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Any Fantasy recommendations?


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#31 The Hierophant

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:09 PM

I also recommend the Hobbit. Much much better than LotR.

How about Bernard Cornwall's Warlord trilogy. It is Arthurian legend. I'm on the third volume and think it is great.
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#32 The Hierophant

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:10 PM

moorcock is good as recommended by Joe K. Also the Conan books by Robert E Howard. All his stories are in two volumes in the Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks series.
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#33 roskelld

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 07:28 PM

Just ordered the first two books in the Songs of Ice and Fire series thanks to the recommendations.

Looking forward to some festive time reading a new series.
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#34 Melon_Bread

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 02:49 PM

QUOTE (roskelld @ Nov 29 2009, 08:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just ordered the first two books in the Songs of Ice and Fire series thanks to the recommendations.

Looking forward to some festive time reading a new series.



Reading the 1st one at the moment and it's a cracking read, perfect xmas in front of a fire reading. This is from someone whose entire fantasy book repertoire consists of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit which I had to read at school.
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#35 cassidy

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 11:47 AM

QUOTE (Melon_Bread @ Dec 1 2009, 02:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Reading the 1st one at the moment and it's a cracking read, perfect xmas in front of a fire reading. This is from someone whose entire fantasy book repertoire consists of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit which I had to read at school.



Shoudl have read Joe Abercrombie over RR Martin. IMO of course. Not that Martin is bad per se
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#36 Melon_Bread

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 03:22 PM

QUOTE (cassidy @ Dec 2 2009, 12:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Shoudl have read Joe Abercrombie over RR Martin. IMO of course. Not that Martin is bad per se



I will do after smile.gif
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#37 Zapp$ter

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 01:29 AM

Definitely. I would have gone for it even if only for the fact Abercrombie has a completed trilogy to sink your teeth into. It also helps that the books are ace.

It also is one of the reasons I'm not always 100% on recommending Martin's SoIaF books. They're very good but I'd hate to put someone else in the position of being left hanging with regards to a conclusion to the series, which may never materialize. sad.gif Yeah, I'm not as optimistic with this series as with others.
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#38 Monkeyboy

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 10:19 PM

Really enjoyed The Blade Itself, and now I'm reading Before They Are Hanged. Moorcock is next on the list after Abercrombie.
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#39 SuperNashwan

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 11:07 PM

I'm a bit perplexed by some of the suggestions here. Always wary of fantasy recommendations because the whole genre is characterised by lack of imagination (eg Terry Brooks) and plagued by turgid over-writing (George RR Martin), but I gave The Blade Itself a go based on this thread. And it's over-written to the point that the end of the book happens, but realising nothing of any note has happened for scores of pages suddenly there's a completely unheralded fight in a transparently cackhanded attempt to rescue it. Not good, and the opening isn't much better either, it's particularly clumsy in the first couple of pages. At least the inquisitor Glokta is an interesting character, pretty much saves the book.
I guess I should recommend something even though I'm well out of step with most of you (Robin Hobb, seriously?) so read Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. It constantly threatens cliche but it turns into a well characterised and paced adventure. It's the start of a (variable but occasionally brilliant) series but it's self contained with a satisfying enough conclusion.
The first two books of Gemmell's Rigante series are well executed trash too, enjoyable for a light read.
And not one mention of A Wizard of Earthsea? Or The Worm Ouroboros?
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#40 RJames

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 11:46 PM

I'd avoid David Gemmell, RA Salvatore (unless you really want to read about Drizzt for some Forgotten Realms extreme nostalgia) and Terry Brooks. Really the schlockiest of the schlock.

I'll second Michael Moorcock - MOSTLY excellent, some weird stuff (the second half of Von Bek, for example). The Elric books and Dancers At The End Of Time are all superb.

Not sure if anyone has mentioned Magician by Raymond E. Feist - it's very LOTR-esque and it's probably his best book (there are at least 10 in that universe) but I think it's a good standalone novel. If you don't like LOTR though, I guess you might not like it.

Another one, which is a bit of a cross-genre pick is: Julian May. Definitely not a single book affair though. It's about warring alien races who come to earth in the Pliocene and are joined by (one way only) time travelling humans from the future (some with metapsychic powers.) Sounds crazy? It is... but I loved it (good 10 years ago since I looked at it though).

( http://en.wikipedia...._Pliocene_Exile )

QUOTE
The 'Saga of Pliocene Exile' (also known as the 'Saga of the Exiles' in some markets) is a narrative surrounding the adventures of a group of late 21st and early 22nd century misfits/outcasts who travel through a one-way time-gate to Earth's Pliocene epoch, in the hopes of finding a simple utopia where they can finally fit in.

