Military Fantasy recommendations

Ha, fair point, I saw lots of military sci-fi and jumped on the bandwagon there :)

But in what world is the warded man military fantasy? Yes they have a few big battles (but no more than many other fantasy books). The main character (at least as far as the first book goes) isn't in any military organisation and most of his fights are hero vs monsters. To double check I wasn't simply wrong on the definition, the word military doesn't appear in the first 100 most used user tags for the book on Goodreads either.

How about The Thousand Names by Django Wexler. I've been meaning to read them for ages and they seem to fit the bill.
there are various armys envolved in the warded man. most important are the hollows people and the people of the desert but there are armys . and they are organized to fight not only monsters
 
there are various armys envolved in the warded man. most important are the hollows people and the people of the desert but there are armys . and they are organized to fight not only monsters

Google military fantasy and the first definition that comes up is "Military Fantasy is specifically about military life and may focus on a solider or a group who is part of a military." Also triple checked Goodreads, got to number 500 without any mention of military :)

The Hollow doesn't really fight anyone but monsters (I may be remembering wrong but don't they pretty much surrender to the desert people?). The military scenes are barely present (no more so than LotR which you've already dismissed and is also clearly not military fantasy) and the story is pretty much about which of the two is the chosen one. There are battles in many fantasy books but it certainly doesn't make them military fantasy. The Demon Cycle books has generic fantasy armies (albiet with the interesting magic system), and even the desert army isn't really handled in a military book style.
 
've seen Myke Cole recommended. Not read his stuff myself (too many books, too little time) but they've piqued my interest. @Juliana possibly knows more about his stuff, maybe?

Myke does modern military fantasy; I really enjoyed his Shadow Ops series, which is about what would happen if people around the world suddenly started developing magical powers – mandatory military recruitment, of course!
 
@Everyone Thanks for suggestions.

I recently read Goblins at the Gates: An Alt-Earth Tale by Ellis L. Knox. Set in 4th century Eastern Rome, a reluctant general finds his legion entangled in battles with goblins, with an unlikely ally in a group of outcast Barbarian sorcerers. Though this is obviously fantasy, I found myself far more interested in learning Roman and Byzantine history due to the setting of this book than I ever did from dry textbooks. :)

Oh, that is one that I am definitely planning to read. It helps that I know the author from over on Mythic Scribes.
 
I recently read Goblins at the Gates: An Alt-Earth Tale by Ellis L. Knox. Set in 4th century Eastern Rome, a reluctant general finds his legion entangled in battles with goblins, with an unlikely ally in a group of outcast Barbarian sorcerers. Though this is obviously fantasy, I found myself far more interested in learning Roman and Byzantine history due to the setting of this book than I ever did from dry textbooks. :)
Burroughs Cities of the Red Night is, in some ways a war story, and well worth reading.
 
Stan Nicholls Orcs series was not really my cup of tea, a basic 'collect the tokens' narrative. However you might enjoy the fact that the protagonists are essentially a special forces unit who have been 'burned' by their lady mistress...

David Gemmell's books usually have a strong military element to them, though not all of them...
 
I really enjoyed Adrian Tchaikovsky's Guns of the Dawn in which the protagonist is one of the first female conscripts in her nation's increasingly desperate war and gets assigned to fight in a nasty battleground in a huge swamp.

Another suggestion would be Honored Enemy by Raymond E. Feist and William Fortschen which follows a military unit behind enemy lines. It's set in the world of Feist's Riftwar books but it wouldn't be necessary to read any of the others beforehand since it's a stand-alone story.
 
The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie.

I'll describe it as... a four day narrative of the titanic struggle that was the Battle of Gettysburg... if it had been fought between the New Model Army and the Great Heathen Army and starring Jules and Vincent, Philo Beddoe, Helen of Troy, Littlefinger, Whiskeyjack, Randle McMurphy, Morgan le Fay, Cesare Borgia, Mike Tyson, Cicero, Macbeth, Falstaff, Javert, Douglas Haig, Jayne Cobb, and a plethora of Red Shirts while including aspects of The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Seven Samurai, The Red Badge of Courage, Letters from Iwo Jima, and The Hurt Locker to give it flavor.
 
Is it not one that's about book number four of a series?
Would I need to read all the previous books first to know the protagonists?

It's a standalone book in the same world as the previous trilogy. You won't need to know anything previous. :)

Feel like reading it again myself, now. :)
 
Reading this thread has made me realise that I don’t think I’ve ever read military fantasy. Plenty military SF but never any fantasy. I’m presuming military fantasy has a much greater leaning towards strategy, tactics, formation and movement rather than a story with a quest and a few big battles?
 
The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie.

