Guest book
Welcome to the old guest book of Fantasy Finder
If you want newer opinions, please visit the new guest book.


960510
Subject: Where's Katherine Kurtz
Katherine Kurtz's "Deryni" series, is probably one of the most enthralling series I have had the pleasure to read. Please, give her some space on your page.:) Later, Gradylove@aol.com

I would happily give her some space if I had read any of her books, but unfortunately I haven't yet. As soon as I have, I will of course write a review. :-) I was actually looking for her new anthology of fantasy stories about religion when I visited the local fantasy book store yesterday, but I didn't find it. When I start reading the Deryni series, where should I start? What books are the best? /karl henriksson
960523
Subject: -
I would like to recommend "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" by Tad Williams. The series goes (1) "The Dragonbone Chair" (2) "The Stone of Farewell" and (3) "To Green Angel Tower". It has some slight problems with cultural realism, but the plot more than makes up for this.

I would also like to comment on why we Robert Jordan fans think the series is so great. I know, and probably most other fans know, that his world is not completely believeable. However, he taps into just about every mythology in world history, from Greek to Norse to Arthurian legends. His main character is an obvious Christ figure (he's going to die to save the world? Hmmm...). I think Mr. Jordan is just tapping into the subconcious forces which drive human mythology, and everybody who reads them, consciously or not is affected by this. I personally think "The Wheel of Time" is the greatest fantasy series ever written, if you couldn't tell from the above.
Sincerely,
David L. Watkins


I, too, loved "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn". In my opinion, it is one of the greatest fantasy series ever written. Unfortunately, my review of it is still unfinished. Problems with cultural realism? I think much of it is extremely realistic, maybe because it is quite inspired of 10th Century Britain, plus a Greek-Roman ex-empire, huns, and a couple of non-human races.

True, Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time"-world is uncommonly eclectic. There are obviously traces of king Arthur, and Rand has got some an interesting Messianic role to play. I've heard Mr Jordan himself talking about searching for "the mother of all stories" or something like that. And the story he creates is great (although maybe a little slowly told), and there are also a lot of fascinating places to visit and interesting people to get to know. But I still think it would be better if he also had created a believable history and at least some linguistic outlines for the world. But that is of course only my opinion. /karl henriksson


960530
Subject: patricia c. wrede the raven ring
I think that you're review for this book is extemely unfair. I enjoy Patricia C. Wrede's writing because of the information (on the story level) that it includes, and the structure in which the information is formed. I feel that all of her books are very well written, and, in the sense masterpieces.
Sincerely yours,
Katie Kaylor

Oops, was it that bad? It wasn't my intention to be negative about that book, as I actually liked it. Reading my review, I find that it sounds quite negative, so maybe I'll rewrite it somewhat later on. Still, in my opinion it is not a masterpiece, just a good fantasy novel. /karl henriksson
960607
Subject: David Gemmell
WHAT ABOUT BOOKS BY DAVID GEMMELL!!!!
I recently discovered the writings of Mr. Gemmell and have to say that if what you want is just a good old fashioned bit of heroic fantasy David Gemmell can't be beat. If you Have read some of his work put it on your list. If you havn't you should.
TIBALD

I've understood David Gemmell is one of Britain's most popular fantasy writers, so a couple of weeks ago I tried to read "Legend", the first book in the Drenai Saga. The story would maybe very well have become interesting and the world was quite alright, but unfortunately I found his literary style almost unreadable so I dropped the book after fifty pages. /karl henriksson
960701
Subject: Books
As an employee in a big chain of bookstores, I have access to many of the good titles you have reviewed here, I am looking for something new though, primarily authors who are not English or North American, although I alas would need there book translated (if not in English) I would appreciate any suggestions, I have read almost everything on this list, and then some so I am really looking...
Thanks
Sidhain
(Tim Kirk)

I think there are two problems when trying to find non-Anglo-Saxon fantasy published in English:

1. Fantasy literature is an Anglo-Saxon genre. What we usually think of as fantasy literature is in one way or another inspirated by J.R.R. Tolkien and/or Robert E. Howard's Conan-stories. Non-Anglo-Saxon fantasy are usually either juvenile or children's books (like Astrid Lindgren, Tove Jansson and Michael Ende) or labelled as magical realism (like Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Salman Rushdie or the later books by Sam J. Lundwall). And when non-Anglo-Saxon - at least Scandinavian - fantasy books are neither, they are often quite unoriginal. But Eric Leijonhufvud is not much worse than Terry Brooks, of course....

2. British and American publishers aren't interested in translations. To become published by an American publisher, writing in another language, you have to be writing something quite unique, like Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" (not really fantasy, but a great book - and I think most fantasy readers would agree). To be Scandinavia's most read writer is certainly not enough - Margit Sandemo, whose "Sagan om Isfolket" ("The Icefolk Saga") has sold millions of copies in Scandinavia and Poland, is as far as I know yet to be published in English. With her occult fantasy set in a valley in Norway, she has a strong hold on her readers, many of whom have read the at least 50 books of the series. I haven't read anything she has written myself, and I would probably not find the books worth reading, but it is still quite symptomatic for the english-speaking publishers' ignorance of - or lack of interest in - what's going on in the rest of the world. And because of that, the rest of us are about as ignorant. I checked my bookcases and didn't find any non-Anglo-Saxon fantasy books, if I didn't count Isaac Bashevis Singer and Salman Rushdie. /karl henriksson


960721
Subject: terry goodkind- stone of tears
Obviously whoever reviewed this book has no taste what-so-ever, and in my opinion he or she should get a different job because they are unsuited to review books that they don't understand. People read these books because they are a way to escape reality, so fantasy books are not suppose to be real. What do you do for entertainment?

What I do for entertainment? I read fantasy books, of course. That's why I get a little nasty when reviewing a book I didn't find entertaining at all. Of course you are right when pointing at fantasy novels as a mean of escaping reality. They are, but to be able to do that, the reader must get involved - and normal people need some internal logic in the story and the world for them to be able to suspend their disbelief. If I thought fantasy books should be like our world, I would almost always be disappointed. Fortunately, there are loads of fantasy novels being published where unique and interesting worlds are created with an internal logic. Unfortunately, Terry Goodkind's "Stone of Tears" is not one of them. I might be able to oversee that if the author instead had created a work of amazing beauty and poetry, but "Stone of Tears" is also quite badly written. The book is just plain boring. /karl henriksson
960726
Subject: -
O.K. Karl. You say: "I really can't understand the fanatism many Wheel of Time-fans have developed. The books are good, but not that good. They aren't even the best."

Well, since I thought the books were generally pretty great, I'm dying to know what authors and books in the Fantasy genre you think *are* best!

