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salsadesroyer
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-11-2012

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

[ Edited ]

I highly recommend the Magic the Gathering books. They were written by many, many authors, so the style and quality differs significantly, but overall it is an incredible fantasy series.

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kamas716
Posts: 1,490
Registered: ‎09-28-2011

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

I've never read any of the Twilight books (saw a few of the movies - pleasantly surprised by the first one, can't believe I wasted several hours of my life on the next couple of sequels).  But, I think there are plenty better vampire novels/series out there, story wise anyway.  I usually refrain from recommending books to Twilight fans unless they are just looking for general recommendations, as I don't really get into the whole teen love story thing.

 

Some of my favorite Fantasy series are:

 

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams (includes the books: The Dragonbone Chair, The Stone of Farewell, To Green Angel Tower).  I've read his Otherland series, and it seemed rather long winded to me.  I haven't read his Shadowmarch books, yet.

 

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien.

 

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.  Well, the first three books anyway (Interview with the vampire, The Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned).  I didn't care for anything after that.

 

Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly was pretty good.  I haven't read the subsequent James Asher novels.  I did read her Darwath series (The Time of the Dark, The Walls of Air, The Armies of Daylight) when I was in high school; it was OK, but not as good as TWHTN.

 

Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock and the first couple of books thereafter were decent.  But, I kind of lost interest after awhile.

 

 

http://www.goodreads.com/kamas716
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BruceMcF
Posts: 802
Registered: ‎11-24-2011
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time


Mercury_Glitch wrote:

Honestly if the question was phrased mentioning the Twilight Saga as it's key focus I wouldn't suggest most of the books above. 

 

That's not to say they aren't good, on the contrary they're so much more in depth and better written than the Twilight Saga that the average person asking after them wouldn't be able to handle these series. 

 

So using Meyers as a base point I'd suggest the following series so that whoever is asking actually has time to become a stronger fantasy reader rather than throwing them into the deep end of the pool after they've just stuck their foot in the kiddy pool.

 

Eragorn (and the rest of the series)

Narnia

Redwall

The Pretties (Scott Westerfield)

The Hobbit (but not the rest of LotR just yet)

Discworld

Percy Jackson (It's pretty much on the same level as Meyers writing and is a much stronger -fantasy- series than Twilight as Twilight is more a romance fantasy while Percy Jackson is fantasy in a modern setting)

Earthsea (though I personally didn't enjoy LeGuin's writting style)

 

For this take on it, Pern definitely belongs in this list, its written with at a reasonable YA level and although its some 24 books long in total, you can start off reading first the Dragonrider's trilogy and then the Harper's Hall trilogy, so it's not as daunting a prospect as some longer series are.

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The_Bookworm98
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Registered: ‎08-28-2012
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

Percy Jackson and the Olympians! My new favorite series.

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WONK
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎09-06-2012

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

One of the very best classic SF series of all time that most people in the US don't know about is EE Doc Smith's Lensman series.  It is unknown in the US because there has been a long standing copyright dispute between the publisher and US distribution.  But if you find the books you will find one of the best series in any genre.  You should know that the first book in the series is a little weak because it was re-written into the Lensman series after it was first published.  You don't have to take my word about the series.  Heinlein put references to the series in a few of his books.

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MacMcK1957
Posts: 2,209
Registered: ‎07-25-2011
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

A number of Doc Smith's books are in the public domain so you can get them cheaply from B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/e-e-doc-smith?store=ebook&keyword=e.+e.+doc+smith or free from Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/9515
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HuntingWitch89
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎09-20-2012
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

Tairen Soul series by C. L. Wilson

 

Hands down, one of the best!

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RHWright
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

2nd the Lensman if you like old-school space opera.

 

Hadn't heard there were copyright issues. Can you provide a link? Can't seem to find anything on it.

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MacMcK1957
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time


RHWright wrote:

2nd the Lensman if you like old-school space opera.

 

Hadn't heard there were copyright issues. Can you provide a link? Can't seem to find anything on it.


All I can find is the standard disclaimer on the Gutenberg copies: e.g. "This etext was produced from Amazing Stories August, September and October 1928. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed."  Looks like most of the stuff that's in the public domain (such as Spacehounds, Skylark and Triplanetary) is from his pre-Lensmen period, late 1920's to mid-1930's..


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WONK
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎09-06-2012
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

The copyright problems are old ones.  Today it is more an economic question on re-printing the Lensman.  What happened is that in the late 70s and 80s the copyright on most of the Lensman titles was controlled by a British company.  The copyright owner and the US publishing firms just couldn't agree on releasing new editions so all the way into the 90s you could easily find the books from British and Canadian sources but seldom from US.  After decades of no releases in the US most don't even know about the Lensman series so US publishers don't want to have the cost of producing new editions without first knowing the volume of sales and that can't be predicted because so little is known about the series by the reading public.  The ideal solution would be to release the stories in e-print but that hasn't happened yet.

 

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

Old Earth Books (Baltimore) did some nice paperback editions with repro covers from the original hardback editions in the mid-to-late 1990s; I have a few but never completed the full run, which I have in older used paperbacks.

