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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old September 12 2012, 02:32 AM   #1
JD
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Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

I came across some fantasy and urban fantasy series that sounded interesting while looking around on Amazon over the past few months, and I was wondering if anyone here was familiar with them?
The series are:
Merlin by Mary Stewart
Elemental Assassin by Jennifer Estep
Alex Craft by Kalayna Price
The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
Riftwar by Raymond E. Feist
Aretemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb
Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams
The Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs
Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore
Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Temeraire by Naomi Novik
Maximum Ride by James Patterson
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Old September 12 2012, 02:46 AM   #2
Skywalker
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

I've read some of The Wheel of Time and Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The first three books of WoT are pretty solid, and from what I hear the next two or three are also good, and then the series starts to stutter and slow down until the tenth book or so. Someone more familiar with the series would be better able to describe it.

I've read the first three Percy Jackson books and I found them to be pretty solid and entertaining. It helps if you're a fan of Greek mythology. Just keep in mind that they're Young Adult novels, so they're written for that audience.
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Old September 12 2012, 03:51 AM   #3
Starbreaker
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

I've read Mists of Avalon. I thought it was a great book even though I'm not really the target demographic.
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Old September 12 2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

Most of the Riftwar series is good, but it goes on a bit too long, and some of the later ones are very samey and treading-watery. The original Riftwar trilogy and Serpentwar quartet are great though
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Old September 12 2012, 02:07 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

I've read the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson and thought it was wonderful. I also highly recommend The Way of Kings by the same author. It is the first and so far only novel in a planned ten-volume series.
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Old September 12 2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
Most of the Riftwar series is good, but it goes on a bit too long, and some of the later ones are very samey and treading-watery. The original Riftwar trilogy and Serpentwar quartet are great though
Seconded.
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Old September 12 2012, 03:45 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

Percy Jackson is pretty fun... kinda Harry Potter-like, but with Greek myths and gods instead of magic school...

The Hunger Games were meh in my opinion... i read and enjoyed them, but they're not a set of books i'd go back to regularly...

Riftwar just kicks ass

Wheel of Time i highly recommend... it's a set i do go back to and reread happily

M
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Old September 13 2012, 03:36 AM   #8
JD
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
Most of the Riftwar series is good, but it goes on a bit too long, and some of the later ones are very samey and treading-watery. The original Riftwar trilogy and Serpentwar quartet are great though
Silvercrest wrote: View Post

Seconded.
Methos wrote: View Post

Riftwar just kicks ass

M
How important is it to read these from the very beginning. I do most of my reading on my Nook, and the first Riftwar book available for Nook is Krondor: The Betrayal.
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Old September 13 2012, 07:10 AM   #9
Silvercrest
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

There are some alternate places in the series where you could jump on if it's necessary, but K:TB isn't one of them. It originated as a PC game tie-in to the Riftwar books, and the author took the game material and turned it into novel fodder. Unfortunately, it shows. There were three Krondor books (so far), and each one gets progressively more by-the-numbers and repetitive and, well, game-ish. They do have their moments, but that's about it. Besides, their significance to the series is limited to the setup of a couple of very minor plot points appearing in the later Serpentwar books (which I believe were actually written first).

The books feature a number of existing Riftwar characters, but some of them have pointless walk-ons that will have no significance for you, and others are featured so heavily they'll be ruined for you by the time you go back to the original Riftwar books.

No, start with Magician if you possibly can. In earlier printings that book was broken up into two volumes, Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master. I have no idea how it's distributed for the Nook. The following books are Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon, which comprise the balance of the Riftwar series proper. By the way, these books cover about twelve years of character time.

There's a tie-in series set around the same time, the Empire series by Feist and Janny Wurts. Those three books are Daughter of the Empire, Servant of the Empire and Mistress of the Empire. These books show what's going on on the "other side" of the Riftwar, in more ways than one. They aren't really essential reading, though, so you can skip them if necessary.

Going by strict chronological order, this is where you could read K:TB and the others, as they're set about ten years after the end of the Riftwar. Or you can skip them with impunity.

The next pair of books, are set twenty and thirty years after the Riftwar, respectively (or beginning ten years after K:TB). They're informally known as the "Krondor's Sons" series and consist of Prince of the Blood and The King's Buccaneer. Each of these books is a standalone and either one could probably be skipped. However, they do set up some things and introduce some important characters for the following series. This is especially true for The King's Buccaneer.