Your reactions to both the Jordan and Eddings books are so close to my own, that I just have to know what you liked best. How about a top ten list? Or even a top one? Quick, save me--before I go out and buy one by Terry Goodkind!
Don


A top list? Thanks, that's a great idea! It isn't easy to make one, really, even if it only marks my personal opinion, because there are so many great fantasy novels out there, but I'll give it a try. When this link works properly, you'll find a Fantasy Finder's Top 5 list in the other end. /karl henriksson
960812
Subject: Robin Hobb
Please be aware that Robin Hobb is a pseudonym for Megan Lindholm - definitely _not_ a newcomer in the fantasy scene!
Stephannie Tallent

Well, as a matter of fact I am aware of this, but I wasn't when writing the reviews. Since I found out, I've been trying to get my hands on her books published under the name of Megan Lindholm (which, or so I've heard, is just another pseudonym), but unfortunately they are all out of print. /karl henriksson
960824
Subject: _Magician's Ward_ by Patricia Wrede
I really liked _Mairelon the Magician_ by Wrede & I found out about the sequel, _Magician's Ward_, but I'm not sure when it's coming out. Is it possible to keep an eye on it?
-Yodah

It seems like this book is out of print, like most of her books are just a few years after the first publication. Some publishers seem to have a policy of making things hard for us book lovers... /karl henriksson
960824
Subject: -
If ya don't like the books don't write about'em. I enjoyed the books very much and I beleve that other people should get a chance to enjoy them too.

I don't know exactly what books you're referring to, but in my opinion a reviewer has to tell about good and (in his opinion) bad books. That's what friends are for, you know, helping you choose the best books on the market and avoid the bad ones. To find out if your opinion about a book is likely to equal mine, check out a couple of reviews of books you've already read. You may find that I didn't like Sargent/Gascoigne's "Black Madonna" and just loved Sean Stewart's "Nobody's Son". If you didn't like "Nobody's Son" and thought "Black Madonna" a very good book, you shouldn't listen to any of my advice on literature. It's as easy as that. /karl henriksson
960826
Subject: Wizard's First Rule
Mr. Henriksson,
I'm new to the fantasy book scene, but I thought Goodkind's "Wizard's First Rule" (WFR) was almost on a par with Tolkien for a couple of reasons: There are at least three good endings to all of Tolkien's books, and Tolkien's propensity for verbose discussions of inconsequential detail which, IMHO, make his books plod like Mitchner's epic novels ("Space", et al). WFR, while definitely appealing to the teens, is more a comentary on what happens if we allow ourselves to stop searching for the truth. I agree Goodkind gets preachy in places, but I've seen much worse.

In Goodkind's defense, something also tells me that he did not have the assistance of a C.S. Lewis as Tolkien did. Too bad - one can only think about how much better Wizard's First Rule could have been. I'm getting ready to read "Stone of Sorrow",but after reading your review, I can only speculate that Goodkind is still struggling to find himself. Has he published anything before WFR (short stories, essays)?
Mike Huber

P.S. I appreciate your website. I'm going to check on a couple of other books on your top ten list. Thanks...:-) MH


Being an Inkling was of course an advantage when writing "The Lord of the Rings", but those who haven't got someone like C.S. Lewis as a close friend could at least hope for a hard-working editor at the publisher. Tor has worked pretty hard marketing Mr Goodkind as the new Robert Jordan. If they had worked as hard making him a new Jordan, I would have been quite happy. Sometimes he shows that he has got a talent, but too often the books are in desperate need of editing. IMO.

I haven't heard of anything else he has written (and he doesn't exactly strike me as a writer of short stories), but if he has published anything shorter than novels, I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't hear about it. /karl henriksson


960831
Subject: David Gemmell
I think you may be wise to give David Gemmell another chance. The first time I tried to read Asimov's 'Foundation' series, I gave up after about 50 pages. I'm of course happy that I was persuaded to try again. I've only recently discovered Gemmell (I've read 6 or 7 of his books), but I find him refreshingly different from many of the run of the mill fantasy writers who create a hero or gather together a merry group of people with different skills to save the Kingdom/world. In Gemmell, the heroes don't simply show a good side throughout the story and don't always survive until the end. This lack of predictability is another point in his favour. If the Axe-wielding Druss the Legend isn't to your liking, I'd recommend the Dark Prince (concerning Alexander the Great) or any one of the Jon Shannow stories. Ciao, Steve Moran, Paris

Well, yes, creating new and unpredictable variants in a genre full of stereotypes, that is really refreshing. Maybe I'll give Gemmell another try. /karl henriksson
961004
Subject: Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind
Please tell me that someone else has seen the incredible similarities between The Wheel of Time series, and The Sword of Truth series. Sisters of the LIght-Children of the Light-Seanchan-Collars-The Void, and many many others.
Michael Binns

Yes, you're perfectly right, they are quite obvious, aren't they? If someone told me that Mr Goodkind haven't read the Wheel of Time-series, I wouldn't believe him. But the Sisters of the Light are of course also influenced by Jordan's Aes Sedai. Personally, I think the original is a lot better, but there have recently been several votes to the Fantasy Finder's Democratic Top List who have rated Sword of Truth higher than Wheel of Time. /karl henriksson
961018
Subject: R A Salvatore
I picked up my first book of his in Germany when I was over there with my first husband in the military. I could only get certain books. When I got back to the states I got to read the rest..I don't have all of the books that he has written but I am trying..I am reading "THE WHEEL OF TIME" now and I am in "THE SHADOW RISING" now..I even got my husband into them.
Katie@shipcom.com

Let me see if I got that right - "The Wheel of Time" you're speaking of is the original one, by Robert Jordan, and not some marketing tool for a Forgotten Realms sourcebook? :-) /karl henriksson
961025
Subject: Terry Goodkind
Terry Goodkind is Fantasy's newest, hottest writer. His books are filled with creativity, and inspiration. Not only were they a good read, but his characters can be related to every day life. Not in a magical sense, but in the way that they dealt with the problems in their lives.

He had an excellent plot in the first two books, and he has a technique that keeps the reading interesting. Granted he is not a perfect writer, but I would like to see Karl Henriksson do better.
Paul E. Sullivan


I would like to see that, too, I must say. At least something we're agreeing about... ;-)/karl henriksson
961028
Subject: Terry Goodkind
I found that Goodkind was quite enthralling in his portrayal of the pain and suffering of the protagonist. Given, it lags in certain places and the ending was a bit of a cop-out, but nevertheless, I enjoyed it
Annie Fong

Well, I enjoyed some parts of "Wizard's First Rule" enough to begin reading the second one. Especially the parts where Richard is tortured (which must mean those parts were well-written; I usually don't like that kind of scenes). /karl henriksson
961030
Subject: David Gemmell - definitely worth another look.
In one of your posts a contributor suggests reading Gemmell's "The Dark Prince." Let me suggest you start with the "Lion of Macedon," the first in that two-part story. It recounts the life and times of one of Alexander the Great's chief generals, Parmenion. These two books are terrific.

