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Debbie_D
2012-02-27, 05:52 PM
Hello playgrounders, I am considering a new series for reading and would like to hear some opinions.
Im quite sure I will hear lots of opinions both ways on the first one, Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. It certainly looks to be a long series, and I just wonder if it is something that just got milked too long a la Wheel of Time. As well, do people know if it has been finished? Getting into an unfinished series is tres annoying, especially if the author ticks off his publisher and the series never gets finished. 13 books represents a considerable outlay of money for something I might not enjoy.
The second one is not so much a swords and sorcery series, more defined as an urban paranormal series, Hell on Earth by Jackie Kessler. There appear to be 3 in the set, plus a tie in novel. This one might not be as well known but I hope there are enough people here who have a take on it.

erikun
2012-02-27, 06:09 PM
I haven't read either of your books, so am not sure how close my recommendations will be to what you are currently reading.

Gail Carriger's current Parasol Protectorate books, starting with Soulless (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soulless_(novel)), are very enjoyable. It's a modern fantasy series (well, Victorian England fantasy) and the last book is supposed to be out this year - tomorrow, from the looks of it.

I will also recommend Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Brust#Vlad_Taltos) books. You can probably find the earlier books in short omnibuses, or the most recent one (Tiassa) rather easily. I'd recommend it because, besides just good writing, it is a fantasy setting but doesn't just use the stock elves-orcs-europehamlet setting.

Axolotl
2012-02-27, 06:24 PM
While I'll note I haven't read it (aside from some hilarious extracts about an evil chicken) I think that the Sword of Truth series is more episodic rathert than one over-arching story so it's not something that will ever be finished, until Goodkind dies anyway.

Also I'll just say most hardcore fantasy forums I go to and fans I know consider the series to be less than stellar to put it mildly. The general consensus is that it starts of alright but at somepoint just descends into rambling, heavy-handed madness. As I said I haven't read it myself so I don't know how accurate this is but I'd certainly reccomend checking some reviws before trying the series.

MammonAzrael
2012-02-27, 06:33 PM
Avoid Sword of Truth. The first several books are pretty decent, but after that Goodkind gets on the political soapbox and never gets off, to an absurd degree. I won't get into it but you can find plenty of info, on these boards alone, about it. The series is finished though.

WalkingTarget
2012-02-28, 12:25 PM
I will also recommend Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Brust#Vlad_Taltos) books. You can probably find the earlier books in short omnibuses, or the most recent one (Tiassa) rather easily. I'd recommend it because, besides just good writing, it is a fantasy setting but doesn't just use the stock elves-orcs-europehamlet setting.

Listen to the caped raccoon, it speaks the truth. Another point: it's not a doorstopper epic - each book is pretty self-contained with the overall affect being the character arc more than some big quest or other. They're not even written in chronological order (seriously, I recommend sticking to publication order) but that's kind of the charm of them. There's a side-series about an earlier period written in a style reminiscent of The Three Musketeers and its sequels (starting with The Phoenix Guards) that are longer individually, if you like the first several Vlad books, give these a try too (Tiassa will make more sense if you have).


13 books represents a considerable outlay of money for something I might not enjoy.

Why not try getting them from a library? If you have access to one, that is. Even if they don't carry the books you want to try out you might be able to order them.

thorgrim29
2012-02-28, 01:29 PM
Sword of Truth... I like the first two books a lot, then they're pretty boring for a while and finally descend into pure insanity. If you like Urban Fantasy you'll want to check out the Dresden Files.For darker medieval fantasy, I'd recommend the Black Company books. For sci-fi try the Culture Novels. For more light-hearted yet sometimes surprisingly deep fantasy, check out David Eddings (Belgariad and Malloreon, then Elesium and Tamouli) or Terry Prattchet's AMAZING discworld books.

Shyftir
2012-02-28, 01:38 PM
Seconding Brust. Though I'm the odd one who started with The Pheonix Guards. For some pretty cool urban fantasy try Illona Andrews' Kate Daniels series.

An Enemy Spy
2012-02-28, 01:48 PM
Have you read the Bartimeaus trilogy? It's a really fun series set in an alternate history where England still rules most of the world as told told by a wisecracking djinn.

