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Looking for Classic Fantasy Novels

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Binsk, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Binsk

    Binsk New Member

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    I've been looking for a Fantasy novel with the traditional races such as goblins, dwarves, elves, orcs, trolls, etc. Including mages and such. Besides Lord of the Rings, I can't find any. I'm bascically looking for books similar to Lord of the Rings, dungeons and dragons and the old Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks (or the newer Gamebook adventures iPhone/Android apps). Also of these have the classic fantasy elements.
     
  2. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    Have you considered/checked the Dark Elf trilogy by R. A. Salvatore? It may fit the bill.
     
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  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Look at Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry. He's a great writer, and helped work on the Silmarillion.

    Also, Dennis L. McKiernan's Mithgar books bit the bill precisely. Dragondoom is probably the fan favorite, so I'd go with that one. The main characters are an elf and a dwarf in a Tolkienesque setting.
     
  4. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    This question made me think.
    We all have this idea of the archetypal fantasy story and all the elements in it, but how many stories are there really that actually fit that bill? Even if many stories have a lot in common, there's always a little something that sets them apart from the rest - even if it's just a little thing.
    Could it be that the fantasy archetype doesn't really exist and that all fantasy works are really just derivates inspired by it, but not really conforming to it?
    I don't actually know, I'm not that well read and I'm just musing on the topic here.

    Let's ask a question: what is the most archetypal fantasy story you've read (apart from Tolkien's works)?

    Personally, I think I'll have to go with the Dark Elf trilogy by Salvatore, like I mentioned in my previous post
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    @Svrtnsse:

    Have you read any McKiernan? You can't get more Tolkien than him without reading Tolkien. Some of his books I quite enjoyed (like Dragondoom). His original trilogy was too derivative (and I think written as a sort of LOTR fan fiction while the author was in an extended stay in the hospital. He even pitched it as taking place in Middle Earth, from what I understand, and the publishers said no to that but went with it as a separate line of stories in their own world).
     
  6. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I haven't. But it sounds like something I ought to add to my reading list.
    Like I said, I'm not that widely read and my post is more a musing on the topic than actually trying to state any facts.
     
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  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I should note that I think you're right about the Dark Elf books. They're definitely in line with what the OP asked for, and good books. If you read McKiernan, I'd say do Dragondoom first. It's a stand alone book, not part of a larger series, and was reissued not long ago on the anniversary of its original publication. Plus, it has a dragon :)
     
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  8. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Feists 'Riftwar' saga comes pretty close - it began as an D&D game back in the 1970's, and grew to more than thirty books. The original four - Magician: Apprentice, Magician: Master, Silverthorn, and Darkness at Sethanon, are among the best fantasy epics written. The next eight or ten books - up to 'Shards of a Broken Crown', are also pretty good. After that, not so much.


    Moons original 'Sheep farmer's Daughter' and immediate sequels (Pasksenarrion or Paladin series) also feature elves, orcs, dwarves, and gnomes, though human mages get a bit of a short shrift.

    Past that...I can think of a number of older novels or series that included one or two of the 'stock' fantasy races and most of the classes, but very few that included all of them, and most of those were derived from AD&D. (TSR/Wizards of the Coast)

    Hambly had gnomes in a couple of her novels. Ann Logston wrote a series of books including elfin MC's and plenty of mages, but there were no dwarves or orcs in that world - though there were a couple 'new' races. There were elves of sorts in Kate Elliot's 'Crown of Fire,' along with centaurs and a race that could almost pass as goblins.

    Going back further...authors like Cabell and Dunsay frequently mentioned elves and goblins in their works, but almost never in a prominent role. Dunsay's 'King of Elflands Daughter' is the big exception.
     
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  9. Binsk

    Binsk New Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll look into these books and tell you what I think.
     
  10. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

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    In general, anything D&D-derived will work for this, whether directly licensed (Dragonlance) or ascended roleplay (Record of Lodoss War.)
     
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  11. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Hmmm....now that I think about it, Kerr's 'Deverry' series fits most of the OP's criteria: elves, dwarves, magic, and later on a race very roughly comparable to goblins. Also some 'fey' type beings. However, the orientation is oriented more towards spiritual and reincarnation issues than accumulating wealth, defeating dark lords, or quests against overwhelming odds.
     
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