As regards Gemmell's other 15 books, I have read them all. Most recently I met him in London and received an autographed copy of his new book, "Dark Moon," which is the first in a new series. And do return to "Legend." I rank it as one of my favourite books.
Nigel Kersh
Ra'anana
Israel


Try "Legend" one more time? Well, I don't think so, but thanks anyway. /karl henriksson
961108
Subject: R.A. Salvatore
I applogize for any confusion from my earlier letter. Yes the WHEEL OF TIME by Robert Jordan. I met to say that Mr Salvatore was the one to get interseted in the fantasy adventure books...sorry :)

No need to be sorry if you got your friends interested in fantasy books! /karl henriksson
961113
Subject: Hacky Goodkind
I agree with your reviews of Goodkind's _Sword of Truth_ series. The first 70 pages of _Wizard's First Rule_ were interesting, but after that the story completly degenerated into fantasy cliches. I paid $25 for the thing in hardcover, and I think his books should come with a "Satisfaction Guaranteed" policy... and I'd certainly return it. If you thought _Stone of Tears_ was pathetic, just read his latest, _Blood of the Fold_. I borrowed it from the library this time...I read him just to see how fantasy _shouldn't_ be written. It just goes to show you that a good publisher can sell crap when he doles out the hype.
J Scott Burke

Well, I guess I won't even borrow "Blood of the Fold" from a library. Unless all publishers stop publishing any quality fantasy whatsoever, and I don't think that is very likely, because right now there are quite a lot of fantasy books out there just waiting for me to get my hand on them... /karl henriksson
961116
Subject: authors
I think u guys might have it wrong. First I'm not impressed by the review of Terry Goodkind's Epic's thats what they are there not novels there Epics. Thats what die hard fans want and he provides. Yes ther was a grain of truth in what he said but he obviously didn't read the hard cover editions.

R. A. Salvator should have a higher listing in your top listings Why? BECAUSE he is the man who made DRITTZ ask any role player of Drittz and you know they know the baddest scmitar man there ever was ever will be. As well he has done other works as well. But unlike Mr. Goodkind this is a novel artist. Both deserve better than you are rating them.
Tim S

Ps. I did enjoy your reviews on David Eddings though another keyboard artist.


Yes, quite obviously Terry Goodkind is providing something that his fans want. What I really haven't been able to figure out is why they want it, when there are so many really great epics just waiting for them on the book shelves. But you're wrong, we did actually read the hard cover edition of "Stone of Tears", which costed about USD 40 in a Swedish bookstore.
961118
Subject: fantasy books
I would like to recommend the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. As far as I am concerned he is one of the best fantasy writers out there. His books have a really exciting plot and his characters are sharply defined and well done. They could use a bit more action in the journey segments but the descriptions of the great wars and battles are the best I've ever read. He really gives his world a sharp, clear, well-described picture. And last, but not least, are his themes - his books are at one moment dangerous and andventurous, then the next thing they are romantic and almost humorous, then suspenseful and mysterious, and at times they are even quite scary. You can look at the critics' reviews in the first few pages of The Sword of Shannara, Brooks' first novel, they are readily deserved. Talk to you later, Jarrett. csi@sk.sympatico.ca

Never read any Brooks novels myself, but I've heard they're getting better after a while. In fact, Brooks' Swedish publisher started the Shannara series with book four, because they weren't too impressed by the first trilogy. But it's not uncommon crediting him for his descriptions of battles and wars, even readers who are by no means hardcore fans of his do that. /karl henriksson
961124
Subject: Wizard of Fourth Street novels
The Wizard of Fourth Street series is by Simon Hawke. Its set about 200 years in the future where mankind has gone back to the ways of magic. To see how and why this happened you should read, The Wizard of Camelot first which describes in great detail what happened. In the Wizard of Fourth Street you meet Whydrune a bumbling warlock who was kicked out of school because he did something terribly wrong; Kira a young, female, street tuff who bumps into Whydrune, and can't leave him; Merlin, the one who brought magic to the world and saved the humanrace from themselves; and Mordred, now a hitman who was hired to kill Kira and Whydrune. This book at some very funny moments and some not so happy moments. Whydrune's familair is a laugh. Picture a live broom from Fantasia and having it talk like a Yenta. The only problem is Whydrune can't remember how to change back to a regular broom. Then in the next book, The Wizard of Sunset Strip, you meet Billy Slade, a young boy who has a very unusual problem on his hands; Makepeace, a 6'0 man who belives himself to be a fairy; and Jacquline, a French witch who loves to smoke French cigerettes.

All the books are really well written and are hilarious. If has read these books and have seen pictures on the web from the covers of these books, can you e-mail me at data@gte.net ? I would really appriciate it!!!!
Jade


961128
Subject: Attempting some graduate-level work on....
Ursula K. Le Guin, C.S. Lewis (and The Inklings) and J.R.R. Tolkien. I'm looking for a helping hand -- if you can recommend any particularly insightful critical works or bibliographies (esp. on Le Guin) please please please help me advance the cause of SF & F as valid literary studies! Or any really really really good (I mean it's gotta be great) modern Arthurian novels -- I'm always interested in those. An advance thank you for any help I can get! e-mail me (Georgina) g0k0633@acs.tamu.edu Share and Enjoy!

Oh, there are so many critical works on mentioned authors. And so few really really really good modern Arthurian novels. At least for those of us who doesn't count "Mists of Avalon" among them... /karl henriksson
961222
Subject: Katherine Kurtz
I must agree with Gradylove that you need K. Kurtz' books listed. The first novel she wrote was *Deryni Rising*, and the following books in that first trilogy were *Deryni Checkmate* and *High Deryni*. Then was her Camber of Culdi series and then two more trilogies. She bops around across 200 years of the "alternate Earth" history she works with--the Camber books and their sequels take place in 920ish, and the Kelson books (first trilogy and third trilogy) take place in the 1100s. She interweaves subplots that hint to ties between the books.

I'm enjoying your site--unfortunately, I only get to browse the web from a friend's place (I refuse to get an on-line service, because I need to sleep sometime! But I'm weakening . . .)
--Elizabeth Glover
Queens, New York City


Of course I'm interested in having the Deryni books reviewed, too. I actually bought *Deryni Rising* the other day, but I haven't got time to read it yet. But sooner or later she'll get her chance. /karl henriksson
961226
Subject: Michael Moorcock
Surely you have read some of the Eternal Champion tales. If not I truely feel sorry for you. I am only 14 years old, and I have only been reading fantasy fiction for about three years, and I have only read one Moorcock book, and I must say it is second only the Wheel of Time series.
Sharon Suske

Well, I have great respect for Mr. Moorcock's talent, even though I'm not too interested in his books, at least not the sword & sorcery stuff. I'm not really into that subgenre, even though I enjoyed some of Fritz Leiber's stories about Fafhrd and Graymouser and Robert Jordan's Conan-books. /karl henriksson
961230
Subject: Reasons why you don't care for Jordan and Goodkind -vs- other authors
I've read a decent portion of the novels you have reviewed on your web page, and solidly agreed with you on many your appraisals. But I'm detecting a trend in your favoritism. You seem to prefer shorter series or authors who simply "get to the point" quickly. In turn, you shun (as do many readers), the more "epic" series (such as Wheel of Time, and Sword of Truth) as being "drawn out".

