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Daughter of Light
http://shadowsofhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/daughteroflight/ ^

Posted on 12/03/2012 7:16:02 PM PST by truthfinder9

For years I had intended on reading the classic fantasies of J.R.R. Tolkien, but never did until a few months before the films were released. Then I was hooked. I had been a long-time sci-fi fan, but I still wondered how did I miss this genre? So I began seeking out more.

Of late, however, I have had a tougher time finding new fantasy authors that I enjoy. A couple of times I have, in the middle of a series, given up and moved on. These authors have created detailed worlds and epic adventures for sure. Yet they are afraid to let their stories breath. They don’t want to leave any details to the readers’ imagination. So instead of the story drawing you in and propelling you along, it can be like slogging through a swamp. Time is too valuable to spend on such books and there are many others needing reading. Maybe it is the conditioning of the instant-everything-society, but the plodding style of writing is a dying breed.

Still, I continue the quest for something new and engaging. That is just what I found in Daughter of Light, the debut novel of Morgan L. Busse.

(Excerpt) Read more at shadowsofhistory.wordpress.com ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature
KEYWORDS: fantasy; fiction; tryjesus; trythebible

1 posted on 12/03/2012 7:16:11 PM PST by truthfinder9
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To: truthfinder9

I wish the review was more detailed.


2 posted on 12/03/2012 7:33:06 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: truthfinder9

Read Zelazny and Eddings. Any. Avoid Donaldson unless you are looking for a dense and dark (but ultimately rewarding) slot.


3 posted on 12/03/2012 7:34:19 PM PST by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: piytar

Slog...


4 posted on 12/03/2012 7:35:07 PM PST by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: truthfinder9

Try Glen Cook’s Annals of the Black Company, one of the most excellent fantasy reads ever IMHO.


5 posted on 12/03/2012 8:07:46 PM PST by Hootowl
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To: truthfinder9

Check out “The Deed Of Paksenarrion” by Elizabeth Moon
and “Green Rider” by Kristen Britain
Both are the beginning of excelent fantasy series’s


6 posted on 12/03/2012 8:10:45 PM PST by RBK
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To: truthfinder9

Allso Terry Brooks “Shanara” series


7 posted on 12/03/2012 8:12:16 PM PST by RBK
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To: Hootowl

Excelent...I have all of them!
My library has over a thousand volumes of SF/Fantasy
Anne McCafferey’s Dragon Rider series and David Gemmell’s Rigante series, David weber...several series, all good.
Anything by Barbera Hambly.......


8 posted on 12/03/2012 8:22:27 PM PST by RBK
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To: piytar

Eddings could be my favorite author, Brooks a close second.


9 posted on 12/03/2012 8:22:34 PM PST by ConservativeChris (I feel like Marvin Boggs!)
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To: truthfinder9
Eddings is fun to read, but fluffy. The characters are memorable, but otherwise, there isn't much substance.

Goodkind is absurd. He's almost writing self-parody, taking himself Seriously, and insisting he isn't writing fantasy but a whole new genre. It's hard to believe he was ever published. What's bothering the chickens?

Jordan is just plain tiresome. ALL of his female characters are alike.

The Black Company novels are wonderful.

I've tried many times to read the Shannara novels, but I could never get more than 40 pages into the first one.

He never wrote a novel, but he was one of the best fantasy writers who ever lived--Clark Ashton Smith. He isn't always easy to find, but his stories are worth the search.

Paula Volsky wrote some good fantasy novels, including two I will never forget-Wolf of Winter and Illusion.
10 posted on 12/03/2012 10:43:28 PM PST by Nepeta
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To: truthfinder9

As for me I am a GREAT fan of Dennis McKiernan’ Mythgar series as well as his ‘Faery Series’ series.

Now many claim that his first book ‘The Iron Tower’is to ‘much’ like Tolkien’s work, but it must be understood that this book was actually his second book. McKeirnan had written a previous book, which he ended up titling ‘The Silver Call’ which was written as a sequel to ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Doubleday thought enough of ‘the Silver Call’ to peruse talk’s with Tolkien’s estate.

