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Monday, July 10, 2017

Best Modern Fantasy (Nominations Needed)

Image description:
Prince of Thorns book cover
by Mark Lawrence
What is the best book (or series) written in the fantasy genre in the last 25 years?  

Back when this blog was young, I did a best sci/fi or fantasy poll and even with only twenty readers, I somehow ended up in a seven part poll with over a hundred nominations, so I've spent a lot of time trying to break those genres into smaller subsets for the purposes of running a poll that didn't take months.  A year and change ago I was doing best classic sci fi, best modern sci fi, best stand alone sci fi, best stand alone fantasy, best sci fi series, best fantasy series, best classic fantasy...

But I somehow forgot best modern fantasy. So here we go.


Rules- 

1- As always, I leave the semantics about "fantasy" to your best judgement because I'd rather be inclusive. I might arch an eyebrow at your ridiculous stretch to get, but I'm not going to argue.

2- To avoid multi-decade spanning series being on our poll because an author tossed out a recent sequel, the book OR FIRST BOOK IN THE SERIES must have a copyright date no earlier than 1992. If your series kicked off in the eighties, you'll have to pick one book (that came later) to nominate.

3- You may nominate two (2) works of modern fantasy. Remember that I am a terrifying megalomaniac who hates free will and all things that smell like liberty.  I will NOT take any books or series beyond the second that you suggest. (I will consider everything after your second rec in a long list to be "seconds" if the work is nominated before or after yours.)

3- You may (and should) second as many nominations of others as you wish. That is the only way they'll be making it to the final poll.

4- Please put your nominations here. I will take nominations on reminder posts; however, they may not get the seconds you need to go onto our poll because no one will see them. But I can't sift through all the social media cross posting. (Seriously, Deloris Umbridge got a nomination on our best villain poll, but she received no seconds because she was nominated on Facebook instead of here. And then everyone got sad that she wasn't on the polls–though she probably should have been.)

5- You are nominating WRITTEN WORKS, not their movie portrayals. CGI epic fights might be very pretty, but if you found Game of Thrones to be too dense a read (I didn't, but just by way of example), you shouldn't nominate it because Kit Harrington rocks a tux.

6- "Best" means whatever you as a reader think it should. Most challenging. Most engaging. Most fun. Most literary. It's up to you what "best" means.

210 comments:

  1. I nominate

    1) The Travelers Gate series by Will Wight

    And

    2) Dawn of Wonder: The Wakening by Jonathan Renshaw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second Dawn of Wonder. Probably my favourite fantasy novel.

      Delete
  2. The Magaicians' Guild (first in the Black Magician Trilogy) by Truck Canavan

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    Replies
    1. Seconded (and thank you, I was having trouble picking just two!)

      *Trudy Canavan. Gotta love autocorrect!

      Delete
    2. Ack! *Trudi Canavan

      Delete
  3. I nominate The Kingkiller Chronicle, both "The Name of the Wind" and "Wise Man's Fear".

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  4. Dragon Apocalypse by James Maxey

    The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

    Those are my nominations

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, seconded.

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    2. I will second The Dresden Files all day long

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    3. Seconded. All hail the Zza Lord.

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    4. Second Dresden Files!

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  5. I nominate American Gods, by Neil Gaiman.

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  6. I nominate
    1. Garden of the moon (Book 1 of Malazan series) - Steven Erikson
    2. American Gods - Neil Gaiman

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seconding Steven Erickson's Malazan.

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    2. Was going to enter this absolute gem in myself. I 'third' the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Hands down the most challenging and creative fantasy work in recent times.

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    3. Second Gardens of the Moon. I feel there is no debate here.

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    4. As soon as I saw this, the Malazan Book of the Fallen popped into my head. I fourth.

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    5. I fourth Malazan Book of the Fallen. Amazing. It's what inspired me to write.

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  7. N.K. Jemisin's The Inheritance Trilogy.

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    Replies
    1. I will second anything N. K. Jemisin writes all day long!

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  8. The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne.

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  9. The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan.

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  10. Replies
    1. Alas, The Colour of Magic came oot in 1983, and the limit is 1992 at the earliest fer this poll, otherwise I'd be seconding

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    2. But he did say we can also choose any book in the series that was published after 1992.

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    3. Ah sae he did, in that case it'll have tae be any book after Small Gods inclusively

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    4. Oh snap. This poll just got interesting.

      Seconded. With Octarine gusto.

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  11. Robert Sanderson's Mistborn series

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  12. Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Chronicles.

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    Replies
    1. I very strongly agree for a variety of reasons.

      One it's a really well done creative world that is presented smoothly from different pov.

      Two it handles and tackles some really hard mental health issues tactfully and thoroughly without feeling hamfisted OR taking away from the characters.

