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Old 15th January 2009, 06:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Help me out here.

I came into my dorkdom .. late in life.
I never really read much growing up. None of the stories I read appealed to me except one or two. I started RPGaming around Age 23 and found out how much of a geek I really am. I since have loved reading fantasy.
Since 23 (now 27) I have read several series.. Here are some.
The childish but entertaining Drizzt books (bruenor books if you ask me)
Some Conan books.
Terry Goodkind I read all of his.
Progressed to Raymond E. Feist. (7-8 books)
Robin Hobbs (1st trilogy)
felt very very greatful to ROGER ZELAZNY *bows*
Along with a couple other attempts.

NOW TO THE MEAT OF IT. finally right?
I Read George RR Martin and every dish sat in front of me now is cold and
bitter. I cant find and author to match him.
I was recommended Janny Wurts and Robert Erickson.
Well it is Exceedingly hard to find any Janny Wurts
I was thinking of trying the "light and dark" Series out.
I'll go amazon I guess. anyway

so I came to the best place for advise I think of.
Those of you who are GRRM fans.. Does it compare?
Will my food ever taste good again?

BTW: Verbosity doesnt bother me too much.. (two words.. HELL RIDE - those who know .. are laughing.)
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Old 15th January 2009, 06:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

I don't think Wurts rates a mention next to GRRM and that you should look elsewhere for a good meal. But I think others may disagree.
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Old 15th January 2009, 02:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

Ah, but HJ fails to mention that he is a Terry Goodkind fan, so he is obviously suffering from some kind of cognitive impairment. JOKING!

Barristan, were you referred to Steven Erikson or Robert Jordan? You seem to have combined the two? Jordan will probably tast like ashes after Martin, but not so Erikson.

There are three authors that I put in the same league, namely GRRM, Steven Erikson, and Janny Wurts. They are all very complex, and use multiple points of view. Their respective styles are very different. Erikson and Martin are darker than Wurts, who takes a more balanced approach, so you are not filled with despair when you finish a book.

All three are writing huge, beefy wonderful series. A difference I would note is that there was no extra stuff that served no purpose in either Erikson or Wurts. They both use everything, I mean EVERYTHING, that they put in their books further on down the story. Not so with Martin, which is my main complaint with him. AFFC contained a fair bit of story that appears to be going nowhere, and I have a horrible fear that A Song of Ice and Fire might be in the first stages of the disease that afflicted the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan: lack of an editor with the intestinal fortitude to tell the author to start chopping, and chopping deep. Books 7 through 9 of WoT were a total waste of paper, and the story was no further ahead at the end of them.

To see if you like Wurts, I suggest reading To Ride Hell's Chasm, which will give you a great sample of her style, though she is not able to hit her full stride compared to what you will see in The Wars of Light and Shadow. To see if you like Erikson, you need more patience. Gardens of the Moon is the first book of the Malazan series, and he really doesn't hit his stride until Dead House Gates. I am in Memories of Ice right now, and so far, it is far better than the first two books.

Wurts is my personal favourite, and I have bought Martin's books from the first days when A Game of Thrones was released. I have only recently got into Erikson, and he is growing on me, but right now he is a distant third to Wurts and Martin. Another writer who you might want to try is Guy Gavriel Kay and books like Tigana, A Song for Arbonne, The Lions of Al-Rassan, The Sarantine Mosaic, and Last Light of the Sun (avoid Ysabel, it is his lone disappointment, imo). You could also try Tad Williams, whose Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series apparently was a major influence on Martin's ASOIF. Others to look at would be Carol Berg (in my TBR pile), J.V. Jones and perhaps Robert Jordan, whose WoT series is important to the body of fantasy literature as a whole.

I strongly urge you to open your mind to new possibilities, because Mr. Martin is so bloody slow writing books (5 years and counting waiting fo ADWD), you will need other stuff to read or you will go bonkers. Wurts and Erikson should fit well on your shelf, as you are obviously looking for an intelligent read.

Last edited by Clansman; 15th January 2009 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 15th January 2009, 02:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

Ha ha ha. I'm not really a Goodkind fan, only read a bit of Wizard's First Rule and I think it's okay. But if I was, wouldn't that align me more with Barristan's Squire's taste, given that he has read all Goodkind's books?
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Old 15th January 2009, 02:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

HJ, I hit the wrong button, as I meant to go advanced and write a lot more. But your point is valid. Have you read any Wurts stuff? Most people who have read Feist have read the Empire series, which was a collaboration with Wurts. Most, I find, consider those the best of the Feist books.