However, the reality is far removed from the dream. The time-travellers arrive to discover the Pliocene is already inhabited by a dimorphic race of aliens ('exotics'), the Tanu and the Firvulag. The exotics, who have fled their home galaxy because of religious persecution, are marooned on Pliocene Earth as well.

The Tanu exotics have difficulty reproducing on Earth due to the high terrestrial and solar radiation, relative to their homeworld, and so have enslaved many of the humans in an effort to overcome this problem, interbreeding with the more robust humans. The Firvulag exotics are, in the main, unaffected by the higher levels of radiation and have no reproductive challenges.

Understandably, relationships between all exotics and the humans tend to be somewhat strained, although this manifests in different ways, and are complicated further by the exotics' metapsychic powers.


Ok, maybe that counts as Sci-Fi smile.gif
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#41 SuperNashwan

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 02:36 PM

QUOTE (RJames @ Dec 6 2009, 01:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not sure if anyone has mentioned Magician by Raymond E. Feist - it's very LOTR-esque and it's probably his best book (there are at least 10 in that universe) but I think it's a good standalone novel. If you don't like LOTR though, I guess you might not like it.

I was going to mention this, but all I can remember about it is that I enjoyed it, can't even really remember what it was about!
CS Lewis might be worth a look too, although I haven't read any since I was a child. I should probably pick them up again.
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#42 Talvalin

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 10:58 PM

QUOTE (dreamylittledream @ Nov 17 2009, 10:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tad Williams has gone off the boil in recent years (Otherworld was just plain dull for instance) but Memory Sorrow and Thorn is a great series and one that should be read by anyone who loves the genre.


I have to counter this by saying that I would prefer gouging my eyes out with a blunt spoon than read MST again. Overwritten turgid crap that takes an entire book to start and then goes nowhere until the final chapters of the fourth book.

Williams's get out clause when he gets stuck in that series was to make Simon wander around the labyrinth under the castle - THREE TIMES he gets lost down there. Gah. I read that series and afterwards got a tick in my left eye that took months to go away. I have no doubt that the two were connected.
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#43 Sirloin

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 10:00 AM

QUOTE (SuperNashwan @ Dec 4 2009, 11:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm a bit perplexed by some of the suggestions here. Always wary of fantasy recommendations because the whole genre is characterised by lack of imagination (eg Terry Brooks) and plagued by turgid over-writing (George RR Martin), but I gave The Blade Itself a go based on this thread. And it's over-written to the point that the end of the book happens, but realising nothing of any note has happened for scores of pages suddenly there's a completely unheralded fight in a transparently cackhanded attempt to rescue it. Not good, and the opening isn't much better either, it's particularly clumsy in the first couple of pages. At least the inquisitor Glokta is an interesting character, pretty much saves the book.
I guess I should recommend something even though I'm well out of step with most of you (Robin Hobb, seriously?) so read Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. It constantly threatens cliche but it turns into a well characterised and paced adventure. It's the start of a (variable but occasionally brilliant) series but it's self contained with a satisfying enough conclusion.
The first two books of Gemmell's Rigante series are well executed trash too, enjoyable for a light read.
And not one mention of A Wizard of Earthsea? Or The Worm Ouroboros?


Wow, I think you are opposite me, I can't stand Goodkind, terrible writing and characters. I did read most of the series, until it got to the point with the statue at which point I gave up. Its been ages since I read them though, and I may be being harsh in retrospect.
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#44 minkee

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 11:28 AM

I find it so hard to find really good, well written and intelligent fantasy books. So many are so dull, so clichéd or just really horrible to read, that I've almost given up and am just reading classics now. I can't even remember one series that I really loved all the way through.

JV Jones' Book of Words series has a special place, but I was 14 when I read that so it's probably mostly nostalgia that gives it that glow. Her latest series has taken some of the shine off, especially the last book, which left you at almost exactly the same place as when you started it. However I do care a lot about the characters in the Sword of Shadows series, and it made me rage when unfair things happen in the first book. Prompting emotional responses is a good thing. I think this is one of the main things I find lacking in most fantasy books, actually.

G R R Martin's The Song of Ice and Fire series I read non-stop, neglecting everything else till I was done, and after a fantastic start it did trail off somewhat, though probably still one of the best I've read (albeit unfinished). My main problem is probably that some things that happen in the first books just don't matter by the 4th... 5th... when does it end... I'd rather it was a little more succinct and closely knit.

China Miéville's Perdido Street Station could have been good if the characters weren't so utterly unlikable that I really didn't care what happened to any of them - especially the _only_ female character, who was rubbish, if memory serves.

Erikson's Gardens of the Moon suffered similarly. Though some of the characters had potential this time, I just really didn't care very much about them, or maybe they didn't develop or weren't believable, I forget. But whatever it was, they didn't do it for me.

