Favorite book no one has ever heard of
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My favorite underappreciated fantasy author is Teresa Edgerton. I love her Goblin Moon and Gnome's Engine. It's fun alternate history type fantasy that I found thoroughly enjoyable.
One of my LibraryThing 'happy moments' was discovering here that other books by her existed and that there's a new book out.
Under the Mountain by Maurice Gee - a children's book with enough subtley for adults too, although it's slightly more science fictional than his other kids fantasies which are alternate world books.
Beak of the Moon by Philip Temple which is sort of a Watership Down about kea, kea being New Zealand's alpine parrots, that live where it snows and occasionally kill sheep to eat, as well as being truely obstreporous, curious clowns that cause all sorts of trouble at skifields and car parks.
Beak of the Moon
Book of the Moon only heard of by Aquila.
Pedestrian Wolves, Morigu: the Dead and Morigu: the Desecration with 3 each.
Under the Mountain, Chronicles of Kencyrath at 8.
Rose Sea at 10.
Also, it looks like the threshold for being "something that no one has every heard of" is about 100 LibraryThing owners.
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For the Hodgell fans, any opinions yet of To Ride a Rathorn? I'll probably pick it up next year at a con.
Firegold, White Midnight (prequel)
Aria of the Sea, and sequel Phoenix Dance.
However a similarily obscure set of books that I rather enjoyed more was Gillian Bradshaw's Hawk of May, Kingdom of Summer, In Winter's Shadow. I definitely went on a big Arthurian and Mabinogion kick way back when - and these were less well known books of that ilk that I remember well and fondly.
And I haven't started Bradshaw's books, but they're waiting for me. Patiently!
Immortal Unicorn, an anthology of short(ish) stories edited by Peter S. Beagle
Nobody I talk to in real life has ever heard of Young Wizards by Diane Duane, although lots of people I talk to online have, but they're some of my favorite books (well, 3 or 4 of them fit into that catagory).
My favourite "unknown" is Bridge of Birds and its two sequels, The story of the stone and Eight skilled Gentlemen by Barry Hughart. Always amazes me how many people have never heard of them. The first is the best, but the other two are also very good.
Someone sitting nearby my desk brought their copy in one day and I quizzed them about how they were enjoying it, and recommended it to another freind in the branch and loaned them my copy.
Within 3 months there were about six copies in circulation as the people that borrowed it usually went out and purchased their own copy then loaned it on.
As a bit of a history stickler I found the temporal distortions in the next two hard to swallow. (if you carefully read some of the background information about the empire between Bridge of Birds and Story of the Stone you will deduce that more than 100 years have elapsed, and then by Eight Skilled Gentlemen we appear to have progressed from the Tang to the Ming Dynasty (approx 700 years at the minimum). They are still good stories but the joins are easier to pick. All of them are a stringing together of many isolated Chinese stories, but in the first one they all tie up together. The next two are more of a series of nearly unrelated events.
Loved that first book to death.
Like I said, more people online have heard of them, but I assume that's because I mention the name in book-related communities. They're not really all that well known, for all they've been coming out for 20+ years.
I don't know the age range of the people you were mentioning the Young Wizards books to, but I know lots of adults who won't read "juvenile" fiction (silly people - they miss a lot of good stuff by it) so that could be why they haven't heard of the series.
Another book I enjoyed was Riverboy In which a boy spends his time playing with a reflection of himself along a river that is not theremost of the time.
chani #24 wrote:
A great fantasy book I never hear about (maybe this group will prove me wrong) is Black Wine by Candas Jane Dorsey.
I have not only heard of Black Wine, I have also read it. I really liked it.
Some less well known books/Authors that I have enjoyed:
Elizabeth Willey has a series that is unfinished. the books are A Sorcerer and a Gentleman, The Well-Favored Man, The Price of Blood and Honor
Ricardo Pinto has a series called The Stone Dance of the Chameleons , which he is still working on. The first is The Chosen the second is The Standing Dead and the 3rd is still IP.
Lars Walker and his story of christianity coming to Norway (?), there are fantasy elements in it, because the old gods put up a fight. The Year of the Warrior. It is a Baen title with a barbarian on the cover, and I thought I was in for a typical hack and slash - but because of the historical element, I took a chance. Very much more, very good.
Freda Warrington and The Court of the Midnight King about an alternate story for Richard III. I imported it from the UK, not sure if its published in the US or not.
Sean McMullen who is well known for SF, also has a very cool fantasy trilogy called the Moonworlds Saga . The first book is The Voyage of the Shadowmoon, then The voidfarer and the last book Glass Dragons
Tamara Siler Jones has a medieval fantasy police procedural series. The first is Ghosts in the Snow, then Threads of Malice and the Valley of the Soul
Elizabeth Knox has written several good books Vintner's Luck, Black Oxen and Daylight.
Jennifer Stevenson has written the wonderful Trash, Sex, Magic
Liz Williams is writing a series set in the future where cities are franchised, and they are Asian. She has a a detective whose job is to be a liaison between the city and hell (Chinese version). The first book in the series is called Snake Agent.
Marie Jakober wrote a medieval fantasy set in Germany and dealing with the fight between the spirits of nature and the church. It is called The Black Chalice. The author is Canadian and there was a beautiful book published there, so don't hold the drippy US cover against it.
Keith Hartman has a couple of wonderful books set in a loopy future that is divided between competing social interests. The books are Gumshoe Gorilla and The Gumshoe, the Witch, and the Virtual Corpse.
