Fantasy Books Canon

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WastesTime
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Fantasy Books Canon

Post by WastesTime » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:19 pm

"In a very real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. . . It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish." - S.I. Hayakawa (quote thanks to Arydra)

List made by A. Sapkowski ( I swear, I should get some royalties for promoting this guy, or rather stuffing him down you throates. If you fill that way, I do apologize). This list comprises of all the titles Sapkowski thought of as canon to the literature and a must-read for all fantasy fans. What do you think? Would you throw out something? Add something else?

Presently I am striving to achieve the goal of reading every single book from this list. I've read a couple of them, but I'm far from being done.

List in alphabetical order thanks to LooksAtYouFunny
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Recommended by fellow forum dwellers:

SamWiser:

Terry Goodkind, Sword of Truth series (according to Alavar, watch out for the rape EDIT: And worse)


Alvar:
Brandon Sanderson, Mistborn Trilogy

ThroughTheWell:

Lloyd Alexander, The Chronicles of Prydain
Margaret Weis, The Darksword Trilogy
Tracy Hickman, Dragonlance
Steven Brust, first and second Dragaera series

RocketScientist:

C. S. Friedman, Cold Fire Trilogy
Fred Saberhagen, Complete Book of Swords
Mickey Zucker Reichert, Legend of Nightfall
Roger Zelazny, A Night in the Lonesome October
Roger Zelazny, Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming

John

Brent Weeks, The Night Angel Trilogy
Brent Weeks, The Lightbringer

Arydra

Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel's series, The Sundering duo
Marion Zimmer Bradley, Darkover novels
Last edited by WastesTime on Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:20 pm, edited 12 times in total.
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by SamWiser » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:30 pm

Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. You might have added it up there, but I didn't see it. The Temeraire novels are good if you like some dragons in your historical fiction.

Also, this technically doesn't belong here, but C. S. Lewis has a good sci-fi trilogy involving space travel starting with "Out of the Silent Planet". After you finish these, you could read those, if you wanted.
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by lingrem » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:40 pm

ooo that's a big list. Thanks. I am going to try to use it when I want books and don't know what to order online! (I miss bookstores! I am a browser!)

ETA: I've only read 18 on that list! Shame on me!
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by RocketScientist » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:32 pm

You're 1 ahead of me. I've only read 17 of those entries.
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by Wolfie » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:28 am

How is Anne McCaffrey not on that list? :waitwtf:

I'm appalled! Granted she is more of a Sci-Fi writer than pure fantasy, but the notion still stands.

Her Dragonriders of Pern series was awesome! Her Tower and the Hive series is also one of my yearly re-reads. She also has the Brain and the Brawn series as well as the Crystal Singer series.
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by Alavar » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:02 am

SamWiser wrote:Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.
Ugh... I despise those. I never really got through Sado-Masochistic rape (-ish?) content of first book, and didn't get "greatness" vibe from it before that. (I was told it gets better, though). Nobody seem to mention this - be warned :P

Personally, I reccomend Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.
And I've read 9 so far (+ some of Discworld and 2 books from "Song of Ice and Fire" series)
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by lingrem » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:58 pm

If we're counting each book in the series... then I've read 38 + 10 or more Discworld books. I'm not sure how many I own because they're all in Ontario. lol. Oh going through wikipedia... 18 of them.

So... 56 books that are mentioned on there. If you count each individual book in a series.
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by ThroughTheWell » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:21 pm

With a list that big, there will be some things on it that you like and others that you dislike. The feel between some of them is quite different. Same for the pace.

I did not see:
The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
The Darksword Trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Dragonlance

All of which I would rate as better than some of the above. For instance Black Company by Glen Cook, is great in the beginning, but gets darker and slower as it goes on until I could not pick up the next book.

I will 2nd Dragonriders of Pern as good, and 2nd Sword of Truth as long and yucky S&M.

The list really needs to be alphabatized. It may have represented good order at some point, but it is a pain to tell if a particular book or author is on it in it's current form without rereading the whole **** thing.

