Here's my latest list:
1. J R R Tolkien. I especially liked the Silmarillion and the tale of Turin Turambar. I am on tenterhooks that there will be a film one day!! The problem is the Silmarillion is not for everyone. What an epic tale though, sweeping through generations of elves and men. Brilliant. A bitter sweet tale in many ways.
2. George Martin's Game of Thrones. Brilliant series, but where is it going and who will be left in it? Lots of good characters and Tyrion Lanister is definitely a favourite. What a great character. So cool and flippant under pressure. The TV series (I'm on the second series) is excellent, but already taking significant short cuts over the books!
3. Brent Weeks - Beyond the Shadows, my favourite character has to be Kylar. Very long books. Really good characterisation. Lightbringer is also an excellent series, although I've only read books 1 and 2 so far. Not as good as the first series in my opinion. Longer books again and lots of description. Very readable though and once again brilliant characterisation. Quite hard to follow in places but worth a read.
4. Ian Irvine - Nish, a cracking character who first appears in The Geomancer, The Well of Echoes Novels. Ian has created several really good characters. A master of creation!
5. Terry Goodkind. The Sword of Truth series are cracking reads. No one character leaps out though. I liked the first few books but struggled with Soul of the Fire. It's worth reading up to that point and/or omitting that book.
6. Weiss and Hickmann - Raistlin is my favourite character and the War of the Twins novels my favourite series. This is the original Dungeons and Dragons story for me. Time travel is dealt with brilliantly and is quite spooky in its way.
7. J K Rowling - Harry Potter books. Many really good characters! Luna Lovegrove has to be high on the list! Excellent books leading to a really good ending. Perhaps should be higher on my list? For a while I didn't consider this fantasy as it's a novel in its own right.
8. Elle Casey - War of the Fae. Only read book 1 to date but I was impressed. Some discrepancies in the tale I would like to understand and I have written to Elle to ask. didn't detract from the enjoyment and book 2 may explain.
9. Markus Heitz - Dwarves. OK - be patient. I almost gave up and could have skipped the first 100 pages or so but it certainly improves and is a very good read (eventually).
10. Edgar Rice Burroughs - Mars series. Nostalgic value for me as this was my first read.
11. David Gemmell - Druss is my favourite character in the Legend of Druss. Well worth a read. Other books by this author are good but some less so. The Greek series was poor.
12. Joe Abercrombe - The Blade Itself and in particular Glokta. One of the best characters for a while. Very readable books but a little meandering with a long build up in the plot. Excellent for those that like politics in a fantasy novel. This is full of intrigue.
13. Michael Moorcock - He has written many good books, my favourite character were Elric, Hawkmoon and Corum. I really liked the Eternal Champion concept, bring several heroes together for one epic battle. Jerry Cornelious series based at the end of time is a good read as well.
14. Robin Hobb and the Farseer and Tawny Man Trilogies were excellent. I found the Mad Ship series was very difficult to get into.
15 Stan Nicholls, Orcs. Quite a brutal tale.
16. Raymond Feist and Magician and Talon of the Silver Hawk. I far preferred Magician and if all his novels were of this standard he would have been higher on my list. Magician is a seriously good read.
17. James Clemens - The Wit'ch Fire series. I need to reread this series. I don't remember much from it which may be a bad sign.
18. Robert Jordan - Wheel of Time series. Book 9 was a stinker. Nothing really happened and it was so bad I gave up on the series. I have since read book 11, having been persuaded to continue and again found much of the story to be too slow. Book 12 (by another author) is starting to look promising. this was a cracking series to start with and books 1-3 were really good. such a shame. Book 12 was OK and book 13 was excellent. One more book to go!
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