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Favorite Castle Book?

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Postby babyjawa » Sun Feb 05, 2006 3:10 am

The Forgotten Realms!

They are the only novel type books I ever read. Well, besides books that I have to read for Literature class.
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Postby Modesty » Sun Feb 05, 2006 3:40 am

Well, I'm not a totally avid reader, but I do enjoy the recend Eldest in the inheritance trilogy, along withthe Lord of the Rings, and the DnD handbooks are always fun to flip through.
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Postby Moroder » Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:16 pm

Eberron suits my fantasy style almost perfectly. As a few people stated before, D&D writer Margaret Weis is a good option to the classic fantasy (shes is also one of the creators of Dragonlance, not only a writer - so you can imagine the high-leveled magic fantasy).
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Postby Maedhros » Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:52 pm

I don´t think anyone has mentioned this... While not exactly Castle it´s from the Middle Ages at least: The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.

It just struck me that you could probably harvest tons of cool vigs from it....

Yes, anti-christian Maedhros has read it, you didn´t expect that, did you? ;)
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Postby ottoatm » Mon Feb 27, 2006 7:05 am

Maedhros wrote:Yes, anti-christian Maedhros has read it, you didn´t expect that, did you? ;)


:D Come on, I know you just read it so you could get ideas from "Inferno".


Come to think about it though, you are totally correct. These books are full of colorful characters and situations that could translate to LEGO. It's not really a series I enjoyed reading, but it something that would be cool to see in LEGO Castle Customs, MOCS, etc...
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Postby LEGOFREAK » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:24 pm

Blueandwhite wrote:So again, what constitutes good or creative fantasy? It is a genre of writing that has frustrated me to no end. Please appreciate, I'm not trying to be confrontational. Any help would be greatly appreciated


Like most topics, this is completely subjective.
For myself, the writing style has to suck you in. you know the type.. you pick up the book to read a little to kill some time before bed and next thing you know its 3 am and your SO is shouting at you to turn off the dang light. :D
Characters are important of course. I prefer complex individuals. the bad guy who is acting from a sense of rightness, a flawed good guy- these are givens.
a different setting - hey fantasy writers - come up with your own damn races! do you know how many Tolkien wannabes I have read?? (speaking of which I am going to go out on a limb here - I like the story of LOTR but I HATE Tolkiens writing style..) anyway, the world doesnt have to be unique, but if its a fantasy world, does there have to be elves and dwarves? (Hooray for Kender!)

so my earlier post about A song of Ice and Fire - let me elaborate - the characters are very complex, (Sandor Clegane anyone?) the history is incredible in its detail, the setting is different enough to note (most fantasy worlds barely touch on other continents - this one has lots of details about other parts of their world).
Alternate history if done well is another favorite for me, if done well. Harry Turtledove is a master at this, and so is Harry Harrison. The hammer and the cross trilogy is a fantastic example. set in medieval times, its a what if Christianity had been faced with another organized religion besides Islam? This new religion is called The Way, and is based on the Norse gods. Again, you have a great writing style (very graphic without being overdone) you have complex characters, and you have a world that is only subtly different from our own - yet intriguing nonetheless.
also, just because a book is a best seller or a classic doesnt make it good. I also am not a big fan of T.H. White's "the once and future king" - I have read better, more compelling versions.. heck once I read one that was about a cop who was the reincarnation of Sir Gawain, and he was protecting a boy who was Arthurs reincarnation.. as strange as it sounds that was a compelling read.. I have yet to find the rest of the series, but oh, I will.
Many a good book has been found at yard sales or thrift stores, and I have never heard of the author before or since, but have given hours of good reading.

anyway, thats all I have to say about that.. :D
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Postby LEGOFREAK » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:28 pm

ottoatm wrote:
Maedhros wrote:Yes, anti-christian Maedhros has read it, you didn´t expect that, did you? ;)


:D Come on, I know you just read it so you could get ideas from "Inferno".


Come to think about it though, you are totally correct. These books are full of colorful characters and situations that could translate to LEGO. It's not really a series I enjoyed reading, but it something that would be cool to see in LEGO Castle Customs, MOCS, etc...


and sorry to double post, but the last one was a long winded one on another topic in this thread. :D

anyway - Ottoatm - you mean Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's Inferno? :D
(a telling of what happens to a sci fi writer after he dies and is sent to hell. really fun reading material!)
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Postby Damien » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:04 pm

I hate Kender. But I love Dragonlance. Legend of Huma still stands as one of my all-time favourite fantasy books.


I think what makes a good writer is atmosphere. Robert E. Howard was a megablokin' master of atmosphere. Read any Howardian Conan story and you feel like you're there. You get creeped out. You get worried. You feel the adrenaline. That's a writer. Robert E. Howard is the kind of writer other fantasy writers should aspire to be like.

I love Tolkien's writing style too, in some ways. In other ways, I can definitely see how some people (myself included) don't really need 3 paragraphs to explain what a field looks like. That's the most grating thing about his style - the almost criminally excessive scenery descriptions.