Mary Gentle has a wonderful historical fantasy 1610: Sundial in a Grave
Ellen Kushner has several wonderful books set in a medieval university town which has the underclass and the nobility striving and scuffling. Swordspoint, The Fall of the Kings, the Privilege of the Sword
A duplicate post which I have removed. Not sure if it was my system on LT gremlins.
But my absolute favourite children's fantasy book is Tajore Arkle, of which I have only ever seen one copy, in our public library, and despite it being recent when I first fell in love with it, I have never been able to get hold of. I am very sad I was not brave enough to actually ask anyone in a bookshop to order it for me, back when I might actually have been able to get a copy.
Kitsuchi, it appears that you can order it off her website. She mentions ordering it here: http://www.jackiefrench.com/buybooks.html, and it's probably still valid as she updated her blog in December of this year.
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Gustav Meyrink's The Golem is another cracker that hardly anybody seems to have read. I've reviewed both of these books on the site if anyone's interested.
Her writing is lyrical and her book covers are usually very, very beautiful. Here's a site where you can check them out:
One that seems to have so far escaped mention (and be well under the 100 LT-ers limit too) is the Malazan series by Steven Erikson. I know there's one I'm missing from the series, but Gardens of the Moon, Deadhouse Gates, Memories of Ice, House of Chains and Midnight Tides in some order after the first are the books. Amazon picks up The Bonehunters, Reaper's and Night of Knives (as a spin off) and an eighth book due in hardcover in 2008.
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Isobelle has written some of the most original fantasy I've ever read. Her books are, brilliant - they're the still ongoing Obernewtyn Chronicles and Legensong series.
Juliet Marillier's style is like historical-type fantasy?
I absolutely adore her Sevenwaters trilogy starting with Daughter of the Forest which is loosely based on the Seven Swans Anderson fairytale, and set in Ireland.
Getting back to the topic, I would choose Lud-in-the-Mist. Not for everyone, especially those who demand fantasy with some degree of heroics and a faster pace. The narrative disguises itself, chameleon-like, as a farce, a murder mystery, a horror story, constantly changing tone from chapter to chapter.
I read those, too. I remember really liking them, but I was embarrassed by the covers. *Blush*
I will have to be the lone voice of dissent on Juliet Marillier and her Sevenwaters Trilogy. Admittedly, I only read Daughter of the Forest, but I didn't like it at all. I tend not to like females in literature (I know- that probably speaks volumes about me), and I found Sorcha to be very "Mary Sue"-ish. She was *too* perfect and good and everything. As was the hero of the story. They both just annoyed me, especially towards the end. Actually, everyone in that book annoyed me :-P So needless to say, I didn't continue with the trilogy.
But then, I also don't like Tigana much, of all Guy Gavriel Kay's works, so I think my tastes are off ;-)
But it would be interesting to hear why you didn't like Tigana, as I thought it managed to balance all those clichés fantasy's so well stocked with?
I kind of agree with you about Steven Erikson's books. It feels to me like he takes the first bit slowly, then things really kick off.
The way I see it though, the first bit of each book sets up the reader, particularly in the first one (I was a expecting it in the subsequent ones) with a set of fantasy clichés - the bright new officer in charge of the hoary old veteran company, the gambler and so on. Then, just as you're wondering if he's going to do anything new, he kicks off into perverting and undermining them all, wonderfully.
Of course tastes differ, but I love it, even though it still seems he's a minority taste. The books keep on getting better and better btw, so it is worth the back ache to pick up the 3rd, 4th and 5th of them. :) (I think the 6th is due in HB soon.)
Some of the authors that I like and are I think, not so well known or underrated are the following:
Anne Bishop people are probalby familiar with her Black Jewels Trilogy which I absolutley love! But she has a new duology out about Ephemera which is great. It starts with Sebastian and will be followed up with Bella Donna which is forthcoming in either feb/mar 2007. I really liked Sebastian and am eagerly awaiting Bella Donna.
There are many Mercedes Lackey fans out there but I tend to like her lesser known series. My favorite being the Dragon Jousters Series with the first being Joust then Alta, Aerie and Sanctuary so far. I love Dragon's and this is a whole series all about them and these are "good" dragons vs. malicious coniving ones. Although it should be noted that in this series the dragons are more intelligent animal rather then shape-shifting talking dragons.
Catherine Asaro's Aronsdale/Shapemagic Trilogy is great as well.
1. The Charmed Sphere
2. The Misted Cliffs
3. The Dawn Star
And I hear that she will be writing a second trilogy based in the same world dealing with how the events of the first trilogy have change the world and the effects that has on the people.
Gail Dayton's Rose books are good too. I really enjoy her strong female lead characters and the complex social structures and world that she creates.
1. The Compass Rose
2. The Barbed Rose
There is a third coming but I'm not sure if there will be more after that.
Jennifer Fallon's The Hythrun Chronicles: Demon Child Trilogy is good to. Although the first book is a bit slow in the begining and could be a little tighter.
2. Treason Keep
She has more books set in this world but I haven't read them.
I just found Keri Arthur who I gather is well known in her native Australia. I just got the first book in her Riley Jensen Series; Full Moon Rising and really loved it. It's a bit more on the romance side but still really good with a strong female character who attractes danger and reminds me a bit of Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan of books such as Dead Witch Walking (Another fav.)
And last but not least is Talyn: a novel of Korre I had never read anything by Holly Lisle before and it took a little bit for me to get in to this novel as I like to be dropped right into action and this started a bit slow for my tastes. But once I got into it, I really enjoyed this story.
