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Good Fantasy War novels

Discussion in 'Booktalk' started by Nizidramanii'yt, May 17, 2004.

  1. Nizidramanii'yt Gems: 10/31
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    [​IMG] I was wondering which books had some major battles in them, with detailed descriptions so it would seem you're right in between them. Since no movies bother to provide such...entertainment (except LotR of course) I decided to turn to a book. Which one gives a special war that involves a great deal of the world? Preferably FR.

    I considered 'War of Souls' from Tracy/Hickman but I'm not sure if those books really describe major wars.
     
  2. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    Good fantasy war novels are actually quite rare. Typically the fantasy novel will either

    (1) just have the war being fought in the background while focusing on a group of heroes (The Dragon Lance books that I have read generally fall into this category as do Raymond Feist's Riftwar series) or

    (2) the novel will deal with the war in a completely unrealistic (often to the point of silliness) manner. David Eddings and Terry Brooks have written quite a few books with detailed battles that fall into class 2.

    I would recommend the first book of Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarion series. However, it is quite a bit darker in tone to Tolkien or the D&D inspired novels.
     
  3. david w Gems: 19/31
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    There's a great fantasy war battle in Michael Scott Rohan's "The Hammer of the Sun", third book in his Winter of the World series.

    Favourite has to be Terry Brooks' "The Elfstones of Shannara" from back in the days when he was really good.
     
  4. Benan Gems: 20/31
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    James Clemons has some pretty massive battles later in the series.
     
  5. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    This may not be what you are looking for, as there are no blow by blow descriptions of massive battles per se, but the Black Company books present a very bleak and interesting fantasy war setting and are quite gripping. More small unit tactics than grand epic battles, but very gritty and well worth the read.
     
  6. The Kilted Crusader

    The Kilted Crusader The Famous Last words "Hey guys, watch THIS!" Veteran

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    Although not your classic fantasy (elves and dwarves) David Gemmel's Legend is a brilliant book of a siege. There's magic, but perhaps not the kind your used to.

    You could also look at things published by the Black Library, in particular the Warhammer novels, as these will almost certainly involve battles.
     
  7. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Come to think of it, the Horseclans books by Robert Adams had some battle descriptions in them, as well as the nitty-gritty of fighting in general, that you might like.
     
  8. Nizidramanii'yt Gems: 10/31
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    I would like to stick to a more familiar setting. But I would like sieges if they are not too unfamiliar like you say they are.

    Do the Dragonlance characters actually 'participate' in the 'War of Souls' or are they just walking around then? Also, I tried a Shannara book (Sword of) and it dissapointed a little. Stopped reading while in half. A pity.

    I am not necessaraly looking for 'blow-to-blow' descriptions but more something like LotR, the third book respectively. (make that 3rd movie) Outlines of the battle and various stages.

    Thanks for support anyway.
     
  9. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Dragonlance Chronicles have quite a few battles in them, as there's a major conflict developing in the trilogy. Then there's the Avatar Series (FR), with quite a large number of battles revolving around the Time of Troubles (wars with the gods etc.). Return of the Archwizards series would also be of interest. Check http://www.sorcerers.net/Books/index_fr2.php for those listed above (DL books are in a separate section.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  10. david w Gems: 19/31
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    The second book in Raymond E Feist's Riftwar trilogy - "Silverthorn" - has a city laid siege to for several chapters. Very well written.

    I suppose an obvious one, and timely too given that the film's coming out soon, would be Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Firebrand", a novel about the siege of Troy.

    There is a good fantasy war in Stephen Donaldson's "The Illearth War", second book in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Worth reading for whatever reason.
     
  11. Gehn Gems: 7/31
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    David Gemmel's "Echoes Of The Great Song," has some very well orchestrated and written battles. Very epic, without being ridiculously cliche. And it also includes on of the best and most moving "last rides" that i have ever experienced in a story. I would definitely recommend that one.
     
  12. Takara

    Takara My goodness! I see turnips everywhere ★ SPS Account Holder

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    I'm surprised nobody mentioned the crystal shard by R.A Salvatore. It has some relly excellent fights in it.
     