I'll describe it as... a four day narrative of the titanic struggle that was the Battle of Gettysburg... if it had been fought between the New Model Army and the Great Heathen Army and starring Jules and Vincent, Philo Beddoe, Helen of Troy, Littlefinger, Whiskeyjack, Randle McMurphy, Morgan le Fay, Cesare Borgia, Mike Tyson, Cicero, Macbeth, Falstaff, Javert, Douglas Haig, Jayne Cobb, and a plethora of Red Shirts while including aspects of The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Seven Samurai, The Red Badge of Courage, Letters from Iwo Jima, and The Hurt Locker to give it flavor.
Totally forgot about The Heroes. It is a standalone book in his First Law universe. You could read it by itself, but why deprive yourself of the pleasure that is The First Law trilogy, IMHO?
 
The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie.

I'll describe it as... a four day narrative of the titanic struggle that was the Battle of Gettysburg... if it had been fought between the New Model Army and the Great Heathen Army and starring Jules and Vincent, Philo Beddoe, Helen of Troy, Littlefinger, Whiskeyjack, Randle McMurphy, Morgan le Fay, Cesare Borgia, Mike Tyson, Cicero, Macbeth, Falstaff, Javert, Douglas Haig, Jayne Cobb, and a plethora of Red Shirts while including aspects of The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Seven Samurai, The Red Badge of Courage, Letters from Iwo Jima, and The Hurt Locker to give it flavor.

That... sounds awesome.
 
Showing my age now.

Not so much Military (although there is indeed some), but a darn good read (IMO) was the Dumerest Series by E. C. Tubb.

Amazingly, in looking for the series I found there were books I didn't even know existed. I thought he died before finishing the tale.

So thanks, I have something to read in these perilous times.

There's also the Lensmen series. Sadly I read the first six in the series, only to find that the seventh and final book was something I had read five years before borrowed from the library - You remember those I hope -, which kind of ruined it all. But if its parabola and over the top space cannons you want, get stuck in.

N.B. I read these in my teens, so they may be rubbish now. Nostalgia - 10 10 visions of the rosey future.
 
@Boaz
Is it not one that's about book number four of a series?
Would I need to read all the previous books first to know the protagonists?

There aren't any shared protagonists with the earlier trilogy but a few of the protagonists in The Heroes appeared as minor characters in the First Law trilogy and some of the protagonists in the First Law trilogy have cameos or off-screen mentions in The Heroes. I think it would be perfectly possible to follow the plot in The Heroes without reading the earlier books, although there are some nice references here and there for people who have read them.
 
@Boaz
Is it not one that's about book number four of a series?
Would I need to read all the previous books first to know the protagonists?
Abercrombie's First Law trilogy is not a prerequisite to read The Heroes. Sure, you'll have more context for the Northmen and The Union, a crew and the King's First, the circle and flatbows, etc... but you'll pick these things up quickly. His second three books are very intentionally written to be able to stand on their own.

I read Abercrombie's first six books in this order.... 4, 6, 1, 2, 3, and 5. The Heroes is number five, but I am convinced I could have read it first and still fully enjoyed the trilogy. One of the advantages of reading books four, five, or six first, is that you can test your taste for JA without committing to a trilogy or feel bad for quitting after one book.

One highly enjoyable aspect of The Heroes is the chapter where the battle is fully joined. JA flits from one character to another as they sequentially come into contact with each other... giving the reader about two dozen individual perspectives of the battle. It's a really engrossing mechanic.

As to the topic of other military fantasy, what about David Weber's Honor Harrington and Safehold series? I read the first five Safehold books and enjoyed the first two very much... but his original story about the aliens will never get resolved.
 
Abercrombie's First Law trilogy is not a prerequisite to read The Heroes. Sure, you'll have more context for the Northmen and The Union, a crew and the King's First, the circle and flatbows, etc... but you'll pick these things up quickly. His second three books are very intentionally written to be able to stand on their own.

I read Abercrombie's first six books in this order.... 4, 6, 1, 2, 3, and 5. The Heroes is number five, but I am convinced I could have read it first and still fully enjoyed the trilogy. One of the advantages of reading books four, five, or six first, is that you can test your taste for JA without committing to a trilogy or feel bad for quitting after one book.

One highly enjoyable aspect of The Heroes is the chapter where the battle is fully joined. JA flits from one character to another as they sequentially come into contact with each other... giving the reader about two dozen individual perspectives of the battle. It's a really engrossing mechanic.

As to the topic of other military fantasy, what about David Weber's Honor Harrington and Safehold series? I read the first five Safehold books and enjoyed the first two very much... but his original story about the aliens will never get resolved.

honor harrington is military syfy and not military fantasy. i also liked safehold and for me it's also military and not fantasy. has for the question of the aliens weber seems to have plans to conclue the story in another 5 or 9 books
 

Similar threads


Back
Top