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Author Topic: Craving Fantasy O.o
trance
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Igot bored with waiting around for the new enderverse instalment so I began looking for something new to read. What I really wanted was a good fantasy series to read but whenever I try to find one I always come up shorthanded. Nothing seems to keep my interest and seems to make me think that there is no fantasy story that is made of the story I unknowingly desire to read. When I first heard that Card was going to write a fantasy story I was glad cause perhaps finally I would be able to read a fantasy story that I'll probably enjoy. But then I thought of all the other "works in progress" he has before he can even begin to write a fantasy story and I decided that it would probably be ten years before that happens. I admit the closest I came to finding what I thought to be a great fantasy story was by David and Lee Eddings: the redemtion of althalus. In my oppinion it wasn't all that great-bordering on barly good. I never finished it because if I had to read the word peculiar one more time I'd burn the book! Anyway's, I then was referred by a friend to the series of Terry Goodkind and decided to give it a try with the book "Debt of Bones" and am now half way through "Wizard's First Rule". Good stuff truly! [Taunt]


What my question for Card is: Will your fantasy series be that type of fantasy? Or what type will it be?

and

What is your opinion on the books of Terry Goodkind and David Eddings?

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CRash
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I would consider Cards' The Tales of Alvin Maker series to be fantasy. He's also written some standalones, including Enchantment and Magic Street, if you like contemporary fantasy.

Have you read any of those?

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hatrkr81
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yes...i was going to recommend Enchantment and Magic Street but CRash beat me to it. truly excellent books. but if you're looking for other fantasy, this is also contemporary, but Neil Gaiman's American Gods is excellent as is the follow up book Anansi Boys. I loved them....but yeah, i can't wait to see a fantasy series from OSC. Although i also agree with crash in saying that i would consider Alvin Maker to be a fantasy series. Really good if you haven't read it yet.
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Orson Scott Card
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Hart's Hope is my most traditional fantasy novel (i.e., medieval, dark, thick with magic, etc.).

There will be more.

Tried Eddings, can't read it - no fault of his, my eyes just glaze over and I start thinking of taking a nap. Never tried Goodkind. But have you read Robin Hobb or George R.R. Martin?

I agree that American Gods is wonderful - but not for those who are bothered by highly explicit (and sometimes repulsive) sexual images.

Oh, and my novel Wyrms is technically sci fi but it FEELS like fantasy <grin>.

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Jimbo the Clown
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You insult the Eddingses?!? *draws sword* Have you read the Belgariad and the Mallorean? Do you know who Silk is? Can you converse fluently with me about Belgarath and Durnik? You sir, are mendosus!

Seriously, though. Read any of the books in the world of Garion series. (The Belgariad, the Mallorean, Belgarath the Sorceror, and Polgara the Sorceress.)

Let's see here. On a completely different level than the Eddingses, you could try Charles de Lint, one of the best authors I've ever read. I'd recommend starting with The Onion Girl. Charlie's style leans more towards Gaiman's, though he is quite unique.

Hmm. If you want goofy, try Alan Dean Foster's the Spellsinger or Terry Brook's Magic Kingdom for Sale- SOLD! series. If you want something darker, try P.N. Elrod's I, Strahd books. Hope I was helpful.

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msquared
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Stephen Donaldon's Thomas Covenant series. Both of them.

msquared

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neo-dragon
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Well if you want fantasy there's this trilogy I've read. I can't remember what it was called... Something about Rings, or maybe just One Ring... I think it was by some guy name Tolkien or something. Apparently it has something of a cult following. I thought it was okay.

Oh, I remember now! I think they were just novelizations of the "Lord of the Rings" movies from a few years back, so I guess it's really Peter Jackson's story and that Tolkien guy just adapted it. He sort of messed it up though. I can't believe that Jackson let him make those changes! Where was Arwen at the Ford? And the Elves at Helm's Deep? And what was up with that Tom Bombadil guy?! I wish Tolkien had stuck to the source material better.

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trance
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Wow....didn't think I'd get this many replies. I've read Magic Street although it's good it is not the "fantasy" I was looking for; the mid-evil era kind. As for the Alvin Maker series, I've tried to read it bit it wasn't for me at the time. Probably when I'm sick of traditional fantasy I will find myself looking forward to reading that series (since it is a unique take on fantasy).