Failing in those negotiations Doubleday then went back to McKiernan and asked him to re-write ‘The Silver Call’ as well as a prequel making the series completely his own. I think that Doubleday’s interest to the work of a person who up to then had never written a published work and was not at that time even a professional writer, but a engineer speaks for itself.

Now many have see McKiernan’s ‘The Iron Tower’ as a ‘imitation’ of Tolkien’s work, but I myself found it to have more than enough differences to make it a good compelling tale own it’s own and it must be understood that McKiernan was in fact writing a ‘back Story’ for a book that was originally written as a sequel to ‘LOTR’ and so therefore some semblance was therefore unavoidable.

But isn’t most Fantasy more or less influenced on previous works, which which if you follow back far enough based on ancient myths and bards?

Once having established his world of Mythgar, McKiernan then continued to ‘flesh it out’ writing several very good books, which clearly stand on their own. Two of my favorites are ‘Eye of the Hunter’ and ‘Dragondoom’.

His ‘Faery Series’ is good reading as well and his retelling of familial childhood fairy tales make excellent reading.


11 posted on 12/04/2012 1:04:50 AM PST by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: truthfinder9
I might recommend Edmond Hamilton. Short stories. Early (1930's) Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

on Amazon here

12 posted on 12/04/2012 4:35:26 AM PST by eCSMaster (2012 elections: American Coup d'etat!)
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To: Kartographer
Now many have see McKiernan’s ‘The Iron Tower’ as a ‘imitation’ of Tolkien’s work, but I myself found it to have more than enough differences to make it a good compelling tale own it’s own and it must be understood that McKiernan was in fact writing a ‘back Story’ for a book that was originally written as a sequel to ‘LOTR’ and so therefore some semblance was therefore unavoidable.

But isn’t most Fantasy more or less influenced on previous works, which which if you follow back far enough based on ancient myths and bards?


Writing commercially using the universe someone else created without their blessing and cooperation is tacky. There is derivative, and then there is slavish imitation.

Most modern fantasy is rooted in northern European traditions. Tolkien used many elements from such sources, and never pretended otherwise. It is one thing to use bits and pieces from an existing body of lore, and quite another to mine the works of another writer.

There are other writers who wrote lavish fantasy works before Tolkien. E R Eddison is a difficult read, but he was clearly original.

Much modern fantasy falls apart because the characters do not ring true to their universe--they don't think like pre-industrial people, they think like middle class Americans. Even worse are the fantasies written to appeal to bratty middle class teens (Lackey).
13 posted on 12/04/2012 6:54:11 AM PST by Nepeta
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To: Nepeta
Much modern fantasy falls apart because the characters do not ring true to their universe--they don't think like pre-industrial people, they think like middle class Americans.

Worse than that, even.

They think like upper middle class college-ed liberal Americans.

Some particular pet peeves.

Few or no gender roles. Look folks, in a pre-modern economy there are inescapably logical reasons for men and women being treated differently. It isn't just that the men are being mean. And sexually liberated women in such a society get knocked up and punished with a child, which puts a real crimp in her non-traditional lifestyle.

An extreme variant of this is the female warrior/mercenary. An exceptionally capable woman warrior might go toe to toe with an average male warrior. She meets a better male warrior and she's toast. If you insist on the female warrior, at least bother to provide some backstory for why she is able to compete with men. Don't just ignore the physical differences between men and women.

All premodern societies we know of are deeply involved in religion and/or superstition. I realize modern readers are uncomfortable with this, but again bother to provide some sort of reason why your pre-modern society isn't religious.

One of Tolkien's major flaws, IMO. Not a trace of religion in hobbit society, and not much elsewhere. In LOTR, that is. More in Silmarillion.

14 posted on 12/04/2012 3:09:41 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

Lois McMaster Bujold’s Chalion series did a wonderful job dealing with religion in a pre-technological setting. I highly recommend them.


15 posted on 12/04/2012 3:20:14 PM PST by Eepsy
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To: Sherman Logan
I find much modern fantasy absurd--as you noted, ignoring gender roles is an obvious problem. Wishful thinking does not make things plausible.