Goodkind, I suppose, is fine to cut your teeth on, though I never recommend him (he pissed me off too much). I read far too many of his books, and have only myself to blame for not looking for better stuff. From Barristan's post, it is unlikely that he will go back to Goodkind. He should probably avoid Brooks, Eddings, and Weis and Hickman too, as he seems to be looking for really deep, beefy stuff.

Wurts and Erikson are about the best that I can think of. Otherwise, the poor boy will starve until Martin finishes ADWD in 2013.
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Old 15th January 2009, 02:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

Don't worry Clansman, I wasn't offended!

I have read Curse of the Mistwraith by Wurts, as well as Daughter of the Empire, and I didn't really enjoy either of them. But to each his/her own!
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Old 15th January 2009, 02:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

Barristan, I just checked your personal profile, and I note that you have read a lot of the stuff I warned you against (as being too late for you to read, having already gotten to Martin). Finish the WoT series, by all means.

As for getting Janny Wurts' books, as you are in South Carolina, until May you must go to the UK or second hand. The whole Wars of Light and Shadow series is being re-released in North America this summer, building up to the release of the next book at the beginning of 2010. But you can order the whole thing now from the UK, with free shipping, from something called the book depository or something like that. I saw it in another thread somewhere, and I forget where. Free shipping. Worldwide! If someone else remembers, please post.

Harper Collins London, who has had Wurts' UK rights since the series started, is re-releasing the series, and TRHC, in the US and Canada, through its affiliate Trafalgar Square, starting with Curse of the Mistwraith in May, 2009, and following with one book a month for the rest of the year. Personally, I'd buy the books from the UK now, especially if you can get free shipping. If you can't get free shipping, it might be a bit pricey. Also, the volumes that will be released next summer will be identical to the UK publication.
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Old 15th January 2009, 02:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilarious Joke View Post
Don't worry Clansman, I wasn't offended!

...But to each his/her own!
I agree wholeheartedly, my friend!
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Old 15th January 2009, 03:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

Well as someone who has basically read all of Martin's novels and parts of his excellent retrospective DreamSongs, Janny's body of work to date, Jordan's WOT & Conan stories and all of Steven Erikson's major writings in addition to Salvatore's Drizzt, Feist, Hobbs and Zelazny and dabbled in Goodkind but didn't much like, perhaps I can help?

Sounds like you are more into EPIC fantasy and I suspect Janny whilst an excellent prose stylist and having some wonderful characters, you are more likely to enjoy someone like Steven Erikson of those listed. Others that you're likely to enjoy include Greg Keye's Kingdom Of Thorn and Bone, possibly Paul Kearney's current Sea Beggars series, J.V. Jones current Sword Of Shadows, Glenn Cook's Black Company series and Kate Elliott's Crown Of Stars septet. There are more but that should provide you with some relief.

Cheers......
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Old 15th January 2009, 04:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

Squire, one name conspicuously absent on your "have-read" list, and not mentioned in any reply, is the man himself, J.R.R.Tolkien. Or have you read Lord of the Rings and consider that we'd take it for granted you had, anyway?

If not, can I urge you to do so, preferably as soon as possible...
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Old 15th January 2009, 04:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

I read all of Fiest's and Wurts' and unfortunately all of terry goodkind's..... I hated it past book three, but had to finish them, kept thinking they'd get better...luckily I borrowed them from the library, so Mr G didn't get money from me.. I have recently read Brent Weeks' Dark Angel Trilogy, and whilst I thought the end was a tad hurried I enjoyed it immensely. He and Patrick Rothfuss (The name of the Wind book 2 is out in April, I believe) are both American Authors, but got them easily in shops in the UK. Highly recommended.
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Old 15th January 2009, 08:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyan View Post
Squire, one name conspicuously absent on your "have-read" list, and not mentioned in any reply, is the man himself, J.R.R.Tolkien. Or have you read Lord of the Rings and consider that we'd take it for granted you had, anyway?

If not, can I urge you to do so, preferably as soon as possible...
Gods! The Hobbit and LOTR, as soon as possible! A must-read for any fan of fantasy. Should take about a week if you don't have kids. If you have kids, it'll take two months.

Then read To Ride Hell's Chasm. This is, after all, a Wurts forum, people!
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Old 16th January 2009, 12:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

Robert Erickson.. ha.. no.. I meant Steven.
I read about half of Eye of the world.
These are some the Fruits that taste bitter to me after martin.

Terry Brooks flopped for me after reading the first couple of books.