But anyway, I think atmosphere is really key. From there on out it's simply a matter of personal taste. I have a -lot- of pet peeves that quite a few authors are guilty of. For example, I think the famed Weis & Hickman are two of the worst fantasy authors to ever be published. But a lot of people love them. S'all about what appeals to you.
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Postby Maedhros » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:06 pm

ottoatm wrote:
Maedhros wrote:Yes, anti-christian Maedhros has read it, you didn´t expect that, did you? ;)


:D Come on, I know you just read it so you could get ideas from "Inferno".


:roll:

Well.... yes :P Can´t get enough ideas for demons and other twisted beings for your cute little vampire RPG chronicles.... :D
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Postby LEGOFREAK » Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:47 pm

Damien wrote:In other ways, I can definitely see how some people (myself included) don't really need 3 paragraphs to explain what a field looks like. That's the most grating thing about his style - the almost criminally excessive scenery descriptions.

I agree- and thats my problem with reading him.. I fall asleep by the second paragraph. :wink:

Damien wrote: For example, I think the famed Weis & Hickman are two of the worst fantasy authors to ever be published. But a lot of people love them. S'all about what appeals to you.


I agree they are over-rated... however I like their combined writing style. Dragonlance is a good read, for beginners I think. My favorite series by them is the Death Gate cycle (magic tattoos? way cool). I also liked the Rose of the Prophet trilogy. those three sets aside though, I can't say they are up with my favorite authors - more like my "B-string"

like you said though.. S'all about what appeals to you. :wink:
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Postby TheOrk » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:00 am

In other ways, I can definitely see how some people (myself included) don't really need 3 paragraphs to explain what a field looks like. That's the most grating thing about his style - the almost criminally excessive scenery descriptions.


I never found that to be too irritating, providing he makes it interesting. I find the constant tea parties and shifting of skirts get on my nerves three milliseconds into it.(I'm sure those of you who have read anything by Robert Jordan will agree)

I think what makes a good writer is atmosphere. Robert E. Howard was a megablokin' master of atmosphere. Read any Howardian Conan story and you feel like you're there. You get creeped out. You get worried. You feel the adrenaline. That's a writer. Robert E. Howard is the kind of writer other fantasy writers should aspire to be like.


I agree entirely, besides Karl Edward Wagner, nobody has ever wrote a kick *** story about Conan. I guess that's what happens when you are the creator.

I agree they are over-rated... however I like their combined writing style. Dragonlance is a good read, for beginners I think.


Yep, I started off with them, loved them, don't like them too much anymore. :wink:
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Postby ottoatm » Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:02 pm

LEGOFREAK wrote:anyway - Ottoatm - you mean Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's Inferno? :D
(a telling of what happens to a sci fi writer after he dies and is sent to Megablocks. really fun reading material!)


I've never heard of this version... but that actually sounds like a good read!
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Postby SuperRadz » Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:54 pm

I don't think this has been mentioned before, but in terms of original worlds and races, one of the best post-Tolkien series is The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever by Stephen R. Donaldson (3 books). The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (3 more books) is also pretty good.

All of Tolkien's works rank as my all time favorite fantasy publications. As for his writing style, keep in mind that
The Lord of the Rings as a work is itself part of Tolkien's mythos, being derived from Bilbo/Frodo/Sam's Redbook of Westmarch. Lengthy descriptors and flowery language are expected, then, since the work was written by and for a race known for hyperbole and a lack of worldliness. The reader might know what a field like Pelanor looks like, but the average hobbit would relish a three paragraph description. This kind of self-consistancy and totalness in Tolkien's world is the key to his literary genius: on his own he created and entire mythology, as fleshed out at any in the real world, with no loose ends. Reading his work isn't reading about Middle Earth, its being part of it.

Wow, that turned out prosaic :D I also like and enjoy reading the Wheel of Time series (the number of books doesn't bother me as long as they continue to say something) but in 100 volumes Jordan will never get to where Tolkien already is.

Just my $0.02!

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Postby Damien » Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:35 am

I think most people understand -why- Tolkien's works are written in the way that they are. And a large part of that is simply his own preference. Tolkien enjoyed scenery descriptions himself.

It's not a matter of not understanding why, but simply disliking the style. Personally, I love good descriptions, but after a certain point it gets pretty silly (like I said - three paragraphs for a field would be excessive).
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Postby wunztwice » Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:38 am

Any of Tolkien's books, including his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and all of the shorter stories, not necisarily LOTR, although that's perdy hgh up there. Beowulf, of course anything by Lewis as well. My brother, 10, has been reading the Rowan of Ryn series, he likes em alot, I am sure at least some of the younger readers here would enjoy them.

It's too bad I am in college and don't really have time to read. Any free time is spent resting and doing something other than reading. I have sooo many great books at least based in castle stuff. I also like just reading history books about this time period, but again, school, ugh, they tell you to read more, but give you work so you can't.

Great ideas for threads, keep posting'em!
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