The Locke Lamora books and The Name of the Wind shared another problem. They were enjoyable enough though, and I will probably read the next Rothfuss book, if not the next Lamora one. It was probably the Lamora sequel that killed it for me. But, just... I felt like they were written for teenagers perhaps. There's nothing challenging about them, nothing that really grabs or inspired me. Or makes me think about it after I've finished, or desperately want to know more, and what happens next, like I did with tons of books when I was a kid.

Maybe this is my problem, maybe I just want too much from books and should just stick to games :x Unless anyone else suffers from the same problem and can recommend me something I really will adore.



ps. Eddings was the worst thing I have ever read and I hope I never have to see his name again. All the characters are exactly the same, with exactly the same outlook, views, and style of talking - made worse that 90% of the book is made up of dialogue. I really don't get how people can like it.
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#45 SuperNashwan

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 11:34 AM

QUOTE (Sirloin @ Dec 7 2009, 12:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow, I think you are opposite me, I can't stand Goodkind, terrible writing and characters. I did read most of the series, until it got to the point with the statue at which point I gave up. Its been ages since I read them though, and I may be being harsh in retrospect.

Nah, I think I couldn't re-read them without wondering if I'd gone insane the first time round, but I found them perversely enjoyable for the most part. I think at some point in a series that long you just become invested in the characters and able to forgive a lot more (or at least that's the only explanation I have for the last three Harry Potter books being successful...).
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#46 Sirloin

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 11:40 AM

QUOTE (SuperNashwan @ Dec 7 2009, 11:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Nah, I think I couldn't re-read them without wondering if I'd gone insane the first time round, but I found them perversely enjoyable for the most part. I think at some point in a series that long you just become invested in the characters and able to forgive a lot more (or at least that's the only explanation I have for the last three Harry Potter books being successful...).


Oh yeah definitely, I mean, I put myself through the last three Wheel of Time books pretty much purely because I had spent so long getting to that point I wasn't going to give up then.
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#47 Zapp$ter

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 01:24 PM

QUOTE (Sirloin @ Dec 7 2009, 10:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow, I think you are opposite me, I can't stand Goodkind, terrible writing and characters. I did read most of the series, until it got to the point with the statue at which point I gave up. Its been ages since I read them though, and I may be being harsh in retrospect.


I haven't actually read any Goodkind myself. Well, apart from snippets posted in Ansible newsletters which were hilariously bad (something to do with a chicken) but this seems to be the general impression of Goodkind. At least in the forums I hang out in. SuperNashwan's one of the few I've seen recommending Goodkind whilst seemingly rubbishing suggestions of Hobb, Martin and Abercrombie.

Here is some of the Goodkind stuff I was linked to on other forums for anyone interested: http://news.ansible....k/a233supp.html


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#48 SuperNashwan

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 01:50 PM

QUOTE (Zapp$ter @ Dec 7 2009, 02:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here is some of the Goodkind stuff I was linked to on other forums for anyone interested: http://news.ansible....k/a233supp.html

OMG spoilerz!

That excerpt is not representative, although if you're thinking "wtf, an evil chicken?!" that's exactly the point and purpose of that bit. I'll make no excuses, I enjoyed him but Goodkind could well be shit in hindsight, but in all his books I never read a sentence so clumsy or outright nonsensical that I thought "how the fuck did that get past the editor?", which puts him several points ahead of Abercrombie.
I'll readily accept I probably shouldn't be listened to for recommendations, I never seem to find the same value in popular stuff as others, like I'd never recommend Philip Pullman for example yet people seem to think he's great.
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#49 csuzw

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 01:58 PM

I think Abercrombie is overhyped but I don't think he's terrible (certainly not as bad as that Goodkind chicken link). I spent most of his 1st 2 books a little nonplussed, wondering how the guy was getting so much praise but by the end of the final book I could understand it somewhat.
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#50 kloid

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 11:04 PM

I'd like to throw Steph Swainston's The Year Of Our War in to the recommendation pot:



It is the first in a series (three so far, the fourth on the way), but this debut novel easily serves as a one-stop tale.

The Year Of Our War's not elves and goblins fantasy, far from it. A blight of giant insects straight out of Starship Troopers function as the enemy, the protagonist is hopelessly addicted to a parallel dimension-hopping illegal narcotic, brave and selfless heros are replaced by flawed, sassy ones. I loved it, it was just so fresh and imaginative. Particularly, the passages describing the protagonist's flights (he's the only winged being actually capable of flying, due to being a half-breed) were exceptionally evocative, the politics is written intriguingly murky, the battles are brutal and the humour genuine. I liked.

