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Best Novels No One Has Heard Of

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Philip Overby, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Aravelle

    Aravelle Sage

    What of War for the Oaks by Emma Bull? It never gets enough love, instead all the faerie lovers drool over Tithe...

    Another great book is The King of Elfland's Daughter. It influenced Tolkien, Gaiman, and H.P. Lovecraft.

    One last one: anything by Jacqueline Carey. She's maaaarvelous, especially her Kushiel's Dart series.

    Okay I lied. Another good series is Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon. I happen to know Cindy, she's such a sweetheart and has a very distinct writing style.
    Weaver likes this.
  2. Guru Coyote

    Guru Coyote Archmage

    I LOVE War for the Oaks!!! Yes, indeed I do. Never heard of "Tithe" though.
  3. Weaver

    Weaver Sage

    I love War for the Oaks. (I like Emma Bull's novel Falcon even better, but that one is sci-fi.) I think it's odd that so few people have even heard of War for the Oaks, since it was one of the first urban fantasy novels (from a time when urban fantasy just meant fantasy in a modern, urban setting instead of vampire-werewolf-zombie love triangles). Libraries make it hard for people to find, though, since a lot of them place it with the YA fiction, and most adults don't look there.

    ...Which reminds me of another really good fantasy novel that doesn't get noticed: The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley. It and its prequel, The Hero and the Crown, are both VERY good stories. I'd recommend anything by Robin McKinley. (She wrote a vampire novel not too long ago. I read it. I liked it. I'm actually hoping for a sequel.)

    Another good one - good series, actually: The Dark Is Rising, by Susan Cooper. There are 6 novels in the series, all of them good to one degree or another, and please don't let that dreadful movie supposedly based on The Dark Is Rising give you the wrong impression of the original.

    I could probably list more, but my library is still packed away (I moved across the country a couple months ago), which makes brainstorming a bit harder. *sigh*
  4. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

    On the topic of Faerie novels, has anyone but me heard of O.R. Melling's Chronicles of Faerie? They were a major inspiration for my own Faerie duology.
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Another thumbs up for War for the Oaks. Great book.
  6. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

    The Battle Sylph is one of the few fantasy romances that does the fantasy as well as the romance. The plain, straightforward writing style takes a bit of getting used to, but the world-building and character development make up for it. (Just, do yourself a favor and get it on Kindle. It's painfully difficult and expensive to find the whole series in print.)
    Aravelle likes this.
  7. Aravelle

    Aravelle Sage

    It's by Holly Black, one of the mainstream faerie writers.
  8. Aravelle

    Aravelle Sage

    Oh, another vastly underrated book/series: The Magicians by Lev Grossman. It pays tribute to Harry Potter and Narnia; it's the vodka to Rowling's bud lite. It answers questions and goes into such detail about the magic and its laws... it's a great series, I don't know why it doesn't have much love.
    Butterfly likes this.
  9. pskelding

    pskelding Troubadour

    Some other new writers -

    Mazarkis Williams - Emperor's Knife
    Jonathan Wood - No Hero (it was good but not great)
    Michael J Sullivan (fellow forum member) - Ririya Revelations (picked up by Orbit!) Great stuff!
    KJ Parker - Sharps (great, no magic fantasy with a fencing team!)
  10. Aravelle

    Aravelle Sage

    Joanne Bertin's The Last Dragonlord. It needs more love.. the 3rd book in the series comes out November 27th!! :D
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Yes, I read this on your recommendation. Very good.
  12. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    YES! I read those books. They're pretty good. The second one (Dragon and Phoenix?) wasn't quite as good as the first one, but it was still good. Her books influenced my writing quite a bit and she's earned a place on my favorites list. It's a shame she hasn't become more widely known. The ten year gap between the 2nd and 3rd book isn't helping things, but I'm glad it's coming out. I remember being a little disappointed to reach the end of DaP only to find out it'd been 10 years and no sequels.
    dangit likes this.
  13. Aravelle

    Aravelle Sage

    Ohhh I love them. I had been hunting down The Last Dragonlord after seeing it in a library once. I checked it out and never got to reading it.. but finally I have it. I have yet to read Dragon and Phoenix, but now I have motivation knowing Bard's Oath is coming out.
  14. dangit

    dangit Scribe

    The shadow dance trilogy by David Dalglish and everything by David Eddings.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  15. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Dreamer

    Anyone heard of Judith Tarr's Avaryan series? I think she has an unusual and amazing style...
    And then there is Kirith Kirin by Jim Grimsley. It is one of my most favourite books in the world and not at all easy to come by where I live. Still, it's one great book.

