Today I’ve got some fantasy novels for you that you may or may not have heard of. I figure that at this point it would be a little silly to be throwing out the Lord of the Rings Trilogy or something like that, so I was aiming for Kindle Edition authors that caught me by surprise. As always, you may be more in touch with the current state of this particular genre than I am and therefore see these as old news! In that case, feel free to let me know what else to look into for next time.
I suppose if you wanted to, you could call the focus here non-Tolkienesque Fantasy. There’re so many varieties these days, after all, and the elves and dwarves sometimes get a little overdone. Also, random thought, but has anybody else noticed that these books tend to come in threes?
This is the first book in a trilogy focusing on the not-uncommon theme of a down and out kid with nothing special about him to begin with growing into the role of a hero. Pretty much, at least. What makes this stand out above that almost cliched theme is the amazingly accessible writing and compelling characters. While the world building is somewhat forced at times, leaving you to wish that Weeks had dialed it back and concentrate on his main characters, in general it’s hard not to sympathize with the situations of the protagonist as he moves deeper into the physically and morally demanding life that he has chosen for himself.
While this first book touches on issues of a vague “talent” that goes beyond human abilities, future books in the trilogy elaborate on the concept of magic significantly and bring it to the front of the conflicts. For some this will be a good thing, for others a deal-breaker. Just putting it out there.
The Kindle Edition is $7.99
Picture a world in the aftermath of a typical epic fantasy struggle, except this time the bad guys won. While Sanderson has gotten loads of press for being chosen as the one to pick up the pieces of Robert Jordan’s epic following the author’s passing, before that he had already created his own amazing trilogy.
While many will note that the characterizations are a little flat, with the main characters basically being defined almost solely by their specific magical “attribute”, the work as a whole is compelling. The world itself becomes a character of sorts, and Sanderson actually manages to make the evil emperor menacing after giving him the ridiculous name of “Lord Ruler”! The exposition is a little heavy, but this is a real page turner with nothing I can think of to say against it that would weigh against the fun you’ll have reading it and it only gets better as you move further into the trilogy.
The Kindle Edition is $7.99
The first book in what I understand was originally intended to be a trilogy about an alternate history of the world wherein dragons are a reality of everyday life. Novik demonstrates an impressive sense of the Napoleonic Wars and provides readers with characters that are both completely believable within their specific niches and able to demonstrate a certain larger than life character.
The basics that you should know going into things are that dragons are real, fairly intelligent, and domesticated enough to make aerial warfare a possibility earlier than it really could have been. The main character captures a rare egg and is forced to give up a life in the navy to care for it, whether he’s happy about it or not. This was actually one of the first books I grabbed when I switched over to the Kindle and I have gone back to it more than once.
The Kindle Edition is $6.99