Worst fantasy book you have read?

chongjasmine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
564
Location
Singapore
What is the worst fantasy book that you had read?

For me, the worst fantasy book I had read is book 9 of the sword of truth series, Chainfire, by Terry Goodkind. I had heard that goodkind is a bad author, but I can tolerate all of his books. I had finished the whole series, including the last book, Confessor.

Chainfire, the first book from the confessor series, is the only book I cannot bring myself to finish. I read it about half-way and I totally give up on it, after several attempts and tries to finish it.

The whole book is typically about, oh, kahlan is missing, and we need to talk about whether she is a real person or not a real person. No action, no plot, nothing. All talks and talks about how everyone think Kahlan is Richard's imagination, while Richard thinks she is real.

Yawn.

I had never given up on a fantasy book, no matter how bad it really is. This book, Chainfire, makes it to the only fantasy book I have given up on reading. Heck, even a classic, like pride and prejudice, which is so boring, is so much better than Chainfire. At least, I finish reading pride and prejudice.

Therefore, Chainfire becomes the worst fantasy book I have ever read. What about yours?
 

dask

dark and stormy knight
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
4,590
Location
Pacific Northwest
This will land me in the crosshairs for sure but one of the few fantasy books I remember not being able to finish is THE SUNDERING FLOOD by William Morris. It's probably a very good book but the style it was written in was difficult to decipher and I didn't enjoy slogging through it. Another is POE MUST DIE by Marc Olden. Some may question whether this is actually fantasy but fiction with historical characters may, if one wished to do so, be defended as such. Why couldn't I finish it? It's been so long ago I can't remember. Just didn't snag my interest for one reason or another.
 

Anne Lyle

Fantastical historian
Joined
Sep 3, 2007
Messages
1,440
Location
Cambridge, UK. Or London, c.1593 - some days it's
'Sword Of Shannara.' By miles.

Yeah - that was such a a painfully obvious "homage" to Tolkien. At least Christopher Paolini had the excuse that he was only 15 (?) when he wrote Eragon.

Nowadays I go by a combination of reviews and word of mouth, and don't even pick up a book unless it sounds pretty awesome. Still end up with a few that just aren't to my taste, but that's different from "execrable".
 

soulsinging

the dude abides
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
2,499
It's not really one book, and I'll probably be called a heretic for it, but Tad Williams' MS&T series was pretty unbearable to me. It's a straight up LOTR rip off only with less action and 4 times as many pages. It's got a totally ham-handed Christian religion/allegory shoe-horned into it and one of the big "twists" in the story was so obvious to me from halfway through book one that I cannot believe it would have fooled anyone. Also, the protagonist has to be one of the most weak, sniveling, detestable, whining, and crying characters in literature and his sidekick was hardly better in being a walking cliche/tone deaf social statement. I've never so actively wanted the heroes to fail as I did in this one.
 

Mouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2006
Messages
10,730
Location
Devon
The Lies of Locke Lamora and whatever the first book of Amber is called. I can't comment on the others as the first was so bad I couldn't finish it and didn't bother with the rest.
 

Anne Lyle

Fantastical historian
Joined
Sep 3, 2007
Messages
1,440
Location
Cambridge, UK. Or London, c.1593 - some days it's
Just goes to show how subjective a lot of things are - I enjoyed both of those. Admittedly the Zelazny was a long, long time ago...

I confess there was enough I didn't like about "The Lies of Locke Lamora" that I haven't yet read the second one, but the same is true of a lot of books I read. My TBR pile is high enough that a writer has to really strike a chord with me in order to get a second book on there!
 

nixie

pixie druid
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
7,471
Location
I may live in Yorkshire but I'm a Scot
Love both Amber and the Lies of Lock Lamora. I did read a couple of series a few years ago, one by Robert Newcombe, the other by Paul Cockayne both still make me shudder at the thought I actually read them. Then there is Edding's Elder God series
 

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
Supporter
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
19,371
Location
blah - flags. So many flags.
My problem is lack of time. I read incredibly quickly which helps, but I like so many genres i can't focus on one. So, sadly, either it grips me quickly or I put it down and move on. MEMO to self when writing my book, I think.
 