Lewispike, I definitely plan to continue with the series :-) But it's very heavy reading and I will be taking a break before starting the third one. Which means I will probably forget everything that happened leading up to it!
Green Rider was the only non-guidebook I took on a three-week trip to non-English speaking countries. Seven years later, it is still a favorite.
This book is a must for adventure or quest fantasy fans who enjoy a strong, believable female protagonist. Karigan, the primary character, is a young woman likely in her late teens. She is leaving school to go back home when she encounters a King's Messenger (or Rider), and agrees to deliver a message to the King. Darn it, the pesky kingdom seems to be in need of saving, and she really just wants to go home...
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Mary Caraker is the author of Seven Worlds which is a collection of seven stories centered around a lady who teaches English, or the galactic standard, to aliens across the universe. It's a really good book that I found at a big used bookstore half an hour north of me.
My mom and I staked out local bookstores for years waiting for the sequel to Green Rider to come out.
Another favourite is The Book of Paradox by Louise Cooper; this is a novel told in the form of a Tarot reading, quite mystical and strange.
Then there's Red Moon and Black Mountain by Joy Chant - I must say that it's been so long since I read it that I don't really remember it anymore, except that I remember finding it magical and wonderful.
The previously mentioned quartet by Evangeline Walton based on the Four Branches of the Mabinogion, the Welsh mythological cycle, is also brilliant.
I could go on for days, but best stop at these four!
As for Joy Chant, the only problem there is that she stopped writing! Actually, my unquestioned favorite of her books, and a favorite fantasy book of mine, is The Grey Mane of Morning, which takes place in the same world as does Red Moon and Black Mountain, but a long time earlier (and is much better written, more her own than a Tolkien rip-off; don't get me wrong, parts of "Red Moon" were brilliant, but I couldn't stand the Princess Inserinna or whatever her name was. And has anyone read Chant's When Voiha Wakes? It's a very unusual and thoughtfully written book; the best treatment of a matriarchal society I've seen in fantasy, quiet and credible and fascinating.
I really need to go back and re-read the Joy Chant book I mentioned, as I honestly don't remember it enough even to remember the Princess Whoever character. In my defense, I will note that it's at least 30 years since I read the novel, though! I've heard of When Voiha Wakes but have never seen it - is it still in print, do you know?
It's funny people should mention the Mabinogi, I'm hopefully going to take a college course just on that text. I know the original tales often are a lot less detailed than the retellings, but that's because ancient fairytales tended to be a lot shorter, and not in the format of a novels. You can't really compare modern novels to them, you have to take them as a different kind of genre.
I absolutely love those books, and I completely agree with you that the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant were far weaker. Hurrah, you're the first person I've ever 'met' who has agreed with me!
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I've heard of it! I've read it two or three times. Great book, isn't it? It's true that people don't usually mention it. (In fact, you're the first person I've come across to do that.)
Even more recently and in a slightly different area of the fantasy genre, I have been caught up in the adventures/misadventures of Harry Dresden, modern day Chicago Magician in The Dresden Files, by Jim butcher, I think this series is often classified in the Urban fantasy world.
Maurice Gee's Halfman of O Series,
THe Halfmen of O
THe story of Susan and Nick Ferris, cousins who are violently introduced to the World of O, when Susan is abducted by a seemingly crazy drunk, drugged and dragged throught to this other world, nick of course follows to try to save her. Susan is the hero of the book however. It is a world of oppressed people ruled by the Halfmen, but not al os what it seems.
The Priests of Ferris
The follows on where Halfmen left off, with Nick and Susan returning to O and times have changed , indeed many years have past, and their previous antics are remembered by Priests who woship them in a twisted fashion.
THis is the Last of the series, The cousin return to O to face more challenges
I can't rememmber much more they were by facve books as a teen, whouls have been madce into movies or TV, but Perhaps is well were not as special effect would have been rubbish then...
Book of Three Dragons
The Fate of The Prince of Dyved both by Kenneth Morris
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If you like the mythology of the British Isles check out, Lady Gregory's, Gods and Hero's as well as Cuhulain of Muitheme and don't miss Kenneth Morris's, Fate of the Princes of Dyved and The Book of Three Dragons (recently published by Cold Stream Press I believe, with the never before included ending).
It's Ballantine (thank you Wikipedia) - I've got a couple of them, but it's a really good list. Back to ABE, I guess.
I'd never heard of the other series so I looked them up too - goodness, that's some serious stuff!
While looking up the Ballantine series I found a Neil Gaiman interview where he recommends them (though it's spelt wrong) - it's quite an interesting interview, talks about some of his sources, I'm going to go back and read it properly. Here's the link, in case anyone is interested: http://web.mit.edu/m-I-t/science_fiction/transcripts/gaiman_gardner.html It's pretty old, though, and full of typos, but he does talk about Neverwhere, which I am really fond of, both the series and the book. The series has only just come out on DVD in the UK!
Her Second Sons trilogy is good, though not as good as the others.
These are actually a YA scifi/fantasy series and often sold as Christian Inspiration, but I've never had a problem enjoying them just as straight fantasy (like the Chronicles of Narnia).
Unfortunately, they may be out of print, I know I had trouble getting my copies and that was several years ago. But I'm sure there are used bookstores out there that carry them or the library! Anyway, I've always loved them ;-p
aarti, I agree that several of the characters in Tigana are not particularly likeable, including Alessan himself. I don't know how much GGK intends us to like them. I also find Crispin to be horribly arrogant, but I seem to be in the minority on that one. Glad to see others have read Kay and thought about him a little. Most of the time when I mention him folks say "Who?"