As for American Gods *laughs* I've picked up the book several times in bookstores and found myself intrigued by the back description. Everytime I was broke though (being dragged around the mall by friends [Grumble] ). Now I know to give it a try. Thanks hatrkr81 and Card. Hart's Hope sounds like another book that I may like so I'll look into it. And the Lord of the Rings Triligy-I never could get into them. I tried the first book several times but his style of writing bored me. I admit that I love the movies and the story-line is wonderful.
Thanks guys. [Wink]

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neo-dragon
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Obviously I was feigning ignorance about the Lord of the Rings, it's actually one of my all time favourites (right up there with Ender's Game). I understand why it's not everyone's cup of tea, but Tolkien's work is the only fantasy that's ever really appealed to me (at least until I finally got around to reading the Harry Potter books last summer). I admit that the movies are more accessible than the books, but that doesn't make them better. [Wink]
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Jimbo the Clown
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Neo-dragon, you brought up the reason I cried when I saw Fellowship. I love the movies (people actually say I look like Peter Jackson. *shrugs*), but I still think Tom Bombadil would have been AWESOME on the big screen.
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neo-dragon
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Well actually, I have to confess that the omission of Tom Bombadil is one of the changes that I was glad for. He doesn't actually serve much of a purpose in the story.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Tom Bombadil is stupid-an unnecessary cameo that is somehow not affected by the One Ring (to rule them all? [ROFL] ) Read the Silmarilion.

[ April 22, 2006, 08:14 PM: Message edited by: Flaming Toad on a Stick ]

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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As for Fantasy, I'll have to agree about George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, and Terry Goodkind's books too. Finally, I would reccomend that you read Ant Discworld (Terry Pratchett) novel you can find. I'ts not exactly serious ,but it's funny as hell.
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BandoCommando
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quote:
Originally posted by Flaming Toad on a Stick:
Tom Bombadil is stupid-an unnecessary cameo that is somehow not affected by the One Ring (to rule them all? [ROFL] ) Read the Silmarilion.

I've read the Silmarilion multiple times. I can't seem to figure out who Tom Bombadil is supposed to be. Maybe I'm just stupid.

If anyone knows, fill me in, will you?

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MightyCow
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I found Goodkind's books just O.K. Once I read a couple and I realized that they all have to have some kind of bondage for no real reason, and that the knowledge of a perfect solution to every problem just appears in the main character's head at the necessary moment... well it seemed like a huge cop out to me.

China Meiville is wonderful if you like Gaiman. At least, I loved Perdido Street Station and The Scar. The Iron Council wasn't my cup of tea, although it did have a lot of beautiful writing.

Pratchett is very funny, and tells a good story, but I have to spread his books out a little. I loved - loved - theHyperion and after by Dan Simmons.

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Dr. Evil
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A couple mentions of George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series in this thread. I am currently reading the 4th book and I am anxiously awaiting the 5th book. I cannot recall the last time I got so hooked into a series too. Very good stuff, tons of depth and characters (almost too many).

Two of my other favorites that are not series are 'Lord of Light' by Roger Zelazny (a wonderful guy who was kind enough to send me all kinds of good things) and 'The Stars, My Destination' by Alfred Bester. I could re-read this book over and over. A wonderful story that shows huge growth by the main character.

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kwyncee
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the 'earthsea' books by ursula leguin are magnificently wonderful. quite a bit shorter than most of what's been recommended here but wonderful nonetheless.

i would second the recommendations for george r r martin's series and add ones for tad williams' memory, sorrow and thorn series, joel rosenberg's guardians of the flame series and raymond feist's riftwar saga.

happy reading.
-k

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MightyCow
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Speaking of Tad Williams, I also enjoyed his Otherland series. Not strictly Fantasy, although a great deal of the story takes place in a variety of fantasy settings.

The characters travel in virtual worlds ranging from ancient Egypt to a fantasy world of dragons and monsters, worlds where they are small as insects, and I can't even remember all the rest.

A fun blend of fantasy and scifi, and the series really hooks you into reading all four books.

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Orson Scott Card
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Tom Bombadil: Tolkien wrote a bunch of Tom Bombadil poems even before writing the Hobbit. when he set out to write a sequel to the Hobbit, his only plan was to have Frodo meet Tom Bombadil. After that, he was floundering. Only when Frodo and friends got to Bree and they met Trotter (who later became Strider) did the story as we know it today emerge.

So Bombadil was there FIRST; it was only as the story unfolded that Tolkien realized he simply had nothing to do with the overall story. He remains because ... why not leave him there? (The scene where Gandalf tells Frodo about the ring was inserted later; it wasn't in the first draft.)