So everyone please be conscious that there are obviously those who prefer "soap opera" tactics of an epic 8 book series, and those who prefer more action-oriented books - (like an R.A. Salvatore work.)

Otherwise, everyone should stop bickering over whether they are "pro" or "con" for the Jordan/Goodkind style of writing. It is clear that there isn't going to be a book that will be everyone's #1 pick. But some will just be on MORE people's list! :)
Yours respectfully, Daniel Dean


Yes, I think you're getting quite close to the truth, at least if the question is why I'm not all praise about the Wheel of Time-series. I would definitely have been more positive to it if it had "only" been a five-book-series. And maybe a little less "soap opera" tactics, too. But I do like epics. Lord of the Rings, of course, but also Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. And nobody - except maybe extreme Wheel of Time fanatics - could call that one a short series. There are other things that qualitatively distinguish it from, say, Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth-series.

Even though I like epics, I think stand alone novels like, for instance, Sean Stewart's "Nobody's Son", Martha Wells' "City of Bones" and Caroline Stevermer's "A College of Magics" have received to little attention. If you want to become a fantasy literature superstar, it's better to write crappy epics than brilliant stand alone novels. That's sad, in my opinion. /karl henriksson


961230
Subject: Goodkind rules
What is wrong with you Karl. Stone of Tears was great Wizard's First Rule was even better. If you going to say Goodkind can't write read the third one and attack him because of that one because it is his worst and shortest book. But it is good still.

Thank you for your opinion. I'm not quite sure you've persuaded me into reading "Blood of the Fold". After all, I usually read books to enjoy them, not to attack them... /karl henriksson
970116
Subject: Donaldson and Wolfe
I've enjoyed your site, but I also missed two of the - as I see it - more influential authors of the genre: Stephen R. Donaldson and Gene Wolfe. Both of them are authors that have given strong reactions among fantasy readers.
- Larsan

Two great authors, absolutely. But is Gene Wolfe's "Books of the New Sun" really fantasy? Maybe I would call them "Science Fantasy" or something like that, like C.J. Cherryh's Merovingen-series or Mary Gentle's "Golden Witchbreed" or Jack Vance's Dying Earth books. Maybe I'm wrong, but I haven't reviewed any of those books because I don't consider them fantasy. As for Stephen Donaldson, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever most certainly is fantasy, and classics of the genre at that. The reason why I haven't reviewed them is that it has been more than ten years since I read them. But "Mordant's Need" is on my desk right now, so sooner or later reviews of those books will arrive. Later, unfortunately, because of my current work situation. /karl henriksson
970127
Subject: Swordspoint
You might like _Swordspoint_, by Ellen Kushner. It's about a mercenary swordsman who fights duels for the wealthy, and his scholarly but suicidal lover. It struck me as different, somehow, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

I like your site. As someone interested in writing fantasy, it's nice to see opinions about things. -Sherab


I'll check it out. /karl henriksson
970202
Subject: Blah Blah Blah
It seems like some people believe that the defining characteristic of an epic fantasy is it's length. I think that depth is the deciding factor in a great read. (which usually leads to great length) In my opinion Goodkind's work has the depth of a Xanth novel, though Xanth has a more solid history than even Goodkind's world. His world has too little information about culture and the characters surroundings, which usually gives a fantasy world substance and draws the reader into the story more readily. In reading Wizard's First Rule, I also never developed empathy for the protagonists who seemed two dimensional rather than human.

I agree with Mr. Henriksson on his appraisal of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, which is my favorite work of fiction. Tad Williams created a true escapist wonderland.

I do think that Jordan's work is great, though the last three novels in The Wheel of Time seem to be more Soap Opera-esque than the first four.


Yes, it would be great if Jordan tried to finish the story within two or three books from now instead of just letting it move on in its own slow pace, wouldn't it? After all, we don't have to know everybody in that (oops, I almost used a swearword, that wouldn't be nice, would it?) world. /karl henriksson
970205
Subject: No one mentioned Terry Brooks
Why has no one talked of Terry Brooks, The Shannara series writer? I think he is brilliant. It is pure fantasy: magic and sorcery, demons and druids, elves and gnomes. He is by far my favorite author. Thank you. Carrie Gascoigne : clgscgn@mailserv.mta.ca

Didn't somebody mention Terry Brooks before? Yes, now I've found it. Click here! /karl henriksson
970206
Subject: Terry Goodkind
I would just like to say that I love everything that is Goodkind related. I loved WFR, SOT, and BOTF. Even though I don't agree with you about Goodkind's works I do hold others opinions with great respect. I wouldn't want others to attack me for my opinion so I won't attack you for yours. I've read all of the other opinions of the other readers and I don't agree with all but that life. Well just thought I would leave my opinion Josh...

Yes, that's life I guess. It's hard to agree with everybody when they have such different opinions... /karl henriksson
970217
Subject: The Goodkind Debate
Well, at least people feel very strongly about Goodkind, so he must be doing something right. Personally, I quite liked 'Wizards first rule'. Then I read the second one and I hated it. Richard Cypher as Superman. What is exciting about a story in which the hero can do it all and does it all, without blinking an eye? I haven't read the last one yet, but the only way he can develop further would be to become a God, I think. Does he?

On to Robert Jordans Wheel of Time. Great story, good characters (of which Rand is not the most interesting by far), but too many pages. Especially book 6 was a ripoff. Half the pages would have been sufficient. Take Lan, he leaves at the end of book 5, but he doesn't actually arrive anywhere until the end of book 6! Book 7 was better, but I do hope he won't go beyond book 10 (I can't see him finishing before then).

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is equally great, but has less of a problem with the page-overdose (and is therefore better). Only part that could have been condensed was 'To Green Angel Tower part 1' (or ' Twiddling Our Thumbs on the Stone of Farewell'). This series has the most memorable hero-starting-humbly of all. And his companion Binabik is a treasure.

If I may recommend some things I haven't encountered in your list: Simon Green - Blue Moon Rising. Neat little story (one book!) that is quite original and funny. The main characters are sympathetic: Prince Rupert the grumbling second son who gets sent out to kill a dragon (i.e. get himself killed so he's no longer a threat to his elder brother), princess Julia, who is just a bit more violent than your average spunky princess (and who has the bad taste to fall for Ruperts brother in his absence), and a delightful whining coward of a unicorn. It's the best book Simon Green has written, better than his Deathstalker Space-opera. Bridget Wood has written some interesting dark Ireland things (Wolf Prince etc.), but these may not appeal to you since you have a distaste for torture scenes (so do I most of the times, I tend to skip those bits).

I'll save some more for later and get working on my top-5 now.