I'd be interested to know how many people have read books mentioned here but dont own them. I wonder if the number of owners really does reflect how well known a book is, some well known books may be hard to get a copy of, although I guess they couldnt become too well know if they were too hard to find. *ponders*
If you like The Wood Wife - I do - these books will probably also appeal.
But I wouldn't consider any of those 'books noone ever heard of'. Except of course if you only read straight fantasy.
Most that I know who read urban fantasy worship Terry Windling both as an editor and as a writer.
Martha Wells is a fantasy writer I've rarely heard mentioned by others, but whose books I automatically buy. Noone seems to know Wheel of the Infinite and City of Bones.
One of the rarest fantasy books I have is probably Songspinners, with a whole 16 LT users owning it, but since I haven't read it yet I can't call it a favourite.
Treachery and Treason comes in at 19 LT users. ^^; But also not a favourite, though I have read it.
(Obviously I'm editing this as I go through my library ^^; )
Heather Gladney is quite rare, too! Though I heard of her through a rec, so she doesn't count as "no one ever heard of."
The dollmage is only owned by 10 people on LT, which is a shame, as it's a lovely little book.
Jane Yolen's The Hundredth Dove, The Girl Who Cried Flowers, The Moon Ribbon and Neptune Rising: Songs and Tales are all quite rare, but I think that is largely because they are OOP and a bit expensive to buy used now. Her The Dragon's Boy doesn't have that excuse, though.
And my original choice for this thread, The Rose Sea is indeed pretty rare, too.
Aaaaand that should be it, no more edits. :)
# 111 - I've read The Book of Atrix Wolfe, but Patricia McKillip has never been my big thing. I like the books of hers I've read, I just never got the craze. I think her writing is a bit too lyric(?) to catch me completely.
I love this thread. So much fodder for new purchases. And it is fun what different authors/ books seem obscure for different people.
Fx. I wouldn't mention anything by Judith Tarr here, because she isn't obscure at all in my worldview, yet several of her (excellent) books are owned by fewer than 50 LT'ers.
Pamela Belle is a romance writer (I think) but she worte The Silver City which may not be a groundbreaking work, but it is a nice little fantasy that I reread on occasion. Nice and cosy.
Paul Park's trilogy Starbridge Trilogy starting with Soldiers of Paradise reminds me strongly of Gene Wolfes New Sun series. The first volume is great - haven't gotten the rest yet:-)
Also Little Sister and its sequel The Heavenward Path by Kara Dalkey are YA Japanese historical fantasy which I love beyond all reason, and wish wish wish were popular enough to be continued.
Both titles by Joy Chant - fabulous! A great crime there are only two.
Evangiline Walton's Mabinogion - yes!
A Man Rides Through and Mirror of Her Dreams by Stephen Donaldson in my opinion are his best works, bar none.
The Woodwife by Terri Windling really captures the spooky pirit of the Arizona desert.
I've also loved everything by Theresa Edgerton
Has anyone loved the books by Robin Hobb's earlier byline - Megan Lindholm - those books were all great. She did a fantasy about a satyr set in Alaska that I've not heard anyone talk about.
Anything, also, by Roberta Meluch
One pair of books not mentioned here - Teot's War and Blood storm by Heather Gladney.
People who like Guy Kay and in particular Sailing to Sarantium - here's another book you might enjoy - a historical, but it's about a gifted sculptor, and has incredibly well realized and complex characters with exceptionally orchestrated passions - The Heaven Tree by Edith Pargeter
I could go on - so many fine works!
Most of my knowledge of books (and fantasy) comes from the sadly limited extent of the local library and Barnes and Noble, so this is a great thread for me!
I've got what seems to be a particularly rare book in Magician (wonky touchstone) by Allan Baillie as I’m the only one on here who has it, but I havn’t read it yet so can’t really comment on it, I’ll have to put it in my “to read” pile…
And there is an SF series with fantasy elements (a telepathic tree!, magical powers!, clan-based society, a dragon in one short story) that I really enjoy, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Partners in Necessity is the real start of the series (3-book omnibus), though there are both prequels and sequels.
The story is also about an orphaned, eleven year old boy who discovers magic. He has some great adventures while learning it, too.
That was exactly what I like about Soldiers of Paradise. It is dense - and a bit hard to get into - but after the first 20 or so pages, the world is just so fascinating, and the characters so odd, yet interesting and, well, somehow identifiable, if that is a word:-)
a VERY good book, and finally a clean fantasy for once! There are 3 more in the series so far: Dragonquest, Dragonknight, and Dragonfire. Dragonlight is in the making!
My obscure book is Pauline Alama's The Eye of Night - absolutely magnificent quest story, with very realistic characters (no shiny hero/ines here!) and I cried throughout the last three chapters as things unraveled and reformed...27 copies on LT, and I've never heard of her. I found the book in some book sale and finally got around to reading it. As far as I've been able to find, it's the only book she wrote.
A lot of books I know mentioned here, including some I'd forgotten about - Teot's War, for one - and a lot I've never heard of. Lots to look for now!
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A Scholar of Magics by Caroline Stevermer
Chronicles of the Kencyrath by P.C. Hodgell. and Blood and Ivory - short stories - Seekers Mask 4th book and the latest book To Ride a Rathorn - all excellent!
