Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Fantasy/ Historical medieval novels Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next 
Author Message
D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 221

PostPosted: Sat 21 Sep, 2013 2:39 pm    Post subject: Fantasy/ Historical medieval novels         Reply with quote

Hello all, I would love to hear recommendations for fantasy novels and historical medieval fiction.

I've read pretty much everything by Terry Brooks, and of course have read some Tolkien, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and some newer authors like Joseph Lallo. Most of my medieval type reading, however, has been fantasy oriented. I'm curious if there are good authors doing more along the lines of historical novels, I'd especially be interested in the Germany/ Austria regions in the medieval era. I'm not so interested in non-fiction, as I think sometimes those books can get a bit dry.

Thanks in advance.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
View user's profile Send private message
Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 21 pages
Reading list: 231 books

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 9,129

PostPosted: Sat 21 Sep, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bernard Cornwell's Agincourt and his Grail Quest Series are a great place to start.
Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Marik C.S.




Location: Germany
Joined: 16 Feb 2010

Posts: 163

PostPosted: Sat 21 Sep, 2013 3:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't recommend Andrzej Sapkowski highly enough.
The Witcher Series - both in Books and games - is just amazing and are best combined.
The games work as an extension of the story and do that job quite well (given the fact that they obviously work in a different medium than a book does) while the games are much more enjoyable with all the background knowledge from the book.

Now that is pure fantasy. It is what I would call realistic-ish fantasy and pretty oriented towards the late medieval period in Europe.

Now this is tricky.
The Author also has a very nice series of fantasy books set in 15th century Bohemia (for the most part, as well as Silesia and Poland) during the Hussite crusades, these are more along the lines of.. well the closest thing would be fairy tales or old legends in terms of their level of fantasy content - not in the style of writing though - by which I mean few battle-mages and firebreathing dragons but quite a lot of herbal women, soothsayers and Merlinesque Mages who are prone to boasting their powers.
This series I'd also recommend whole heartedly - if you don't mind lots of names all of which sound somewhat similar and are almost impossible to remember - even though the historical influences must be taken with a lot of artistic licence in mind (well it is a fantasy book after all). Problem is, from what I can see on Amazon these are only available in Polish and German, so if you read neither you're out of luck I'm afraid.

Europe - Where the History comes from. - Eddie Izzard
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website ICQ Number
Joar Grahn




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 08 Apr 2013

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat 21 Sep, 2013 3:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marik C.S. wrote:
I can't recommend Andrzej Sapkowski highly enough.
The Witcher Series - both in Books and games - is just amazing and are best combined.
The games work as an extension of the story and do that job quite well (given the fact that they obviously work in a different medium than a book does) while the games are much more enjoyable with all the background knowledge from the book.
.


I'll also recommend Sapkowski's books. I've read about half of the witcher books so far, but they haven't all been translated into English yet. As has been said before, both the books and the games are great and I've found that the Witcher 2 (game) has some extremely nice sword and armor designs. For example the antagonist in the Witcher 2 uses a sword which I consider to be one of my favourite sword designs ever.
View user's profile Send private message
Gordon Alexander




Location: Eagan, MN & Dubois, WY
Joined: 24 Dec 2012

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Sat 21 Sep, 2013 4:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am ignorant of medieval history myself, however many have enjoyed reading Umberto Eco's works.
View user's profile Send private message
Jeff Kaisla




Location: Qualicum Beach, B.C., Canada
Joined: 09 Jan 2008
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 106

PostPosted: Sat 21 Sep, 2013 4:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Bernard Cornwell's Agincourt and his Grail Quest Series are a great place to start.


I fully agree! My favorite author for medieval novels. Personally I like the Saxon series the best. Cant wait to read Pagan Lord
View user's profile Send private message
Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 3,650

PostPosted: Sat 21 Sep, 2013 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They don't set their books in Germany/Austria, but I do have some recommendations.

Cecelia Holland sets most of her novels in Medieval Europe - Viking, Norman Conquest, Crusades, 12th century England, 100 Years War. A great author with an almost Hemingway-like prose style.