Thanks for providing an intersting web-page.
Marleen


Since we seem to agree on most things, I have now put Simon Green and Bridget Wood on my - already far too long - authors-worth-checking-out list.
970220
Subject: books
Nice to see some other people from the northern lands. I have read fantasy for two years, in english that is. I belive books is going to be read in the language it was written. I have read THE WHEEL OF TIME series and enjoyed it so far. I hope you will do some rewiev of these authors: Stephen Donaldson, C.S. Lewis and Peter Morwood which i belive are veary good. Especially C.S. Lewis books. You are welcome to visit my homepage: http://hem1.passagen.se/creator

I've been thinking about reviewing some of the books written by Stephen Donaldson and Peter Morwood. I have no plans whatsoever on reviewing C.S. Lewis' Narnia books. Not that I don't like them, it's just that to me they are part of the fantasy canon which should be read by everyone who is at least slightly interested in fantasy literature regardless of their own qualities. /karl henriksson
970305
Subject: Terry Goodkind etc
Well, I'm another one who disagree's with your opinion of Stone of Tears etc. - I enjoyed all of them - although I do find them remarkably similar to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time ( example: a lead character guarded by a number of sarcastic good-looking amazon characters etc. ). Those who enjoyed Tad Williams Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series may enjoy his Otherland series - although its strictly a sci-fi novel because of its virtual reality setting - its very much like a "standard" fantasy novel, even to the point of when all the good characters meet up in the first novel, one of them mentions that its just like Elronds meeting ! Anyway, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to further installments ( hey, at least Tad Williams finished his series off ... ) Simon Nicholson.

Like a "standard" fantasy novel, that sounds reassuring. Still waiting for the paperback edition, though. /karl henriksson
970309
Subject: Raymond E. Feist
Hello Karl!
Going through your reviews I'm suprised to see that you have not reviewed Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar-series which in my opinion is very good fantasy nor have you reviewed the "Empire"-series that was co-written by him and Janny Wurst which is some of the best fantasy I have ever read. Your taste in fantasy seems to match my own so well (I also loved T. Williams "Memory..." and feel the same way as you about R. Jordan, love Kerr's "Deverry" etc.) that I imagine that you would like Feist just as much as I do.

Furthermore I would like to mention Barbara Hambly as one of my favourite writers. She always keeps the focus on the people she writes about, never losing herself to much in the story.
Magnus Löö
magloof@algonet.se
Ps. Several of the books you recommend is now on my "Books-I'm-going-to-read-as-soon-as-time-allows"-list. Ds.


You've pointed out an obvious lack in my fantasy literature education: I've actually never read Raymond E. Feist! The background is that a close friend of mine, whose opinion on fantasy literature often are similar to mine, tried "Magician" many years ago. He didn't like it at all, and that's why I haven't even started reading any of his books. But because of the massive support he receives from people who seem to like the same books as I do, I'm thinking about giving him a fair chance when my schedule so allows. /karl henriksson
970312
Subject: Epics or not to be
I have often found it hard to understand why many of us seems to have the need to place critical acclaim onto others. Perhaps fandom is a universal concept and none of us could escape it. I found the debate on some of the authors and their epic story over so many book interesting but I can't seem to generate the energy to comment on them (hmm)

For myself, I tend to go for the song not the singer, the story not the writer hence I have lost out, I'm sure( or someone will point it out to me).

The books that I have enjoyed so far are: The Belgariad but not the Mallorean. Eddings really made a meal out of a good thing.
David Gemmell's Legend, Waylander1 & 2, Morningstar and the King beyond the gate.
F.Paul Wilson's Healer.
Feist's Riftwar and now the Serpent War.
I gave up reading Jordan's Wheel of time as I couldn't remember what the plots were or who the people was?
I also gave up reading Tad williams's books after I read the Green Tower Part 1.
I highly recommend Lawrence Watt-Evans's Misenchanted sword and With a Single Spell.
Another book I enjoyed is A Name to Conjure With by a Donald Aamodt.
John Johnson.


This letter can be used to show how completely different opinions can be. Gave up reading "Wheel of Time" and "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn" while enjoying David Gemmell's "Legend"! Like I said, opinions are different. /karl henriksson
970313
Subject: Fantasy In General
It seems to me that most of the people out there seem to like the Jordan series, but think that it drags on. I do not agree. I like the extended length, as it gives more time for us to spend with our favorite characters. Too often, in fantasy, the story ends, and so does our (the readers) empathy with the characters. You just don't care about them anymore. That is one of the main reasons (among many others) that Tolkien rises above the rest. I haven't read the Tolkien books in years, but I still can remember characters, places, everything. On the other hand, I read the Brooks Shannara books 5 months ago, and remember very little. Tolkien created a world that existed seperately from ours, and I think that Mr. Jordan is doing the same. Too many others create a world that exists more in the authors mind than in the rest of ours.
Andy Huang

I completely agree in what you say about Tolkien. It's really quite amazing how all those details have engraved themselves on my memory, compared to all those modern fantasy novels starting to slip away as soon as I put the book away. As for your opinions on the "Wheel of Time"-series: I've heard them before. I actually have friends who - at least a few years ago - were quite unhappy with the very thought of once losing their relationship with Rand al'Thor and his friends... Personally, I think Mr Jordan spends far too much time with people who aren't my favourite characters - is it really necessary to learn what's going on inside everybody in that **** world? (The question is pointed towards Robert Jordan, not Andy Huang) /karl henriksson
970315
Subject: caroline stevemer/p.c.hodgell
Hi,
Just wanted to say that I enjoyed many of the reviews on this page, but especially the one on Stevermer's A College of Magics. Some of the comments were precisely what I thought about the book. (Well, maybe better put and more well thought out than most of my own reactions to the books... :) )

I also wanted to mention an author who is somewhat "obscure" but who wrote absolutely one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read: P. C. Hodgell and God Stalk. I like to mention her on whatever fantasy pages I come across mainly because she's still published only by a relatively small press due to her lack of popularity, and I live in constant fear that the publisher will stop publishing the Kencyrath series, of which God Stalk is the first book, without her acquiring a more broad-based readership. Anyway, if anyone is interested in reading a well-written, original series, do check this one out... Or if anyone's read it and has any comments, I would love to read them. (There was an interesting thread about the series on rec.arts.sf.written a while ago if anyone wants to know more about the series and is not afraid of spoilers.)
Sorry for the wordiness of the message,
Tawen


The risk that a publisher won't finish publishing a fantasy series is indeed frustrating. Let's hope this one will take its responsibilities seriously. /karl henriksson
970315
Subject: Sword of Truth
I borrowed a copy of Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind from the library recently. But I was terribly disappointed. He has gotten a lot of hype from readers and media alike, but I ended up dropping the book after reading 100 pages, though I might finish it later. One of the reasons I stopped reading is because of the Sword of Truth and the question of its originality. If you have read the Sword of Shannara you would know what I mean. The Sword of Truth in Goodkind's novel is exactly like the Sword of Shannara in Terry Brooks' novels. It has the same properties, including the part when the keeper uses the sword, his own wrongs and guilts are shown to him.
Doruk

That is very interesting, actually. A lot of people mention the similarities between The Sword of Truth and Jordan's Wheel of Time-series, but you're the first to my knowledge who compares it to Brooks' Shannara-series. /karl henriksson
970316
Subject: David Gemmell's Legend
Karl the Low down dirty rat,
Here I was admiring the way you tackled the review of books sent to you with such aplomb, razor sharp analytical skills and enourmous literary resources and you have the nerve to criticise David Gemmell's Legend.