Agent 451
2012-02-28, 03:22 PM
I'd recommend Scott Lynch (http://www.scottlynch.us/) and Joe Abercrombie (http://www.joeabercrombie.com/).

Lynch hasn't really been publishing much lately because of depression related issues, but his books are a joy to read. One of the best ways that I've heard the first book (Lies of Locke Lamora)described is as an "Italian flavoured, fantasy themed Guy Ritchie cluster****"

Abercrombie has to be one of the darkest, snarkiest, and all around badass writers that I've read in a long time. Where else would you have a trilogy that has a main character who is horribly crippled by enemy torturers, only to be appointed the chief inquisition officer and torturer of the kingdom....and given and office on the umpteenth floor of a tower despite the fact that he can barely walk? Yeah, pure win :smallbiggrin:

Asheram
2012-02-28, 05:21 PM
Malazan Book of the Fallen, starting with Gardens of the Moon. (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/9/9502.phtml) (review in link)
The writing is... Delicious. Delicious, and very clever. I've read it up to about 20 times and I still find small clues, cleverly hidden references to things that will happen in the future.

I can strongly recommend this book. And you might want to know that it is a completed series of ten books and four optional novels by a different author.
I never read the novels before finishing the series and it was highly satisfactory.

hamishspence
2012-02-28, 05:25 PM
I'd suggest the various David Gemmell serieses. Mostly fantasy, but one sci-fi series (Jon Shannow).

They vary a lot- but have both grim and humorous moments.

Debbie_D
2012-02-28, 06:35 PM
No one can offer a view on the Hell on Earth series?

Brewdude
2012-03-05, 11:44 AM
Never read Hell on Earth. Read one Sword of Truth and never felt the urge to read another.

Now it looks like "complete"ish is your main criterion, so... as usual, I tend to recommend reading the hamburger series before reading the steaks, because hamburger only tastes bad if you've been eating steak recently.

So...hamburgers:
Belgariad/Mallorean by David Eddings
Riftwar Saga by Raymond E Feist
Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne McCaffery
Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Steaks:
Song of Ice and Fire George RR Martin
Malazan Book of the Fallen by Erikson
Black Company by Glen Cook
The Baroque Cycle by Neil Stephenson (also Crytonomicon, Snow Crash, and Diamond Age...individual loosely related novels in different time periods)

Steakburgers:
Taltos Series by Steven Brust
Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Chronicles of Amber by Zelazny

erikun
2012-03-05, 11:52 AM
While it's not a series, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Strange_%26_Mr_Norrell) is definitely worth looking into, even just at your local library if needed.

Xondoure
2012-03-05, 02:23 PM
While it's not a series, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Strange_%26_Mr_Norrell) is definitely worth looking into, even just at your local library if needed.

This. Ever so much this.

Hawriel
2012-03-05, 06:33 PM
Malazan Book of the Fallen, starting with Gardens of the Moon. (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/9/9502.phtml) (review in link)
The writing is... Delicious. Delicious, and very clever. I've read it up to about 20 times and I still find small clues, cleverly hidden references to things that will happen in the future.

I can strongly recommend this book. And you might want to know that it is a completed series of ten books and four optional novels by a different author.
I never read the novels before finishing the series and it was highly satisfactory.

Yes I very much agree. Erikson is an amazing world builder. Cameron Esslemont is the other author. Esselmont and Erikson created the Malazon world together. Just emagine if this world succeded in being published as an rpg like it was origionaly intended.

Glen Cook's Black Company series is a good read. Especialy the first three books are great. The fourth desent. the last five are good, however the plot changes direction slightly.

Cook's Garrett P.I. is a hard boiled detective set in a medieval fantacy world.

Velaryon
2012-03-06, 03:11 AM
Sword of Truth starts out alright, then goes downhill after a few books and turns to utter garbage in books 7 and 8. It recovers a little bit from there but still not back to anything I'd call good. The protagonist is the most complete Mary Sue that I've ever seen, which I found very grating by about halfway through the series. That said, it has an interesting, well-developed magic system and quite a few interesting characters. All of the criticism the series has gotten in this thread is justified, but you might find at least the first couple of books worth reading. I haven't read Hell on Earth so I can't comment on that.



