Amph Book Recommendations

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by NYCitygurl, Feb 4, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Okay, correct me if I'm wrong, but he's the 'apprentice' of the magician who was looking out for Sonia. Then yeah, he's gay, he finds out at the end of the second book.

    I don't know what drew the editor to the first book, but the others are better--less of the same continual plot, though there is quite a bit of repitition in the second when Sonia is getting tricked by every other student. You should try them.
  2. TheCrazyRodian Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2004
    star 4
    Uh, so I don't ever really venture out here, but I'll throw in a recommendation for a series I just finished earlier today. It's the Bitterbynde trilogy, by Cecilia Dart-Thornton. Not necessarily a work of literary genius, or even necessarily an original story, it still manages to be very, very engaging.

    The things I enjoyed the most about it are as follows: the entire first book gives us one of the most unusal protagonists I've ever read in a fantasy novel (sadly, the sheer inventiveness gives way to convention, eventually); the world and the story are very lore-based, or history-based, so in that sense it has a depth that outstrips most other series; and finally, the narrative is really, really beautiful--I mean, the author has a wonderful grasp of language that makes for a very enjoyable (if somewhat difficult, at times) read.

    And, I guess, now that I think about it, the story isn't as cliched as I originally made it out to be. It's an interesting read, in my opinion, drawing upon all sorts of real folklore as a foundation for much of the story. But make sure you set aside a fair amount of time to get through it all. If you rush through, you might risk losing appreciation of the author's lyrical prose. And that's the best part, in my opinion.
  3. dontlookatmethatway Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 3
    I'm stunned. I can't believe that you, with your comprehensive knowledge of the fantasy genre, could adopt such a ridiculous position.

    But the dragons are not bad simply because they are in the book. I don't see how you make this connection. And just putting dragons into a book doesn't mean that it lacks basic creativity. An author could be very creative with the dragons.

    On another note, I totally agree with your comment in your sig that SW novels are written for younger audiences. That is basically why I have stopped reading them.

    What I don't agree with in your sig, however, is your criticism of LotR. Your comments on LotR in another thread have triggered a reassessment of the book (read: dontlook was dismayed that he could not offer up a better defense and has looked for better arguments) and I have not found it lacking. On the contrary. Your claims that Tolkien does not do world-building are false. He constructs a rich world with his long descriptive paragraphs. He gives the world a history and mythology which is fully fleshed out in the Silmarillion. He isn't just throwing names at you. There are also deep conflicts and themes in the book like the corrupting influence of the Ring and its effect on the characters. Did I just mention the characters? LotR has great characters! People like Boromir and Aragorn and Frodo and Galadriel and Theoden and Gandalf (my personal favorite) The action scenes are also good, like when Gandalf confronts the Balrog. These things and more are what make LotR great.
  4. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Not all Star Wars is targetted for teens. There are some well written books.

    Sure, even Erikson is using dragons in his Malazan series, and though I don't like it, the books are of such stunning quality I tolerate it because they're not the primary focus and, as I said last page, he balances the boat by showing no antifemale bias---almost a rarity in the entire fantasy genre! [face_love]

    But my point was, at least 80 percent of fantasy books have dragons, and I want to read something that isn't repetitive and cliche. It doesn't matter that they can tie into the plot; it doesn't matter how creative the dragon is portrayed. It's always dragons and more dragons. I'm simply asking authors to bother showing something else. I won't refuse a book on that basis alone, after all I didn't know Erikson would do so too. But, ah, T'lan Imass arrogance and Kruppe antics make up for that. [face_dancing]

    I've never had LOTR in my sig, and almost everything you just said about my LOTR sentiments are false. Perhaps you've confused me with someone else? :(

    This isn't the thread to discuss that overhyped boredom, and I've never criticised his lack of world building. Quite the contrary: for the overdose you get, you saw but a fraction. LOTR isn't even one of my worst read books. This past fortnight I've found something more vile than a hobbit's endless drinking. Something so astonishing I genuinely can't call it anything but revolting. Bah, forget Tolkien. He's but an amateur compared to what I've just read today. :D
  5. dontlookatmethatway Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 3
    There probably are, but the universe of SW outside the movies doesn't interest me enough to compel me to look for them.