    The Last Dragonlord and its sequel I have read and they're some of those I re-read on a regular basis. Thanks for the tip about the third book, I had already lost hope it would ever be written...

  16. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

    For the lovers of humoristic fantasy I would heartily suggest have a look at The Struglend Tales, by Jan Jacob Mekes. It's on Amazon, as book and e-book, with an excerpt from the first chapter. The author is Dutch and I never heard of him until recently. It's his first book in what must become a series, and it's quite dryly hilarious and absurt. It's a new book, but it got some good customer reviews already. So have a look, I'd value your opinion.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  17. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

    BWFoster78 likes this.
  18. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    Some of those sounded interesting. When I get a chance, I'm adding "Confessions" and "Defenders" to my to read list.
  19. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Having read through the whole thread...

    Jennifer Fallon...I did read one of her books recently, first in a series. I liked it, but not enough to go tracking down the rest.

    Gentiles 'Rats and Gargolyes' - what a complete trip! That city is one of the few fantasy settings I've come across which comes close to being truly original. Didn't care much for the sequel, much too...'victorian'...or maybe 'elizabethian'.

    Rohans 'Winter of the World' - 'Hammer of the Sun', 'Anvil of Ice', 'Forge in the Forest'...pretty good, though I didn't care for the way the author kept trying to shoehorn everything into 'ice age earth'. A straight fantasy world would have worked better.

    Most of the others cited thus far I've either not read (Thanx!) or are/were of once immense popularity (not meeting the criteria for this thread). With that in mind, my tenative list:

    Cabel - 'Silver Stallion'. Apparently Cabel had quite the following at one time, with a great many stories to his credit, some of novel length. I've only this book and one other. That said...what a wondrous convoluted world he created! Some of the stories are absolutely brilliant, and others are...hmmm...'NC-17' I believe the current term is.

    Godwin - 'Beyond Another Sun' - good luck finding this one anywhere. SF, very stark, a guy on what amounts to a one way mission of great importance.

    Hambly - Quite a few titles, once widely read, most apparently falling into obscurity. "Walls of Air', 'Ladies of Mandrigyn', 'Knight of the Demon Queen', and quite a few others. Magicians generally activiely persecuted, genuinely evil demons, and characters ranging from good to coldly treacherous. Never seen her works mentioned here, despite their one time popularity.

    Jacoby - I read the first of her 'Elita' novels, and am contemplating picking up the rest.

    Miller - What I think of as the 'Dragon' series - 'Wizard and the Witch', 'Goblin Plain War' and one or two others. What intrigued me here was the 'newness' of the world - or at least this continent. It has been settled only in the past couple hundred years, and most of the characters have 'animal' or 'nature' names. The treatment of goblins is also very different from the usual fantasy fare. The dragons differ enough from 'stock' to be of interest.

    Simak - 'Special Deliverance'...a 'quest' story of sorts. He did a couple others in this vein. Some of the constructs/locations are intriguing.

    Watt-Evins - 'Cyborg and the Sorcerers'...an interesting take on the whole magic vs technology bit.

    Now, there are others I could have tossed in - Kerr's 'Deverry' series or Nortons 'Witch World' to name but two, but those still have substantial followings...I think.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  20. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    It doesn't get better, or more obscure, than David Palmer: Threshold. --It's also totally cheating, since it's space opera deliberately set up to reproduce fantasy, but when the hero starts his planet-crossing journey by throwing lightning bolts at a T Rex and finishes by turning himself into a dragon (no wait, still a few stages of escalation left after that), who's complaining?

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