Now Legend may not be in my top 5 but it deserves some merit for bringing heroic fantasy back into focus. That thing about finding Gemmell's literary style unreadable is absolutely rubbish, us Brits find it perfectly readable. So have a heart and take it easy on my favourite books.

By the way, do you know that you sound a lot like Eric S. Raymond, this is good of course. Ta Ta for now.
John Johnson


Yes, I know Brits seem to find Gemmell perfectly readable - he is in fact one of Britain's top fantasy writers. That's why I tried to read "Legend". How do you define "heroic fantasy"? Most fantasy I read tend to focus on some kind of heroic quest which in my opinion would qualify them for that epithet, and if they are qualified I don't think Gemmell's contribution is that crucial. Still, it seems like a lot of people get a lot of pleasure out of his books and that's great of course. /karl henriksson
970316
Subject: comment
I think that the Song of Albion series was an excellent series and I recommend it to anyone who is really into fantasy. It involves a lot of Celtic rite and rituals. Before reading the books I didn't know much at all about celtic rite but Lawhead fluently explained it as if I was just reviewing what I already know. If you want to really "get into a book" read the Song of Albion series by Stephen Lawhead.
James Hardwick

Ah, Stephen Lawhead... I remember the days when he was just another quite unknown writer being published by obscure publishers. Now he's writing in the major league. A promising example for all wannabees.
970317
Subject: Books
I've just read the first book in C.S Friedmans Coldfire saga, and i belive it's great. So if you haven't got anything to read at the moment try it out. I hope to see a review of Assasins quest as soon as it comes to sweden. To two other books before "Assasins Aprentice" and "Royal Assasin" is just great. I liked your review of David Eddings. "The Elenium" might be worth reading, but "the Belgariad" and "The Mallorean" is just the same story writen twice. It's easy to read but pretty predictable, isn't it. I like Mr Jordans books better. At least his charachters has their own thoughts and belives.
/A Northern Viking

"Assassin's quest" is now on my reading desk. A Fantasy Finder review will be published in mid-April, I hope. Friends tell me it's great, by the way. /karl henriksson
970319
Subject: Neil Gaiman
I just want to say that Nail Gaiman deserves recognition as a premier fantasy writer. I'm not sure whether you have read his "Sandman" works, but if you love fantasy you should give it a try, I'm sure it qualifies as a fantasy series. It will be a pity if people disdain to read Sandman just because it is done in comics medium. He tells his stories in smooth-flowing, elegant language and presents dreams incredible in their richness and vast scope. In turns original, quirky, epic, tragic, these are very adult stories that will satisfy different types of palates with its diversity. I learnt that he deliberately choose to use comics medium for Sandman (he's written other books, scripts, etc) and I think this medium complimented his fantastic settings and storylines very well (this is from someone who often stares at nothing for a long time tying to visualize scenes from books). Oh, btw, you people are right about Terry Goodkind, reading the 'Stone of Tears" kept giving me deja vu feeling - at times it's like reading an inferior copy of "The Wheel of Times".
Dewi Widjaja

The comics medium is great when used the right way. The author/creator gets a more complete control of the reader's impressions, being able to describe a complex situation in a more suggestive way. But there are also advantages for the traditional novel, where the reader gets the opportunity to create the scenery in his own mind. Neil Gaiman is, as you've mentioned, a master of different kinds of story-telling. I found "Good Omens", his light-horror novel co-operation with Terry Pratchett, a great read. /karl henriksson
970322
Subject: One more thing...
One thing that I meant to mention about Tolkien that I didn't last time was the sense of the "rest of the world". It seems to me, in Jordan and Williams and almost al of the rest of the authors discussed here, that before the events described in the book take place, the "rest of the world" is standing still. Nothing in these worlds happens until the hero(s) appear/do something/save the world. Tolkiens world does not have that problem, it exists in and of itself, with many things taking place well before the Fellowship of the Ring is undertaken.
andy huang

Yes, Tolkien's world is certainly existing in itself. In soccer we would say that he's a great player without the ball (and he did marvellous things with the ball too...).
970323
Subject: goodkind
Firstly: Karl, get a life. Goodkinds work is comparable to Tolkiens maybe even better (it has been so long since i have read them that i can't make an accurate comparison). On a lighter note, it was pleasing to see that you included readers' criticisms of your review, for any newcomer to the fantasy scene would off put by your pretentious review of Goodkinds work -- i also would like to see you do better -- and thus denied the chance to experience a great book.
Secondly: It would be interseting to see your review of Terry Brook's novels. He is also on a par with Tolkien.
Thirdly: Wheel of Time surpasses all fantasy literature so far, including the revered Tolkien.
Yours sincerely,
Ed Jeremiah

Are you sure you want to read my review on Brooks? After all, we disagree quite remarkably on Goodkind, and somewhat on Jordan, too. But don't worry, it's going to take some time before I'll have time for Brooks. There are so many great fantasy series out there - and quite a lot of non-fantasy books too. Anyway, I think it's quite OK to disagree with me. I am, after all, just another fantasy fan, not a god or something. /karl henriksson
970327
Subject: query and reading suggestions
i've read jordan. i've read goodkind. i've read eddings. i've read weis/hickman, salvatore, tad williams, anthony etc etc. but. i couldnt finish 'the hobbit'! tho i was a lot younger then. and i'm wondering if anyone else out there might agree with me that mr goodkind's books, which i rather enjoyed and am eagerly awaiting the next, bears a strange resemblance to those of jordan's "wheel of time" books. for example:
aes sedai vs. sisters of light
the children of light vs. blood of the fold
aiel vs. those mud ppl
and many others i cant recall just now. tho they are not entirely analagous.. it's a shadow i cant dispell.

