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hammie26
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-14-2010

Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

Have just finished the first of Geo. R.R. Martin's Fire & Ice saga & couldn't put it down.  Also, like you, I read Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series: BRUTAL-- but good.  I'm surprised Rowling isn't on many of these lists.  I couldn't get thru Tolkien (but loved the movies).  Have ordered the next 2 books of Fire & Ice series.   That will keep me busy for the next week or so!

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Sir_Vikin
Posts: 83
Registered: ‎09-22-2010
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

Some great suggestions here!  Here are a few that I love..

 

Terry Brooks - Especially his newer works though nothing beats The Elfstones of Shannara

Douglas Niles- Darkwalker on Moonshae (Moonshae trilogy) the first and finest forgotten realms   series written so far.

Prety much anything written by Brandon Sanderson

The Rose of the Prophet trilogy written by Larry Elmore, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Jennifer Roberson's Shape changers series

Joel Rosenburg's Guardians of the Flame series.

Ed Greenwood's Falconfar series.

Stephen Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever

 

There are others, but I cannot for the life of me remember them all right now, lol.. 

 

 

“We all boil at different degrees” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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coffeegoddess
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-28-2010
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

Of Course as mentioned  LOTR is almost the template for Epic Fantasy. I love Mercedes Lackey The Black Gryphon series as well asThe Dragon Jousters. I have really enjoyed everything by her that I have read. I also lke RA Salvatore's DarkElf Series. Gotta love Drizzit.Terry Brooks, Katherine Kerr to be sure. I am also a fan of the Hitchhikers Guide( great for a laugh). I also like the Keltiad Series by Patricia Kennealy- Morrison. I am sure i will think of others.

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coffeegoddess
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-28-2010
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

Even Though it is not actually considered "fantasy" I love Jean Auel's the Clan of the Cave Bear series. There are some "mystical" things that happen to Ayla all through the series. The gift of "sight" seems to be growing throughout the series. I wonder if it should be re-categorized?

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TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

 


coffeegoddess wrote:

Even Though it is not actually considered "fantasy" I love Jean Auel's the Clan of the Cave Bear series. There are some "mystical" things that happen to Ayla all through the series. The gift of "sight" seems to be growing throughout the series. I wonder if it should be re-categorized?


Thought it already was. Been sold in the sci/fi section since I was a kiddo.

 

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crzynwrd4lf
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Registered: ‎04-04-2010
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

Has anyone read Trudi Canavan's Black Magician Trilogy? I haven't read the third book yet but I really enjoy Trudi's writting style and imagination.

"One potato, two potato, three potato, four/ she's coming for you now, you better lock the door"-- Promise Not To Tell
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paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

 


crzynwrd4lf wrote:

Has anyone read Trudi Canavan's Black Magician Trilogy? I haven't read the third book yet but I really enjoy Trudi's writting style and imagination.


 

Excellent series! I wouldn't put it in any "best of all time" categories but it was a fantastic read! Australian fanasy is soooooo under-rated!  :smileyhappy:

 

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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lilithesque
Posts: 360
Registered: ‎12-11-2007
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

I read most of the Trudi Canavan series.  I liked it.  I have a special place in my heart for series that question and play with Black/Bad White/Good concepts.  I enjoyed her journey into these concepts. 

Dude, Where's my book!
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Zack_Kullis
Posts: 235
Registered: ‎02-27-2009
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

JRR Tolkien with the Hobbit and the LOTR.

Herbert's Dune, and its sequels

The Dragon Riders of Pern by McCaffrey

H.P. Lovecraft, much of his stuff.

A wrinkle in Time by L'Engle

 

Those are just a few, but they had a big impact on my life.

 

Zack...

Sic volvere Parcas...
Inspired Contributor
sam_ann
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎09-24-2010

Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

As much as I love many of the books/series previously mentioned, and know that they are vastly superior to Twilight in quality, there doesn't appear to be much accounting for taste going on here. I mean, The First Law and A Song of Ice and Fire for someone who wants something similar to Twilight? Twilight is a paranormal romance with a female protagonist. Even excluding all the quality (better than Twilight) paranormal romance available, there is so much fantasy out there that would be far more in line with a Twilight fan's taste, and I see very little of it mentioned here.

 

The one exception is The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop, which I see a few posters have mentioned, and I heartily recommend it also. A prophecied magician/goddess has been born into a dark, broken world where a vicious cycle of rape and enslavement has corrupted the magical race of the Blood. Full of both heartbreak and hope, and enough humor to leaven the tragic aspects. The first book is Daughter of the Blood.

 

In addition to that I'd add...

 

Kushiel's Legacy by Jacqueline Carey: This very adult epic fantasy series consists of two trilogies. The first is narrated by Phedre, a god-cursed courtesan/spy that uses her espionage training, keen wit, and bottomless sensuality to overcome betrayal. Lots of political intrigue, epic battles and adventure set in an alternate 17th century Europe. The first book is Kushiel's Dart.


