Discussion Forums - Fantasy


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Date Posted: 6/30/2008 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
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Hey. I am usually a fan of Romance or Young Adult--with fantast mixed in. However, lately, when passing the scifi/fantasy section I find my eyes straying to see a worthy title that I can sink my greedy reading claws in. What I like about scifi/fantasy books is that they are so big--which to me means a lot of reading.


Please help me stop looking and start reading. I am looking for great fantasy books. KEEP IN MIND that I need my ROMANCE (I cannot break that habit). Plus, I like books with women as the main characters (its a romance book thing).


The Only pure fantasy book I have read is Juliet Marillier's "Daughter of the Forest."  and I liked it. Thanks for the help!

Date Posted: 7/1/2008 4:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2007
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A lot of fantasy books are also romances.  Some of my favorites:

Robin McKinley's "Beauty" and "The Blue Sword"

"The Princess Bride" by William Goldman

"Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold" by Terry Brooks

"Enchanted, Inc" by Shanna Swendson

"Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer

Date Posted: 7/1/2008 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 1,008
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You can't go wrong with C. L Wilson's  series about the Fey. It starts with Lord of the Fading Lands and continues with Lady of Light and Shadows. The next two will be coming out later this year I believe.   I also went from reading romance to fantasy the biggest segue for me was these books. Amazing Romance-Fantasy. I also enjoyed The Sword of Truth series but after eight books ( I think there are eleven in the series )I only read them out of a sense of obligation.  I enjoyed the stories but the author gets a little preachy, so I skimmed alot.

One of my all time favorite is the Black jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop. WOW those are good, very very dark fantasy with very strong female characters.

SoBe -
Date Posted: 7/1/2008 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2008
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I just wanted to say that I second the CL wilson rec... just finished reading them, and now I'm in the same place you are...looking for some fantasy romance...I've ordered what I think fit the bill, and if they're any good, I'll let you know:-)

I will mention that officially, Lord of the Fading Lands, and Lady Of Light and Shadows are labeled as Paranormal romances, but they seem to fit the fantasy label more....(at least to me)  

if you go to her website,www.clwilson.com,she's got plently more info on her series.

Last Edited on: 7/1/08 9:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Romance and fantasy
Date Posted: 7/1/2008 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
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Since you left the door open for science fiction as well as fantasy, try Lois McMaster Bujold's Shards of Honor and Barrayar (also packaged together as Cordelia's Honor) (and her son's romance in Komarr and A Civil Contract), and then when you've gotten yourself hooked on her writing, try Chalion and Paladin of Souls, which are fantasy, and then her newest fantasy series, The Sharing Knife. Read Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's Liaden series. The first book is Agent of Change. Pat Wrede's fantasy fits this bill--one of my favorites is The Raven Ring. And of course, her three-book collaboration with Carolyn Stevermer is a Regency romance fantasy. Have you read Tamora Pierce's series in YA--her recent Trickster series is a favorite of mine. As mentioned, Robin McKinley's books are all excellent fantasy. How about The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey? To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, as well as Bellwether. The Thread that Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Down a step in quality but still fun are books by Linnea Sinclair, Sandra MacDonald, and Catharine Asaro, genre romances in SF.
Date Posted: 7/1/2008 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2008
Posts: 53
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These are older but Jennifer Roberson's "Tiger and Del" books are good. I guess it's called the Sword-dancer series.

I think every story, no matter what genre, is better with a little romance. :)

Date Posted: 7/1/2008 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2007
Posts: 782
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Oops! I guess I should have read the entire post first!


Last Edited on: 7/1/08 9:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/1/2008 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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I can second ronincats suggestion for Lee & Miller's Liaden series. You can check out their web sit at  http://www.korval.com/liad.htm - if you go about half-way down the front page, there are chapter samples.

And what about Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series? That should keep you busy for awhile!

Or here's the Sapphire Award (science fiction romances) nominations from the last few years ...

  • Dark Lover: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, J. R. Ward
  • Warprize, Elizabeth Vaughan
  • The Ravencliff Bride, Dawn Thompson
  • Master of the Moon, Angela Knight
  • Sins of the Night, Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • A Taste of Crimson, Marjorie M. Liu
  • Dead to the World, Charlaine Harris
  • Raven's Shadow, Patricia Briggs
  • Jane's Warlord, Angela Knight
  • Day of Fire, Kathleen Nance
  • Heart Duel, Robin D. Owens
  • The Scarlet Empress, Susan Grant
  • Tinker, Wen Spencer
  • Dance with the Devil, Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Skyfall, Catherine Asaro
  • Heart Thief, Robin D. Owens
  • The Star Princess, Susan Grant


Date Posted: 7/1/2008 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 299
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Thank you so much. You guys have provided me with some great reading ideas.


Date Posted: 7/6/2008 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 299
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any more thoughts?

Debbie - ,
Date Posted: 7/6/2008 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
Posts: 731
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Check out this website.  http://www.fantasyliterature.net.  It is a great website that lists all of the different sub-genres of fantasy.  It has a huge list of authors and reviews.  Finding something will be easy the hard part will be making the decision what you should read first!!  Happy looking!!

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2006
Posts: 197
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You might also try Dawn Cook's Truth series and her Princess series (4 books and 2 books, respectively). The Truth series starts with First Truth and the Princess duo starts with The Decoy Princess. Both are wonderful. I read somewhere that she's the same person as Kim Harrison, if you read her, but the tone is very different between the two psuedonyms.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder is fantastic, and is the start of a trilogy. She should definitely be on your try-out list.