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Roguecraft
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-26-2012

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

Below are my list in order.

 

 

1. Legends of Drizzt (What can be said about this? Over 20 books I think?? Amazing series, will have you laughing and crying before the end)

2. Silmarilian (best of tolkien for sure but only 1 book not a series) =P

3. The Green Rider Series (really love this series and wishing the next book would come out soon)

4. Elminster Series

5. Lord of the Rings

6. Cleric Quintet Series

7. Song of Fire and Ice (series starts great but really falls off) 

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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


Roguecraft wrote:

Below are my list in order.

 

 

1. Legends of Drizzt (What can be said about this? Over 20 books I think?? Amazing series, will have you laughing and crying before the end)

2. Silmarilian (best of tolkien for sure but only 1 book not a series) =P

3. The Green Rider Series (really love this series and wishing the next book would come out soon)

4. Elminster Series

5. Lord of the Rings

6. Cleric Quintet Series

7. Song of Fire and Ice (series starts great but really falls off) 


I'll definitely agree about Drizzt – this will go down as one of the most underappreciated fantasy sagas of all time...

 

"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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MacMcK1957
Posts: 2,209
Registered: ‎07-25-2011
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

I would like to recognize the exquisite taste of everyone frequenting this discussion group, in noting that not one single person has posted anything containing the name "Gor".

 

(Wow.  I just googled it and discovered there actually was a movie, which received an average rating of 2.8 out of 10.  Based on all the comments, every bit as good as the source material.)

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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


MacMcK1957 wrote:

I would like to recognize the exquisite taste of everyone frequenting this discussion group, in noting that not one single person has posted anything containing the name "Gor".

 

(Wow.  I just googled it and discovered there actually was a movie, which received an average rating of 2.8 out of 10.  Based on all the comments, every bit as good as the source material.)


I actually did buy a Gor novel decades ago – when I was a teenager – but never got through it.

 

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

Just for fun, to see how everyone reacts to this, I'm adding one of my favorite series, which certainly qualifies, what with the time-travel element- The Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon. While I understand that many people have relegated these to historical romance, there is no denying the fantasy aspect, and Gabaldon writes a beautiful book, with meticulous attention to detail and accuracy in history, medicine of the past, the Gaelic language, and the many forgotten necessities of daily living in the 18th century. I'm just about to start rereading these again (there are six) in anticipation of the next, which is in progress.

 

Outlander

Dragonfly in Amber

Voyager

Drums of Autumn

The Fiery Cross

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

An Echo in the Bone

 

 (I don't think it's fair to comment UNLESS you have actually read at least one of them.(I can't imagine only reading one - They're like potato chips.) <l:-)

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pen21
Posts: 3,653
Registered: ‎03-23-2009

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


pagemaven wrote:

Just for fun, to see how everyone reacts to this, I'm adding one of my favorite series, which certainly qualifies, what with the time-travel element- The Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon. While I understand that many people have relegated these to historical romance, there is no denying the fantasy aspect, and Gabaldon writes a beautiful book, with meticulous attention to detail and accuracy in history, medicine of the past, the Gaelic language, and the many forgotten necessities of daily living in the 18th century. I'm just about to start rereading these again (there are six) in anticipation of the next, which is in progress.

 

Outlander

Dragonfly in Amber

Voyager

Drums of Autumn

The Fiery Cross

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

An Echo in the Bone

 

 (I don't think it's fair to comment UNLESS you have actually read at least one of them.(I can't imagine only reading one - They're like potato chips.) <l:-)


I have read all of these books and really like the series. I know people who have read the series several times. I read the first book because someone loaned it to me and I didn't know how to say no politely. I am so glad I read Outlander. There are a series that is very detailed and well researched. I love the mix of history and time travel. I look forward to see how the characters progress in their lives and in history. I agree like potato chips.

 

New User
DEBBYMF
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-04-2012

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

i have read and very much enjoy her scottish time travel books very well written
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pagemaven
Posts: 246
Registered: ‎11-11-2008

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

Thanks to those of you who responded to my post about Diana Gabaldon's books. I have wondered if there were serious readers out there who appreciated these gems.

 

 The first book was loaned to me, too, at a time when my employer decided I needed to take two weeks off to grieve the loss of my first husband;  (a natural assumption I suppose, but I don't need two weeks to celebrate anything). After I sobered up, I started reading Outlander, and the books have been a regular part of my life since then. I find that they are the sure cure for that "I just read a book that was so good I can't get interested in anything else" problem. I am about to start reading The Twelve, as soon as it is released. I really liked The Passage, despite the bummer ending, and am eager to see what's next.

 

( I noticed upon rereading that there are SEVEN, soon to be eight Gabaldon books. DUH! The blonde gene strikes again. Oh well, I'm still pretty good with words - numbers, not so much. Must be the Welsh in me - I rock at archery!!<l;-)

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WONK
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎09-06-2012
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Re: The Best Epic Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

I don't know if you could call it the best SF of all time but I have never known anyone not enjoying The Fuzzy Papers by H. Beam Piper.  Like Gordon R. Dickson's Spacial Delivery stories they are just plain tongue-in-cheek fun reads.

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