Fantasy Novel Recommendations?

My brain runneth over from the number of spy thriller and victoriana works I’ve read over the past few months, and so I’m looking for some fantasy to act as a palate-cleanser.

Any recommendations for good recent fantasy novels?

My idea of good: George Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, ‘s Gentleman Bastard series, China Mieville’s Bas-Lag novels.

Fire away….

28 Replies to “Fantasy Novel Recommendations?”

  1. Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
    The God Box by Barry B. Longyear
    Vlad stories by Steven Brust
    Harlot’s Ruse by Esther M. Friesner
    Legend of Nightfall by Mickey Zucker Reichert

  2. I’ll second recommendations for Erikson, Brust, and Glen Cook.

    Also, Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts’s Tsurani trilogy (Daughter, Servant, Mistress of the Empire). It’s a look at the world that starts fighting the standard Tolkienian derivative that Feist initially created. Mistress of the Empire is a step down from the other two, but all three have EXCELLENT fantasy intrigue, and a Japanese/Aztec culture that’s a refreshing change of pace from neo-Tolkien.

    Also, thank you for letting me know Scott Lynch has a LiveJournal account!

  3. Joel Rosenberg’s Gaurdians of the Flame Series

    Normal college student discover that their faculty prof is a Magus from another world, Who catapults them into a fantasy world.
    Hijinks ensue.

  4. I’m familiar with Cook — I’ve read the Black Company stuff. I’m looking for recent stuff, rather than 20+ year old material. :)

  5. Apologies. Hmm. I’d recommend Cat’s (, aka Catherynne M. Valente) stuff, but I’m not sure if her work would be to your taste or not. She is good, however. (The sequel to one of her books recently hit the shelves. The first book is The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden; the sequel is The Orphan’s Tales: In Cities of Coin and Spice.)

  6. Favouring Martin than Meiville, I recommend:

    Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself and Before They Are Hanged … the third and final book, The Last Argument of Kings is due out in March. May have to be imported.

    R Scott Bakker’s The Darkness That Came Before, The Warrior Prophet, and The Thousandfold Thought.


  7. If you’ve already done China Meiville, I’m guessing you’ve already done Perdido Street Station. Technically sci-fi but easily fantasy too.

    While niether fantasy or sci-fi I thoroughly recommend anything by Christopher Brookmyre. Kinda crime/political satire/outright comedy. My favourite author and the only one to make me laugh out loud on the tube.
    Best starter books – ‘One fine day in the middle of the night’, ‘The Sacred Art of Stealing’ and ‘A tale etched in blood and hard black pencil’

  8. You must, must, must get Acacia by David Anthony Durham. He’s a respect historical novelist who turned his talents to fantasy. This is his first book and the first in a trilogy. It just came out last year. It’s easily one of the best fantasy novels I’ve ever read in terms of complex, fully fleshed out characters. The antagonists are among the coolest around; characters dying when you least expect it; reversals that are at once shocking but totally believable; etc.; etc.

  9. The Feist/Wurst series rocks, but it’s something like 10+ years old at this point. Brilliant books, though–for my money they’re actually better than most of Feist’s solo Midkemia work.

  10. Eeek, missed the “recent” bit. Silly me.

    And I’d definitely agree with you regarding the quality of the Tsurani trilogy over Feist’s other work. The Riftwar Saga is a guilty pleasure of mine, and I really liked the first book in the Serpentwar series, but they’re just not as interesting or well-written as the Tsurani ones.

  11. Not surprisingly, most of what I’ve “read” recently has been YA. :)

    Still, Skullduggery Pleasant is a fun read:

    You might also enjoy Wicked Lovely, which is good but dark:

    If either one interests you, let me know.

  12. Oh, I love the Riftwar books, and the arena scene in Magician: Master is still one of the best all-out magic scenes I’ve ever read. And Jimmy is the man! But the trilogy really is beautifully done.

  13. Have you read his D’Shai books? He only did two, unfortunately, (D’Shai and Hour of the Octopus) but they’re even better than the Guardians of the Flame series: they’re set in a very interesting fantasy world with a very heavy Asian influence, and they’re mystery novels as well as fantasies.

  14. I second both Joe Abercrombie and R Scott Bakker. Both very good series.

    I’m almost 100% sure that “The Blade Itself” has finally been published in the US.

    It’s shocking that both authors and especially Bakker aren’t more popular. Abercrombie had to be imported until recently but the Bakker stuff has been available for quite some time.

  15. Emma Bull has finally put out a new novel, Territory, that mixes magic with the Western genre to come up with a whole new angle on the “Matter of Tombstone” as she calls it. Truly a great read.

  16. I recently read Howard Chaykin and Mike Mignola’s adaptation of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and The Grey Mouser. I’m not familiar with the original story, but I dig Mignola’s work so I picked this up at the library. Quite enjoyable especially since the main characters are very reminiscent of Locke and Jean.

  17. Seconded! Only read the first two but these are great fun and very original. Nothing like Martin, Mieville or Lynch but I like all three of those writers.
    I also liked R Scott Bakker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.