      Plus each book just leaves you wanting the next so hard.

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    2. I third! Sanderson is a standout fantasy author.

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    3. Fourth. Brilliant series from an outstanding author.

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    4. Fifth. Hands down!

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    5. Sixth! Amazing series!

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    6. Supporting this all the way, though I still think Shadows of Self is my favourite by him.

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    7. I second this though I'm not the first to do so.

      Delete
  13. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    The ocean at the end of the lane by Neil Gaiman
    A song of fire and ice by George R. R. Martin
    Harry Potter bt J.K. Rowling
    Discworld by Terry Pratchett

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Second to American Gods, A song of ice and fire, and Harry Potter.

      Delete
  14. 1) Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom
    2) Derek Landy's Skulduggery Pleasant

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    Replies
    1. Yuss. I remember having a lot of fun reading Keys to the Kingdom when I was a kid <3

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  15. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

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  16. The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan.

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  17. 1. Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
    2. Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

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    Replies
    1. I third Night Watch. Sam Vimes for President 2020

      Delete
  18. The Alchemyst
    The Subtle Knife

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  19. Age of the Five (series) - Trudi Canavan
    Lightbringer (series) - Brent Weeks

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    Replies
    1. Second Brent weeks light bringer series

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    2. Second light bringer as well

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  20. Christine OzolinsJuly 10, 2017 at 12:35 PM

    I nominate Tales from Earthsea and the follow up books ending with The Other Wind - by Ursula K. Le Guin.

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  21. For my second nomination, I would like to add The First Law trilogy, by Joe Abercrombie.

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  22. I nominate Steven Eriksen's Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

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    Replies
    1. Seconding it!

      Delete
    2. Strongly seconded.

      The series is one of a kind in world building and commands a prose that keeps the world alive in every step. It is known to be challenging because the clunky usage of exposition used as a crutch by many fantasy writers is something hardly seen here.

      Characters like Kruppe and Anomander Rake command as much respect as Gandalf and Severus Snape.

      Delete
    3. I will join you fair folks on this oh-so-noble quest.

      Delete
  23. I nominate:
    1. The Chronicles of the Necromancer by Gail Z. Martin
    2. The Kingmaker Chronicles by Amanda Bouchet

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  24. Wheel of Time series: Robert Jordan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Wheel of Time...Eye of the World, was published in 1990. Just a heads up, as the first book is slightly out of the 25 year time frame.

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  25. I nominate Guild hunter series and Psy-changeling series by Nalini Singh

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  26. How the Dead Live by Will Self
    The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

    Seconds for A Song of Ice and Fire and Harry Potter.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I nominate the Farseer Trilogy and the Liveship Trader series, both by Robin Hobb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Second the Farseer trilogy. I enjoyed the live ships but not enough to second it.

      Delete
  28. 1. A darker shade of magic - V.E. Schwab
    2. This Savage Song - V.E. Schwab

    Seriously, I wanted to nominate all V.E. Schwab's books, but I just went with these two as representatives of her amazing writing

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  29. I nominate the Legend of Drizzt series by R.A. Salvatore.

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  30. I nominate Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil by Derek Landy

    ReplyDelete
  31. Nominating Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson, before Esselmont shat all over it.

    Also nominating the City Watch series by Terry Pratchett.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seconding Malazan book of the fallen.

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    2. Third for the Book of the Fallen. Though, mate don't be silly. Have you read Dancer's Lament by Ian C. Esslemont? The guy has talent.

      Delete
  32. Storm of Swords by George RR Martin

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  33. I nominate:
    1) The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks
    2) The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks

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  34. The Prince of Nothing series by R. Scott Bakker
    The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone by Gregory Keyes (peeps should Reads these)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just read the first one. Promising start.

      Delete
  35. The Golden Key by Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott. (c. 1999 by DAW Books Inc.

    The limits of 25 years exclude books like Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seconding The Golden Key - wonderful book, ingenious premise, excellent writing.

      Delete
  36. I nominate;

    Sawyer Jackson and the Long Land
    (Trilogy)
    By Kevin Tumlinso

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *Tumlinson
      Sorry, my screen is cracked 😭

      Delete
  37. 1) Radiance - Catherynne M. Valente

    2) Uprooted - Naomi Novik

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  38. Kingkiller Chronicle- Patrick Rothfuss
    Night Angel Series - Brent Weeks

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  39. Trinity series by Fiona McIntosh

    The Chronicles of Kaya by Charlotte McConaghy

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  40. Some books to nominate, why yes:

    1. Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erickson
    2. The Last Wish - Andrzej Sapkowski (Witcher series)

    Kruppe is broken hearted to not say Harry Potter for he can only name two. But no worries, for we will hear of that very much too.

