Group Discussion: Favorite Fantasy Politics?


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Group Discussion: Favorite Fantasy Politics?

maaliskuu 15, 2021, 5:54 pm

Hi, fantasy fans. Around the midpoint of each month, as your resident benevolent overlord group admin, I'll be posting group discussion posts. If you have any suggestions for future discussion topics, feel free drop 'em here (or message them to me). Of course, if you don't want to wait, also feel free to start new discussion posts at any time. I've gotten so many good book recommendations from old threads like this one discussing stand-alone fantasy novels or this one discussing fantasy stories with good romance plots.

This time around: in honor of the Ides of March, which fantasy worlds have your favorite depictions of politics? Whether they depict twisty court intrigues or how wars or administrative policies affect the lives of everyday people, let's hear about your favorites.

Personally, I would cite Guy Gavriel Kay's works, because he grounds his novels so closely in history that he's able to include lots of nuance. I recently re-read Lions of Al-Rassan and was pleasantly reminded how skillfully he portrays characters with conflicting value systems or political goals. I've heard lots of good things about both The Goblin Emperor and A Conspiracy of Truths, but I haven't gotten around to reading either. Shout-outs in the children's YA categories include Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel and her Inda series (although I admit to not finishing the latter) for both realistic war scenes and court intrigue, Lloyd Alexander's Westmark Trilogy for a rebellion that echoes nineteenth century history, and Hilari Bell's work, especially A Matter of Profit.

Which books do you recommend?

maaliskuu 15, 2021, 6:04 pm

>1 Kanarthi: The Queen's Thief books come to mind! I'm having trouble thinking of a ton of others. Tamora Pierce's books I think get better politically as she kept writing.

I need to get to Westmark -- I have the whole series waiting on my shelf. And you've made me want to pick up Crown Duel again!

maaliskuu 16, 2021, 4:03 am

A few:

Daniel Abraham, both with his Long Price Quartet series and The Dagger and the Coin.
Malazan, of course.
The Broken Earth by N.K. Jemisin, in slightly different politics.
Philip Pullman's The Secret Commonwealth focuses on very interesting and serious subjects.
Alamut by Judith Tarr, for Middle East/Crusades politics.

maaliskuu 16, 2021, 10:03 am

I agree with The goblin emperor as one of the best fantasy politics in a novel.

I also really enjoyed
Priory of the Orange Tree which takes us to lands with contrasting political systems.
The bone shard daughter which shows the burdens of power but also the temptation to abuse it.
The Amberlough Dossier trilogy which is set in a world very like 1930s Europe, with politics and its impact on everyday lives at the heart of the plot.

maaliskuu 16, 2021, 10:20 am

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

maaliskuu 16, 2021, 10:39 am

I'll probably have others once I noodle on this a bit, but the first one that pops to mind is Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books.

The series is an old favorite, but I've reread many of them more recently, and one thing that stands out to me is the depiction of the kingdom where you have the traditional "king" role... but how much of a role the Church plays in public life and politics. The way the monarchy in the books has to balance their own desires with approval from the Church, because a high-ranking religious leader can completely undermine a king's authority with the threat of excommunication... it's always felt like an area of historical monarchy that is under-represented in fantasy depictions of kingship outside of this series.

maaliskuu 16, 2021, 1:28 pm

Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed for a really good depiction of how anarchist politics could work out in real life.

maaliskuu 19, 2021, 12:31 am

>1 Kanarthi: Benevolent overlord, huh? Congratulations.

I'll second the Inda series, although I wouldn't categorise it as children's, and the Deryni series - though it's been a while since I read them except for the Morgan books which I read a couple of years ago.

maaliskuu 30, 2021, 8:03 pm

>8 humouress: Ah, yes, good point. Crown Duel is prime YA but the Inda series (touchstone malfunctioning?) definitely aims at an older audience.

Thanks, everyone, for the recommendations. >6 Niko: that is a very compelling description, especially because it reminds me of how Kay depicts religious institutions, but in a more expanded form.

maaliskuu 30, 2021, 11:03 pm

>9 Kanarthi: //The touchstone works for me. I set it for the series page; does it not show for you? //

huhtikuu 3, 2021, 9:56 am

The one that leaps to mind for me is the Second Sons trilogy by Jennifer Fallon , starting with Lion of Senet.
A series I really enjoyed.

huhtikuu 3, 2021, 12:34 pm

>11 infjsarah: Good one. I really enjoyed that series too.