Both the Hobbit and LOTR begin with tediously detailed, tension-free non-story stuff - the coming of the burglar dwarves, the birthday party - which are at best merely amusing. They were written by someone more familiar with 19th-century fiction than 20th. But if you have the patience to keep reading till you get to Bree and beyond (in LOTR), then you will be deeply, richly rewarded. Because LOTR is, in my opinion, the most important and fulfilling work of literature from the 20th century.

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Orson Scott Card
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De gustibus non disputandam. There's no point in arguing about taste. I have tried the Eddings books; I cannot endure the language. I find the ersatz eldritch tone both boring and pathetic - it's what you do INSTEAD of telling a story, in my opinion.

But it's just my opinion. The existence of millions of satisfied readers suggests that I may well be missing out on the literary experience of a lifetime. But because the language of the book makes me hostile to everything said IN that language, I am unlikely ever to receive the great blessings of reading further.

Ditto with someone who simply can't stand Tolkien. I offered my suggestion about reading to Bree and beyond as a possibility for those who, like me, were bored and put off by the tedious opening, but who later came to love the books, opening and all! Still, there will be those who don't love tolkien no matter how far they read.

As for Thomas Covenant, I absolutely adored the first trilogy when it first came out in the late seventies. But I was never able to get into any of the other series. i don't know why.

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MightyCow
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I couldn't stand Thomas Covenant as a character, so the book did nothing for me. I understand the idea of an anti-hero, but Covenant was so repugnant and pathetic that I felt like I was wasting my time reading about him.
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Icarus
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Ditto.
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Icarus
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Terry Goodkind is for people who like their Ayn Rand watered down . . . and filled with fantasy clichés.

[Razz]

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Dr. Evil
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I liked the Brooks series "Magic Kingdom For Sale" or whatever it was called. Fun and easy to read. Same thing for the Gor series (well at least the first 6-9 books).

PJF's 'World of Tiers' was an enjoyable one too. Too bad the last few books wrecked it.

I could never get into the Covenant series at all either. It just always seemed to be unoriginal and misplaced.

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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Orson Scott Card:
I offered my suggestion about reading to Bree and beyond as a possibility for those who, like me, were bored and put off by the tedious opening, but who later came to love the books, opening and all!

LOL. That's me all over! On my first reading I was definitely bord until around the time Strider came into the picture. Now, having read the entire trilogy about a half dozen times in as many years, I offer the same advice to people about how if you can stick with it past Bree it'll probably become one of your favourites! Then, in subsequent readings, you even appreciate the dull parts. Although Bombadil is still pointless.
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bluenessuno
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David Gemmell and his Drenai series
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Ailene
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I've seen it mentioned several times already, but I've really got to concur about George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series. That is probably my favorite fantasy series to date.

I've actually been rereading the Begariad and the Malloreon by Eddings, and it occurs to me that those books are chock-full of sweeping generalizations, but I still love them anyway. [Wink]

One series I find highly enjoyable that hasn't been mentioned is RA Salvatore's Dark Elf trilogy.

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MightyCow
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The Dark Elf trilogy was pretty good. I liked it a lot when I was a teenager, but I tried to read it again, and it didn't seem as awesome this time, sadly.

Even back then, after the first three books, the rest seemed too over the top.

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Nathan2006
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I've not much experience in either Sci-fi or Fantasy... I liked the Amber books by Zelazny... there was some implied sex, cannibilism, and the drinking of human blood, but it was tastefully done.

Tried Tolkien, was bored all through the two towers, and finally I just stopped reading. The hobbit was neat though.

I didn't like the Jackel of Nar either. Some compared him (the Author whose name escapes me) to Tolkien, and the only similarity I could see was that I was bored.

I did like Jane Lindskold's wolf trilogy, although it moved slower than LOTR... I don't know. I just didn't like LOTR.

Some cute books would be the Chronicles of Narnia (I know some eyes are rolling now) by CS lewis, but I'm sure you've heard of them. I also like the Secret Country Trilogy by Pamela Dean. They were cute, but engrossing for some reason.

Quite honestly, Some of my favorite fantasy books are OSC's. Homebody is my favorite, and then probably enchantment. Although OSC insists that Homebody was a cliche book... But again, I've virtually no experience in fantasy books.

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Uprooted
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I hardly read any fantasy or sf these days, because I'm just usually not too interested in what's out there--doesn't take me long to start rolling my eyes for one reason or another, whether it be language, plot, characterization, or heavy-handed political message.