    And please give my apologies to Tyrion should one see him as well. I do enjoy his work.

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  41. Kings of Grace by Ken Liu, I mean come on now, this book is a work of art

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  42. The Brothers Leviathan, by Zig Zag Claybourne

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  43. I also nominate Nnedi Okorafor for Who Fears Death.

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  44. I nominate the Name of the Wind 'trilogy' by Patrick Rothfuss.

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  45. 1. The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud

    2. Biased as I may be, I'll throw Kasigah - Witch Hunt into the ring as well

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  46. 1. the wise oak series by Oliver Tooley (I'm possibly a little biased, but I genuinely think it's an excellent, historically grounded fantasy)

    2. the black book of secrets by F.E. Higgins (possibly stretching the definition of fantasy a little, but there are certainly fantasy elements, and that's good enough for me)

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  47. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

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  48. I nominate The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. Great series. The only remarkable flaw is the ending which is not the greatest. The bulk of the novels are quality though.

      Delete
  49. Changa's Safari One, Two and Three by Milton Davis

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  50. Abengoni: First Calling by Charles R. Saunders.

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  51. Sabriel (the Abhorson trilogy) by Garth Nix
    and
    East by Edith Pattou

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  52. Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson

    Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

    By far the two most influential and significant fantasy series in my life

    ReplyDelete
  53. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second Neverwhere. I know everyone's all hyped about American Gods, but Neverwhere is Gaiman's best book.

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    2. I second the night circus! Absolutely amazing!

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    3. Seconding Neverwhere. It had this big beautiful feel of magic for me that American Gods lacked.

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    4. I third Night Circus

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  54. HIS DARK MATERIALS, Philip Pullman

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  55. The Ydron Saga series, Raymond Bolton
    Stormlight was my first.. but hey.. it's already listed!

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  56. The Kingkiller Chronicles. Nothing compares.

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  57. Nominating
    1.) The Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch (Specifically the first book, "The Lies of Locke Lamora" since it's the best imo, but the whole series is amazing fantasy)
    2.) The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman. One of my favorite all-time books. Like Harry Potter for adults, can't get better than that!
    And I know we only get two but American Gods by Neil Gaiman was a close 2nd, amazing book. Lots of people already said it though :)

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  58. Mikes Camerons 'Red Knight' and 'The Fell Sword'

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  59. 1) Nalini Singh: Psy-Changeling Series
    And
    2) Nalini Singh: Guild Hunter Series

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  60. I nominate:
    Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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  61. I nominate:
    1. A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

    2. The Rest of Us Just Live Here - Patrick Ness

    Two of the most emotionally fascinating books I've ever read. Though perhaps aimed at a younger audience than some of the others suggested, they both did a wonderful job of using fantasy elements to highlight the emotional state of the protagonists in a way I hadn't seen before.

    Beyond those two, I'd have to second any books by Brandon Sanderson, and The Chimes by Anna Smaill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seconding The Rest of Us Just Live Here.

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  62. R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing trilogy is absolutely brilliant

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  63. I nominate:

    1 - Way of kings series - Brandon Sanderson

    2 - The Belgariad - David Eddings

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  64. The First Law - Joe Abercrombie

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  65. The Dresden Files - Jim Butcher
    The Demon Cycle - Peter V. Brett

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  66. Percy Jackson and the Olympians - Rick Riordan

    Beyond this, everyone has covered the series I would nominate, complete with seconds, and the only other ones I can think of are stand-alone novels or were started before 1992...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Certainly this poll is already going to be epic, but stand alone is okay. :)

      Delete
  67. The Hollows series by Kim Harrison

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seconding Kim Harrison's The Hollows.

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  68. Kushiel's Legacy by Jacqueline Carey

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    Replies
    1. Second!!! My gods LOVE this series

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  69. I'm going to nominate a book that may not be known by many other non-librarians, but The Underneath by Kathi Appelt is one of the most beautiful, magical books I have ever read. The only reason it didn't win the Newbery is because Neil Gaiman wrote another amazing book called The Graveyard Book that same year. But at the end of it all, I choose The Underneath as my second nomination.

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  70. The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs

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    Replies
    1. Also xeconding Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series

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  71. Priest (Ratcatchers Book 1) by Matthew Colville
    and Thief (Ratcatchers Book 2)

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  72. October Daye by Seanan McGuire.

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  73. Nominating:

    1. Libriomancer series by Jim C. Hines
    2. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

    ReplyDelete
  74. Do graphic novels count? If so, Digger by Ursula Vernon. If not, can we have a poll for them? :D (because you clearly don't have enough to do already!)

    Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

    And if Digger doesn't count, my second nomination is the Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn. If Digger does count, call that a second if someone else wants to nominate it :)

    ReplyDelete