CyBeR

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
625
I...really have no really bad fantasy that I've read.
Sure, the first couple of Harry Potter books were pretty slow and dreadful at times (the Romanian translation really did not help)...but I guess the only fantasy book that never gripped me at all has been Demon Wars - The demon awakens by R.A. Salvatore. I was so enthusiastic in highschool that I managed to find ebooks with fantasy novels in English, that I actually tried to print the book, size 6 font so I could read it at school during breaks.
And how disappointed I was when it did not grip me one bit...
 

Anne Lyle

Fantastical historian
Joined
Sep 3, 2007
Messages
1,440
Location
Cambridge, UK. Or London, c.1593 - some days it's
That's why I prefer to read stand-alones now, really.

It doesn't bother me if it's a series or not - if I don't like the first book I read by a given author, it's no skin off my nose if I never read the rest of his/her work.

And to be fair, The Gentleman Bastards (Lynch) seems to be a series of standalone adventures featuring the same set of characters, not an ongoing story like ASOIAF or Wheel of Time.
 

Karn Maeshalanadae

I'm a pineapple
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
4,119
Location
My own twisted Wonderland
To be perfectly honest, I have a real barrage, especially from my childhood.


I would have to say any of the Forgotten Realms "books" though, specifically the Drizzt surface ones. I haven't read Forgotten Realms in years, over a decade, but the ones I mentioned seemed almost stolen from Tolkein.


After that I would have to say the SEQUELS to Sword of Shannara, the first one I read as a pre-teen and it was okay in that day, but Wishsong and the other one of the first trilogy (can't even remember) just drove me half mad.


And can I list Piers Anthony's adult "attempt"? Jeez. I shan't say anything more on that one, but it's one to avoid, even if you are looking for, well...I can't say. It's not classy enough to be even sub-genre Erotica.
 

Coragem

Believer in flawed heroes
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
556
Location
I started writing a door stopping wedge of a sci-f
Nowadays I go by a combination of reviews and word of mouth, and don't even pick up a book unless it sounds pretty awesome. Still end up with a few that just aren't to my taste, but that's different from "execrable".

I could've written the above!

I don't have a lot of time to read, so I make it count by only picking up books that I'm sure, or "almost" sure I'm going to love. It's not as if there's any lack of amazing titles around, from past and present.

Of the books I haven't liked, I'd say it's been more sci-fi than fantasy, and more a matter of personal taste than quality.

Examples that spring to mind include:
** The Knights of Dark Renown, by Gemmell. (I LOVE David Gemmell (!!!) but this particular early example of his work would've benefitted from some more editing, I think. Not that I didn't enjoy it at all.)
** Blade of Tyshalle. (Again, editing? Is it necessary to spend pages and pages describing doors the characters AREN'T going to enter, or buildings that DON'T have anything to do with the plot, etc.)
** Broken Angels (Sci-fi, I know, but just too slow, seedy, and depressing. I don't mind some unpleasantness in my books, but I need "some" heroism and nobility, and a sense that I "like" or care about some characters.)

In terms of these things being subjective, books like Steven Erickson's Mazalan series, or meybe Abercrombie's Best Served Cold, really divide opinion. Some LOVE 'em, others hate 'em.

CORAGEM.
 

Lord Soth

Mumbling though life
Joined
Aug 11, 2007
Messages
353
There was an awful trilogy by Lynn Flewelling, utterly dreadful. I cannot even remember the name now though, I think my mind is protecting me :)
 

elvet

Easily amused
Supporter
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
2,989
Location
Ontario, Canada
The Redemption of Althalus by David Eddings. I found the Belgariad books ok, but Redemption was just plain unreadable for me. I never cared less for a main character
 

alchemist

Be pure. Be vigilant. Beware.
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
4,063
Location
Ireland
David Zindell's Ea cycle - partly my disappointment stems from his Neverness being a formative book in my reading career, but looking back on it, the signs were there already. A prime example of the tendency of some writers to use 10 pages to describe a character's sore leg.
 

Top