Few women have the upper body strength of men. They just don't. Women frequently adore horses--I certainly do--but there have been few top class women jockeys. Julie Krone was very, very good, but she was a rarity because as good as so many women are working with horses, they generally lack the upper body strength to manage 1200 pounds of Thoroughbred running 35 mph.

Americans have the curious notion that class structures don't matter in such a society. This leads to absurdities such as The Peasant Boy two weeks removed from digging turnips being completely comfortable chatting with the ruling class.

Not only would this never happen--they would likely speak very different forms of the same language--but anyone at the bottom of the societal pyramid would have had the notion of his "place" imprinted so strongly that he would not freely speak to his "betters".

Tolkien's lack of religion is a striking omission. Perhaps he did this because of his own strong faith; depiction of any other kind of religion motivating his characters might have been awkward for him.

A few decades back, fantasy protagonists grew up or became stronger by winning through to a goal by way of hard work and determination. What I find appalling is the protagonist who achieves because he was born with a special gift or destiny that he did not earn. He's Just Wonderful, and all good things come his way without his breaking a sweat. This appeals to teens unprepared to work for anything, but it's a cheat. Mercedes Lackey built a career on such protagonists.
16 posted on 12/04/2012 5:31:57 PM PST by Nepeta
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To: Nepeta

A major problem for modern readers in the pseudo-medieval worlds in which most fantasy is set is the gender thing. In such a society, where most of the action will more or less by definition involve combat with edged weapons, women are again pretty much by definition relegated to a supporting role. Women who try to compete in this role die pretty quick.

I watched a supposedly semi-historical movie recently where the leading lady was the best archer around. I have no problems with women being skilled at archery, or fencing, or any other martial art. But a woman is probably doing pretty good if she can pull a bow half the weight of a top male archer, which means he can shoot her from far outside her range. They found some bowstaves from the old English longbow days and are still trying to figure out how they pulled them.

Robert Jordan found a way around the gender thing in his looonnnnggg series by making (some) women the sole practicioners of magic. So men have a monopoly on fighting and women on magic. A logical explanation for why women in this society are able to maintain a roughly equal status. Makes the story a lot more interesting, imo. Series has a LOT of other problems, though.

Your comments about the class structure are quite right. It’s built into LOTR, but I think it goes right over Americans’ heads. (To our credit.)

Pippin is the closest thing hobbitry has to the Prince of Wales, and Merry is the equivalent of say the heir to a dukedom. Frodo is a cousin and very wealthy, in the upper 1% probably of hobbit society.

Sam is Frodo’s gardener, and very much knows his place. But as the story goes on, Sam rises above his humble beginnings and by the end is fully accepted by the others as an equal. He has ennobled himself by his actions.

But the point is that you are quite correct. In societies of this type, gender and class roles are hard and fast, and generally taken for granted by all.

I don’t know why so many writers insist on having their main characters have the mental life of a 21st century American Harvard graduate. It’s much more interesting when a really good writer helps you penetrate the mind of someone who is reallly different, and understand why he thinks as he does.

James Clavell did this very well in Shogun. The English protagonist himself, while much closer to us, had a number of attitudes very different from ours due to the time difference. And the Japanese were just utterly alien, both to the Europeans of the time and to us. Yet he made us understand how and why they were as they were, and to see that their actions and attitudes made perfect sense from their POV.

To my mind, that’s what a good writer does. I wish more writers of fantasy attempted it.


17 posted on 12/04/2012 8:19:40 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
I don’t know why so many writers insist on having their main characters have the mental life of a 21st century American Harvard graduate. It’s much more interesting when a really good writer helps you penetrate the mind of someone who is reallly different, and understand why he thinks as he does.

Paula Volsky's Illusion dabbles with class differences. The book is flawed with a romance, but it has a lot of features not found in modern fantasy.

I think most writers do not bother trying to write characters who are very different because their audience is marginally literate and readily accepts characters who are very much like themselves. They lap up the (tame and predictable) adventures of characters they would like to be--hence Lackey's heroes who are "chosen" by telepathic white horsies, who attend folk singing and drug taking sessions with the queen, or who indulge in face painting. There is a market for that stuff.
18 posted on 12/05/2012 8:24:28 PM PST by Nepeta
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