Where should one start?

abc123

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I have never really read any fantasy books. Just lately I've started having a bit of an urge to read a fantasy book. Seeing as I'm a total stranger to fantasy literature, I came here to ask for hints. Where should one start?

I'd like to read something in a fantasy setting (not LOTR), something similar to the worlds of AD&D and perhaps some with a bit of technology (think about the PC game Arcanum). I'd like to hear suggestions, where I could start looking. What authors, what series and what books to start with. I've only seen some in the library by David Eddings and Terry Brooks, which looked nice, but I have no idea where to start. I'd appreciate any help.

Oh, and if anyone's interested in my age, I'm 20. That might open new areas of books for suggestion, and perhaps disclose others. Up to you.
 

Leto

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For fun, try some Discworlds novels by Pratchett. you can read them in any order.
Fantasy setting but not LOTR ? Try the Hidding Stars by Madelyne Howard, that's the last one I've read who was pure fantasy but definitly not LOTR (although it's also a quest story).
You can also have a look at the Talisman serie by Peter Straub and Stephen King.

And if you want a bit of technology, have a look at the Majipoor serie (although all novels can be read as stand-alone) by Robert Silverberg. In my book it's Sci-fi but some readers classify it in fantasy.
 

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

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Try some of these for fantasy that's fresh, creative and truly new, while embodying the imaginative leaps of the genre at its best:


Perdido Street Station: China Mieville
The Etched City: KJ Bishop
Veniss Underground: Jeff vanderMeer
The Physiognomy: Jeffrey Ford

All these books have exotic settings, intersting characters and lots of action in them, even though they do not fall into the mainline epic fantasy mould

For some older work that still reads incredibly well:

Swords and Deviltry: Fritz Leiber
Lyonesse: Jack Vance
Elric: Michael Moorcock
Any of Robert E Howard's Conan books

Many of these works defined the genre as much as Tolkien has.

Good luck on your fantasy quest. :)
 

rune

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For something different but still fantasy try - The Weavers of Saramyr by Chris Wooding. This is the first book in his Braided Path series, there are two out at the moment :)

It has an oriental feel to the storyline.
 

dwndrgn

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L. E. Modesitt's Recluce series is a mix of tech and fantasy/magic. Welcome to the world of the fantastic. Once you do start you must come back here and tell us how you liked whichever you chose to read first. We're all curious :D
 

abc123

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Thanks for all the replies. Of course it will take some time for me to find these books. You've already mentioned more than enough to get me started (and keep me busy). I'll have to start looking for the books mentioned :)
 

GOLLUM

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abc123 said:
I have never really read any fantasy books. Just lately I've started having a bit of an urge to read a fantasy book. Seeing as I'm a total stranger to fantasy literature, I came here to ask for hints. Where should one start?

I'd like to read something in a fantasy setting (not LOTR), something similar to the worlds of AD&D and perhaps some with a bit of technology (think about the PC game Arcanum). I'd like to hear suggestions, where I could start looking. What authors, what series and what books to start with. I've only seen some in the library by David Eddings and Terry Brooks, which looked nice, but I have no idea where to start. I'd appreciate any help.

Oh, and if anyone's interested in my age, I'm 20. That might open new areas of books for suggestion, and perhaps disclose others. Up to you.

Hi there!

You may want to take a peak at my fairly comprehensive list of fantasy series over the past 25 years. These are more in the EPIC scale like LOTR but different stories of course. If you like more gritty stories, with lots of grey charaters (i..e neither good or bad) and where some of the "hero" characters get killed off and more adult type books I guess you'ld call them, I list a number of them also.

The list appears in the thread Your Favorite Fantasy Books under this Books and Literature forum.

Also, if you're after information on specific series you may have seen at the library or bookshop please don't heistate to ask. I can usually provide some useful information.

All the best.:D :D
 

Neon

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I would recommend you go to www.amazon.com , type in a few of those books already recommended, and then check out the "listmania" lists that users have created. That's a great way to find a wide variety of popular titles, and/or new authors you may become interested in.
 

abc123

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Is "The Magic of Recluce" the first part of the Saga of Recluce-series?
 

