I was browsing online for books and after making a list well beyond what I could afford I played the “follow the link game”. I found myself in various fantasy lists and there I got reminded of three different names.
R.E. Feist. I haven’t really seen anyone humiliating him publicly. Is he good? I read somewhere his books were based off his roleplaying sessions and that made me quite reluctant*
Wizard’s First Rule - Terry Goodkind. The consensus is that the rest of the series ought to get burnt ceremoniously. This one usually gets the “good” treatment and I wonder what does this “good” mean… I did see someone disemboweling it too.
Ursula Le Guin. Well? Not too often referred to and gets good “reviews”. Is the quality of the books any good? I think I read somewhere the later books deteriorate.
*To give a general idea on my fantasy tastes (if I said Balzac that wouldn’t help, right?). Liked: Tolkien, Martin, Erikson, Guy Gavriel Kay in Tigana&Song, even though the characters could use some extra work, Moorcock yadda yadda.
I hated the Dragonlance trilogy, if “hated” can be used for a book that reads like a log of uninspired rp sessions and can’t evoke a feeling for the life of it. Three worthwhile points in over 500 pages don’t cut it, sorry.
Tolkien imitations like G. Kay’s Fionavar trilogy or others I (hopefully) can’t remember now needn’t apply.
I’ve got reading material for now, so this isn’t an immediate need but curiosity tries to get the better of me.
edit: The post reads a bit funny as its information relies on hearsay. A library here is not an option or I’d go see for myself. A reviewing site where the reviewer doesn’t care if the book has a following demanding his head for sullying their favorite, would also be welcome.
Raymond E. Feist is the sort of Fantasy that’s very fun to read, but I seriously doubt will ever be up for the literary canon.
Ursula K. leGuin has a really great short story called “Those Who Walked Away from Amelys” (I’m not sure on the spelling of Amelys, at all) that’s a thin narrative backup for a philosophical question. Otherwise, her work is a thin narrative framework totally lacking in philosophical questions.
I was unable to bring myself to even really begin a Goodkind book, the plots were so unappealing to me. So I don’t really have any advice there.
Jack L Chalker’s Well World series is quasi-fantasy (A mix of it and sci-fi) and absolutely amazing.
Feist can be some good fun, but like someone else mentioned, nothing inspiring. Loved it back in middle school. It’s standard fantasy fare - humans, dwarves, and elves are good, European-type kingdom is the setting, some dark power threatens, and somewhere off on the borders of narrative there’s some Ottoman Empire knockoff dicking around that you need to be aware of but doesn’t show up too often. Pick up Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master and whatever else is in the Riftwar Saga (runs three or four books, I think). He sets a lot in the same universe in the way of sequels and knockoffs, but you need to start off with those really.
Wizard’s First Rule is the only book by Goodkind I’ve read. There’s a few good parts to it (such as what the rule itself says), but the pacing is slow and he spends a great deal of time describing people in pain or people causing pain to other people, to such a degree that it really turned me off.
People seem to favor Le Guinn as something special for her Earthsea books, but I read them at the same time as I read things like Feist, Tolkien, Jordan, Donaldson, etc., and she didn’t match up favorably. Not bad by any means, but not incredible either.
Goodkind reads a lot like Jordan (or Jordan reads a lot like Goodkind, take your pick), so if you like that sort of pacing (which I do) than it’s a good series. Almost finished too.
I really liked Le Guinn. You should try it, at least.
The possibility of reading Feist remains open then (hm, Ottoman Empire knockoff…) and I also found a link of “Those…”, which I’ll read. Seems like I won’t be going out of my way to read Wizard’s First Rule as I don’t really like Jordan-like writing and prefer short and to the point descriptions. Thanks for the help everyone.
I’ll keep the two suggestions in mind.