    The fact that a dragon is included does not make the use of dragons bad. You are basically saying that it does. And I don't think that a blanket generalization like that is accurate. Why do you hold this bias against some elements but not others? The example I'm about to give is rather extreme, but it serves my purpose: humans. Humans are included in almost every fantasy novel. Why don't you complain about the overuse of humans, Excellence?

    As I pointed out before, the social position of women is a detail of the world that the author creates. It should not majorly impact your assessment of the book.

    This is the part of your post that made me tear out my hair as soon as I read it. I'm sorry that I put "sig", I meant "bio". And I most certainly did not confuse you with someone else. From reading some of your previous comments I got the impression that you didn't like Tolkien's world building. My word choice of "does not do world-building" to describe your attitude towards it was poor, I'll admit and didn't convey what I meant. But since you don't wish to discuss it, I will say no more on the subject except to ask: What book did you find so terrible? I want to know so that I can go check it out of the library and review it for myself.
  6. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    The example I'm about to give is rather extreme, but it serves my purpose: humans. Humans are included in almost every fantasy novel. Why don't you complain about the overuse of humans, Excellence?

    Actually, I have on occasion. :p What can you do with humans, mere two arms and legs and weak bodies, compared to the creative aliens you can have? SW is littered with endless Corellians. Humans are nothing. Their empathy to humans readers aside, they're just so bland and generic!

    Doesn't seem I can convince you that the majority of fantasy books have the same cliche elfs, dwarfs, dragons and ugly orc things. I really don't know how you're blinded by this, but if reading the same species time and again each time almost all the time doesn't bother you, I'm not upset about that. Really I'm not.

    Authors of recent decade have gotten sneaky, actually, now that I'ved noticed. They may not write actual elfs but their new races behave and burp just like them in speech and mannerism. The sneaky buggers, I'll never know until I see it . . . :D

    I meant, this isn't the right thread for a LOTR discussion. As for what's surpassed Myrren's Gift as the most horrible book I've ever read . . . congratulations Elizabeth Haydon, I honestly cannot call Prophecy and the whole Rhapsody trilogy anything but a revolting waste of time and money. [:D]

    I haven't the faintest inkling how this thing got published, but by a Dalek's polished exterior, I'm going to find out. I cannot believe what I've been reading all week.
  7. dontlookatmethatway Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 3
    LOL! That was probably the last thing I expected you to say. Your unconventional answer has forced me to abandon this line of questioning.

    No, I know that dragons, elves, dwarves, etc. are commonly included in fantasy. What I don't believe is that just including a common element is bad. I think that there is a lot of room for creativity when you are working with dragons or elves.

  8. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Fair enough, I haven't mentioned my dislike of plain humans in a while, but don't worry, I have. I'll . . . maybe . . . tolerate dragons, but I'll definitely refuse a book with elfs and dwarfs, etc. That's just plain cliche. So much fun to write your own creatvity.
  9. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Um, gents, this is probably not the place for this discussion . . .
  10. dontlookatmethatway Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 3
    Would you refuse it even if the author did something very creative with the elves/dwarves? Something that made them interesting?
  11. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I was serious when I said take it to another thread, or start a PM conversation. This doesn't belong here.
  12. RolandofGilead Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2001
    star 7
  13. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Already have. Does anyone seriously recommend The Prince of Nothing Trilogy?

    I'm seeing hard pronounciation and a whore which reviewers say has resulted in a lot of sex. The chummy sex littering the Raphsody books has a carved a scowl of ice across my face, and I don't think I want to see more, needless in books as I think it is. I'm worried it has underclassed women too. Ideally, I'm looking for a serious mature read. Can Darkness That Comes Before meet that challenge?
  14. dontlookatmethatway Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 3
    First off, apologies to NYCitygurl and Roland. I will try to stay on topic.