GOLLUM

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abc123,

As per Knivesout comments order of publication as follows:

The Magic of Recluce (1992)
The Towers of the Sunset

The Magic Engineer
The Order War
The Death of Chaos (A direct sequel to The Magic of Recluce)
The Fall of Angels
The Chaos Balance (A direct sequel to The Fall of Angels)
The White Order
Colors of Chaos
Magi'i of Sciador
Scion of Cyador

Ordermaster (2005)

Don't forget to check my reading list appearing in the thread Your Favorite Fantasy Books under this Books and Literature forum.

All the best in your journey into a bigger world!!
 

Rane Longfox

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Hmm, I'm not sure I would recommend Vandermeer for a completely new reader to the genre. Veniss Underground is a very confusing book... Perdido Street Station and The Etched City are pretty damn weird too. While all are excelent authors, the books are all a bit off the wall, and maybe a bit more experience would help;)

If you want D&D esque books, you want Steven Erikson. His Malazan series is a brilliant piece of work, and while it is again rather throwing you in at the deep end, if you're on this forum we're gonna get you to read it eventually;)


I would also second the recommendation for the Weavers of Saramyr. Quality writing, and probably a bit easier to get into:)
 

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

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caladanbrood said:
Hmm, I'm not sure I would recommend Vandermeer for a completely new reader to the genre. Veniss Underground is a very confusing book... Perdido Street Station and The Etched City are pretty damn weird too. While all are excelent authors, the books are all a bit off the wall, and maybe a bit more experience would help;)

If you're speaking purely in the context of first figuring out the mainstream of the fantasy genre before reading the supposed 'oddities', I'd disagree respectfuly. A good piece of fantastic fiction is just that, and worth tackling whether or not you know its generic context. It's a bit weird to caution someone who wants to read fantasy that a given book is weird - hey it's fantasy what d'you expect!!

If you're talking about the textual density or complexity of these works in themselves, fair enough. But hey, if he/she wants to try a challenging read, why not? I read a lot of 'classics' before I was in my teens, and managed to get something out of them too.

Hmm. I can see a couple of potential topics for discussion here - how much you need to read the 'standards' of the genre before branching out, and the aspect of reading a book being akin to taking on a challenge rather than sitting down to be amused. Of course, these topics will probably get contentious and inconclusive, but that's the best sort, right?

Still, I'd agree the Malazan books are a great idea if you're looking at something that reflects the ethos of RPG campaigning in the context of a gripping, well told story.
 

PurpleDragon

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abc, one of my first fantasy books was Robin Hobb's 'Farseer Trilogy.' The first book, Assassins Apprentice can be read on it's own if you get sick of the characters! ( I promise you'll read the other books though! )

I am a relatively new FSF reader and not as seasoned as some people on here and found that the book mentioned above took me a couple of chapters to get into as I'm not keen on first person writing. I have to admit I was hooked after that though.
 

Rane Longfox

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Well, JP, I found all three pretty difficult to read, personally. I don't know that I'd have got through them three or four years ago, before I'd read much fantasy. That may just be me being odd though;)

There is certainly potential for more topics about that though:)
 

Darken Rahl

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If you want an AD&D type, try any of the books in the Harper's series of the Forgotten Realms setting. Each novel can be read as a stand alone book, but are often linked to other books. I would recommend Elaine Cunningham's "Elfshadow" and Ed Greenwood's "Stormlight". Both feature interesting characters and are fairly well written. Ed Greenwood is the creator of the Forgotten Realms, which several writers use as a shared world. Also, Robert A. Salvatore's books featuring Drizzt Do'Urden feature some of the best fight descriptions in fantasy fiction are set in the Realms as well. I personally prefer the Forgotten Realms books, but Dragonlance books are also something of a shared world and many other people swear they are also very good. I wouldn't expect many libraries to carry these books, but trust me, you'll want to own them to read again later anyway. Hope this helps, and let us know what you think.
 

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