Being a Kiwi I have also read Under the Mountain by Maurice Gee and Beak of the Moon by Philip Temple
The Glass Harmonica by Louise Marley - loved everything I have read by her The Marquisade and Child Goddess
Gillian Bradshaw's Hawk of May, Kingdom of Summer, In Winter's Shadow - I have this as a Trilogy Down the Long Wind I think its called
Bridge of Birds and Story of the Stone - sadly never found the 3rd one
Ellen Kushner has several wonderful books set in a medieval university town which has the underclass and the nobility striving and scuffling. Swordspoint, The Fall of the Kings, the Privilege of the Sword - Priviledge is the best but you have to have read Swordspoint to really get it
The Hidden Queen and Changer of Days by Alma Alexander - these are huge faves of mine, many rereads of these - but hugely underrated I think
Green Rider by Kristen Britain - read years ago and enjoyed
Red Moon and Black Mountain by Joy Chant - i actually have a copy of this and two copies of Grey Mane of Morning which is far superior
The Wood Wife by Terri Windling - I have this, read years ago, and found it a little ...strange. Should read again
Got everything that Jennifer Fallon has written, I really like her - also Trudi Canavan is another Aussie author I like
The Secret Country series by Pamela Dean
Wheel of the Infinite and City of Bones - read everything of hers except Element of Fire (just orded from Lulu thanks to this list) Didnt like Wheel, LOVED City of Bones
Songspinners and Moths to a Flame and something else about a child by Sarah Ash - her writing is interesting, a bit fey
Betrayal by Fiona McIntosh - read that trilogy, and the Myrren one and the two Odalisque books as well
The books that I like that are all my Angus Wells, Down the Bright Stream by BB only has 11 listings, Elizabeth Chadwidk writes quite authentic historical fantasy - usually based on real people/events, Naomi Kritzer - her Freedom series, MK Wren Phoenix Legacy House of the Wolf - futuristic SF where Australia is the only country left in the world but we have colonised planets :)
Kristine Kathryn Rusch Recovery Artist series is also one I highly recommend, a combination of CSI and SF based on the moon
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Also, read the Wood wife, a long time ago, and seem to remember that I enjoyed it.
Also of note:
Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward which is a little more well known by the LTers.
Dragons Can Only Rust by Cymri. This one is actually a combination of sci-fi/fantasy and is written in a style that seems geared for a younger audience. It seems only 12 or so own this book here at LT.
Amazon.co.uk has a description of it:
It is 2012 in the European city-state of Brighton. The race is on to discover a device to further human understanding and thus capture the fabulous DeWit Bequest. Enter the Existometer and its designer, the freelance scholar Hayden Sabanack, and his assistant Sophie - she of the ungovernable urges.
I picked up the book because it was free at a used book sale, had a charming cover and subtitle, and had a cover quote by Terry Pratchett. It was a charming read, and the style and plot reminded me of P.G. Wodehouse. The book is out of print and the Amazon.com review is one of the strangest and most incoherent things I have ever seen, but it’s definitely worth finding a copy. Only 4 of us have the book on librarything, so it is definitely a hidden treasure.
One of my personal favorite books is Swords for Hire by Will Allen, and I have yet to find anyone who's heard of it.
A favorite no one has mentioned yet:
The Labyrinth Gate by Alis A. Rasmussen
and like some of you, I am a big Hodgell fan--God Stalk blew me away when I first found it, and I've been delighted that she's been producing more books.
If you like Hodgell, you MUST read To Ride a Rathorn - it almost has a happy ending LOL
Labyrinth Gate is fun, but I really love The Interior Life (and constantly get the two of them mixed up mentally, though they're really not very similar). 57 LTers have The Interior Life - does that count?
If anyone can recommend other similar style books then please leave a comment on my profile or here as i'm having trouble finding similar books :(
I also looking for similar books too:)
(117) saturnine13, I have read Hobberdy Dick and would love to get my hands on a copy! I believe it was also Briggs who wrote Kate Crackernuts, which is based on one of my favorite folk tales.
I would just like to second Ms. Wurtz's recommendation of Edith Pargeter's Heaven Tree trilogy. Ms. Pargeter is better known as Ellis Peters, the author of the Brother Cadfael mystery series, which I also recommend.
To Ride Pegasus
Pegasus in Flight
Pegasus in Space
The Tower and the Hive
Though when I read these the first time in my early teens I started with the Rowan and then later came back to the first three. Which is fine, since there is a huge time jump in between Pegasus in Space and The Rowan, probably because she wrote the first two, then The Rowan and the following books, then years later backtracked and filled in some of the timeline with Pegasus in Space. Anyway, they're all great books.
Oh, and I like her Acorna books as well, though they feel just a little formulaic later in the series - but not enough to detract from the enjoyment.
the steerswoman's road by rosemary kirstein
lady in gil by rebecca bradley
those who hunt the night by barbara hambly
death of the necromancer by martha wells
a business of ferrets by beth hilgartner
They all have really intelligent lead characters and/or strong female characters.
A favorite of mine that barely squeaks in under 100 is Fitzpatrick's War, by Theodore Judson. Steampunky Distopia with airships? Not quite right... anyway, it was good.
The Griffon and the Minor Canon by Frank R. Stockton is a favorite from childhood, though I haven't read it in ages.
This is a wonderful thread! Most of these books will never show up in the bookstore here (yes, that was singular... only one English language bookstore) because all we get here in the land of the rising sun is the latest bestseller. But when I go home for summer I'm taking this list with me to the bookstores there!
I also want to add The Changeover by Margaret Mahy, and The Prince of Morning Bells by Nancy Kress.
