Once Upon A Time Challenge my long list

Remember, this is FANTASY (and related) reading.  I wasn’t sure what I had on hand, unread or that I might want to re-read.  A browse through the catalog allowed me to come up with a goodly number of possibilities. I’ll pare it down soon and begin reading. here’s the (first, long) list, alphabetical by author:

  • Asprin, Robert Lynn – Tales from the Vulgar Unicorn (Thieves World  2)
  • Boyer, Elizabeth – The Elves and the Otterskin
  • Boyer, Elizabeth – The Troll’s Grindstone
  • Hughes, Matthew – The Gist Hunter & Other Stories
  • Jacques, Brian – The Legend of Luke  (Redwall series #13)
  • Kerr, Katherine – A Time of Exile (first in 2nd Deverry cycle (Westlands)
  • Kurtz, Katherine – Deryni Archives  (Dernyi ss)
  • Lake, Jay – Trial of Flowers  (first of City Imperishable series)
  • Martin, George R. R. –  A Game of Thrones (high time I read this)
  • McKenna, Juliet E. – The Thief’s Gamble (Tale of Einarinn #1)
  • McKiernan, Dennis L. – Silver Wolf, Black Falcon  (a Mithgar novel)
  • Moon, Elizabeth – Sheepfarmer’s Daughter (Deed of Paksenarrion Trilogy Vol 1)
  • Moon, Elizabeth – Divided Allegiance  (Deed of Paksenarrion Trilogy Vol 2)
  • Moon, Elizabeth – Oath of Gold (Deed of Paksenarrion Trilogy Vol 3)
  • Rawn, Melanie – Stronghold  (Dragon Star  Book 1)
  • Rawn, Melanie – The Dragon Token (Dragon Star  Book 2)
  • Rawn, Melanie – Skybowl (Dragon Star  Book 3)
  • Roberson, Jennifer – Legacy of the Sword (3rd Chesuli book)
  • Roberson, Jennifer – Track of the White Wolf (4th Chesuli book)
  • Roessner, Michaela – The Stars Dispose (fantasy retelling of the life of Catherine de’ Medici)
  • Rothfuss, Patrick – Name of the Wind
  • Saberhagen, Fred – Empire of the East (re-read)
  • Stackpole, Robert – The Secret Atlas (1st in saga)

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Heaven knows I’ll not get through all of those or even a third of them, but it’s a starting place. Other books may be added, many will be eliminated. Stay tuned.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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22 Responses to Once Upon A Time Challenge my long list

  1. Jeff S. says:

    Very interesting list. I find it funny that I categorize myself as a fantasy reader first and foremost and yet there are SO many books on your list that I have never read. It just goes to show how many great books are out there.

    I hope you get through A Game of Thrones by Martin and enjoy it. I love that series but it’s pretty dark and not for everyone.

    I read all the Thieves World’s books over 20 years ago when I was high school. I remember thourghly enjoying them at the time but a part of them now wonders how I would enjoy them today so if you read book 2 I’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

    The other book I have is In the Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss of which I have read a quarter of so far I have really enjoyed it. I got side tracked off of it during the Scifi Experience but I have high hopes to return to it during the fantasy challenge. I believe the 2nd chapter is the one that hooked me on that one.

    I have looked at Jennifer Roberson’s books many a time at the book store but haven’t pulled the trigger. I take it you’ve read the first two in the series by her. What are your thoughts on them?

    Great pile to pick from Richard R. Thanks for shareing!

  2. Steve Lewis says:

    Most fantasy these days seems to have gone in the direction of the paranormal: vampires, werewolves, shapechangers and the like — all of which I find terribly uninteresting.

    So I’m surprised to see that I have almost of the books above, or if not, others in the same series. We have similar tastes.

    But have I read them? Quite a few by Katherine Kurtz and Jennifer Roberson, not so many of the rest. I’m continually tempted by George R. R. Martin’s series, but the sheer bulk involved (and the commitment required) keeps me from following through.

