1. FrostyTrollsBBQ
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    FrostyTrollsBBQ New Member

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    Your Top 3 Fantasy Series?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by FrostyTrollsBBQ, Feb 14, 2015.

    Hi All,

    I'm looking to get my head stuck into a good fantasy series, as I have quite a lot of free time at the moment. I'm really open to suggestions here and i'm looking for some good recommendations. I really haven't read enough to have a top 3... so I'm looking to you lovely people for help!

    I'm trying to read Game of Thrones at the moment (Book 1) but after seeing the series before reading the book, I'm struggling to get a decent picture in my head from the authors perspective, as opposed to what I've already seen on TV. I'm not so much into the 'magic' type of fantasy. You know, the kind with mages and witches etc.

    If you can't pick only a top 3, feel free to expand! The more the merrier!

    Excellent. Thank you to any responders.

    FrostyTrollsBBQ
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Anne Mccaffrey's Pern novels.

    They are usually shelved and thought of as Science Fiction, but in truth they ride the fence between Sci-Fi and Fantasy. The wardrobe, feel, sets, all that is undeniably fantasy, but there is a restraint away from wizards, witches, magic and the like. None of that.

    Marrion Simmer Bradley's Darkover novels.

    Like the Pern books by Anne, these are usually thought of as Science Fiction, but they have all the right tricks to satisfy any Fantasy junkie. I enjoyed them because they weren't written with young people in mind. They're quite adult in their story lines.
     
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  3. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Here are three of my favourite fantasy series. I don't really arrange my books in top-3's or top-10's, though I must say that the first of the series I mention below are way above all other books I've ever read (partly because of the story but also because of the circumstances during which I found it and the impact the books had on my life).

    The Caster Chronicles
    : Urban fantasy centred around magic. The books (mostly) take place in a small town in the US.
    The Tunnels Series: A couple of teenagers stumble across a colony of people living deep underneath London and up in the adventure of their lives. No magic (except from eternally glowing orbs of green light).
    The Engelsfors Trilogy: Urban fantasy centred around magic. The books (mostly) take place in a small town in Sweden. (Note: somewhat similar setting to The Caster Chronicles, yet a completely different story.)

    All of the above are YA books.
     
  4. NinaW
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    NinaW Member

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    The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb is well worth a read. The magic is relatively low key, though still important to the plot.

    Half a King by Joe Abercrombie is amazing and I don't think there's any magic in it at all.

    Wicked by Gregory Magiure is also well worth a read.

    Wow that was tricky. Almost all the fantasy I read is heavy on the magic, I'm almost surprised that I could pick out three that aren't.
     
  5. Frankovitch
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    Frankovitch Member

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    I'd say anything by Joe Abercrombie. I remember reading an interview with him where he said that he decided early on that his novels would be about the characters, not the magic or the world-building. You should consider getting off the Song of Ice and Fire train. In my opinion, the books get progressively worse. The writing is great, but the pacing suffers as R. R. keeps introducing a couple of hundred new characters every book.
     
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  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Elder Edda, Dante, The Epic Cycle.
     
  7. Jared Carter
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    Jared Carter Member

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    Stephen King's The Dark Tower Saga

    J.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth Saga

    C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia
     
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  8. -NM-
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    -NM- Active Member

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    At the moment:

    His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
    The Dresden Files - Jim Butcher

    And I don't have a 3rd at the moment.
     
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  9. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    These are both good. But never watch The Golden Compass, it will destroy that first book.
     
  10. Krispee
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    Krispee Active Member

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    I suppose it`s hard to argue with Tolkein but Tad Williams is good, his Otherworld series is a fantastic read, and he has others, more sword and sandals than the Otherworld`s urban/tech environment. Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, if I remember rightly. Be warned though, he writes long.
     
  11. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    The Wizard of Earthsea series
    Rai-Kirah series
    Mythago Wood
     
  12. Deloctyte
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    Deloctyte Member

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    Well, if you want fantasy without too much magic, the Watch subseries of the Discworld books might be up your alley. They're technically fantasy mystery novels, and out of all the Discworld books, they probably lean on magic the least.

    As for my top three, unsurprisingly, Discworld is one of them. (There are about fifty of the bastards, so they are quite the read. Some about magic, some only skimming the topic. If they're too magical for you, try Good Omens. It's a single book, not a series, but it's a pretty great apocalyptic tale with some brilliant humour.)

    Then the "Circle of Magic" series by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald. (It was pretty much my childhood, but it's really, really filled with magic stuff, so I would assume it's not for you. Read the above mentioned His Dark Materials instead, it's a pretty unique and excellent series of books.)

    My final one would probably be either A Song of Ice and Fire (GoT) or Lord of the Rings, so instead I'll suggest a series that I haven't finished reading yet myself, but seems pretty interesting so far: His Majesty's Dragon. It involves no magic beyond dragons existing (as far as I know) in an alternate Napoleonic era.