Quick review here.
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#51 Delargey

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 01:43 PM

Sounds quite good.


has any body read any Ian Ivrine here?
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#52 Zapp$ter

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:41 PM

I've got the omnibus of that Steph Swainston series on the way actually. Might be my next read after I'm through with my current book. Well, it's a toss up between that and Baker's Boy by J.V. Jones :twisted:
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#53 footle

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:50 PM

I'd like to throw Steph Swainston's The Year Of Our War in to the recommendation pot:

Posted Image

It is the first in a series (three so far, the fourth on the way), but this debut novel easily serves as a one-stop tale.

The Year Of Our War's not elves and goblins fantasy, far from it. A blight of giant insects straight out of Starship Troopers function as the enemy, the protagonist is hopelessly addicted to a parallel dimension-hopping illegal narcotic, brave and selfless heros are replaced by flawed, sassy ones. I loved it, it was just so fresh and imaginative. Particularly, the passages describing the protagonist's flights (he's the only winged being actually capable of flying, due to being a half-breed) were exceptionally evocative, the politics is written intriguingly murky, the battles are brutal and the humour genuine. I liked.

Quick review here.


I'd actually just come into the thread to recommend Swainston - one of my favourite authors from the last few years.

Meanwhile, Williams' MST was never really my cup of tea, but The War Of The Flowers (standalone) was good. Shadowmarch was *fantastic* as a biweekly serial (which is probably why the first book reads a bit strangely - it wasn't published in this form originally and another story thread got added in afterwards, I suspect that some of the "overly explained" stuff was because of the reaction after each episode - then again
Spoiler
), but I've been waiting for books three (and four, now, since book three was apparently too long to publish) for a bit too long.
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#54 Mogster

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 10:00 AM

has any body read any Ian Ivrine here?

Personally I'd avoid him, but I've only read a hundred pages or so of Geomancer. That was enough for me though, and I don't usually leave books unfinished. I liked the setting a lot, but found his characters to be one dimensional and really badly written.
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#55 Jaxon

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 04:09 PM

I'd like to second the recommendation on Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd/Gray Mouser stories. It's fine, exciting fantasy and adventure, and has a comical sense not too dissimilar from what you might find in a typical Discworld novel, but Leiber doesn't bludgeon you on the head with it like Pratchett does.

I can't believe that no one's mentioned anything by Lord Dunsany. I just finished Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley, and will be reading The King of Elfland's Daughter next.
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#56 Aardvark

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 03:14 AM

I'll third the Swainston recommendation, and add

Little, Big by John Crowley (annoyingly out of print, but you can probably find it second hand on Amazon).
The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe (in fact almost anything by him, but some of it is s.f.)
Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees
The Iron Dragon's Daughter by Michael Swanwick (it might be science fiction, but it certainly follows the form of fantasy)
The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford
Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock (though it is a sequel to Mythago Wood and may make more sense if you've read that)
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#57 Jonathan_Kerr

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:49 PM

I love Magician by Raymond E. Feist. I've never met anyone who read Magician and didn't want to read more books. Magician was originally written as a standalone book, but then he wrote two more books to form a trilogy (the subsequent books are much smaller than the larger first). I also like how his books span generations so sons and daughters take the place of favourite characters. Nowadays he has heaps of books that are okay on their own and quite short but if you read them together with others in the series, they're still gripping.

I really loved Eddings when I was younger and not so picky. I preferred the Elenium trilogy which has a dark style of humour running through it. The main characters are a series of quasi-religious knights with a comically nasty streak through them (not as nasty as G.R.R Martin, say) and politics come into it, more than other fantasy novels I've read. You could say that they're quite similar to his other books. Perhaps they are. But if you read the Elenium first, you should enjoy it. The Belgariad and Mallorean are entertaining in a classic fantasy (LoTRs) kinda way.

Haven't heard of this Abercrombie guy, might go and check him out.
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#58 cassidy

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 11:30 AM

Haven't heard of this Abercrombie guy, might go and check him out.


Do it, he's made a much modern tinged type of fantasy IMO. In relation to the language and characters.

I'm now over 500 pages into Deadhouse gates. I now really understand the praise for the world and characters Erikson has come up with. Bloody fantastic books so far.
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#59 Talvalin

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:12 PM

I'm now over 500 pages into Deadhouse gates. I now really understand the praise for the world and characters Erikson has come up with. Bloody fantastic books so far.


I'm mentally preparing myself to read all 10 Malazan books when Erikson finally finishes the series. I have to say that I'm impressed that he managed to keep up a regular release schedule for such a long time when his contemporaries like Martin and Jordan have so abjectly failed (although in Jordan's case, he at least had a serious illness to contend with, and one that eventually killed him ;))
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#60 kloid

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:20 PM

This Game Of Thrones book is a bit good eh? :(
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