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Topic: Historical/Mythology Fantasy Recommendations?

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Subject: Historical/Mythology Fantasy Recommendations?
Date Posted: 1/30/2009 10:51 AM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 14
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I love books that mix history &/or mythology with magic.  I've enjoyed Sara Douglass'  "Troy Game" series, Alice Borchardt, Stephen Lawhead, David Gemmell, Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters books (especially "Fire Rose" - which technically is the first in the series, but from a different publisher).  I also loved Morgan Llywelyn's "Druids" & "The Greener Shore."

I'd love to hear recommendations from others who love this type of fantasy!

Date Posted: 1/30/2009 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,773
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Evangeline Walton has a 4 book retelling of the Welsh Mabinogian cycle.

Kenneth Flint has several great books based on Irish mythology and history.

You probably already know about all the great Arthurian fiction out there but some favorites of mine are Jack Whyte, Mary Stewart, Courtway Jones, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Sharan Newman, Rosalind Myles, Gillian Bradshaw.

The Merlin series (YA) by T.A. Barron

The Dark is Rising series (YA) by Susan Cooper

Carol Nelson Douglas

Dianna Wynne Jones

A.A. Attanasio

Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris co-authored the Adept Series which is modern Scotland but involves the Knights Templar and a LOT of magic

Anne McCaffrey has at least one Arthurian novel out (Black Horses for the King) and maybe two

Don't know if you are aware of this but Lawhead has a new trilogy out about Robin Hood. VERY different from the usual tellings of the legend though, with a Welsh Robin (whose name isn't even Robin!)

Date Posted: 1/30/2009 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 14
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Thanks Bren!  I've actually been reading Lawhead's Robin Hood trilogy, and am excitedly waiting to get "Tuck" from the library - it's still on order there!

Date Posted: 1/30/2009 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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Megan Whalen Turner's Thief series is excellent.  It starts with The Thief, then The Queen of Attolia and then the King of Attolia.  They take place in an ancient greek like setting.  You have to read them in order.

Date Posted: 1/31/2009 8:06 AM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 14
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I was going through the listing, looking up the authors, and discovered that Evangeline Walton was from Indianapolis, which is where I live!  It always seems strange to find famous people that are from your area, doesn't it?  But reading through the wikipedia description of her works, it mentions Mary Renault - I had completely forgotten about her!  I read "The King Must Die" in a mythology class in high school and really enjoyed it; I should try more of her books!  Just wanted to add her to this list for anyone else's reference!

Date Posted: 1/31/2009 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2008
Posts: 31
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Another is the Sevenwaters Trilogy by Juliet Marillier. She uses Celtic mythology in this trilogy. The first one is Daughter of the Forest, then Son of the Shadows and the final one is Child of the Prophecy.
Date Posted: 2/2/2009 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,727
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Melissa...Sevenwaters Trilogy now has a fourth title!  It's called "Heir to Sevenwaters".  I just got the first three, but haven't had a chance to read them yet.

Jennifer...funny you should mention Mary Renault!  I loved her back in high school, and I have quite a few of hers.  I had just decided to read them and pass them on.  I just have too many other things to read to hang onto everything!  I find I can't re-read as much as I used to.  But I want to go through Renault one more time before I give them up!

Bren...excellent list!


Date Posted: 2/2/2009 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2008
Posts: 31
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Vicky, I picked up "Heir to Sevenwaters" today at the library. I went in to get a different book and saw that one on the new releases shelf. I can't wait to read it!
Subject: Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Date Posted: 2/7/2009 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2008
Posts: 925
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I have really enjoyed this young adult series, it retells some of the greek myths with a modern twist- i.e. Golden Fleece.  Percy finds out he is a half blood in the beginning and  meets many characters and some immortals too.  There are 4 books so far and the final one will be out this spring.  They are so funny and yet like a good mystery with twist and turns.  If you don't mind a little sci-fi  Dan Simmons has a two part story where the battle of Troy is being re-fought on Mars...very clever with multiple story lines.  I enjoyed the robots who love classic literature-discussing Proust and Shakespeare! The titles are called Illium and Olympos.

I have to add His Majesty's Dragon for historical fantasy-dragons in the Napoleonic era!  Now I am finished :)


Last Edited on: 2/7/09 9:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/9/2009 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2009
Posts: 26
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I am re-reading the Mary Stewart classics - The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment. Very historically bent Arthurian fantasy.

For more of a traditional sword and sorcery book set in history, Jamie the Red by Gordon R. Dickson was a pretty quick read.

Date Posted: 3/10/2009 2:53 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I recommend Kim Wilkins.  Her writing is definitely different, not for everyone.  She takes mythology and twists it, writing these really lush dark books.  Not light reading at all.  Both thick lush language and dark subjects.

Date Posted: 3/16/2009 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2009
Posts: 16
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Morgan Llywelyn has more in the Celtic cycle...Bard comes to mind.
Date Posted: 4/27/2009 3:13 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2009
Posts: 30
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Juliet Marillier also has a Norse oriented fantasy novel that I adored.  But the best in Norse mythology fantasy is Diana Paxson's Wodan's Children trilogy.    I should also mention Runemarks by Joanne Harris, which is an absolutely brilliant take on Norse mythology.


Date Posted: 4/27/2009 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 3,883
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There is always the really wonderful "Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  That is on my keeper shelf.  There are more books that follow it, but those weren't nearly as good as Mists.

Date Posted: 4/28/2009 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 49
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In the lightweight variety, _Webmage_ and sequels by Kelly McCullough are cyberpunkish renditions of the Greek gods in modern times. For a really good duo, _Changer_ and _Legends Walking_ by Jane Lindskold are an excellent mix of today's southwest with the traditional gods--great reading!
Date Posted: 5/7/2009 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 2
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What about Lorance Yeps Dragon Seioes (Dragon of the Lost Sea, Dragon Steel,Dragon Coludron and Dragon War)? There an exaclent read- have all the clasic fansty componts (morality, Friendship etc.) . I'm not sure if this comes under mythogy- as i'm sure the monny King is still part of Chiines Culture; but its a good read none the less.

Date Posted: 5/7/2009 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,773
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You also might want to try the fairly new YA series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica by James Owen. They are terrific!

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Elizabeth Bear's All the Windwracked Stars is based on Norse mythology, and actually begins with Ragnarok. Her Promethean Age novels (starting with Blood and Iron) are heavily influenced by Arthurian and Celtic myths.

And if you want a more alternative treatment, I can never recommend Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel novels enough. Rather than simply drawing on classical myths, they take classical myths and reimagine them, resulting in a simultaneously eerily familiar and totally unique Renaissance world.