Modern Tales of Faerie by Holly Black: This is a YA urban fantasy trilogy with three distinct, stand alone stories, narrated by teen girls living in society's fringes. Obviously, fairies become involved. Holly Black really knows how to build a sense of magic, while still addressing the painful realities of growing up. The first book is Tithe.

 

The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix: YA epic fantasy trilogy with a horror edge. The main character leaves the mundane world to rescue her necromancer father and battle the undead in a magical kingdom. Very thoughtful and unique story. The first book is Sabriel.

 

 

~Sam

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TrevorS
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎08-20-2010
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

I think that someone's mentioned every one of my favorites already, but I'll second the motion(s) here...

 

Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time Series.

 

 - Yes, it drags a bit from book 7 to 9. Give the guy a break. Amazing worldbuilding, spot-on magic system.

 

Steven Erikson

Tales from the Malazan Book of the Fallen.


- Possibly even better than Jordan, if you don't mind an occasional bout of metaphysical navel-gazing and an author who's much less tolerant of lapses of attention by his readers.

 

George R.R. Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire

 

-Great medieval flavor. Be warned, this guy will leave you hanging though. Fans of the series have been waiting for five years since the last book came out. The last update on his site said he was almost done with book 5. It's dated January of 2008. If you hate waiting forever for the next book, this guy isn't the author for you.

 

Steven Brust

The Vlad Taltos Books, and the Khaavren Romances.

 

- I really can't say enough good things about this guy. The Taltos books are great popcorn reading. Short, funny, dark, detective-assassin-noir style books. The Khaavren books are Alexandre Dumas swashbuckling with sorcery and the same wry sense of humor. Amazing fun to read.

 

Jim Butcher

The Dresden Files

 

- Not technically epic fantasy. Urban/noir fantasy. More than good enough to deserve to be on my list though. Better epic fantasy than some actual epic fantasy.

 

Terry Pratchett

The Discworld Books.

 

- Douglas Adams with wizards. Expect wry British humor.

 

I'm sure more will occur to me.

 

Of course, Lord of the Rings is the grandfather of them all.

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Fricka
Posts: 2,237
Registered: ‎05-04-2010
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

Ooooh, my, but there are a lot of excellent choices here. I am adding more and more books to my TBR list, that's for sure. Since this thread reads"Of All Time," I'm going to list a few historical classic Epics:

The Illiad

The Odyssey

Beowulf

The Poetic and Prose Eddas by Storri Snurlesson(make sure you get a fairly modern translation, though!)  

 

 

Some of you have already mentioned TH White's The Once and Future King, and The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  I will add to that Mary Stewart's Merlin/Arthurian trilogy(with a fourth book, The Wicked Day, added on later)Begin with The Crystal Cave.  Lloyd Alexander also has a wonderful YA epic series featuring The Black Cauldron. (Can you tell I'm a sucker for Arthurian legend and stories based on the same?) 

 

For a few more modern epics, I think we all probably agree on Tolkien's Lord of the Rings at the top.

 

Mercedes Lackey, besides her Valdemar series, has an excellent Dragon Riders set of books, beginning with Joust. Tamora Pierce is another YA author who writes epic fantasy stories, and I really like her Tortall books. Terrier and Bloodhound are her most recent featuring Beka Cooper.

I can't close without mentioning one of my most favorite authors: JK Rowling. Two words say it all: HARRY POTTER!

 

 

 

 

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie
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CuthbertAllgood
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎11-06-2010
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

OK, THIS IS REALLY KIND OF PISSING ME OFF!!!

 

now i dont mean to be a jerk or anything but one of the best, largest, and most encompassing fantasy series ever made was only mentioned once and off hand.

 

 

STPHEN KING'S DARK TOWER.  come on people, i know you all dont think of fantasy when you think of the King of horror, but this is no doubt the largest world ever created by one man.  not to mention that once you read the dark tower it makes you want to read ALL  of his over 100 other books.  the dark tower is the backbone of stephen king's life work.  how could that not be AMAZING? 

 

seriously, i would like to hear why nobody has really mentioned this yet in here.  is it because they just didnt know about it?  i know its slightly more advanced reading than the swear word twilight (witch, as has been said, i love it just because it has made more young people start reading more.  huge problem now-a-days.), but its really not to tough.  also, it has sooo much depth in the characters and life lessons abound.

 

 

please, please, please, someone tell me why no one else has talked about it except "rustyw"

 

again, im not trying to be a d*ck, but this is an obvious best series.  ive also read just about all of the ones that have been mentioned on this thread, and agree that they are most all good.

 

 

Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007

Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

Cuthbert:

Hey, I'm with you, man – but I think we haven't mentioned the Dark Tower saga mainly because it transcends genre – yes, it's fantasy but it's also very much science fiction, horror, western, mystery, etc. In my mind, classifying this as a fantasy saga does it a huge disservice...

 

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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pagemaven
Posts: 246
Registered: ‎11-11-2008

Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

Well, is it just barely possible none of the ignorant, unsophisticated readers who have contributed to this discussion share your opinion? You seem to have a rather aggressive attitude when it comes to your personal favorite. It's okay to share without all the angst, you know. ( Also, it is possible to be a d*ck without trying.)