Have you read the Bartimeaus trilogy? It's a really fun series set in an alternate history where England still rules most of the world as told told by a wisecracking djinn.

Very enjoyable books, although the numerous footnotes were a bit distracting. Probably the most fun part about the books, but definitely distracting.



The Baroque Cycle by Neil Stephenson (also Crytonomicon, Snow Crash, and Diamond Age...individual loosely related novels in different time periods)

Stephenson has a bit of a problem with lots of irrelevant details clogging up the story and making the book a lot longer than it needs to be. I remember a scene in Cryptonomicon where one of the characters spends several paragraphs describing the exact way in which he likes to eat his corn flakes. It wasn't a metaphor for anything, there was no clever symbolism or whatever, he just spent two or three paragraphs talking about exactly how much milk he liked to put on them and how he liked to eat the corn flakes before they got too soggy or something like that.

The story did turn out to be very interesting, but it could probably have been told better in about a third as many pages.

WalkingTarget
2012-03-06, 09:33 AM
Stephenson has a bit of a problem with lots of irrelevant details clogging up the story and making the book a lot longer than it needs to be. I remember a scene in Cryptonomicon where one of the characters spends several paragraphs describing the exact way in which he likes to eat his corn flakes. It wasn't a metaphor for anything, there was no clever symbolism or whatever, he just spent two or three paragraphs talking about exactly how much milk he liked to put on them and how he liked to eat the corn flakes before they got too soggy or something like that.

The story did turn out to be very interesting, but it could probably have been told better in about a third as many pages.

It was Cap'n Crunch. :smalltongue:

He hasn't gone off on his random tangents as much in his latest books, but some of us see them as a feature, not a bug. They're fun little explorations into nerd-dom. We don't need to know the complex coordinate-system method of how a character's family is determining who should get what heirlooms, as far as the plot goes he could have just inherited the trunk normally (or just found it in an attic without having to get it via inheritance or whatever). I thought the mathematical way they went about it to be entertaining in itself.

Not saying that everybody should find it so, but I read his books primarily to be entertained and those portions do not take that away from me, personally. YMMV of course. :smallsmile:

warty goblin
2012-03-06, 12:22 PM
Abercrombie has to be one of the darkest, snarkiest, and all around badass writers that I've read in a long time. Where else would you have a trilogy that has a main character who is horribly crippled by enemy torturers, only to be appointed the chief inquisition officer and torturer of the kingdom....and given and office on the umpteenth floor of a tower despite the fact that he can barely walk? Yeah, pure win :smallbiggrin:
I read the Blade Itself, or whatever the first book of Abercrombie's trilogy is, and found myself unimpressed. There were some good moments, but after finishing the entire thing I still didn't know what the actual plot was, and hadn't found the character development particularly compelling. Based on that I didn't read the other books in the series. The action scenes were good though.

Also, avoid the Sword of Truth. The first book is actually good, the second decent, the third through fourth or maybe fifth OK to below average, and everything after that a waste of paper and an insult to anybody with two ethical brain cells to rub together.

Asheram
2012-03-06, 04:19 PM
Just emagine if this world succeded in being published as an rpg like it was origionaly intended.


It would be glorious! Though the magic system would be somewhat of a pain...

Agent 451
2012-03-06, 08:57 PM
It would be glorious! Though the magic system would be somewhat of a pain...

And people think there are balance issues with 3.5 ed magic... :smalltongue:

Jade Dragon
2012-03-06, 10:02 PM
I love Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and The Heroes of Olympus is worth it if you can get over Jason's characterization.

There's also a promising new series called Ashtown Burials. Currently out is book 1, The Dragon's Tooth. There's an order of explorers who imprison ancient powers and explore the world. To join, you have to swear this oath.
Please declare aloud: I hereby undertake to tread the world, to garden the wild, and to saddle the seas, as did my brother Brendan. I will not turn away from shades in fear, nor avert my eyes from light. I shall do as my Keeper requires, and keep no secret from a Sage. May the stars guide me and my strength preserve me. And I will not smoke in the library.

Asheram
2012-03-07, 02:54 PM
And people think there are balance issues with 3.5 ed magic... :smalltongue:

Now I'm really curious about the races. What LA would an Tiste Andii, Jaghut... or Beru fend, a Thelomen Toblakai have?