The following series, the Serpentwar series, is set about 25 years after the end of The King's Buccaneer or something like 55 years after the end of the Riftwar. It covers about 5 years of time and consists of four novels: Shadow of a Dark Queen, Rise of a Merchant Prince, Rage of a Demon King, and Shards of a Broken Crown. If you had to start somewhere other than the Riftwar proper, I'd start here.

The next series is set something like 30 years after the Serpentwar. This series is the Conclave of Shadows and consists of three books. However, I've only read the first one, Talon of the Silver Hawk. Beyond that is the Darkwar series with books I can't even name, so my advice has to end here.

Feist wrote these books to flesh out a quasi-historical rolegame he played with his friends back in the day. His game was set about 500 years later, so these books basically form the backdrop for the game. A lot of the characters are long-lived either naturally or through artificial means, so they show up more often than you'd think despite the amount of time that passes.

Anyway, hope this helps.
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Old September 13 2012, 09:00 AM   #10
Ian Keldon
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

Haven't read any of those (though I did see the first Percy Jackson movie).

There's a few you've missed by lesser-known authors that are really good:

the Bedlam's Bard series by Mercedes Lackey
the Diana Tregarde series also by Mercedes Lackey
The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane
The Hollows series by Kim Harrison

I would stay away...FAR away from the Anita Blake books by Laurel K Hamilton. Starts off ok, but about 4-5 books in Anita turns into a horribly over-the-top author-insert/Mary Sue character.

If something a little more commercial is your speed, look for the older (pre-Wizards of the Coast) Forgotten Realms novels, esp those done by Ed Greenwood (I'm thinking specifically of the "Spellfire" duology), and Elaine Cunningham (the Harpers series and anything she writes having to do with elves). The early RA Salvatore "Drizzt" books are pretty good too, but he kept that series going too long and it got a bit much in the later books.

Last edited by Ian Keldon; September 13 2012 at 09:22 AM.
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Old September 13 2012, 02:28 PM   #11
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

I'm already reading the Hollows and Drizzt books. I've heard good things about Mercedes Lackey's stuff, and Young Wizards, so I might add those to my list later.
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Old September 13 2012, 02:39 PM   #12
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

If you liked Riftwars, then you'd more than likely really enjoy the Quantum Gravity books by Justina Robson...

The Quantum Bomb of 2015 changed everything. The fabric that kept the universe's different dimensions apart was torn and now, six years later, the people of earth exist in uneasy company with the inhabitants of, amongst others, the elfin, elemental, and demonic realms. Magic is real and can be even more dangerous than technology.

Elves are exotic, erotic, dangerous, and really bored with the constant "Lord of the Rings" references. Elementals are a law unto themselves and demons are best left well to themselves.

Special agent Lila Black used to be pretty, but now she's not so sure. Her body is more than half restless carbon and metal alloy machinery, a machine she's barely in control of. It goes into combat mode, enough weapons for a small army springing from within itself, at the merest provocation. As for her heart, well, ever since being drawn into a game by the elfin rockstar Zal (lead singer of the No Shows), who she's been assigned to protect, she's not even sure she can trust that any more either.
Highly recommend the series... it's somewhat comparable to the old Shadowrun stuff, but very well written and explored... a fantastic universe for a lot of adventures

M
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Old September 13 2012, 08:07 PM   #13
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

JD wrote: View Post
The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
I recently read the first two installments of this series. A friend of mine started reading them and recommended them to me. She compared them to The Dresden Files, which is my favorite urban fantasy series. The books are quick, light reads and are amusing. I'd say the tone of the books is Dresden Lite.
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Old September 13 2012, 10:28 PM   #14
Ian Keldon
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

JD wrote: View Post
I'm already reading the Hollows and Drizzt books. I've heard good things about Mercedes Lackey's stuff, and Young Wizards, so I might add those to my list later.
JD, I'm going to make one more pitch to you. There's a new book series that started last year. The first one is called "The Demon's Apprentice" by Ben Reeder. I know him personally, and was privileged to be a "beta reader" on it when he was first starting it.

I can't give it a higher recommendation. I think you'd enjoy it, and book 2 is nearing completion.
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Old September 13 2012, 10:38 PM   #15
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Re: Anyone read these fantasy and urban fantasy series?

For Urban Fantasy you can't go wrong with the Shadowrun books.
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