Alfred Duggan wrote some medieval novels, also very good, but maybe a little dry for some tastes.
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 849

PostPosted: Sat 21 Sep, 2013 4:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fantasy / sword and sorcery Authors I'd recommend :

Fritz Leiber's books on the adventures of Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser ...

Michael Moorcock has done several such novels, the series featuring Elric Of
Melnibone being my favorite ...

Richard Monaco did a trilogy inspired by the Aruthurian legend, I seem to recall
finding them unusual and interesting ...

I always thought Karl Edward Wagner's Kane books are pretty exceptional too ...

What about Robert E. Howard's Conan books ...

Maybe even look into Henryk Sienkiewicz's With Fire And Sword trilogy of books ...
more historical than fantasy, I BELIEVE. I haven't read them, but own the movies
based on them ...

B-)
View user's profile Send private message
D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 221

PostPosted: Sat 21 Sep, 2013 7:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Gents, I appreciate the responses. That should keep me in good supply for a while.

Marik and Joar, thanks as well for the head's up on the Witcher games. I've been a PC gamer for many years, and I never tried the Witcher series....I might have to give them a shot.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
View user's profile Send private message
Steven Janus




Location: Florida, USA
Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Sat 21 Sep, 2013 9:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joar Grahn wrote:
Marik C.S. wrote:
I can't recommend Andrzej Sapkowski highly enough.
The Witcher Series - both in Books and games - is just amazing and are best combined.
The games work as an extension of the story and do that job quite well (given the fact that they obviously work in a different medium than a book does) while the games are much more enjoyable with all the background knowledge from the book.
.


I'll also recommend Sapkowski's books. I've read about half of the witcher books so far, but they haven't all been translated into English yet. As has been said before, both the books and the games are great and I've found that the Witcher 2 (game) has some extremely nice sword and armor designs. For example the antagonist in the Witcher 2 uses a sword which I consider to be one of my favourite sword designs ever.


I wish they'd translate more of them officially into english. I found fan translations of most of the Hexer (Witcher). I love the books and the games and am waiting on the third game to come out. It is really good.

Newbie Sword collector
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Lee O'Hagan




Location: Northamptonshire,England
Joined: 30 Sep 2003
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 507

PostPosted: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 3:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pretty much anything from David Gemmell,
Legend, Waylander, The King beyond the gate, White Wolf

M D Lachlan wolf series wasn't bad, old Norse Fenrir etc,

Peter V Brett,
The Painted man trilogy, ( The Warded Man)
Brilliant set of books

Brent Weeks
Lightbringer series,
The Shadow series,
View user's profile Send private message
Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 932

PostPosted: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 5:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Del Rey has an anthology of Robert E. Howard's historical stories, titled Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures. Among others, it contains "The Shadow of the Vulture", an amazing tale set in and around the Siege of Vienna, 1529, starring the one and only Red Sonya of Rogatino. Also the less firmly rooted in history but nonetheless impressive "Road of Azrael".

Their other REH anthologies are also excellent. King Kull and Conan are, of course, pretty much mandatory if you're into sword & sorcery, Bran Mak Morn and Solomon Kane bring the genre from pure fantasy into historical times, el Borak compiles most of his historical (or contemporary at the time of their writing) Asian stories... the whole series is laudable work across the board, with lavish illustrations (Gary Gianni's work in The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane is my personal favorite) and great care taken to restore Howard's original work.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
View user's profile Send private message
Raymond Deancona





Joined: 04 Mar 2004

Posts: 429

PostPosted: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 7:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Look for Alfred Duggan. He wrote historic novels. Excellent. You will enjoy pretty much any of his works.
View user's profile Send private message
Gordon Alexander




Location: Eagan, MN & Dubois, WY
Joined: 24 Dec 2012

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 8:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ken Folletts Pillars of the Earth is also a reasonably historical depiction according to many critics.

