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Habeebi

Fantasy Virgin

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Hi all I wonder if anyone could recommend me my first fantasy novel? I have never touched anything under the fantasy genre I suppose because I have an impression that it is a bit cheesy and ridiculous....however fantasy fans are so enthusiastic and I want to know what the fuss is all about!

 

So if anyone can think of a good starting point for me I would be most grateful!

 

Jo

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Yes! A chance to convert someone to the amazing realms of fantasy fiction!

 

Harry Potter is rightly very popular, and is easy to get into. It's really not just for kids.

 

If you wanted to get into Tolkien, I'd start with The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings is amazing, but it can be a bit daunting for a first fantasy.

 

Neil Gaiman is also a great fantasy writer. Stardust and Neverwhere are brilliantly written, and have a dark humour to them.

 

I can also recommend The Sword in the Stone/The Once and Future King, by T.H. White, for the some classic King Arthur, knights, and Merlin.

 

And if you fancy something entirely light-hearted, Terry Pratchett's Discworld series is fantastic. Each novel in the series stands on its own, and there are laughs on every page. I'd recommend The Colour of Magic (because it's the first one), and Thief of Time (because it's my favourite).

 

Just a selection of my favourites which I think anybody will enjoy. Good luck with your fantasy reading! :D

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I quite think Philip Pullmann's His Dark Materials is a good start. Other choices include the Hobbit, of course.

 

My first fantasy novel, not counting Tolkien, is a toss-up between "Magician" by Raymond E. Feist and "The Legend of Huma". I've been a fan ever since, so I guess they worked. Brilliant books, both of them.

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Oooh thank you they all sound really good - I actually have Neverwhere on my bookshelf waiting for me I didn't really think it was classed as fantasy! Van't wait to read it though the reviews sound great!

 

I can't stand the thought of Harry Potter basically because I hated the films but I know it is wrong taint the books with my opinion on the films so I won't knock them and will give them a go! I can easily borrow them off my niece!

 

Also forgot to mention I have read the Lord of the Rings books however I was pretty young at the time and really struggled so I may enjoy them more now I'm ahem ... nearly 30 ack!

 

I'll definately give those suggestions a go and any more anyone has to offer...I had been stuck in a crime fiction rut for a long time but I'm really starting to expand my tastes..probably again due to my increasing age but also because the crime fiction was just getting so repetitive and predictive.

 

thank you!

 

:jump:

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oh also are the Phillip Pullman books not more for teenagers? Not sure if I would be too old for them!?

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I guess their target audience is (or was!) teenagers, but many people (myself included) like YA novels. If the writing is good then I don't think it matters a great deal. :)

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I find a lot of children's books to be really great. I really enjoy complex messages served in a simple language, and I think people are less pretentious and more honest when they write for kids. Might just be personal preference, but some of my favourite novels are kids' books. ;)

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Some very good suggestions from Ninth there. That said, the one I always find myself recommending - surely a good thing, pointing to the quality of the book :D - is the far from cheesy and ridiculous The Book of Flying by Keith Miller. It's not as well known as it should be (there's only one review of it on Amazon UK, and it's mine! I'm copying it below, minus the spoiler, for your ease of reference), which really vexes me as it's an absolutely stunning story written by a man who could make a shopping list read like pure poetry.

 

 

 

I bought this book on an aesthetical whim: the cover was pretty and was nice and smooth to the touch. It paid off. This is a classic yet innovative fairy-tale which arranges well-known ingredients in a way that is completely its own.

 

Pico is a gentle, day-dreaming librarian, guardian to old books only he reads; son of winged people yet flukily born wingless, he is in love with a winged girl who forsakes him because he is not fully one of her kind. So he embarks on a perilous journey to the distant morning town, where it is said he may find the book of flying and earn his wings. On the way he meets many enchanting or frightening characters whom I won't spoil here, whose stories interwine with his and change it forever. The book is spell-binding, sweet, beautifully written; and though much of it made me sad or uncomfortable, it all serves the (masterful) storytelling.

 

Read, read, read this book.

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Hi all I wonder if anyone could recommend me my first fantasy novel? I have never touched anything under the fantasy genre I suppose because I have an impression that it is a bit cheesy and ridiculous....however fantasy fans are so enthusiastic and I want to know what the fuss is all about!

 

So if anyone can think of a good starting point for me I would be most grateful!

 

Jo

 

Hi Jo haha everybody is going to give you their favourite fantasy authors so why should I be any less partizan? Personally I hated what I read of Tolkein.

My favorite fantasy author is Jack Vance, check out The Lyonesse Trilogy. Here is a wiki link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyonesse_Trilogy

You can stop before the plot summary if you don't want to know anything about the actual stories.

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His Dark Materials is certainly not just for teenagers, give it a try!