    So far.

  3. Evan Lewis says:

    Sheesh. Near as I recall, the only thing on the list I’ve read is the Game of Thrones series – but it’s one hell of a read! The only drawback is… I’ve been waiting nearly two years for the next book, and Martin has said there will be several more before the series is complete. Will I be lucid – or even above ground – that long?

  4. randy Johnson says:

    I read the Thieves World series so many years ago and I’ve only read the first in the Game of Thrones books. The rest, nada.

    I’ve got a few ideas myself for the challenge.

  5. deslily says:

    well it’s certain you won’t have to go and buy any books to complete this challenge! lol I read the original Deryni series eons ago but nothing else on your list…when we begin to realize all the “fantasy” books out there doesn’t it make you wonder why many “literature experts” don’t consider fantasy/ sci fi as non literature? ah well it’s their loss! Have fun doing the challenge!

  6. Richard says:

    desily – Hi! nice to see you here. I’ve long since given up trying to understand the workings of the “literate critics” minds. I don’t suppose the bias against genre fiction (or films) will ever go away, and I don’t particularly care. I vote with my wallet and my book-laden home proves I do so often.

    Now that I have a list, I’m getting pretty excited about the challenge.

  7. Scott Cupp says:

    Rick – Go with the Matt Hughes, Jay Lake, George Martin, Elizabeth Moon and the Rothfuss and you will be in great company. If I had to pick one, it would be the Rothfuss. Great first novel of a series, but be aware that the sequel is now 2 years past due with no publication date in sight. The Martin in fantastic but again the latest volume (#5) is several years past due and has not been turned in. And I love the work of Matt Hughes. It is a cross between Jack Vance Dying Earth, Clark Ashton Smith, PG Wodehouse and some Cordwainer Smith just for fun.

  8. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Well, none of these are in my reading zone. The closest I’ve come to fantasy lately was Rick Riordan’s Grek mythology-related Percy Jackson series and Scott Westerfeld’s alternate-universe LEVIATHAN.

  9. Jeff Meyerson says:

    The only Martin books I’ve read (both of which I really really liked): FEVRE DREAM and THE ARMAGEDDON RAG.

  10. George Kelley says:

    Matthew Hughes is very good.
    Steve: I wasted my time reading about 3000 pages of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series and trust me, it wasn’t worth the effort. Dull.

  11. Richard says:

    Wow, lots of great comments.

    Jeff S. – I was surprised at how many fantasy books I had here, unread. I think it’s a reflection of the width of my reading tastes. I’ll post the “short list” when I have a better idea how many and which of these books I’ll tackle. NAME OF THE WIND is a likely candidate, though I don’t usually like to start a series that’s not completely in hand. It’s why the ERAGON, ELDEST, BRISINGER, ETC. series isn’t listed. I read the first book, liked it, but decided to wait for the (then) other two. Now it’ll be three.

  12. Richard says:

    Steve – I’m not much of a one for the vampire – werewolf – monster stuff either. I consider it horror, not fantasy anyway, no matter what the a lot of younger readers say these days.

    I read the first three of Kurtz’ Deryni books quite a time ago and really liked them a LOT. I bought the next set, but didn’t get to it and it’s on the shelf now. I thought the short story collection might get me back into it. More recently I read the first three Kerr books and enjoyed them very much, so much that I’ve “saved” the next ones. I’m glad to see we have similar tastes in this genre.

  13. Richard says:

    I have read the first two of Jennifer Roberson’s Chesuli and liked them. There are some war and political issues between nations in this world that I’ll have to brush up on, but any heroic fantasy with shape changers as good guys pulls me in. These are, by the way, available in a series of omnibus volumes.