Sharon Shinn would be a good fit for you, too. She's most well known for the Samaria series which starts with Archangel, but I like her stand alone books even better. Samaria got a bit tiring for me after the third book, but it's a good series and worth reading. The world building is very good.

Brandon Sanderson's books have a romantic sub-plot, but they might be a little light on the romance for a recent Romance book convert. :) Try either Elantris or Mistborn first. Mistborn is the first of three books; the second one just came out. Mistborn has a female lead, and the magic system in that series is incredibly creative.

I also love Kim Wilkins. Her books are based on world mythologies. There are two that are fairly easy to get here in the US, but the rest haven't been released here yet. You'd have an easier time getting The Autumn Castle and Giants of the Frost than her others, but they're worth tracking down too. TAC, GotF, and Rosa and the Veil of Gold are all fantasy with a bit of romance. Her others are more horror with a tiny bit of romance.


Date Posted: 7/7/2008 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 6,143
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Maybe try Lynn Flewelling--start with The Bone Doll's Twin.

Date Posted: 7/11/2008 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 543
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Elizabeth Haydon has a series with a woman as main character, some romance in it.

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, The Eye of the World is the first book. This series doesn't have much romance, but because you said you like *big* books and women characters I recommend it. All the main characters find "romance" with others, but it's not given much detail. There are also a lot of women characters and a few that get big parts in this books.

Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders trilogy has a woman as the main character.

Last Edited on: 7/11/08 10:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 7/12/2008 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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I find it interesting that I seem to be the only guy to post on this thread so far... ;)

I'm typically not one to read romance (ahem... guy) but if you want steamy romance/ dark fantasy you have to read Laurel k. Hamilton.  The Anita Blake series starts with Guilty Pleasures.  Blake is a professional vampire hunter, gets involved with a werewolf... I won't get into any more here but I'll just add she's not hesitant to write, um.... detailed love scenes!

And no, Anita Blake is not really a Buffy the Vampire Slayer knockoff (although I am a huge fan of that show too - if you want strong female characters that is the #1 fantasy TV show for you!) 

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2008
Posts: 53
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I'll second Poison Study. I loved all 3 of the books in that series. They are Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study. 

I also read Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith recently and thought that was a great book although the fantasy elements take a back seat to the story and adventure. If you get that book though make sure you get the reprint that has both books (Crown Duel and Court Duel) in it. You'll definitely want to read the second book if you like the first one.

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
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Last Edited on: 5/19/10 9:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/22/2008 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 2
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The books you are looking for are the Merry Gentry series by Laurel K Hamilton.  You described them to a "T!"

Date Posted: 9/1/2008 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2007
Posts: 8
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The books of the Noble Dead by Barb and J.C. Hendee are great fantasy takes on vampires and the fae.  The lead character is a female dhampyre, a mixblood of several mystical races, including vampire. There is a strong romance element to the books.  The first book is Dhampyre.  There are several books in the series, and its still going strong.

Date Posted: 9/2/2008 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Second that recommendation of Nina Kiriki Hoffman.  Really love The Thread that Binds and A Fistful of Sky.   Actually really love almost all her books. She is sometimes filed in the YA section.  Also recommend Tinker by Wen Spencer.   Either of Delia Marshall Turner's books.  Dragon Blood and Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs. (Male main character though.) 

And face it, LKH really is no longer having romance in her books.  There is sex but very little romance/relationships.

And a little more on the romance side vs the fanasy side, I liked Jennifer Stevenson.  Trashy covers but interesting slant.


Date Posted: 9/2/2008 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
Posts: 182
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I second the recommendation for Brandon Sanderson's Elantris and Mistborn.  They are both fantasy stories with a romance sub-plot, and both have major and/or main characters that are female (Mistborn more so).  Mistborn is a trilogy whose 3rd book is released in mid October.

Subject: fantasy w/romance
Date Posted: 9/2/2008 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
Posts: 106
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Definitely go for Diane Gabaldon's Outlander series.

Mercedies Lackey has some good fantasy/romances

I love all of Jayne Castle's (she also writes as Jayne Krentz and Amanda Quick so if you've liked any of those romances, you'll like her fantasy too)

I just started on Marjorie M. Liu's Dirk & Steele books and I like them.

I love all of Robin D. Owens'. I read both of her series.

Of course now that I've seen some of the other reccommendations here, I'll be checking out some authors that I haven't tried yet :-)

You might like Sarah Winstead's books too.

There are more but I'm at work and better get back to it :-)

Date Posted: 9/5/2008 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 299
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I am glad this thread took off again! I was running out of books to try. THANKS EVERYONE!

Date Posted: 9/5/2008 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/29/2008
Posts: 182
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I loved the Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey,  and the Guardian Series by Robin Owens is great too! I also love Eyes of Crow and Voice of Crow by Jerri Smith-Ready.

Last Edited on: 9/5/08 9:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/6/2008 2:07 AM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2008
Posts: 2
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Try George R.R. Martin a Song of Ice and Fire series.. there is romance but it is muted and woven into the plot so subtle you wouldnt even notice it. You also mentioned liking BIG books.. of which I happen to look for in a book also. George R.R. Martin is a very good detailed writer.


Also try Robin Hobb... assasin's apprentice or liveship traders books. All are good reads with a lil romance intermingled.