I liked Illusion by Paula Volsky. I liked The Grand Ellipse even better. I reread that one every few years. It's like Around the World in Eighty Days, only with some really fun characters and a bit of magic.
I agree with you both - I always delve into those two books whenever I'm feeling down. I don't know why but it always makes me feel good when I've finished. I love these far more than the Chronicles. But I do still love them too.
It's set on the Isle of Manx in WWII and the premise is similar to Lammas Night by Katherine Kurtz (not to be confused with In Celebration of Lammas Night, short stories by Mercedes Lackey & friends). The people of the island, who are guardians of ancient magic, must do their part to help defeat Hitler's evil. The focus is local and the time frame is short, but the depth of the story is fantastic. Each chapter reveals another layer of the hidden magic's secrets and builds in intensity to a crisis point both for the individual characters and for the survival of the whole world. And each character is a fully developed realistic individual that you get to know and like (no stock heroes and villians here) and all their story lines turns out to be essential to the overall plot (no loose ends or illogic either). Even the most unlikeable character has a believable rationale and an important part to play. Another plus is that there's a great sense of mystery and danger without a lot of violence or blood and gore.
I'm being purposely vague on details so I won't spoil the joy of discovery. Reading it for the first gives some of the same feeling as the first time you read The Lord of the Rings chapter "The Shadow of the Past" and realize that Gandalf isn't just a harmless magician and Bilbo's ring isn't just a magic toy, and the story shifts and deepens so you have to re-evaluate everything you thought you knew.
Each time I finish it, the magic feels more real than the real world, and the only bad part is that I'm always left wanting more. The story is over too soon and apparently it's the only book Dale Estey ever wrote. I wish it wasn't.
Adam, his dog Mopsy and the other characters are just fun to read about and Gallico has a deft hand with them.
P. C. Hodgell is another author I've enjoyed. I remember her from as a guest author at a convention in the 80s and searched for more of her work only to find she didn't have much at that time. I love going back through her books and short stories and hope for more.
The Darkness That Comes Before
The Thousandfold Thought
I read these because they were on a recommended reading list (after I read the first three Malazan books by Steven Erikson) and I proceeded to fall in love with them. They have elements that I've yet to come across in any other fantasy books and the usage of philosophy in the books was spectacular.
They are some of my favorite books of all time and I recommend them to anyone looking for something different to read in the Fantasy genre. They aren't a light read, however, so I recommend reading them at home where it's quiet. You lose a lot (in terms of plot AND the feeling of the books) if you're distracted.
... I can't believe how many books this list has added to my "Must-Read" list.
Most of the books I can think of are originally Dutch and untranslated, so not particularly useful to most other people, I think. Minnie by Annie M.G. Schmidt is one, but I'm fairly certain that it needs nostalgia (or a small child who likes cats to read it to) to make it work, sadly.
De tuinen van Dorr is another and typing the title in I just realised that it might be translated (The touchstone reads 'The Gardens of Dorr'). If it is that would make squee. It's a children's book, but it's one of the better Dutch ones out there, in my opinion.
Then there's a series by Nancy Springer that's out of print that I really liked. I don't know the name of it, but includes the books The White Hart, The Silver Sun, and The Sable Moon. I picked these up on a whim and ended up being really surprised at how much I enjoyed them.
Also the Dragon's Heirs Trilogy by Courtway Jones
are EXCELLENT King Arthur books, particularly if you like celtic/old English mythology - its full of Druids and Picts and the characters are really captivating. I enjoyed them much more than Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy
e.g. footnote: Physicists have been slow to realise that quantum uncertainty is due to particles not doing what they are told... But there are the so-called "Hard Particles", such as croutons (which rose to the top of the prmordial matter soup in the early days of the universe), futons (which sank to the bottom) ands mekons (big green particles that beat up defenceless quarks when noone is looking).
If you can find a copy I really recommend it for a good laugh.
and i haven't seen Elizabeth Moons Deeds of Paksenarion here, that might be because people take it for grantet that everybody has read her, but if not than it's a must!
It's pretty hard read at first, because of the writing style, but once you slog through a chapter or two and get into the flow of it, the stream of consciousness metaphor prose-as-poetry really works.
At least it does for me!
Beautiful and unique.
...but always hard for me to get into again at first, the first chapter or two even on re-reading is always difficult.
Nice to see Gillian Bradshaw's Down the Long Wind series get a mention. IMO one of the best Arthurian retellings I've ever read... and I've read a lot of em! XD
In the Net of Dreams - Wm. Mark Simmons
Sherman Oak and the Magic Potato - S. William Shaw
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
the shifting heart
I also loved Song of Sorcery and The Unicorn Creed by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough.
I should really think about re-reading these and seeing if I still have the same taste I had in high school.
Thanks, I'm still putting out feelers on this whole thing and trying to work out what I do and don't like in the worlds of fantasy!!
And for everyone outside New Zealand that likes Elizabeth Knox, try her Dreamhunter duet, which has just republished Dreamhunter and Dreamquake as The invisible road.
* Yep, they're all children's/YA writers, but they're all I can think of off the top of my head right now.
Raising_a_reader, they republished the duology in one volume? I'll have to keep my eye out for it, then! (Or maybe I should just save up for a trip to New Zealand bookstores. ^-~)
I've also another book which I discovered recently and which hasn't been out that long, I think: Territory by Emma Bull, which is western fantasy. Very subtly done magic and with a cast I bow to.
Im in NZ but never heard of Elizabeth Knox but picked up Invisible road a couple of months ago and LOVED it!