---
i wanna suggest 2 authors. the first i rarely hear about. and the second is rather new to the fantasy genre.

one is Dennis L McKiernan. a friend loaned me one of Mr McKiernan's books, "dragon doom", and when i asked her what it was about ... she replied, "red birds and blue birds. you'll like it jasyn". i loved it. and i would highly recommend this one to anyone and respond the same if asked what it was about.

second is george r.r. martin. the only reason i picked up his book, "a game of thrones" is because robert jordan said, "grabs hold and won't let go. it's brilliant." i must say .. i'm not sure about brilliant .. but it was _definitely_ a good read and a lot less hurried than others i've read. well developing characters and a plot that's going to drop right into your lap like a spilled bowl of beef stew. meaty and full of juice.
sorry about being long winded .. =)
jasyn chen


You are not alone in your high regard of Dennis McKiernan, although his Iron Tower series is currently only in 27th place on Fantasy Finder's Democratic Top 5 List. But 27th place isn't that bad after all, considering that many a great fantasy series only have received one or two points yet. "A Game of Thrones" has yet to receive even one point, which is quite surprising, considering the praise Robert Jordan and other leading authors have given it. But a lot of people are probably still waiting for the paperback, which at least I haven't seen yet. By the way, George R.R. Martin may be new to writing fantasy series, but he's been in the science fiction game for quite a long time and I've had the pleasure to read a few good novellas or novellettes of his. But that was like ten years ago. /karl henriksson
970330
Subject: Don't Be so Critical
I came to this homepage to find out what others thought about My favorite Fantasy series, "The Belgariad" by David Eddings, and was appalled by the review you gave it making cracks at Eddings. Maybe the reason I'm not as critical about this series is because I'm much younger and have not read as much as you guys have but I thought you were a tad harsh.
From,
David Belford

Well, yes, I wasn't exactly praising "The Belgariad", was I? I found it rather one-dimensional, but I think I also mentioned that it was an easy and quite entertaining read. /karl henriksson
970403
Subject: Goodkind rules
Hello, Karl. I've been an avid fantasy reader for the past five years, reading authors such as Terry Brooks, Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Robert Jordan plus many others. Terry Goodkind is by far my favorite author. I guess I don't really agree with your review. Yes, he may get preachy at times, but he gives you a great story of a normal person who overcomes tragedy. I just couldn't put Wizard's First Rule down once I started reading it. I guess what makes me like Goodkind is that he developes characters very well. Do you agree with me on that?

Well, no, actually I don't. /karl henriksson
970408
Subject: TERRY GOODKIND
I THINK THAT TERRY GOODKIND'S SERIES - THE SWORD OF TRUTH IS OUTSTANDING, AND THE PERSON WHO REVIEWED IT IS A SAD INDIVIDUAL, IN THE MINORITY, WHO HAS NO TASTE WHATSOEVER IN GOOD FANTASY BOOKS! HIS REASONING FOR WHY THE SERIES IS BAD, IS VAGUE, AND HAS NO STANDING. I DOUBT HE HAS EVEN BOTHERED TO READ THE BOOKS PROPERLY - HE JUST MENTIONS A FEW MAIN PARTS. PERSONALLY, I THOUGHT THAT BOTH OF TERRY'S BOOKS WERE BRIILIANT PIECES OF INNOTIVE LITERATURE. TOBY WATERWORTH, AGED 15

I may be a sad individual, I am probably in the minority, and the reasoning in my short reviews most certainly have their limits, but do you really think your response does anything to improve the intellectual climate? I don't. /karl henriksson
970411
Subject: J.V. Jones
Calling all fans of fantasy!!

If there are any of you (and there are a few) finding themselves at a loss for a trilogy of books to keep you going all through the year, then look no further than J.V.Jones' Book of words trilogy! Three, books, oodles of characters, a water tight story line and greatwriting all in one! Each book is around 500 pages long and the first two come in paper back at around 6.00, and the third coming as hard back at around 17.00 (approximately) I strongly recommend this to any persons wanting a good solid read to keep the going! Could all people with any contact addresses, quieries and/or info about the author please send them to -

profken@msn.com


Great books, all of them. Reviews are available in the review section of the site, J.V. Jones' personal home page is listed on the FantasyLinks page. /karl henriksson.
970412
Subject: Robin Hobb
I fully agree with the reviews by your writers. I got on the net a few days ago and this is the first place I came to. The Farseer triogy is the best books I've read. I am in the first couple pages of Assassin's Quest which I got yesterday, I would like to see a review on that. I was wondering if you guys knew of a site were I could sent my comments to Ms. Hobb myself, I would love to tell her how great her books are. If you know of one please E-mail me and tell me. Have a nice day.
Marrick Sade

No, unfortunately we haven't found any Hobb-sites yet. Anybody out there who has? Please send an e-mail to us at Fantasy Finder so that we can make links to it. /karl henriksson
970412
Subject: Books
I'm a bit amazed at how many new authors I've read about at this website. I am looking forward to reading Tad William's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, and basically everything on the top five list. Since a lot of people have read the Jordan books and commented on them, I'll add in my two cents worth. They are great books with characters that I have come to care about after following they're lives for over four thousand pages. Unfortunately, now that it's been almost a year since I finished A Crown of Swords I don't see how I'll remember the scores of side events and characters once the eighth book is released. Terry Goodkinds books are worth reading in my opinion, although I would certainly not put them at the top of my list. I own all of the David Edding's books (they were my initiation into fanasy and at the time I thought they were great) and would say that they are good reading for children, but not for those who have read such great authors as Terry Brooks, Jordan, Orson Scott Card, Raymond Feist, and possibly R.A. Salvatore, who in my opinion is the best writer of duels (especially the battles between Drizzt Du'Orden and Entreri). Also, Karl, do you think you could extend your top five list to a top ten list? I would highly recommend Feist's books, except for the most recent Riftwar books which no longer have Pug in them. The Empire series is extremely good and is some of the best fantasy I've read to date. Also, I highly recommend Terry Brooks, although Allanon (who was my favorite character until Drizzt and then Rand) is not in the later books for reasons I will not disclose (don't want to spoil anything). Also, in case anyone wishes to broaden they're horizons there are two science fiction series which everyone should read because they are just unbelievable books. The first is the Enders series by Orson Scott Card. The first book int the series is called the Ender's Game and is by a slim amount the best novel I've ever read. The rest of the series is also very good, and by the third book it almost turns into a fantasy series. The second is the Rama series by Arthur C. Clarke. These two are by far the best two sci-fi series out there, and although I prefer fantasy and have read a much larger amount of it, those two series rank in my top five, along with the Wheel of Time series (which Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn may replace if your reviews and other peoples opinions are correct), and Salvatore's Drizzt books. I have already written too much so I will forbear from recommending other great fantasy books. The best fantasy site I have seen. Keep up the good reviews (which, by the way, I've agreed with everything you've said although I thought you're review of the Innkeeper's Song a bit generous since I didn't find it particularly good, except for the parts told in the fox's point of view, which was different). OK, that's enough time wasted. See ya.
Shane.

Yes, I like to read off-the-beaten-track fantasy, so there are some authors on my list that seldom appear in the bestseller lists - and quite a lot of bestselling works that I haven't reviewed. Innkeeper's Song is, more than most, a book off the beaten track, and partly because of that quite charming. Especially the fox' part. No, I have no plans on extending the Top5 list to a Top10 one. It was hard enough to choose five books/series and rank them. But I think most books reviewed on this site is well worth reading. /karl henriksson.
970413
Subject: Agreeing with Jasyn Chen!!!
Hello all fantasy-readers!!!!!!