  13. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    I have not read either it (or The Firebrand for that matter) but the question this instantly brings to mind is why not give Homer's The Iliad a try? That way you also get the standard "I've read a Classic" bragging rights.
     
  14. Spellbound

    Spellbound Fleur de Mystique Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Hmm... when I think of battles, the most memorable that comes to mind is the avatar war in The Avatar Trilogy....with a 100 foot giant striding across the sea, crushing all the boats in his path, to do battle on the nearby cliffs. :D I can still see it in my head.....it was awesome and my absolute favorite.

    But...a close second would be The Cormyr Saga...terrific battle scenes with creatures of all sorts -- but especially the winged demons that would relentlessly pursue the defenders -- track them, attack, get beaten off and retreat....only to reappear as small dots on the horizon getting larger and larger. This pursuit went on for many, many pages. Extremely well-written, edge of your seat type stuff. I never tired of it...not for one second. It rocked. :D
     
  15. Benan Gems: 20/31
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    In the Dragonlance series the War of the Lance series (Chronicles), Dragons of Summerflame and The War of Souls books all have blow by blow battle scenes.
     
  16. Faerus Stoneslammer Gems: 16/31
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    Well, it's a pretty old series from FR, but if you can find the Empires Trilogy it's certainly worth the read (the 3 books are: Horselords, Dragonwall, and Crusade). The first two books feature some very interesting Chinese-Mongolian style battles (very cool stuff!). The third book though has, IMO, the best war/battles of the three. An alliance composed of soldiers from across the Heartlands in a crusade led by King Azoun of Cormyr to stop the invading Tuigan hordes...great stuff!

    Like Spelly said, the Cormyr Trilogy has some interesting war sequences too, but I found they were badly written; the authors had no idea what they were talking about. For the large battles that is; I enjoyed the small fights with the ghazneths...but the huge battles (particularly in the third book) were just plain badly written.

    Like Takara said; the Crystal Shard has some superb battles throughout. Another RA Salvatore book to look out for is Siege of Darkness. This book has some great dwarf vs drow/goblinoid fodder battles. Entertaining as well as action-packed...it's certainly a good read. Oh, and The Thousand Orcs also has some good smaller scale battles.

    Oops...more RA Salvatore books; check out the Cleric Quintet. The second or third book in that series (sorry, can't remember the names right now) has one or two good large scale battles, with many, many smaller skirmishes scattered throughout.

    Like Tal said too, the Return of the Archwizards Trilogy has some cool battles, but they're a little too frustrating. The "bad guys" are just too powerful; only some of the good guys really stand a chance, so most of the battles (until the third book, of course!) are completely one-sided.

    The Halruaa Trilogy (I don't think that's the name though, but the 3 books are: the Magehound, the Floodgate, and Wizardwar) might also be worth taking a look. The trouble is, the author (Elaine Cunningham, iirc) has absolutely no concept of war or battle at all, so the large battles are very hokey.

    The Rage (brand new book; starting off the Year of Rogue Dragons Trilogy) has some very cool dragon battles in it; and it's a good read to boot...so that's definitely worth a gander.

    I'm sure there's more, but at the moment that's all I can recall off the top of my head. Just remember that these are all Forgotten Realms books/series; and there's much more out there too...
     
  17. nior Gems: 24/31
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    Ever considered Homer's Iliad?
     
  18. The Kilted Crusader

    The Kilted Crusader The Famous Last words "Hey guys, watch THIS!" Veteran

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    I wouldn't discount Legend because its a slightly different world from the one your used to. Anyone who has read it has really enjoyed, and is certainly one of the best books, featuring possibly the best siege I've ever read.
     
  19. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    A Song of Ice and Fire anyone...?
     
  20. david w Gems: 19/31
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    A Song Of Ice & Fire indeed! I can't believe I didn't mention that one myself. And with book 4 out shortly, now would be a good time for newcomers to read the first 3.
     
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