 

 

If you like crime fiction, perhaps you should try China Miéville's The City and The City, which is....well fantasy, I guess, but the story has crime elements and it's set in a world like ours but with one specific city being the basis of a fantastical phenomenon. It's difficult for me to explain, but read it and you'll understand!

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If you are interested in fantasy that is not part of a long series that you may or may not enjoy, I can think of a few you might want to try.

 

A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle

The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue

Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (don't let the horrible movie influence you)

and my personal favorite Little, Big by John Crowley

 

All of these would fall under the fantasy category, but don't follow the traditional fantasy formula. :wink:

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I'll second the recommendations for The Lord of the Rings, Stardust and the Discworld novels!

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If you want to try some modern fantasy aimed at older readers you could try any of the following:

 

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. It's wonderful, and doesn't involve having to read lots of sequels to get the whole story :)

 

Same goes for The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers.

 

If you want a series, though, try George RR Martin, Steven Erikson, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson etc.

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For the most part I do not like fantasy stories, but even so I do love Once and Future King and Mists of Avalon, and also Robert E. Howard's novels about Conan the Barbarian.

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Joe Abercrombie is very good. Especially his latest: The Heroes. It follows various characters in a 3 day battle. It's more about the people than the fighting. I found it impossible to put it down and read it in a day. Cassandra Clare is also good. Her mortal Instruments trilogy is fab.

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Joe Abercrombie's books are quite heavy on the blood and guts, aren't they?

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um...a little bit yeah. I think you can ignore that though because they're so well written. The characters are some how able to be believable and unique at the same time. The story really revolves around the people - any blood and guts is secondary. Best served cold might be a little too gory if you don't like that kind of thing though.

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Didnt everyone read Narnia as a child? I though it was mandatory...

Anways, you should avoid anything thats been made into tv or movie (like LOTR, Narnia, Harry Potter, Sword of Truth or Song of Ice and Fire) because film fantasy to me is really fake and cheesy.

I recomeded Robin Hobb's Farseer series, starting with Assasins Aprentice. It is not too heavy or daunting, like Tolkien or TH White.

 

j

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^^ The tv version of A Song of Ice & Fire hasn't aired yet, has it? A bit early to judge that one, I reckon :wink:

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^^ The tv version of A Song of Ice & Fire hasn't aired yet, has it? A bit early to judge that one, I reckon :wink:

 

A Game of Thrones starts on 18th April on Sky Atlantic. I can't wait. It's one of my favourite books.

 

I will recommend the Hobbit, All of the Harry Potters (I didn't like the films either until The half-blood Prince), and ALL Terry Pratchetts (Mort has been my particular Favourite thus far)

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A Game of Thrones starts on 18th April on Sky Atlantic. I can't wait. It's one of my favourite books.

Yeah, ditto :)

 

I must re-read it when the series is on.

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I'll make a suggestion too, since everyone else has made one :P

 

I enjoy reading fantasybooks a lot, some of them more than others, there are so many different kinds of fantasy, but what really got me started was the Shannara series from Terry Brooks.

I started with the Original Shannara Triology (OST) and got so hooked I read all the other books too.

I would reccomend that you read the Original Shannara Triology first, followed by the Heritage of Shannara series (HOS)

The tree books in the OST are: The Sword of Shannara, The Elfstones of Shannara and The Wishsong of Shannara.

The four books from the HOS are: The Scions of Shannara, The Druid of Shannara, The Elf Queen of Shannara and The Talisman of Shannara.

 

The books contain many of the things I find appealing with fantasy; Magic, epic battles, different races (elfs in particular!! :) ) and ofcourse a big ol' quest to basically save the world.

 

Even though I'm from Sweden I really enjoy doing my reading in the original language as much as I can, wich means I read a lot of english books.

I found these books to be well written and the language is not too hard, with too many words no normal mortal would understand.

 

I really recommend giving it a go if you want an easy read and a fine introduction to fantasy!

 

Hope this helps!

 

/Nali

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I don't see how making a tv series out of an already written fantasy book series makes the book cheesy. A song of ice and fire is certainly some of the best fantasy I've read, and I try to recommend it to everyone. :) I can also highly recommend "Magician" by Raymond E. Feist; one of the first fantasy series I really loved.

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Hi all I wonder if anyone could recommend me my first fantasy novel? I have never touched anything under the fantasy genre I suppose because I have an impression that it is a bit cheesy and ridiculous....however fantasy fans are so enthusiastic and I want to know what the fuss is all about!

 

So if anyone can think of a good starting point for me I would be most grateful!

 

Jo

 

Check out Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" series. It has action, love, wizardry, war, blood...all you could ask for. It is one of the highest grossing and most popular fantasy series in recent history. There are 11 in the series with another to come this fall. Definitely worth checking out. Another thing that is cool is they are available in the US on your E-Reader, which is my preferred method of reading. :)

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