I want to compliment you for your great site. I also have some comments about Goookind: I've read both he and Jordan and I got really irritated when I found the same type of person, the same type of happenings and the same type of places as Jordan has created in a BAD copy in the books written by Goodkind. Here are some examples: (Jordan to the left - Goodkind to the right)

White Tower - Palace of Prohets
Black Ajah - Sisters of Dark
Sword of Truth - Callandor
Thom (the gleeman) - Zedd (the Wizard)
The Dark One - The Keeper
Rand, the Dragon - Richard, the Seeker
Whitecloaks - The Blood of the Fold

There are more things that I've found wery alike and that several times made me put down the book and promise myself not to finish it. I'm a big fan of Jordans books (though not a "fanatic Jordanit" ) and I don't like reading not so good copys who are that obvious but each time I've picked it up and continued my reading. ( I guess I'm to curiouse to stop.)

The only thing that makes me a tiny bit positiv about Goodkind is the fact that his book HAS an end. The Sword of Truth is a triology, but Jordan has made a statement that his Wheel of Time is going to last at least another three books (that makes at least ten alltogether!)

This is just a repeat of what Jasyn Chen said about this but i think it's necessary.

I've also read all books that Eddings has written and Ive got a question: Why are so many so critical about Elenien and Tamuli??? They are really good and entertaining.

There are more fantasy that I've read and I think they are good and want to recommend them to everybody. It's books written by: Janny Wurst (Take your time while reading!! Let her get to the story!!) Raymond E Fiest (He's in a hurry writing, the tempo is fast but the story is really good!) Elisabeth Moon (Paksenarrion, The main caracter is to much of a saint for my taste, but she is good at describing environments and feelings.) Stephen Donaldson ( The books of Mordant: This is good!) Marion Zimmer Bradely (The Mists of Avalon: wierd end!!!!but good!!)

Sorry for writing a looooooooooong message but I hope you dont mind!! ;-) Thank you for letting me voice my thoughts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Eva Söderlund, Sweden


I don't mind. But I guess I'll have to make some changes in the guest book quite soon. This page is really getting too long. /karl henriksson
970417
Subject: Book reviews
Hi,
though I agree with some of your reviews I won't with the one of Terry Goodkind. Maybe his environment he is using ins't that original, but the way he is telling his stories is absolutely fascinating. Sure, you can say there is way too much brutality and cruelty in it but it is descirbed in a realistic but not too drastic manner.

Did you ever read something from Hohlbein. It is one of the famoust german fantasy authors. Most of his stories follow a special scheme so you have to read it up to the end to understand what is really behind the story because it changes on the last pages into a completely diifferent direction.

Top authors in my opinion
1. Tolkien: (he will never be reached from any others because he really have created such a complete world with legends, languages, races and many other stuff that make middle earth a real world on its own. I find it often amusing sometimes it makes me angry to read that the author x or y is the only true heir of tolkien or sit on the right to tolkien in fantasy heaven. Very few will ever nearly reach the level of this man and his legends.
2. Kurtz: when you read the book, you recognize her background as a historian. I never found such precise description of religious rites in a fantasy tale. And the language she is using is absolute fantastic, though I must admint I have only read the german translation. Maybe only the translator was the genius. :-)
3. Anne McCaffrey: Another author that is not yet into your reviews.
4. Hohlbein: He follows the motto: start with your hero in a bad situation and then make it even worse...
5. Weiss and Hickman: You never know if you have to laugh or to be frightened.

For those who are interested: I'm writing my own stories, surely influenced by the authors above. The first three books are on the internet, book four is finished, too. Try

http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Vault/3276

I like to hear comments, critics, etc...
Greetings
-- Markus


As I've mentioned earlier on this page, too little attention is paid to non-Anglo-Saxon writers. I'd never even heard about this Hohlbein before - and I wouldn't be surprised if there are fantasy editors in major American publishing houses who still hasn't. And as my German is too bad for reading anything but travel guides I guess I'll have some problems reading his works, unless they by chance have been picked up by some British or American publisher. /karl henriksson
970422
Subject: Terry Goodkind
Yes, I know what you're thinking: another little message complaining about your review of Goodkind. Well, I do happen to like Goodkind, but then again I don't expect to agree with every reviewer out there. Well, I am just writing to note that almost every fantasy series ever written (with a very few exceptions) copies off of previous ones. For example: Sauron (main bad guy person in the Lord of the Rings) -> Shai'tan (main bad guy person in the Wheel of Time) -> the Keeper (main bad guy person in the Sword of Truth), and so on. You know what I'm saying. So regardless of the book, series, or author, you're always going to get a certain ammount of "same"ness.

Anyway, what I'm attempting to say here is that while many fantasy series start out similarly, they generally begin to deviate from the norm in later books. You might want to at least try to read Blood of the Fold for this reason.
Chris


True, even in the most astonishing new fantasy novels, there will be similarities to earlier fantasy works. Take for instance Robin Hobb's "Assassin's Quest" - parts of it reminded me of Jordan, Modesitt and Simak, but the novel is still far better than any work I've read by any of those authors. The similarities in themselves weren't the main reason why I disliked "Stone of Tears"; more important are the structure of the world (or lack thereof), the characters's personalities and Mr Goodkind's style of writing. But maybe I still should read Blood of the Fold as you suggest. It's just that there are so many books I really long to read, and the publishers doesn't seem to stop pouring them out... /karl henriksson
970426
Subject: Terry Goodkind
I have read many different authors, and I would say that Terry Goodkind is the best author I have read. Your opinion stinks, buddy.
-Jody Edwards

Opinions differ. /karl henriksson
970428
Subject: A few notes
Firstly, on the Wheel of Time debate- I love it. One large problem- as I read the 7th, I realized I remembered nothing from the prior six. I just wish he would get it over with.
2) Tad Williams books were excellent, but seemed to drag on for me. I felt moronic when I didn't see the end coming. Some great twists.
3) One of my favorite series of all time- The Tales of Alvin Maker. It is an absolutely masterful book which weaves a tale of an alternate America. The first book, Seventh Son, is easily the worst (but still great)
4)I personally believe all of David Eddings books to be complete and utter crap. Don't object, I've read all of them. I just wanted to see how the good guys won. On his recent book- Belgarath the Sorcerer, I noticed the good guys won every single battle against evil. I often wonder how the characters could be nervous about losing.
5)Roger Zelazny- Read amber and Night in the Lonesome October.
6)Best single fantasy book- The Eyes of the Dragon. Stephen King. I was surprised too.

You've mentioned some really great authors, even though I don't perfectly agree with you on The Eyes of the Dragon, which really didn't catch my imagination, when I read it a decade ago or so. I found the language easy to read but quite lacking - but that might be a result of poor translation, as I read it in Swedish. Not particularly interested in horror, I haven't read that many other King novels so I really shouldn't make any wider statements about his style of writing. /karl henriksson

Reviews - FantasyLinks - Top 5


Henriksson & Henriksson 1996.