I think I could enjoy Tad Williams if it werent for just finishing a ICE AND FIRE reread.. i did make it through book 1 of memory sorrow and thorn.
(hesitant to start book two.. anyone who can confirm if it gets better?)

a note on Terry Goodkind.
I read these after I read Salvatore (my first fantasy series). I thought they were great.
Then I read Feist and thought it was even better.
Then Robin hobb.. etc.. etc..
like climbing a ladder almost with my progression.

LOTR. (and hobbit)
I read them. Well thats not completely true.
I read Fellowship and two towers.. I started Return
and said.."wow".. all that introductory material... geez.
but I eventually was given all of the books in mp3 form
from a pirate of a friend. who insisted that much that I finish them
I finished the series.
for the record. Though some think them laborious and boring
I thought of it much like looking at old architecture or old medical instruments.
"oh .. so this is how it started." my nerdiness smiled.
for some reason people hate frodo.. to that I say this ..
Hero.

Now back to Wurtz ..
Does her books pertain to sea travels much?
I forget where i got this impression but I think its the reason
I ordered a nice hard copy of "Gardens of the Moon"
but I think I may take Clansman's advice on
"
To Ride Hell's Chasm"

I have a need to finish things that I start (if I like them enough I should say.) this was the issue with terry goodkind. and like that series or not (TG) that show "based" on it is horrific. egh.
i tried to start "dragon Riders of pern" while reading TG
it failed. Had to finish one before the other.
Thank god I didnt dig Pern so much (harper trilogy was good though). what like 30 books. hahaha

So is there anything By Erickson that is self contained?
sample book.
or perhaps the books I already ordered "gardens of the moon"
is it perhaps a self contained story .. or will it leave me drooling for book 2?

Thanks by the way guys (and girls .. be there any)
I appreciate your thoughts and help on my dilemma.
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Old 16th January 2009, 02:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barristan's Squire View Post
I think I could enjoy Tad Williams if it werent for just finishing a ICE AND FIRE reread.. i did make it through book 1 of memory sorrow and thorn.
(hesitant to start book two.. anyone who can confirm if it gets better?)

Now back to Wurtz ..
Does her books pertain to sea travels much?
I forget where i got this impression but I think its the reason
I ordered a nice hard copy of "Gardens of the Moon"
but I think I may take Clansman's advice on
"
To Ride Hell's Chasm"

So is there anything By Erickson that is self contained?
sample book.
or perhaps the books I already ordered "gardens of the moon"
is it perhaps a self contained story .. or will it leave me drooling for book 2?
OK, one at time....

Yes Tad William's M, T & S definitely improves with books 2 and 3 and I think a worthwhile read for you.

Wurtz's books pertain to some level of sea travel in the longer and current Wars Of Light and Shadow. From memory reading her earlier works in Master of Whitestorm and Cycle Of Fire trilogy did have sea-faring in them BUT having said all of that they're not all-emcompasing sea stories.

For really good fantasy sea-faring stories you can try Paul Kearney's Monarchies of God quintet or his current Sea Beggars series.

Yes, To Ride Hell's Chasm is your best bet in getting an idea of how Janny writes.

As for Erikson he's probably my favourite EPIC fantasy author of all time and therefore I'll be a little biased but he is very good. The plot is complex and GOTM, is the weakest of the books and the longest to take to get into the action. By books 2 and 3 you'll have a much better idea of what is happening and the world building is second only to Tolkien from my experience. As I said Book 1 people have troubles getting through but persist and the rewards in the following books, where the quality shoots up exponentially, are worth the initial investment in time. The other good thing you'll like to hear is that YES each book is a self contained story but part of a larger story arc with the same or similar characters appearing in later books. Obviously some events in a particular book do relate to what happens in other books.

Erikson has written some novellas related to this world and other entirely different works but they're either quite expensive to purchase or not necessarily what you would be after. There are 10 books in the series and unlike Martin I'm happy to report Erikson has generally produced a doorstopper every year since 2000 in the Malazan series. Hence this year 2009 Book 9 is coming out, so he's basically on schedule to generate his 10 book sequence in 10 years (2010). Another reason I like the guy.

Over and out.
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Old 16th January 2009, 05:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Help me out here.

From the way Wars of Light and Shadow begins, Barr, you'd think you were going to be living in a sea story constantly. There are fair amounts of ships, ocean and the like scattered throughout the series, but not so much that they dominate the story.

If you've not read all of Zelazny's stuff, check out ckovacs' postings in the Zelazny sub-forum. I second Goll's take on books 2 and 3 of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, but hold off on Williams' Shadowmarch books until the final book, Shadowrise, is published (since you like to finish things!). And while most of Weis and Hickman's stuff doesn't approach the peerage we're discussing here, their Deathgate Cycle is a worthy attempt.
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