From the list:
Negative, for me:
Harry potter - Juvenile, and not in a good way.
Book of the New Sun - long.
Sword of Truth - S&M.
Anne Rice - more horror than fantasy (genre wise).
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant - long.
Shannara - only good for maybe 3 or 4 books.
The witches of Eastwick -really?
Tad Williams - long, the story is NOT resolved in the first book, so don't start.

Positive for me:
Andre Norton
Fritz Lieber - particularly Empire of the East.

There are a few up there that I know I read, but can't recall, which is probably a bad sign, since it was not good enough to be memorable. And of course some that are so obviously good (LOTR, Narnia) that I don't mention them. A couple of the ones I say are long also had unsympathetic characters, or were realy so long that even though I sorta liked it I did not have that kind of time.

Opinions are my own, I'm probably misremembering something, and I don't care if your opinion differs from mine so don't critique my OPINION.
Last edited by ThroughTheWell on Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by TinSoldier » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:37 pm

I loved the Prydain Chronicals as a kid! I read those way before I read LOTR, and in many ways they were just as moving. In some ways, I actually like Taran, Gurgi, Eilonwy, Fflewddur Flam, and Coll than many of the heroes in later series that I read.

They may be considered "children's books", but IMO it is one of the greatest fantasy epics ever.

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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by ThroughTheWell » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:06 pm

If your book is longer than LOTR and not as good, maybe, just maybe you are filling it with meaningless fluff. I came for your world and characters, before long I know what the sides are, now get ON with the resolution already. I think some people got paid by the word. Or unfortunately, some people got succesfull and were less self critical of their latter books. Also, I think I should be able to say something distictive about your world if you are going to spend that many words on it. If you don't have that, at least at the time, then why are you writing?

Oh, I don't see:
Steven Brust - 2 Dragaera serieses (although not EVERY book is as good as the rest, they were all passable) The Vlad Taltos series ... well it has its own magic systems, multiple races, and a familier as an actual character. The other series does not really break new ground, but is a nice homage to the Three Musketeers.
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by RocketScientist » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:40 pm

ThroughTheWell wrote:I did not see:
The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
The Darksword Trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Dragonlance
Speaking of Weis and Hickman, I really kind of enjoyed their Deathgate series.

And I also enjoyed:
C. S. Friedman's Cold Fire Trilogy
Fred Saberhagen's Complete Book of Swords
Mickey Zucker Reichert's Legend of Nightfall
Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October
Zelazny's Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming wasn't bad, either.

If we're going on individual books from the list, I count 70 that I've read. Yay, multi-book series. lol.

Things on the list I've read and really didn't like:
The Last Battle, Narnia book 7 chronologically (depressing, preachy, and it terrified me as a little kid)
The Sword of Truth (I couldn't finish Wizard's First Rule. I forget why, but Alavar may be onto something.)
Lord Valentine's Castle ...if this is that book where he went on and on about the tireless beasts they ride, and then five minutes later he was stopping to rest them, because, well, everything gets tired. :roll:
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by ThroughTheWell » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:55 pm

Wow. My mistake. Empire of the East is by Saberhagen, not Lieber. Fritz, Fred, I got confused.

There was some book that starts off with a female paladin...

Yeah, Lord Valentine's Castle is on my list of probably long but I don't remember. Not positive.
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by John » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:35 am

I have to admit that I am glad to see The Dragon Knight up there. The first book of the series was The Dragon & the George and was a fun read. I think it's more appealing to a younger crowd (middle school -early high school), but it has some nostalgia for me.

Not sure if his first series would get up there but some other books I recommend as they feel like the new generation of Fantasy that's getting more and more popular.

The Author is Brent Weeks and he has:
The Night Angel Trilogy
  1. Enter the Shadow
  2. Shadow's Edge
  3. Beyond the Shadow
Summary: A darker series with an interesting take on different forms of magic with some characters you really root for and enemies you can really root against

Also- probably my preferred series he is currently working on The Lightbringer with 2 books out so far:
  1. The Black Prism
  2. The Blinding Knife
Summary: A setting that is extremely colorful with a cool description and use of magic. Sometimes the plots can twist and twist but overall I cannot say enough great things about this series.

