WTB: Oriental based fantasy

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by Lord Soth, Sep 20, 2011.

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    Lord Soth

    Lord Soth Mumbling though life

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    I loved the Feist / Wurts Empire trilogy, and even more so the more recent Under Heaven by GGK.

    Just wondering can any of you well-read chaps/chapesses? recommend anything else using a similar pseudo or actual oriental setting, with class systems, honour codes and intrigues which such a setting makes possible?

    Thanks in advance!
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    jojajihisc

    jojajihisc vast and cool

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    Not fantasy, but The 47 Ronin Story by John Allyn is excellent.
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    Connavar

    Connavar New Member

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    Snake Agent by Liz Williams is urban fantasy series which uses its eastern setting very well. Its build on chinese mythology. Its not medieval fantasy world but its one of the better series that uses eastern setting really well. Check it out and see if its sounds good to you.

    Its not typical urban fantasy series that is only mystery/urban fantasy hybrid who is about killing demons,vamps etc.
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    antiloquax

    antiloquax Trans-MUTE!

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    I haven't read them yet, but Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds and the sequels might interest you. Fantasy novels set in "a China that never was".
    And then there are Lian Hearn's "Tales of the Otori" books, starting with Across the Nightingale Floor.
    a
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    nixie

    nixie pixie druid Staff Member

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    My memory is getting terrible. I had to go find this among my books. Daniel Abraham's The Long Price Quartet has an Oriental flavour.
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    Lord Soth

    Lord Soth Mumbling though life

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    Thanks people, I'll look into all of these recommendations.

    Nixie - I have read 2 ½ books of the Long Price Quartet before I lost interest, your right in that it had the flavour but I didn't connect with the characters too well on these. I prefer Abraham in his guise as James S A Corey with his Leviathan Wakes.
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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting. For me The Long Price Quartet is superb, something I immediately could relate to...:)

    I also have all of the Lian Hearn's books. They're very good. The original Tales Of The Otori are probably still the best of them. When I was in Japan on '07 for WorldCon, one of the highlights of my trip was to visit the Nightingale floor the book is based on. Awesome.

    Funnily enough I also have Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds and its sequels. I have only read Bridge of Birds, a previous winner of the World Fantasy Award, This is a wonderful book part mystery, action adventure & romance, full of poetic prose and somewhat lush descriptions built upon a fairy tale construct. The characters and situations the central duo find themselves in are quite comical at times. Hughart's style may not appeal to everyone though but for me and many others its very deserving of the sometimes overused tag "a modern classic".

    Of course we should probably also mention the ancient classic of Chinese Literature Journey Into The West, better known to us as "Monkey" which the TV series was also based on.

    In fact there are several other classic Asian texts I could suggest but these are more your typical ancient myths and legends rather than a let's say more contemporary interpretation, so maybe not your cup of tea?

    Several others inlcude some of Sean Russel. an underrated author's earliest novels as well as Chris Wooding's Braid Path series..even if we want to we can start to list classics like Beckford's Vathek, Thousand and One Arabian Nights etc.

    When you look into it there are many, many works either based on or influenced by the orient....:)
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    Quokka

    Quokka wandering

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    Gollum beat me to it, was also going to recommend going straight to the source. I still haven't finished the English translations of Outlaws of the Marsh (Water Margin) but it's high on the unfinished pile. Very different style but a great story building and a suprising amount of humour. Being an 80s kid it's very reminiscent of the Monkey TV show and well worth a read.

    There's a lot of translations out there but this is the one I've been reading.

    http://www.bookdepository.com/Outlaws-Marsh-Luo-Guanzhong/9787119016627
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    GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Indeed. I think if memory serves D. Davis previously picked up a beautiful 2 or maybe 4 volume HB edn. of Journey into the West. If Mr. Davis reads this post perhaps he would care to elaborate further?..and apologies if I have the wrong person.
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    Lord Soth

    Lord Soth Mumbling though life

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    Wow, even more to work on!

    I have read the Braided Path series, though I thought it was merely above average, I much prefer Woodings' current Tales of the Ketty Jay series. I am not sure of the 'Monkey' books, even as a child of the 80's myself it never really interested me, and I'm not sure if the classics as you mention would be my cup of tea but I'd definitely give one a try...

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