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Messages - pw27

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The Barrow, by Mark Smylie is excellent. I just posted in this forum about it and I also reviewed it. Very similar to Malazan books, Game of Thrones, and First Law by Joe Abercrombie. I just saw you don't like heist stories and it's not really a heist but rather a quest for a relic. So if you like relic hunts, you should love it.

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I often come across threads such as "what authors are similar to Joe Abercrombie (First Law), George Martin (Game of Thrones), Steven Erikson (Malazan), Mark Lawrence (Broken Empire)?" I just completed Mark Smylie's book, The Barrow, and it is highly comparable to these grimdark fantasy authors. It is unique in it's own way but if you like any of the above mentioned authors give this book a try. If you are interested in that type of fantasy, I review it here http://grimdark-fantasy-reader.blogspot.com/2014/03/review-of-barrow-by-mark-smylie.html. This is such a good book that I wanted to at least put it out there for fellow fantasy lovers.

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Mark Lawrence- Broken Empire series- Prince of Thorns, King of Thorns, Emperor of Thorns

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Best books you've read this year?
« on: February 21, 2014, 03:18:48 PM »
1) Unwrapped Sky- Rjurik Davidson
2) Nameless; The Darkness Comes- Mercedes Yardley
3) Emperor's Blades-Brian Stavley
4) Hollow World- Michael Sullivan

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I read Michael Sullivan's book The Crown Conspiracy early in 2013 and it renewed my old love of fantasy books, which started with the Hobbit and grew with LoTR, Shannara, and The Dark Tower series. But those were all read at least 20 years ago.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Dark Fantasy v Grimdark
« on: January 19, 2014, 08:20:10 PM »
Joe embraced the term ironically to undermine its use as a pejorative. An good, if not original, strategy that seems to have worked well

Very interesting; I did not know that about Joe Abercrombie! I have been doing a ton of research about the term Grimdark and while there are a lot of people using the term disparagingly I personally think it is a decent term and from what I have seen there are many defenders of it and a huge base of readers looking for Grimdark fantasy. I read also (I haven't verified this but it appears to be the case looking at Amazon's fantasy pages) that novels falling in this Grimdark category are by far the largest selling fantasy books now.  When I started reading Grimdark early in 2013 I had to do my own research to find books outside of the most known ones like Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire books, Joe Abercrombies books, and George R.R Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice. This included searching forums like this, Goodreads, and Google searching. I wonder if the millions of lovers of Grimdark books would have an easier time if there was somewhere they could go and easily access a huge listing of books in this category. I guess until there is some general consensus on what the term even means it would be difficult to have a Grimdark category on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. But I think that there should be because people are searching for these books and a lot of authors could really blow up because of the thirst for these books. I think the tide will eventually turn against those Grimdark critics and they won't be able to use it against the authors and fans. My last thought is that maybe the authors of these books feel that if they are classified Grimdark, they will be losing a large potential audience of fantasy readers. I think that is why Grimdark should be included in fantasy lists as well the sub-list Grimdark fantasy. I think if someone is a reader and they love fantasy they will absolutely fall in love with Grimdark books. I guess I think the term should be embraced. Obviously I'm only one tiny voice among thousands or millions of voices who has an opinion on this. Most of the arguments against Grimdark have appeared to me to be weak, out of touch, overly sensitive and emotional, and very shrill.

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I am about to get stuck into the first of this series. Here's hoping I can get up to date in time for the 4th book to come out. :)
I am sure you will be caught up in time. I completed both books 1 and 3 in 2-3 days each they were so smooth and easy to read. Red Seas Under Red Skies was a bit different for me and I actually DNF'd it but plan to definitely revisit it soon. Book 3, Republic of Thieves is independent and one of the best books of 2013 by far! I am super excited for The Thorn of Emberlain!

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Dark Fantasy v Grimdark
« on: January 17, 2014, 07:17:13 PM »
Great topic as I just started a site last week relating to grimdark fantasy. I have a page up about defining grimdark with many links up to others writings describing it because I have not yet gotten around to writing my own essay about it. The best by far is Joe Abercrombie's article. I think all the responses in this thread are very good and add something to the discussion. There has been a lot said about Grimdark fantasy and there is also a lot of controversy surround this genre. To me, its about realism and morally ambiguous characters. In traditional epic fantasy, you know who is the bad guy and who is the good guy (obviously not always). In Grimdark, it's not nearly so straight forward and usually the person who is the "good" guy is not a good guy. Just like in real life, almost everything is a grey area in Grimdark books. Of course Grimdark usually has lots of violence because it is mostly about the darker characteristics about human nature; jealously, revenge, betrayal, etc. I learn a lot about life reading these books. So please check out my site link on the left and view the article links about Grimdark as well as any of my reviews or posts which interest you.

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Introductions / Re: Grimdark Fantacy
« on: January 15, 2014, 05:33:28 AM »
You're welcome. Malazan is incredibly complex rewarding, but it took me a couple of attempts just to get into Gardens of the Moon. A good wiki might help. :-)
Well Garden was not to bad for me considering I have heard it is relatively difficult for many people I have heard. It's on my reread list as well. I probably should have relied more on a Wiki during Deadhouse. I will next time for sure.

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Introductions / Re: Grimdark Fantacy
« on: January 14, 2014, 07:33:08 PM »
Thanks Matthew. Deadhouse gates i in my reread pile and when I get caught up on a few other books I am trying it again. I heard the Chain of Dogs part is awesome too! I actually stopped before getting to that.

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Introductions / Re: Grimdark Fantacy
« on: January 14, 2014, 06:54:37 PM »
Have you gotten into Joe Abercrombie or the Malazan Book of the Fallen yet?

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I'm a huge fan of Joe Abercrombie. I have two of his stand alones to read and then I will start his new book Half a King when it comes out. As for Malazan, I loved Gardens of the Moon. I DNF'd Deadhouse Gates. There were too many minor characters to keep track of and I lost interest. However the next book Memories of Ice looks really good and I'll start it soon!

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Introductions / Grimdark Fantacy
« on: January 14, 2014, 03:15:36 AM »
Hello everyone! My name is Phil and I am a prolific reader. Right now, I am into gritty and dark fantasy, or Grimdark fantasy.  I love authors like Mark Lawrence, Joe Abercrombie, Glen Cook, or David Gemmell, and many others but they are my top 4. I recently started a blog which I am very proud of. If anyone has any questions about this genre feel free to ask. I love discussing my favorites and am always scouring blogs and forums looking for more. 

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