You could also go straight to Chaucer, The Pearl Poet, and Langland. They should know what they are writing about.

There is also a guy named Bill Shakespeare. He was just a bit after the medieval period but it's often said he is good enough to read anyway. His material is closer to the medieval period than any of the stuff you listed that you had already read.

*I just realized the none of the authors I mention after Follett write novels - all poems and plays. Oops, I misfired there.


Last edited by Gordon Alexander on Sun 22 Sep, 2013 2:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 932

PostPosted: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 10:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, hey, how about The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay? A wonderfully compelling not-historical story of the struggles of not-Jews, not-Christians and not-Muslims in freshly post-Caliphate not-Al-Andalus...

In a similar vein, Michael Chabon's Gentlemen of the Road (working title "Jews with Swords"), a historical picaresque or road novel of the misadventures of not-Fafhrd and not-Grey-Mouser getting entangled in political intrigue in the Khazar Kaganate. Happy

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
View user's profile Send private message
Jason Daub




Location: Peace River, Alberta
Joined: 14 Jan 2005
Reading list: 78 books

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Cameron, he is better known for his historical fiction set in ancient Greece, but his new series, started with "The Ill-Made Knight" is probably his best work to date. I greatly prefer it to Cornwall. He also has "Tom Swan", as a serial it is short little episodes packed with action (for next to nothing). For 'historical fantasy' you could try his "cousin" Miles Cameron and "The Red Knight". What I find most appealing about Mr. Cameron's work, besides the feeling of reality it has, is the fact that his characters never seem as if they were 21st century people in the past.
'I saw young Harry, -with his bevor on,
His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm'd,-
Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury,
And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship.'
View user's profile Send private message
Baard H




Location: Norway
Joined: 13 Mar 2013

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As a couple of others has done already; I would recommend Bernard Cornwell's "Azincourt" and the "Grail Series".

One of the best writers out there is probably Conn Iggulden with his epic series "Emperor" (detailing the life of Julius Caesar and the rise of Emperor Augustus) and "Conquest" (the mongols rise from a band of warring tribes to a continent spanning empire under the rule of Ghenghis and Kublai Khan).

Another excellent historical fiction author is Robyn Young with her trilogies "Brethren" (the Knights Templar) and "Insurrection" (Robert Bruce and his bid for the Scottish throne in the age of William Wallace).


And of course a must in these days if you like fantasy (and love to hate an author...) "A Song of Ice and Fire".

At kveldi skal dag leyfa,
konu, er brennd er,
mćki, er reyndr er,
mey, er gefin er,
ís, er yfir kemr,
öl, er drukkit er.
-Hávamál, vísa 81
View user's profile Send private message
Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 3,650

PostPosted: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 10:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On the fantasy side I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Game Of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin. The first three books are quite good, but there is a decline in books 4 and 5.
View user's profile Send private message
Baard H




Location: Norway
Joined: 13 Mar 2013

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
On the fantasy side I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Game Of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin. The first three books are quite good, but there is a decline in books 4 and 5.


Actually, I did... (just mentioning it...)

Baard H wrote:
And of course a must in these days if you like fantasy (and love to hate an author...) "A Song of Ice and Fire".

At kveldi skal dag leyfa,
konu, er brennd er,
mćki, er reyndr er,
mey, er gefin er,
ís, er yfir kemr,
öl, er drukkit er.
-Hávamál, vísa 81
View user's profile Send private message
D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 221

PostPosted: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
On the fantasy side I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Game Of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin. The first three books are quite good, but there is a decline in books 4 and 5.


Thanks Roger, I sort of intentionally didn't mention that one. I love the GoT TV series, I think they did an excellent job with a gritty feeling medieval show. But that said, I wouldn't read his books...simply because I hate reading novels where every one of your favorite characters gets killed off. And the more you like a character the faster they die. It may be realistic, but it's not my style. I prefer to spend a long time getting to know characters that I really like.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Fantasy/ Historical medieval novels
Page 1 of 3 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum