Dear 100 Hour Board,
I am looking for new books to read over the summer.
Which fantasy novels do you recommend?
I have read virtually every Tolkien book more than once (and will read them again and again and again), Earthsea Cycle, Inheritance Cycle, Chronicles of Narnia, and all the Harry Potters.
I will not read Twilight (to quote Despicable Me, "You call this literature?!") nor will I read Hungary Games or whatever it's called.
Dear you are not missing anything in Twilight,
Board Question #71732 was posted recently that had a lot of book recommendations, including some fantasy. In that question, I recommended The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, and I do it again now. I assure every fantasy fan that they can't help but fall in love with these stories. I have read them both countless times and can never wait to pick them up again.
Have you ever read The Enchanted Forest Chronicles? It looks like it fits into your book interests and they are just plain fun. I'm a huge fan of down-to-earth, adventurous female leads, especially when they aren't portrayed as needing a man to kiss every second of the day.
Also, though aimed at German children, The Neverending Story is a much more intricate and fascinating book than I expected it to be (I mean, the movie series is... well...).
The books I mentioned above are not as high-fantasy as the other books you said you were interested in, so I'll throw in the Chronicles of the Deryni and the Riddle-Master Series (which made me love harps and really ugly fantasy book covers). Both fantastic series, though I'm a bit biased because my father read them both out loud to me right when I was becoming "too cool" to be read to by my dad.
-Yog in Neverland
Dear Paperback Writer, Democritus, Humble Master and Azriel,
Clearly you have good taste in books. We should be friends.
If you've been around here for a while, you might know of my not-so-secret love affair with The Name of the Wind and its sequel The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. I'm a huge Rothfuss fan. HUGE. He is a highly skilled writer. Also, I met him at Comic Con, and not only did he sign my book "You're awesome" without me asking, he posted a picture of me on his blog! You can't skip a series when so many Board writers profess their love of it! So what are you doing? Go find these books, read them, and be happy. Nay, be ecstatic!
Like many of the other writers, I will also throw in a hearty recommendation for anything Brandon Sanderson writes.
My other suggestions are His Dark Materials, the Bartimaeus sequence, Howl's Moving Castle, Codex Alera, the Lightbringer series (careful, I remember these ones having strong language), Tigana, and possibly the Shannara series (I liked the original trilogy best; it gets kind of boring and formulaic if you read all of them).
Dear Tuor ~
Anything by Brandon Sanderson. Start with Elantris, then move on to the Mistborn trilogy. Warbreaker, is good, but my least favorite of his. (Though it really is still good.) And then if you're ok with starting unfinished series, Way of Kings is my favorite of all of his. But it's the only book out of a projected 10-book series. It's also over 1,000 pages. But so good!
~ Dragon Lady
Recommendations I got from other people:
- Dragonlance Chronicles
- The Deed of Paksenarrion, by Elizabeth Moon (trilogy)
- Most books by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (a team of authors; Mr. Hickman is LDS)
My own recommendations (which are seconded by the "other people" section):
- Wheel of Time
- Could Ender books be counted as fantasy? There are non-human life forms! A little bit?
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge. It is actually a trilogy, but I haven't been able to get my hands on the second or third books. Anyway, it is wonderful!
I love reading, but I have to work hard to squeeze it in. I've now got a Kindle to help enable me, and I often listen to Audible audiobooks during my commute.
I will heartily second Paperback Writer's recommendation. Patrick Rothfuss is awesome (and will write some stuff for an interesting RPG that is currently getting Kickstarted...). Fair warning, the second (and currently latest book) has sex--tastefully written at least, but a lot. I love the Audible narrator!
Brandon Sanderson is a default recommendation. I'll add my plug as well. I second Dragon Lady's recommendation to start with Elantris. Then read Mistborn. If you don't like it, you may be one of those people who don't like bacon.
My Tolkienesque friend recommended the Farseer Chronicles by Robin Hobb. The first book is Assassin's Apprentice. It starts out pretty slow, but you really get a good in-depth look at the kingdom the author creates. Its magic system focuses on a sort of telepathic link, so no fire balls or wands. Events in the books always seem to go from bad to worse, but somehow, the young protagonist is able to claw his way back to earn his happy ending. You get some pretty good payout for your investment if you stick with the series.
Don't dismiss Hunger Games. It's well-written and has some fascinating thematic heft.
Go read The Name of the Wind, then come back for more recommendations.
Good Omens is fantastic.
The Thursday Next series receives my heartiest recommendation.
Ready Player One is more sci-fi than fantasy, but if you have any familiarity with 1980's popular culture you will love it (warning, a few of the big swears pop up).
And, if you're ready to dip your toes into graphic novels, Bone, Mouse Guard, and (the superhero-y) Kingdom Come are recommended.
Brandon Sanderson books are highly recommended around here. Elantris and the Mistborn series are wonderful.
If you haven't read any of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, FIX THAT IMMEDIATELY! Start with Going Postal or Small Gods. Neil Gaiman has a similar writing style and even joined up with Mr. Pratchett to write Good Omens.
The Song of Fire and Ice series is marvelous! George R.R. Martin's ability to develop characters is remarkable. Truly worth the hype. I wouldn't classify them as fantasy, per se, as much as political stories set in a fantasy world.
The last fantasy book I tried reading was Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. It was...just awful. I couldn't get past the mind-numbing, overly pretentious and verbose writing style and gave up half way through. But it was a New York Times bestseller so obviously someone likes it.
I'd so read the Hungary Games. I'd have to have one of my best friends translate it for me from the Hungarian. "Soha ne hagyon el benneteket a remény!"
Patrick Rothfuss is a yes. I discovered his first book when I was in Taiwan at a local bookstore there (luckily they had an English section, especially since I needed a book to read on the super long plane ride home). Also even more a yes: Discworld. However, I started with Reaper Man, and thus think everyone should start with Reaper Man. Or Soul Music. Or, really, any of the Death books. Enchanted Forest Chronicles are amazing. While visiting a roommate the other day, she recommended to me Partials by Dan Wells. I have not yet had a chance to read the whole book, but I did download the free sample to my kindle and am eager to read the rest of it. Finally, it's been about 500 years, but I remember enjoying The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher when I was younger.
I'm not much of a fantasy reader (and by that I mean I'm not a fantasy reader at all), but my husband loves David Eddings' Belgariad series. The first book in the series is Pawn of Prophecy. He always recommends that one to people. And because I didn't remember the name of it but wanted to answer this question, I asked him and then he also suggested the Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan. Oh, and, he agrees about The Name of the Wind, so if you haven't read that one, it sounds like it's a favorite.
- The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
- The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
- The Bromeliad Trilogy by Terry Pratchett
- The Wee Free Men and sequels by Terry Pratchett
- The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
- Pretty much anything by Terry Pratchett
- The Song of the Lioness series and The Immortals series, both by Tamora Pierce. I know I have read and enjoyed other books in the Tortall universe, these are just the ones I remember best.
- Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl
- The Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle
- The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Books that have been recommended to me
- The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
- The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
- The Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull
- The Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
- The Farside series by John Dalmas
- The Xanth series (and others) by Piers Anthony
- Everything by Orson Scott Card
I can't speak to the quality or the content of the books in the second list. I definitely enjoyed every book in the first list, but considering that the last time I read many of those books was 5-10 years ago, I can't guarantee that you will find nothing objectionable in any of them.
I hope you enjoy your summer of reading!