    Secondly, my response to Excellence. Was my recommendation of The Prince of Nothing not serious enough? I did (in all seriousness) recommend it earlier in the thread and I still do. I will also defend my recommendation from criticism. Your accusations of large amounts of sex are accurate. I could do without the Esmenet chapters. But I'm sure that the writer, in his infinite wisdom, has them in there for a good reason. I can't have it all and the rest of the book more than makes up for it. As to underclassing of women, I wasn't really looking for that in the story and I don't remember it well enough to say for sure but I think it probably does. Not that that drives the story quality down. What I do like about the story is the world building. The world has a very detailed and interesting history. In the back there is like a four page long language chart. The magic is also fascinating. I find it both serious and mature.

    Since I'm still smarting from the off-topic criticism, I will say that this is on-topic because I am re-recommending a book.
  15. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Could be I missed its recommendation earlier in the thread. ;) But female inequality could pose a problem with me. And a lot of books seem to like thirsting their starrs through prached deserts, which the 2nd book does, correct me if I'm wrong. I've already read half a thousand pages of that in Deadhouse Gates, do I want to read another desert journey? Hmmm . . .
  16. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Well, Sara Douglass's books, and Melanie Rawn's, have very strong female leads (I may or may not have already said that; if I hae, ignore me 8-} ).

    And as for other good books, Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books are amazing!!!
  17. dontlookatmethatway Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 3
    Hmph. I don't think female inequality should pose a problem, but I respect your feelings. As for the desert journey... It's a lot different than the one in Deadhouse Gates. Very different. The writing styles and characters make them nothing like one another. I won't tell you any details because I don't want to spoil the story, but I can assure you that it is not like Deadhouse Gates.

    I don't really like female leads. It's not because I'm sexist, but because I can empathize and understand a male lead more.
  18. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    I'm researching the Deryni series. Deryni Rising, Deryni Checkmate, High Deryni comprises the first trilogy? Rising was published in '87, recently reprinted with a few extras.
  19. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Correct. The trilogy about Chamber of Culdi takes place 200 years before, and often it's listed first on the inside cover on the books, but don't let it fool you; read those three first.
  20. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    I strongly recommend Greg Keyes Kindom of Thorn and Bone series that he is in progess on. So great!

    Also almost anything written by Gene Wolfe.
  21. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Was it good? His NJO fair is so breezily written it doesn't provide an accurate snapshot of what he can do. Briar King reviews I've perused aren't informative.
  22. Merlyn_Gabriel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2005
    star 4
    fantasy: The dark Is Rising quntilogy by Susan Cooper ( it is for younger readers but I find it doesn't matter how old your are, this set is well written)
    The Dark Matter trilogy by Phillip Pullman

    Sci Fi: Hard Wired - Walter Jon Williams ( such a good cyber-ounk genre book one of my all time faves and I re read it pretty much annually.

    Anything by William Gibson but it is always good to start with Neuromancer ( this is were the term cyberspace was used.His latest 'Pattern Recognition' is very interesting.)

    It's been said before but Orson Scott Card's books are also well worth reading. One of his lessser read gems was the novalization of The Abyss.

    Mysteries for fun : Janet Evanovitch's Stephanie Plum books, hilarious and fun.

    Non fiction : Bill Bryson's A short history of nearly everthing. this book is awesome :)

  23. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Mysteries for fun : Janet Evanovitch's Stephanie Plum books, hilarious and fun

    I love those!!! Her Full books are amazing, too.
  24. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Excellence they are GREAT reads!

    It is my fav fantasy series so far. It is a treat to read these books really.
  25. ezekiel22x Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 4
    Ex, given your vehement thoughts on archetypes, I?d probably steer clear of The Kingdom of Thorn and Bone series. Though Keyes doesn?t include any of those surly dwarves you love, he?s certainly not averse to including a noble knight, a solitary ranger, a rebellious princess, and a charming rogue. Still, if you can accept these characters for what they are, Keyes does succeed where other recent epic fantasists fail in that he?s not afraid to tell a story that moves. I?d best describe the books as Martin light - a perfect series for those looking for a well-written take on very familiar elements as opposed to one of the genre?s critical heavy hitters who are a great deal more subversive in both style and content.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.