However, on all these recommendations I finally did just check out George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones from the library yesterday. I'm hooked. Good stuff. Thanks, all.

Am I the only person in the universe who LOVES Fellowship of the Ring and felt that way from the first reading? OK, so Bombadil wasn't my favorite either, but I love the setup parts, the Shire, the birthday party, Rivendell--all that sort of magical homey atmospheric stuff. Well, I guess Rivendell is post-Bree, but anyway . . . I think I enjoy Fellowship because it's not all orc-y and Mordory and DARK.

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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I loved all three LOTR books. Fellowship of the Ring was easily my favourite of the series, and one of my favourite books of all time.

While speaking of classic fantasy, I would definitely reccomend the Chronicles of Narnia. I'm the only person I know who read them in perfect order, but I did. I was hooked on them from age 5.

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Nathan2006
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My mom made me read them in school in the order they were released (As opposed to Chronologically)

I always liked the Silver Chair.

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neo-dragon
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I say the order of release makes more sense. Reading the Magician's Nephew first takes away too much of the mystery from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I mean, you're not supposed to know the details of Narnia's creation, or the origin of the White Witch, or where the lamp post came from before you read LWW. If you were, Lewis wouldn't have written LWW first and MN second last. Then again, what do I know? I didn't even read all 7, and the ones I did read were so long ago that I barely remember them.
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Dr. Evil
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I am glad someone finally mentioned the Amber series. Loved that one although the second 5 books were a little out there.

I had to dig out the World Of Tiers series the other day just to re-read the first book. Lots of adventure. Farmer's Riverworld series was another one I loved, if only for the philosopical discussions that appeared in the 3rd and 4th book. I personally thought the 5th book was great as it dealt with absolute power and morality and makes you think what you would do with almost god like powers. Anyone else ever read?

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vonk
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So, about Tom Bombadil. I'm really stretching my memory here, because I read The Silmarillion and incredibly long time ago and don't have the patience to get through it again.

Isn't Tom supposed to be either one of the gods or undergods? Like the wizards. Gandalf and the other wizards are undergods, aren't they? And Tom is 'married' to the goddess of water, right? or is it undergoddes? anyways, Tom is either a major or minor diety.

I always thought that Gandalf gave Tom his ring to hold on to until it was time to go to.... oh lord, what is the name of the place where the gods live and all of the elves go? Then, at the end of the series, when Gandalf says he has to go somewheres, he goes to Tom's house and gets his ring back.

What I never, ever understood all throughout reading the LOTRs multiple times is why they never called for Tom's help more than the first time? When they parted company with him, he said that if they sang the song about him, anywhere on middle earth, he would come to their rescue. So they go out into the hills, get attacked, sing, he comes to rescue them, they get their weapons, and they promptly forget that he exists. It seems like they needed help quite a few times but never thought to sing the damn song. [/rant]

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vonk
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Also, one of my all time favorite fantasy series is The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. It includes 10 books, but they're all fairly short, so altoghether it's like 2 gigantic books.

It is set both in a fantastic midevil type realm and in modern times. An excellent collection that includes classic fantasy themes combined with contemporary ideas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Zelazny#Amber_novels

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neo-dragon
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There's no mention specific mention of Bombadil in the Silmarilion. Of course, people have theories about how he's supposed to be this character or that character. As I understand it, he's one of the only totally unexplained elements that Tolkien left in Middle-earth.
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vonk
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Well, it doesn't say specifically thats who he is. But I know. Oh, I know. And the description of his wife is dead on with the description of one of the gods in the Silmarilion, so I'm pretty sure about that one.
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neo-dragon
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You might be reading too much into it. Tolkien's most devoted readers have been discussing the matter for half a century without reaching a consensus.
Here's a full essay on the subject. What is Tom Bombadil?

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vonk
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quote:
Bombadil as a Maia
The strongest argument for the Maia theory is simple: of all the "races" named in canonical texts, only the Maiar are not ruled out above. (There were a great many Maiar, so the fact that Bombadil does not match any of the Maiar described in other texts is not evidence against his being one.) Slightly more direct evidence comes when Gandalf compares himself to Bombadil before he goes to visit him at the end of LotR. Tom's interactions with the Ring could be easily explained if he were "powerful" enough to overcome it, but passive explanations exist as well. Goldberry fits fairly naturally as a Maia, too.

That's what I meant by "undergod." Sorry, I just couldn't recal the word. I am of this school of thought.

