Sunday, 7 March 2010

Empire Trilogy - Raymond Feist

Raymond Feist is best known for his classic rags-to-sorcery fantasy book, Magician, which is one of the best fantasy books around if you ask me! Magician forms the first part of the Riftwar saga, chronicling the invasion of the planet Midkemia by the oriental-inspired Tsurani of Kelewan. Alongside these stories sits the Empire trilogy, written in collaboration with Janny Wurts, which retell the events of the Riftwar from a Tsurani perspective and in a totally different, yet similarly engaging style.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

The Magicians - Lev Grossman

An adult mashup of Harry Potter and Narnia, with nods to a host of other fantasy tropes seasoning the mix (if that's not conflating my metaphors too much), Lev Grossman's The Magicians tells the story of Quentin, a young man who on the eve of his application to an Ivy League university instead becomes drawn into the magical world of Brakebills College (think Hogwarts with more sex and drugs). There he learns that not only is magic real, but he is one of the select few who can wield it.

Troy Series - David Gemmell

David Gemmell, who sadly passed away in 2006, had a wonderful gritty, character driven writing style - his heroes often a refreshing change from the typical overly idealised fantasy book character. He was also a big fan of semi-historical fiction and his final series of books, the Troy series, is a great example of this that also plays on his familiar writing strengths.

The Blade Itself - Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself is the first book in Joe Abercrombie's First Law series. It's a gritty fantasy taking after the David Gemmell mode - indeed a later book in the series (Last Argument of Kings) was nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Awards.

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