  14. Richard says:

    Evan – see my comment to Jeff S. above on reading long series. I had the same problem with Jordan’s Wheel of Time and gave it up. The problem is these days the books don’t always have the shelf life to see the next volume! By the third book, the first may be OP and hard to find, and of course I’d want a perfect new copy. **Sigh**

  15. Richard says:

    Scott – I got that Hughes story collection on recommendation of George Kelley and am looking forward to reading it. That’s quite a comparison you make.

    George – I’ve heard everything from absolute love to abject hate about the R.R. Martin books, so I can’t figure out how I’ll react without reading it. I started GAME OF THRONES a couple of years ago, then the book got packed for painting the house and I’ve just pulled it out, bookmark still in it. I’ll have to start over as I recall nothing of it.

  16. Drongo says:

    When I was a teenager, I found a used copy of one of his books. It was an enjoyable read, so I sent him a fan letter. Although my little missive was almost illiterate and unreadable, Mr. Martin replied with a brief but quite gracious note.

    This has nothing to do with GAME OF THRONES, which is one of those bloated fantasy novels that I routinely avoid. I just wanted to reminisce for a moment about an act of kindness that really made my day back when I was in high school.

  17. Richard says:

    Very cool, Drongo, thanks for sharing that. The word “bloated” you use about fantasy novels (and Game of Thrones in particular) has a negative connotation which would only be shared by those who don’t like the book. I suspect those who enjoyed it were glad it contained every page and were eager for the next, equally long volume. Personally, I don’t mind length in any book if the plot justifies it and the writing carries it off. Sense of place is a large part of good fantasy, and that can consume a lot of pages of descriptive prose. When there are complicated book-spanning plots, high character count and sometimes complicated politics, history and stems of magic, a solid grounding of the landscape is essential.

    No, not all fantasy novels justify their length, and not all are well written or conceived, but the good ones usually need length to be rounded and believable within the context of the genre.

  18. Jeff S. says:

    Drongo – Very cool Martin story. I met him at a convention 3 years ago and found him to very nice. I talked to him briefly in the hallway and then saw him on 2 or 3 panels. He’s a very enjoyable speaker. I found we both have a love of NFL football in common and we are complete opposities on our political views. 🙂 I felt he geneuily seemed to like interacting with his fans through out the convention. It was at a Conquest convention in Kansas City and in fact he’s returning to that convention again this year which I have already bought a ticket too.

    Richard – I have bad news then on the In the Name of the Wind book then. My understanding is that is the first of a supposed trilogy and the the author is new. He is continuing with rewrites on part 2 still . I imagine it could be 3 to 5 years before we see books 2 and 3 both out would be my guess. Sorry. 😦

  19. Richard says:

    Jeff S. – I’d already heard that Rothfuss had decided to make NAME OF THE WIND the first of a trilogy. I believe at the time I bought the book it was named a stand-alone and was getting very good reviews, though it was mentioned there was room, the way he ended the book, for a sequel. Only later did I hear the trilogy plan and of his slow writing. Another Paolini story, it seems.

  20. Todd Mason says:

    Martin’s THE ARMAGEDDON RAG mostly enjoyable till and despite the self-congratulation that the Led Zeppelin analog band at the heart of it represented the pinnacle of rock music…that bloated pomposity in the form was So clearly superior to what had come before and what followed. Sorry, no. But generally, I enjoy the Martin I’ve read.

    There are other fantasy writers I’d be tearing through ahead of these, but I’ve been meaning to try Moon.

  21. Carl V. says:

    Whoa! What a list!!! I have read…..

    none of these!!! I have, at least, heard of most of the authors if not most of the books. I’m impressed that you have so many qualifying books on hand.

    Glad to see the enthusiasm, it will be interesting to see which you decide to choose and what you think of them.

  22. Richard says:

    Carl V. – None? Really? well, well, well. I’d highly recommend the Roberson, Kerr and the Saberhagen. EMPIRE OF THE EAST was the basis for his later Swords books. This is gonna be fun!

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