I have decided that I am defenitely going to have to read the Silmarilion again because I have obviously forgotten too much of it.

Although I do tend to annoy the bajesus out of everyone I watch the LOTRs with due to incessant and oft useless explanations.

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BlueWizard
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Well, I'm almost reluctant to make my suggestion, but none the less, here it is.

I found the 'Artemis Fowl' series by Eoin Colfer to be thoroughly enchanting books. They are an extremely fun and funny read, with a captivating story and beautifully drawn characters.

Since these are somewhat intended as preteen/teen books, they are an easy casual read, but that shouldn't put you off. Despite the somewhat absurd premise of the story, it is a captivating story very well told, and the characters, as unlikely as they are, are draw with wonderful clarity and are very believable in the context of the story.

This series really is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and the books are relatively inexpensive. I can't imagine that you will find a better entertainment value for your money.

Just passing it along.

Steve/BlueWizard

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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I liked that series too.

On the Bombadil Question, it would appear that he must be, if not a god, at least more than human, simply because he is the only character in all of Middle Earth who is unnaffected, by the Ring. None of this explains Bombadil's purpose to the story, though. [Mad]

I'm reading Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. OSC once praised it as Lewis' finest work. I would like to know why.

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jd2cly60
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A song of Ice and fire
the farseer series
the liveship trader series
memory sorrow and thorn.

Those are all my favorite fantasy series, and all are superb, the tad williams and farseer series are in the endless journey tradition of fantasy while ASOIAF and liveship trader are more political/character oriented.

I always thought Bombadil and Goldwater were sort of earthy spirit things, like she was a variant of mother nature and he was it's equivalent, like father earth. That they literally were nature or something along those lines, not quite like Gandalf but still very very old and their own sort of disinterested power.

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MightyCow
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I enjoyed Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, and the Farseer Series, but I felt that the Liveship traders was boring, and the characters annoyed me. I was so happy with Williams before that. Fortunately, I read the Otherland Series so much, it completely erased the badness. Liveship who?
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His Savageness
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Liveship Traders and Farseer were Hobb; Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and Otherland were Williams [/nitpick].

I recently read Elantris (thanks to OSC for the recommendation way back when). It was pretty good. Was it the best fantasy book ever? No, but it was a lot better than 90% of the stuff coming out today, and certainly better than anything Goodkind's written with the possible exception of Wizard's First Rule. I'd recommend
Elantris along with Jonathen Strange and Mr. Norrell if you're looking for something a little different.

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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by His Savageness:
Liveship Traders and Farseer were Hobb; Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and Otherland were Williams [/nitpick].

I recently read Elantris (thanks to OSC for the recommendation way back when). It was pretty good. Was it the best fantasy book ever? No, but it was a lot better than 90% of the stuff coming out today, and certainly better than anything Goodkind's written with the possible exception of Wizard's First Rule. I'd recommend
Elantris along with Jonathen Strange and Mr. Norrell if you're looking for something a little different.

Thanks for pointing that out. I confused myself. Williams: Always good. [Big Grin]
Hobb: Farseer Good. [Smile] Liveship Bad [Mad]


I tried to read Jonathen Strange and Mr. Norrell, but for the life of me, I just couldn't get into it at all. I read about half way through, and nothing exciting or interesting happened. [Dont Know]

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His Savageness
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quote:
I tried to read Jonathen Strange and Mr. Norrell, but for the life of me, I just couldn't get into it at all. I read about half way through, and nothing exciting or interesting happened.
Yeah, my wife felt the same way. Almost a year later and she's still mired about half-way through. I will agree that it slows down towards the middle and that it is somewhat of an acquired taste, but if you like Charles Dickens, and if you're looking for a fantasy book completely unlike any other, stick with Strange and Norrell. The ending of the book makes it all worth it, IMO.
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Darakemba
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At the suggestion of this board I read American Gods and enjoyed it. The sexual language isn't all that heavy, I mean we live in the 21st century it's in the movies and TV everyday. I am currently reading A Game of Thrones and am enjoying it thus far. I plan on reading the entire series eventually. I have Jonathen Strange and Mr. Norrell sitting on my bookshelf and I only got about 150 pages into it before I lost interest, I might try it agian after I'm done with the SOIAF series.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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I finished the book (Till we Have Faces) a few weeks ago. Great book, but I still dont see why OSC calls it Lewis' best. I suppose it's all opinion, though.

Ursula K. Le Guin is also a great writer.

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