Don't get me wrong, it steers away from the classic fantasy writings, using more contemporary language but both series are very good at creating a new world you really can enjoy exploring. I want to reread them just talking about it now!
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by lingrem » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:40 am

Dragonlance was my main source of fantasy novels as a kid.

I also got my younger brother interested in reading (he was a reluctant reader.. and he's only a year younger than me) because he stole those books of mine to read them. I still have a bunch of them at home in Ontario!
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by WastesTime » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:32 pm

I never really got to Dragonlance as I've put it on the same shelf as the Warcraft books (kinda good, but not the best). Is it really worth reading? What is it like?
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by LAYF » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:07 pm

Nice list... just for the use of it.. i sorted it alfabeticly (bu author)
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by thinkslogically » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:56 am

GUYS!! I can't believe you haven't put Twilight on this list! ...and you call yourselves a bookclub....
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I've read 13 of those and I've got a few more on my waiting list. I'm glad Neil Gaiman's on there cos he's awesome (just finished 'Good Omen' by him and Terry Pratchet and it's a very cool wee book!). I'm a big fan of Tad Williams too, though his books never come out on Kindle so I've not got round to Memory Sorrow & Thorn yet.

I would dump Guy Gavriel Kay off the list as well as Terry Brooks (I am in the 'hate' camp on the Shannara stuff).

I personally liked the Weavers of Saramyr Series (Chris Wooding), but they don't seem to have become very popular.

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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by Arydra » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:47 pm

OK, for anyone interested in Fantasy I would suggest Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's series (if you like/don't mind/just ignore(as I did) a few weird dominatrix style sex scenes) or her The Sundering duo (which does not contain sex scenes) Both are good and I would recommend The Sundering Duo at the very least, I personally have only read the first Kushiel book and I am waiting for the next so I have no idea if the other 2 are just as bad.

Also, anyone here a fan of Meleanie Rawn?

And why is only Avalon on the list by Marion Zimmer Bradley, a few of her Darkover novels were really good as well, mostly Clingfire trilogy and the trilogy starting with Exile's Song.

Also, for anyone that leans more towards SciFi/Speculative Fiction I would suggest the British author James Lovegrove. His Pantheon series deals with Norse, Greek, Egyptian, and Aztec pantheons in the modern ages, but each is presented in a different fashion. I hope my little contribution will help anyone looking for a good book or two. :)


Oh, and for the record if anyone cares I have also read at least parts of 18 of the books/series currently posted in the list by Wastestime.
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by Wolfie » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:18 pm

I've read (and own) the Kushiel series. It's pretty good, if a bit strange at times. My favorite character is Hyacinthe
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by Arydra » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:33 pm

Wolfie wrote:I've read (and own) the Kushiel series. It's pretty good, if a bit strange at times. My favorite character is Hyacinthe
Hyacinthe was an alright character but my favorite is Joscelin. I liked his character development, even if I was able to see it coming. Have you tried her Sundering duo?
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by Wolfie » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:42 am

Not yet.

Joscelin is a really well developed character, though he does some really stupid things in the second book that make me want to throttle him. But, that is the mark of a good author. :D
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by Arydra » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:37 pm

I am unable to buy books right now and my local library system does not carry the next two, so I guess it is going to be a while until I can read them. Which really sucks because you got me to want to read them badly. :(
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by Arydra » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:21 am

"In a very real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. . . It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish." - S.I. Hayakawa

Found this quote on my Lit final. Thought it applied nicely to our little discussion here. And I am making this a double post because I want every to know that there is a new post here.
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by LooksAndSmiles » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:17 am

When I was younger I quite enjoyed Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Saga and the Empire Trilogy that ensued as a continuation. I don't know how it has developed further, but I guess I would re-read them if I could.
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Re: Fantasy Books Canon

Post by John » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:03 am

LooksAndSmiles wrote:When I was younger I quite enjoyed Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Saga and the Empire Trilogy that ensued as a continuation. I don't know how it has developed further, but I guess I would re-read them if I could.
I read over a dozen of the books afterwards as well as some sets that are set in the same universe but focuses away from the main group of characters you are used to. The current saga- Demon War I think has just gotten too long winded now for me. I'd say I got finished with the series about 13 books down the line. Otherwise I really enjoyed it on the whole.
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