Hmmm. I can't get the touchstone to work for this book, so I will give the url:
edited to correct toughstones (sic on purpose) many thanks for the heads up. And again!
Course, that's not really fair. I found it through a random jaunt at a used book store in a town of 300 people and the book was only put out in two editions, one in 1896 and one in 1905, but still great book with fantastic drawings.
...I must get back to that book store...
Many thanks for the heads up. Only took three goes, if you include the original attempt to get it straight.
Anything unique, really.
There's a new YA book that looks kind of interesting. The author is only 17, which is sweet.
Then I distilled out the popular series and tried to only give out what are more obscure books
The Misenchanted Sword: A Legend of Ethshar (Legends of Ethshar)
Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen (Ace SF, F-342)
Daughter of the Empire
The Doomfarers of Coramonde
Dragon and the George
The Outlaw of Torn
The Ruins of Ambrai (Exiles, Vol. 1)
Five Hundred Years After(Phoenix Guards)
The Unwilling Warlord
With A Single Spell
The Phoenix Guards
Once a Hero
Her Majesty's Wizard
Lord Valentine's Castle (Majipoor Cycle)
The Mad Throne
Great King's War
Luck Of Relian Kru
The Power and the Prophet: (#3) (Pelmen the Powershaper, Book 3)
Wizard in Waiting: (#2)
The Dragonbone Chair(Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn)
Dragon Waiting: A Masque of History
Fall into Darkness
The Mistress of the Empire (Empire Trilogy, Bk. 3)
Prophet of Lamath (Pelman)
M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link (Myth)
Dragon and the George
Lest Darkness' Fall
Outlaw of Torn, similarly, isn't really fantasy - alternate history, without a sniff of magic (aside from persuasive powers - charisma or something like it). But also a great book.
I love the Ethshar books too (those are definitely fantasy). And the Dragon and the George, and its sequels (there are 4-5 at least in the series). Some of the others I know - but I'll have to check out the ones I don't (I obviously like your taste!).
My current favorite is a new book that just came out called Stone Voice Rising. It's the first in a new series and I can wait for the next one!
I hope that I can count a trilogy as one listing
The Culai Heritage by Michael Scott,
I have the separate books, but now that he is becoming more popular, seems I can't afford to purchase the trilogy in one volume
Also, Singer of Souls by Adam Stemple. I got completely engrossed. Even though the ending was a complete WTF.
OH! And Judith Tarr's White Mare's Daughter! I haven't thought about that book in a long long time. Maybe it'll be my next reread. And, given that, then Manda Scott's Dreaming the Eagle. Sigh, happy times.
Glad it was a legitimate WTF ending, though, and not just me. Thanks!
I loved that novel. Didn;t really like the second one though.
In spite of several annoying, even clutzy writing habits, the late Lin Carter (1930-1988) did pen some very enjoyable, highly readable fantasy works. Any quest to seize the warded grimoire of a dead but still powerful sorcerer is bound to have its excitements along the way, and Carter's Kellory the Warlock, set against the chaotic background of the invading Thungoda Hordes, mostly lives up to its promise.
Certainly anyone desirous of adding a little something extra such as Yaohim's The Book of Shadows to their LibraryThing shelves should read Carter's tale to see just what they're likely to be up against.....
Another less popular series that I love is the Hollow Kingdom trilogy by Claire Dunkle: The Hollow Kingdom, Close Kin and In the Coils of the Snake.
I know Rosemary Sutcliff isn't strictly fantasy, though many of hers are Arthurian and have touches of magical elements, but the one I want to point out is The Mark of the Horse Lord which far transcends the juvi category she's sometimes relegated to-- a sharply written tale of 1st century Pictland, one of her very best.
And yes for James Branch Cabell too. His style may seem a bit stuffy by modern standards but once you get used to it you'll find it's beautifully balanced and very witty. Aside from the famous Jurgen, I would recommend at least The High Place and The Cream of the Jest.
And I know Tolkien is an odd candidate for unknown fantasy writer, but I wanted to put in a word for The Fall of Gondolin in volume two of The Book of Lost Tales. Great stuff!
(Oh, and another vote for Bridge of Birds too!
More easily found is Stephen R. Donaldson's Mordant's Need duology, beginning with The Mirror of Her Dreams. It's too frequently overlooked in favour of his Covenant books, but I think it's the best thing he's ever done.
I'd also point to Michael Scott Rohan, who wrote a beautiful, almost mythological trilogy beginning with The Anvil of Ice that I've only just discovered the followup trilogy for.
Chani, I'd be interested to know what you liked about Black Wine. I've seen it but know nothing about it.
The book that comes immediately to mind for me in this category of unknown favourites (great question, by the way!) is Eileen Kernaghan's Winter on the Plain of Ghosts. For that matter, Eileen's writing generally is nowhere near as well known as it deserves to be. She writes historically based speculative fiction, mostly fantasy, often connected to spiritual themes. Winter on the Plain of Ghosts is one of the few books set in the Indu Valley before the rise of religions like Hinduism, and she has developed an intriguing culture and story for that setting. Eileen's characters are generally thoughtful and motivated, and there is magic of many kinds in her books. I like the vivid beauty of her writing and also the variety of the themes she chooses.
All of this causes me to suggest to myself that I get busy and list more of her books on my LibraryThing catalogue. I've pretty much read them all.
Ha! At least I'm consistent! I was looking for other comments on this work and discovered that I already recommended Winter on the Plain of Ghosts last year!
I'll second Tea With the Black Dragon. I didn't remember the author, and haven't read the other books (yet).