CuthbertAllgood wrote:

OK, THIS IS REALLY KIND OF PISSING ME OFF!!!

 

now i dont mean to be a jerk or anything but one of the best, largest, and most encompassing fantasy series ever made was only mentioned once and off hand.

 

 

STPHEN KING'S DARK TOWER.  come on people, i know you all dont think of fantasy when you think of the King of horror, but this is no doubt the largest world ever created by one man.  not to mention that once you read the dark tower it makes you want to read ALL  of his over 100 other books.  the dark tower is the backbone of stephen king's life work.  how could that not be AMAZING? 

 

seriously, i would like to hear why nobody has really mentioned this yet in here.  is it because they just didnt know about it?  i know its slightly more advanced reading than the swear word twilight (witch, as has been said, i love it just because it has made more young people start reading more.  huge problem now-a-days.), but its really not to tough.  also, it has sooo much depth in the characters and life lessons abound.

 

 

please, please, please, someone tell me why no one else has talked about it except "rustyw"

 

again, im not trying to be a d*ck, but this is an obvious best series.  ive also read just about all of the ones that have been mentioned on this thread, and agree that they are most all good.

 

 


 

There are more of us than you think.
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emperatrix
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎11-03-2009
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

[ Edited ]

Great posts!

 

 

 

Alanna

 

 

 

In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lionness Series #2) 

 

 

 

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness Series #3) 

 

 

Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness Series #4)

 

 

Gricel

things-she-read.org
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CuthbertAllgood
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎11-06-2010
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

[ Edited ]

pagemaven, haha, first off, i never said that it was my favorite, if you must know, i would have to say it would be Harry Potter.  also, i never said anyone was unsophisticated or or ignorant, i didnt even insinuate it.  furthermore, its not just my opinion that it is the largest world ever created by one person, it spans like i said, over 100 books and stories.  

 

Now, what i was pissed off about is that no one even mentioned it while they were putting out their lists with the same series over and over again.  i read six pages of posts, believe me.  

 

lastly, i was being a d*ck, but like i said, i wasnt trying to be one.  never claimed that i wasnt being one, haha.

 

I mean really, how can you talk about epic fantacys without even MENTIONING The Dark Tower and stephen king?  

 

and ya, i can see what the other guy said about it really bending genres, but it really comes down to a fantasy world that is masterfully and tediously constructed.

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CuthbertAllgood
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎11-06-2010
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

if you look back to the first post, he is talking about looking for series to sugest to people that have just finished twilight, thats why i stated that i was a bit more advanced reading than twilight.  your very good at taking things out of context and missing the whole point.  i also said that i have read most of the other seires listed on this thread and enjoyed them.  

 

now, the "do they just not know about it", is a relevant question.  once again, you take it out of context, great job.  a lot of people have no idea that stephen king ever even wrote a fantacy series.  let alone one so epic.

 

i am not ashamed to say that i did read the twilight series, and didnt hate it.  its, as i said, a good series for the young reader to get hooked into reading with.  i like vampire lore, and she had a new take on the age old tale.  i wouldnt touch it until someone that i respect the views of told me the first movie was done very well, which it was (i havent seen the rest yet).  i read the whole thing in less than a week, and she doesnt do paragraphs of more than three or four sentences long, but it wasnt horrible.  your the one that sounds a bit snooty to me, maybe you should read it.

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CuthbertAllgood
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Registered: ‎11-06-2010
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

and paul, ive been thinking about that question some more and twisted it a bit, what is the fantasy genre to me?  i think thats a good question to everyone, it would be fun to hear everyones takes on that.  ive actually given it some thought, lol, (i had a lot of time to think today working in shelving at my capus library, its my workstudy.  love being around all the books, but it gets kinda slow some times.) and what i came up with is that when i think fantasy, i think "anything".  as in, anything goes, anything could happen, could be anywhere, or any when.  id say the only definite would be that it absolutely has to be imaginative and keep the reader guessing.

 

once again, im not trying to be mean, haha, i honestly am just wondering what others think.

 

 

Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007

Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

 


CuthbertAllgood wrote:

and paul, ive been thinking about that question some more and twisted it a bit, what is the fantasy genre to me?  i think thats a good question to everyone, it would be fun to hear everyones takes on that.  ive actually given it some thought, lol, (i had a lot of time to think today working in shelving at my capus library, its my workstudy.  love being around all the books, but it gets kinda slow some times.) and what i came up with is that when i think fantasy, i think "anything".  as in, anything goes, anything could happen, could be anywhere, or any when.  id say the only definite would be that it absolutely has to be imaginative and keep the reader guessing.

 


Good question – and one that readers and scholars alike have been debating for years. There is fantasy fiction and speculative fiction, which at points encompass the same books and we can nitpick for days about the specific properties of fantasy – belief systems, magic, etc. – but for me, fantasy can be either an imagined realm like Middle-earth or an alternate version of our own world, like Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan novels.

 

 

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky