original and compelling. Start with Dragonflight.

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Devoted135
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2013, 09:43:58 PM »

She might like Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. It's the first in a GIANT series, and features a couple very strong female protags. I've only read the first two, but there are something like 11 total.
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weatherman
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2013, 06:58:42 AM »

Thanks all for those suggestions - keep 'em coming! I should also mention she's read the "basics" like LoTR and YA stuff like Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe (which she read as a YA).

I'm mostly looking for recent (like last 10 years) stuff - I've got recommendations for her from a long time ago when I read a little fantasy (stuff like Pern and Darkover, which I have fond memories of) but she doesn't trust my judgement from when I was a pre-teen boy. Go figure Smiley

The Darwath Trilogy (Time of the Dark, Walls of Air, Armies of Daylight, and then Mother of Winter and Icefalcon's Quest)...

I don't think trilogy means what you think it means Smiley but that does sound like something she would enjoy.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 07:04:58 AM by weatherman » Logged
DKT
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2013, 09:00:37 AM »

Looks like the Epic Fantasy stuff has been covered well.

Nobody's mentioned Neil Gaiman? I have several favorites by him: 1) Neverwhere, which is set in London Below and has a secret magical society between the subway lines of London. It's rip-roaring fun. 2) American Gods, which is essentially about the ancient gods that came to America with immigrants, and then were forgotten/pushed aside. 3) The Graveyard Book, which is a YA about a living boy who is raised by ghosts in a graveyard. Since she liked Harry Potter, this might be the most obvious choice for her?

We've covered several recent books by PodCastle authors with our Spotlights including: Daniel Abraham's The Dragon's Path, The Welcome to Bordertown anthology, Tim Pratt's Briarpatch, Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon, and Tina Connolly's Ironskin. You all can check those out, if you want to hear from the authors themselves Smiley
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lowky
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2013, 10:00:36 AM »

Parasol protectorate which is steampunk and elements of both urban fantasy as well as sci-fi.

Stray Souls (Magicals anonymous #1) is planned for more books, urban fantasy without being a trashy romance with monsters.  It also expands on existing series (different character focus but overlap) the Matthew Swift series by Kate Griffin.  I liked Stray Souls (Female Protagonist) a little more than the Matthew Swift series but both are good. 

The Trillium saga by Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Julian May.  They wrote the first book together and then each wrote sequels.  I think there is actually 5 total books in series now.  The first is Black Trillium. Focuses on 3 sisters as protagonists. 

another suggestion if you have a good reads account is to ask for Recommendations, just as you did here.  I have had good luck with recommendations there.
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olivaw
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2013, 10:32:44 AM »

Shadows of the Apt, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Magic-v-tech and insect-people and wit. Several books, starting with Empire in Black and Gold.
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Devoted135
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2013, 01:40:11 PM »

The what are you reading thread reminded me that she might enjoy both Spellwright and Spellbound (and the forthcoming third book Spellbreaker) by Blake Charlton.

Lowky did a great job summing up, so I'll just quote here:
Finished Spellwright and started it's sequel Spellbound.  It's not YA but it's easy reading, and really haven't found anything worse than the latter Harry Potter books in it.  the name Spellwright is a pun as it's basically about a dyslexic wizard, with an interesting take on magic, in that the spells are "written" in the wizards muscles as needed and then cast.  I think it would be good for any teen with dyslexia.  The author had problems until he was a teen and started sneaking fantasy books into his special ed classes to read.  Gives hope that it can be overcome.
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Scattercat
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2013, 10:18:11 PM »

I avoided both Gaiman and Pratchett on the grounds that they are the Ones Everyone Knows.  Also Gaiman, though no slouch at writing decent female characters, tends toward the male protagonist (not unreasonably).
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DKT
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2013, 12:43:12 AM »

I avoided both Gaiman and Pratchett on the grounds that they are the Ones Everyone Knows.  Also Gaiman, though no slouch at writing decent female characters, tends toward the male protagonist (not unreasonably).

Maybe, but I think for someone who was just become a fantasy genre fan via Harry Potter, vampires, and AGoT, Gaiman is a natural author to turn to next.

Though as I look at the original post again, she's looking for series, and Gaiman hasn't yet actually committed to a series of novels (yet - seems like it's going to happen with American Gods).
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flintknapper
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2013, 03:31:16 PM »

Since she came by way of trashy vampire stories I would recommend for her the Anne Rice vampire stories. Many of the characters in the stories are men, but the novels are unmistakably a women's voice. I am not sure they are fantasy. They are more horror or maybe even melodrama... but I digress. They are not my cup of tea, but...  if she read the Twilight series, she would probably like this one. However, I would not consider Rice a young adult author.



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Ocicat
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« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2013, 02:26:58 AM »

For recent fantasy (that hasn't been mentioned yet) I'll put Robin Hobb out there.  Her Liveship Trader series is very fun, and if she likes it there's a lot more in the same world with different characters and focus.
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Anarkey
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2013, 02:54:35 PM »

I'll recommend Nora Jemisin's excellent Dreamblood series (we ran a story set in the same world, episode 85, if you want to try before you buy) as well as her "Inheritance" series (beginning with "The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms" which was multiply award nominated and which I enjoyed a great deal).

I recently read Laini Taylor's "Smoke and Mirrors" which I'd definitely class as "trashy vampire novel" although s/vampires/demons & angels.  It doesn't tread any new ground but it was a fairly enjoyable read with a globe trotting variety of settings.  It's got a followup but it'll be some time before I need that trashy fix again, so I haven't read it yet.

In the YA realm I might recommend Justine Larbalestier or Kristin Cashore.



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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2013, 07:00:38 AM »

China Mieville -- the Bas-Lag series (the second book, "The Scar", has a female MC who is fairly strong)
Terry Pratchett -- specifically the Tiffany Aching sub-series, which is a good place to on-board.
Sean McMullen -- I've been waiting for Book Five of Moonworlds for YEARS. And the Greatwinter trilogy is pretty awesome as well.
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jeurgsgb
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« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2017, 03:12:00 AM »

How about Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' series?
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