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Topic: Recommendations for a fantasy newbie?

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Subject: Recommendations for a fantasy newbie?
Date Posted: 4/7/2009 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2009
Posts: 33
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I am in need of your collective wisdom!  I've never though of myself as a fantasy fan - which is actually rather silly given that I named my dog "Gimli" after the Lord of the Rings character and can conjure up stories and worlds in my own mind that are so fantastic that they would probably get me committed if I ever shared them!

But lately I've been reading (and loving) a ton of children's and young adult fantasy - e.g. the Inkheart and Eragon trilogies.  Which makes me think that it may be time to enter the "grown-up" fantasy literature realm. 

Can you please recommend a good place for me to start?  What fantasy novel/series drew you into this genre?  What is a good author/book/series for a fantasy newbie?

Thank you so much!


Date Posted: 4/7/2009 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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Diana Wynne Jones has several excellent books.  I would start with The Lives of Christopher Chant.  Howl's Moving Castle is also good and was made into an animated film.

Megan Whalen Turner's Thief series is also very good.  It has to be read in order:  The Thief, The Queen of Attolia and then The King of Attolia.

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 112
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You could try "The Curse of Chalion" by Lois McMaster Bujold.   I would also recommend anything by Terry Pratchett, perhaps starting with "Guards, Guards".  

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2006
Posts: 360
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Maybe some of the classic fantasy series might be a good thing to try, to see if you like the genre?

Some of my husband's favorite authors/series are:

David Eddings' Belgariad, Mallorean, Elenium and Tamuli series.

Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series (Book #1 is Wizard's First Rule).

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series (Book #1 is The Eye of the World).

Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders/Renegades of Pern series.

Terry Brooks' Shannara series.

As classic series, they have multiple books but they are some of the best in the fantasy genre.

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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Spellsinger by Alan Dean Foster.

And there are copies available. No waiting list.

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 3,883
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Here are some that I really liked: ( these are in the YA sub-genre you mentioned liking)

His Dark Materials Trilogy: The Golden Compass / The Subtle Knife / The Amber Spyglass- Author: Philip Pullman

The Abhorsen Chronicles - Author: Garth Nix (book 1 is called Sabriel, book 2 is Lirael, book 3 is Abhorsen)

The Amulet of Samarkand (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Bk 1) - Jonathan Stroud

ALSO:  you might want to check out Charles de Lint  (he writes urban fantasy for adults AND YA) lots of really good titles from him!

and, belive it or not, I have read some great YA fantasy by Clive Barker (particuarly The books of Abarat and Thief of Always)  and finally Neil Gaiman who writes REALLY well, for both YA and adult. 


Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 4/8/2009 10:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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In the realm of YA, Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles are a must read.

C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Terry Brooks are the authors that got me into fanasy as a kid.  Also a big one from the 1980's was the Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends trilogies by Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman.

Other recommendations: Madeliene L'Engle's A Wrinkle in TIme, Stephen King's Eyes of the Dragon (not horror, pure fantasy), and Michael Moorcock's Elric books.

Subject: Thank you!
Date Posted: 4/9/2009 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2009
Posts: 33
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Thank you so much for all of the recommendations!  And thank you for being so kind to me (i.e. thank you for not pointing out that had I scrolled down a bit, I would have noticed that there is an identical thread about halfway down the page and would have saved people a lot of time)! 

Date Posted: 4/11/2009 4:11 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 44
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If it hasn't been suggested already, you might like the Dragonlance classic trilogy.
Date Posted: 4/16/2009 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,386
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Ooh, don't know why I just thought of this, but you might try the Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy, which I loved and still love, by Patricia McKillip - it might be more YA, but I think she's fabulous (and has some other fun books in the genre, too).

Date Posted: 4/16/2009 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
Posts: 182
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I recommend David Eddings' Belgariad and Mallorean series.  I thoroughly enjoyed them all.

Sounds like you've already read Lord of the Rings, but if you've only seen the movies, by all means read the books.  They are among my fantasy favorites.

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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I would like to also recommend Robin McKinley (classic YA author with a pretty wide range: she has a vampire novel, a dragon novel, several fantastic fairy tale retellings, and a few stand-alone worlds all of her own), second the recommendation of Patricia McKillip if you like really lyrical prose, second the recommendation of Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion books if you want really well-crafted worlds and characters, toss in a recommendation for Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels (really a cross between sci-fi and fantasy; many seem obviously fantasy, but early and late books in the series make it clear that it's a sci-fi universe), and suggest Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel novels if you're up to 800 page tomes with lots of politics and lots of sex but also fantastic characters and really beautiful high-fantasy prose.