The Truth about Unicorns by Bonnie Jones Reynolds may be hard to come. I am delighted to say that it is not entirely clear whether this is fantasy or not. Set in America around the time of the depression, this book may or may not involve unicorns.
Several people have mentioned a World without end that I have not yet read. I would strongly recommend Sean Russell's World Without End. It and its companion Sea Without a Shore, and a prequel duology are, in my opinion, his strongest works. Russell said somewhere that he started by imagining what might have happened if Charles Darwin's voyage had discovered evidence of magic rather than evolution and then rewrote and rewrote. Set in the fantasy equivalent of England around the time of the early industrial revolution. It is also the time of the disappearance of the mages. There is unaccountably cloudy evidence that there were mages in the reasonably recent historic past, but they have more or less vanished. One of my favourite "short" fantasy series.
Speaking of Seans, I would also recommend the books of Sean Stewart, who tends to write fantasy novels that are one-offs. I am not certain if it is obscure enough, but I hear little mention of Clouds End.
Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds doesn't get nearly enough attention outside of LT (at least, that's where I discovered it.)
Written in the late 1920s but has dated well. A 'fellowship' quest tale with sorcery, romance, etc., a sympathetic hero and a strong resourceful heroine. Would have been a good entry in Lin Carter's Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, but as far as I know it's yet to be reprinted.
World Without End by Sean Russel is a fantasy novel I agree has been neglected.
World Without End by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy, even more so.
But ... World Without End by Ken Follett is the sequel to Pillars of the Earth, which is on Oprah's bookclub list. If that's not high-profile I don't know what is! (and it's also historical fiction, not fantasy)
There's also a Star Trek novel by Joe Haldeman with this title. My advice to publishers? No more books by this title, please! It's terribly non-descriptive and generic anyway.
I love Susan Dexter's books, but she seems to have stopped writing. Sadly, I only have the first book The Ring of Allaire of her first trilogy, 'The Winter King's War'. It's one of the very first books I bought for myself when I was still in school and buying out of my pocket money and decided to collect my favourites for myself. Other books I still borrowed from the library.
These are the covers of the UK editions, published by Fontana.
I have a list (sorely in need of updates) of other books that have been made available on Kindle through self-publishing or a small press too here (I've left out authors that seem to be in ebooks from their original publisher), so you may find something else you've been looking for too!
Thanks for the list. I have so many of those!! But I was never able to find the two sequels to The Boy from the Burren by Shiela Gilluly--I will check those out.
ETA Bought both of them for my Kindle! Ammy is going to love you SO much.
>293 ronincats: Interesting! Would you recommend the old or the new version for a first read? :)
I believe the sequels to The Boy from the Burren were only ever published in the UK before this ebook edition! Book View Café and Open Road Media's science fiction and fantasy offerings are absolute gold mines of good old books, I haven't even cataloged a fraction in my list- they're well worth a browse! Gollancz' SF Gateway is as well, but they tend more towards pulp SF and Golden Age SF, which aren't really my things (also they don't have US rights for a lot of their titles, including all of Tanith Lee's backlist, boo).
There's a number of books, like The Mirror of Her Dreams by best-selling authors and or Hugo (etc) nominees mentioned above that I also enjoy, but I'm not really sure that they are obscure.
Here's a plug for Child of a Rainless Year by Jane Lindskold, a stand-alone set in New Mexico.
The main character, 14 year old Laura, is psychically sensitive, and gets premonitions when something bad will happen. She also has a feeling that a boy in her school is a witch, and must seek his help when something bad of an occult nature happens to her brother.
It was published in 1984, and I got it from the library right around that time so I was probably about 13 or so. I have been looking for this book for years; I remembered two scenes from it but not enough details to track it down. Serendipity recently brought it back into my world, and I am delighted to have located this book after years of searching, and also delighted with how good it is. It has found a place in my permanent library so I can't lose it again :)
It was really surprisingly wonderful. It is YA but geared more for high school aged kids, so I probably didn't appreciate at the time just how well written it is.
My only gripe was that the opening sequence (with the discovery on the river) captured my imagination like *whoa*, and I felt like the pay-off for that discovery wasn't as cool as the opening scene had me hoping for. But everything else in the book was great... I love a good "fantasy of manners", and this hit those buttons quite well.
Originally read in translation from Opta / CLA (Club du Livre d'Anticipation) which also allowed me to discover a fair number of classics and (for the time) well-esteemed contemporaries.
Not world-shattering but memorable enough that when Amazon made for easier access to english language books, especially english language second-hand books, I went looking for the original and found there was a sequel as well (Wintermind).
It's Shadows by David Grigg an Australian YA fantasy about teenagers trying to fight off shadows that are consuming their city. Was set in the present (published in the 70s).
I've checked for combinations, I really seem to be the only person who has it.
ETA: Some googling shows me it was actually a sequel, which explains why the start was kind of confusing. There are the copies of the first book Halfway House on Librarything.
Deep in the Arnaks by Charles Serabian
Waves crash and seas split by Chad Huskins
Dark Cargo by Andrew Rice
Dragontamer's Daughters by Kenton Kilgore
The Dragon Beshrewed by M.M. Stauffer
Puppet Parade by Zeinab Alayan
The Féerie pour les ténèbres trilogy by Jérôme Noirez *was* released in trade paperback by a reputable genre press, but a fairly small one and only in the original French afaik
Chien du Heaume & Mordre le Bouclier by Justine Niogret (same as above, except it might have also seen a MMPB release ? No translation either afaik)