    Now that I think about it, fantasy without magic is pretty hard to come by. Good luck in your hunt! :D
     
  13. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am becoming increasingly concerned that Wreybies may be stealing my literary tastes.

    I haven't read Pern or Darkover for quite a while, but they were both hugely important to my developing love of speculative fiction. They're both a mix of SF and F, but really they're just excellent stories, with compelling characters and fascinating worlds. I thought Pern dragged on a little longer than it probably needed to, but Darkover's later additions kept adding layers of richness to the world.
     
  14. mclaire22
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    mclaire22 Member

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    most obvious suggestions in history! But anyway:

    1. His Dark Materials (I cry every time I read THAT chapter in the Amber Spyglass.)
    2. Harry Potter
    3. Lord of the Rings
     
  15. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    1. HDM
    2. The Wool trilogy
    3. The Hunger Games
    4. Half Bad - Sally Green

    (ok that's 4 but the Sally Green trilogy isn't complete yet, but I have just found out that the 2nd book came out last year and I haven't read it yet - so thanks for the thread.)

    Just reserved Half Wild by Sally Green.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
  16. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    1. A Song of Ice and Fire. Unlike a lot of people, I enjoy all five books; even A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. Oddly enough Feast pulled me in more than any of the other four, and a lot of people consider it the weakest of the series. I'm re-reading now, though, and A Storm of Swords is even better the second time. We'll see how A Feast stands up. If you go forward with this series, prepare for a long wait until the next novel (The Winds of Winter).

    2. The Kingkiller Chronicles. I'm still reading the first book, but so far it's been fantastic. Sadly the third book isn't out yet, but I hope we'll see it soon. I find Patrick Rothfuss' magic system interesting. Like you, I don't enjoy the magic as much as the character and general plot. Rothfuss hasn't overdone the magic yet, though. We'll see if that changes as I continue to read.

    3. The Lord of the Rings. This one is obvious, and I don't think I need to give any reasoning behind it.
     
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  17. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    You stole my list. :D Only I would put The Kingkiller Chronicles first, because I enjoy Rothfuss' writing style the most. And as far as the ASOIAF concerned, the 4. one really bored me, but I loved A Dance with Dragons. All of my favourite characters were there. ;)
     
  18. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    I can certainly understand people being upset about the lack of established POVs in A Feast for Crows. Especially those that had waited the four or fives years for it's release. Then throw another five years on top until Dance. I only just read the series last fall, so The Winds of Winter is the first book in the series I'm actually waiting for. It will hopefully be out in 2016, so I won't have much of a wait, though. Then comes the long wait for A Dream of Spring. That is going to be painful. What's even more painful is that the show will be telling the ending before the books...

    However, I really enjoyed the political intrigue that Feast offered. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Cersei chapters, which was a new POV for Feast. I don't think it is my favorite book in the series, but I read it faster and more diligently than any other of the other books. Something about it absorbed me.
     
  19. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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  20. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    I got no idea what I just did with quoting. :p
     
  21. Spencer Rose
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    I'll chime in just because I'm shocked her name hasn't been mentioned.... But Anne Bishop's Dark Jewel Trilogy is worth a read. It is very dark, and has some mature content, but keep it very classy. There is plenty of magic, and while it is crucial to the story it doesn't overwhelm you or flaunt itself. It is an incredibly feminist read.

    My second choice would be to second the vote for Stephen King's Dark Tower series... But that's a hefty commitment. They are somewhat lengthy books and can sometimes drone, but the emotional roller coaster it'll send you on is so worth it. and a sandwich will forever be called a popkin.

    I would suggest Wicked as well, it's a personal favorite of mine for its sass and dark humor. In truth, I have only read the first two books in the series and immediately lost interest after book two, Son of a Witch. The book simply did not connect with me on the same level, and the protagonists whining got old, not better.

    Robin Hobb (who is a fantastic author all around) has a less magiky trilogy called Soldiers Son. I love military-esqe reads and this one blended fantasy in quite well.

    Finally I'd recommend Ursula LeGuin's "EarthSea" books. While I own and love them, they are terribly short. And don't waste your time with the Studio Ghibli movie spinoff "Tales of EarthSea". It's garbage.

    Just my two cents.
     
  22. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Almost impossible for me to answer. The first three that came to mind were:

    The Gormenghast books
    Erikson's Malazan books
    The Black Company books

    But then I immediately thought of Elric, and the Coldfire Trilogy, and Kushner's Riverside books, along with some of the more mainstream stuff. Who can pick? :)
     
  23. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    I still have to read Black Company and Gormenghast.

    Black Company cause it influenced a lot of authors I enjoy and Gomerghast for simply how interesting it seems, plus its influence as well.
     
  24. gorgeouscaptaininsaneoh
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    gorgeouscaptaininsaneoh New Member

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    I second Erikson's Malazan book series...

    I'm in to book #2.

    Erikson is a great writer and the plot is thick.

    The story is a lot to wrap your head around!
     
  25. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, the world-building and complexity of the stories is tremendous. Erikson's training as an anthropologist and archaeologist shows through.
     

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