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Topic: New to Fantasy

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Subject: New to Fantasy
Date Posted: 5/22/2008 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2006
Posts: 13
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Hello everyone!

I would love to start reading fantasy books but I'm not sure were to start? I'm a 21 year old who is used to reading horror, suspense, and  romance.   Can anyone help me with  some suggestions?

Thank you much!

Date Posted: 5/22/2008 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 107
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Ashley - I'm someone that has found her way back to fantasy and was given a ton of recommendations on authors/titles to read a few months ago.  I loved Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth Series (11 books I believe) and currenlty reading Jim Butcher's Dresden files (one of the recommendations so THANK YOU to who recommended it)  its set in modern time and is about a wizard living in Chicago.  I didn't think I would like it but I'm starting book eight now.  Both series have an underlying romance woven into the stories.  If you want to start on something lighter there is always the Harry Potter series.  I didn't get hooked on that series until I read the third book (a friend begged me to read all three that were released at that time before I made up my mind)  If you look through the postings in this area you will see where others have asked for help in discovering authors so you'll be able to see a lot more.  I have a list now that should take me well into next year!

Its a great gendre so I hope you find something that captures you!

Last Edited on: 5/22/08 10:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/23/2008 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2007
Posts: 782
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I would recommend the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey: Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen, and Kushiel's Avatar, and Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters Trilogy: Daughter of the Forest, Son of the Shadows, and Child of the Prophecy. These are some of my all time favorite books regardless of genre. Daughter of the Forest is may favorite period. Hope this helps!

Date Posted: 5/23/2008 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 192
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I think you would also like some of the paranormal/urban fantasy genre. Here's a link to a thread that lists a number of series in that genre. www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php
Tanya Huff has two series the Blood Books and the Smoke Books that deal with vampires and other things that go bump that are urban fantasy.

If you like the darker side Simon R Green's Nightside is fantasy with a horror bent and I would second the recommendation of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files.

If you haven't read them F. Paul Wilson's Adversary and Repairman Jack series are good.



Date Posted: 5/24/2008 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 543
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Terry Brooks Shannara series is a good starting point for a beginner. Start with Sword of Shannara (Elfstones of Shannara and Wishsong of Shannara complete the first trilogy set). Elves, dwarves, magic...clear definition of good and evil. A young boy from a small village being part of something bigger and goes on quest.

Another series I think of as good for beginner's is David Edding's The Belgariad series. The first book is Pawn of Prophecy. Like a lot of epic fantasy, has the quest story-line with a young boy with unknown abilities/heritage playing a big role in the world.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. The first book is Eye of the World (there are 11 books total, 12th book to be published next year I think. Just to let you know, the author died before finishing the 12th book). Some people hate the series, some people love them. Very lengthy books, so I wouldn't recommend reading the series straight through or you'll get burnt out. Has to be one of the best epic fantasy series I've read.

George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series. First book is A Game of Thrones. Four books published, I believe there will be 7 total. Martin takes his time writing each book, the 5th book comes out later this year (I think). This series isn't in-your-face magic like RJ's Wheel of Time series, it's more subtle but very good. Has some explicit sexual scenes.

One last one I'll recommend (I've got more, but I've already given you plenty to keep you busy reading.LOL) is Robin Hobb's Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies. The first book is Assassin's Apprentice. There are 6 books total and it is told from first person POV. Very good series, told from the POV of a prince's bastard son and his training as the king's assassin.

I'd recommend first starting with Brooks or Eddings. Happy reading!

Date Posted: 5/24/2008 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2008
Posts: 411
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I would highly recommend The Curse Of Chalion, by Lois McMaster Bujold. If you like it, there's a couple more set in that world. If you want even more romance in your fantasy, try her other series The Sharing Knife (starts with The Sharing Knife: Beguilement).

Try Peter S. Beagle. He hasn't put out a lot, but it's quality stuff.  The Last Unicorn, The Folk of the Air, and Tamsin are my favorites. They're all stand-alones.


Date Posted: 5/24/2008 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 413
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If you haven't read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I would start there!  So much of the genre falls back on that and its just GOOD stuff all around.  Also FYI the genre is also informed by Role Playing Games such as Dungeons and Dragons.

If you have already read those... I ALSO recommend David Eddings Belgariad series, then I moved on to the Mallorrean before I put Eddings down for a while.  It has a great storyline and it isn't bogged down with lots of backstory and history and trying to spend the first 100 pages just simply orienting you to a strange world with an unfamiliar language et cetera.  It reads really well.  I think you'll like it. 

In my introduction to fantasy, I began reading R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf and Icewind Dale Trilogies  early on too- I think they give someone who DOESN"T play or know a lot about D and D some insight into the stock characters and things you will often see in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.  These "character types" often seem to pop up in the genre.  And besides figuring out how to pronounce his name, Drizz't is a really intriguing character and I am completely jealous of his cat companion gwendevhar (sp.). 

Right now I'm trying to plow my way through the wheel of time series, but i woulnd't recommend it to someone new to the genre - I've been reading in the genre for a while now and I have issues getting oriented to the world.  I have real trouble when I can't just "pick up" a fantasy book and read it without feeling like i'm floundering in complete unfamiliar territory for 100 pages without EVEN a solid storyline to carry me along.  THOSE kind of books in the genre irritate me.  The Wheel of Time has a decent storyline at the beginning, but it really is disorienting at first - I think as soon as I get through a few more chapters i"ll be okay.

Oh, one last recommendation.  I am reading The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelasny as well now - it reads really smoothly, and it has that nice action oriented/ fast paced feel of a good mystery suspece even though its fantasy!  You might enjoy it for those reasons, though in the field of fantasy Zalasny seems to be one of those love hate people!


Last Edited on: 5/24/08 10:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/24/2008 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 543
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Yah, I agree the Wheel of Time series takes some time to get oriented to the world Robert Jordan created. It takes a few books to understand what's going on, the complexity of the world he created...it's so huge and the cast of characters just grows enormous. But, wow it's worth it. That's why I first recommended starting with something less complex like Brook's Shannara series and Edding's Belgariad series. (but give Jordan a try too, the Wheel of TIme series is my favorite epic fantasy series).
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,742
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If you like horror, Clive Barker is a good author to "cross over" from horror to fantasy...try Weaveworld if you haven't read it yet.

Also Dean Kootz's The Thief of Always would be a good one to start with.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,576
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You might also want to try Terry Brooks' Magic Kingdom series of books as well, especially if you like a little humor in your fantasy.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
Posts: 182
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I'll second The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  They are classic fantasy and among my favorites.

I also recommend David Eddings' Belgariad and Mallorean series - some more of my favorites.  Light reading, but fun.

Speaking of light reading, Harry Potter is great.  It gets a little heavier in the later books, but I love em all.

I'll also second the recommendation for Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy.  I read that last year and enjoyed it.

A relatively new author I've been enjoying a lot recently is Brandon Sanderson.  I've read his standalone novel Elantris, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I have also read the first two books in his Mistborn trilogy and eagerly await the release of book 3 in October.

Another new author I'm currently really enjoying is Patrick Rothfuss.  I'm currently around halfway through his "Name of the Wind" and if it continues to be this good to the end, it will be among my favorites.  (I can't wait til I get home from work so I can get back into it!!!)