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I want to read a book that

...is without cynicism
...is wildly romantical without being romance-focused
...is entanglingly character-driven
...has characters with swords
...has mysterious religions
...is written with transparent prose so I don't have to fight my way through it going, "Wait, this is what I wanted, but it's not."
...has assassins. Good assassins.
...and gruff old men with hearts of gold
...and lost heirs in disguise
...and is basically all wish-fulfillment fantasy, all the time, but for girls who used to like unicorns but don't anymore
...and maybe there's a desert. And if there's no desert, there's a mountain fastness. And if there's no mountain fastness, there's a some other fancy, dominating landscape.

I want, basically, The Blue Sword again for the first time. Plus a little Seven Daughters for Seven Sons and a lot of Crown Duel, and maybe even a tiny bit of Dragonsong, with a dash of David Eddings and Mercedes Lackey (no really). And little tiny bit of I Capture the Castle, but only in the voice.

Anyone know where I can find that?

Comments

( 50 comments — Leave a comment )
dichroic
Sep. 16th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
Swordspoint? Wouldn't say Alec has a heart of gold, but...

ETA: oops, NOT Swordspoint! I meant to suggest The Privilege of the Sword.

Also, maybe Stevermer's A College of Magics. Or A Scholar of, whichever comes first.

Edited at 2008-09-16 03:21 am (UTC)
colomon
Sep. 16th, 2008 06:38 am (UTC)
College comes first. (Well, technically When the King Comes Home comes first.) It was also what I thought of right off the bat, though it misses on a couple of the points.

As your first suggestion, there's an awful lot of cynicism in the Kushner books, IMO, but they are absolutely terrific.
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aj
Sep. 16th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
Dunno if it nails all those buttons, but my current favorite fantasy book series is the Twelve Houses by Sharon Shinn. It starts with Mystic and Rider and just.. *heart glows* And it's so... female. Which is odd to say, but it IS. For real, I wish I could make more people read this series.

Edited at 2008-09-16 03:21 am (UTC)
birdsedge
Sep. 16th, 2008 10:30 am (UTC)
OK, you've convinced me. I've not read any Sharon Shinn before but I've ordered the first two.
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amberdine
Sep. 16th, 2008 03:32 am (UTC)
Well, I have a manuscript which (IMO) meets about 8-9 of those criteria if you want a copy. :P

And you're making me want to write another one like that...
merriehaskell
Sep. 16th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
I'll take it, if you're really not minding it be read. :)
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forodwaith
Sep. 16th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
::sigh:: If you ever find that bookshelf, let me know.

I have high hopes for Graceling, based on reviews, but haven't read it yet so can't guarantee satisfaction...
merriehaskell
Sep. 16th, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
Hm....
Untitled - sarah_prineas - Sep. 16th, 2008 02:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
coraa
Sep. 16th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC)
Alas, no, but now I want it too.
merriehaskell
Sep. 16th, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC)
Right? Right?

After I posted last night, I thought, "I've probably have read all those books. I'll probably have to write it to get one."

But maybe not.
ckocher
Sep. 16th, 2008 04:33 am (UTC)
Hmm... Anne Bishop's The Black Jewels books have most of that.

merriehaskell
Sep. 16th, 2008 12:57 pm (UTC)
Yes, well, other than the inherent cynicism in child abuse... But yes. And they are optimistic books for all that. I enjoyed them when I read them. I don't think they're what I'm looking for today, though thanks for the suggestion...
dailypie.blogspot.com
Sep. 16th, 2008 04:49 am (UTC)
George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series has a lot of those. As you probably know. If not, though, the first one's A GAME OF THRONES.
buymeaclue
Sep. 16th, 2008 11:27 am (UTC)
I'd say "without cynicism" knocks the Martin stuff right out of the running. *g*
Untitled - merriehaskell - Sep. 16th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
merriehaskell
Sep. 16th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed the first one, and I do intend to read more... but I think I can safely say those are not the books I'm looking for.
colomon
Sep. 16th, 2008 06:48 am (UTC)
You know, I think I have a copy of The Blue Sword around here somewhere that I've never gotten around to reading...
merriehaskell
Sep. 16th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
That book saved my childhood.
stephanieburgis
Sep. 16th, 2008 07:20 am (UTC)
Well, this doesn't include every single element, but Lois McMaster Bujold's Paladin of Souls does include a LOT of those elements...! And it's one of my favorite fantasy novels. 40-year-old woman goes off adventuring, meets true love, fights battles, learns how cool she is. Awesome!
birdsedge
Sep. 16th, 2008 10:44 am (UTC)
Lois McMaster Bujold's Curse of Chalion - which precedes Paladin of Souls - is my favourite book of the last twenty years! Caz is such a wonderful, unassuming, unheroic-while-being-totally-heroic hero. In fact - it ticks most of the required boxes, so that would be my suggestion.
Cynicism - none - tick
Wildly romantical - oh yes - tick
Entanglingly character-driven - bloody hell, not half - tick
Swords - tick
Mysterious religions - five gods in fact - tick
Transparent prose - beautifully written - tick
Assassins - well there's dirty deeds and murders - tick
Gruff old men with hearts of gold - Caz almost qualifies himself, except he's not anywhere near as old as he seems to be at first - kinda tick
Lost heirs in disguise - Not exactly, but heirs in danger - kinda-tick
Wish-fulfillment fantasy - ticky ticky tick tick tick and tickety tick
Mountain fastness - just as ordered - tick

And now, fairmer, you're going to tell me you've read it already, aren't you?
Untitled - merriehaskell - Sep. 16th, 2008 12:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
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sarah_prineas
Sep. 16th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
I am reading The Blue Sword for the first time right now!! Lucky me, huh?

Everything on your list is on mine.
merriehaskell
Sep. 16th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
I wonder how it holds up for an adult writer to read it for the first time...
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penmage
Sep. 16th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
Have you read Dreamhunter and Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox? They don't fit in all your criteria, but they do follow some. And they are unlike anything else I have ever read (in a very very good way.)

I also recommend you not read any blurbs or summaries, because they are the hardest books to blurb ever. I have tried about a hundred times, and nothing ever makes them sound as good as they actually are.

They are:
...is without cynicism (very yes)
...is wildly romantical without being romance-focused (yes yes yes)
...is entanglingly character-driven (sweet baby jesus yes)
...has characters with swords (There might be swords. Am not sure. Can't promise.)
...has mysterious religions (sort of)
...is written with transparent prose so I don't have to fight my way through it going, "Wait, this is what I wanted, but it's not." (yup)
...has assassins. Good assassins. (do conspiracies count?)
...and is basically all wish-fulfillment fantasy, all the time, but for girls who used to like unicorns but don't anymore (yes yes yes)
...and maybe there's a desert. And if there's no desert, there's a mountain fastness. And if there's no mountain fastness, there's a some other fancy, dominating landscape. (oh baby, are you in for some dominating landscape)

Edited at 2008-09-16 04:53 pm (UTC)
merriehaskell
Sep. 16th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
SOLD.
Untitled - penmage - Sep. 16th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
daveamongus
Sep. 16th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
No, but now I want to write it... and I'm wondering if the novel-in-revision will do the trick...
merriehaskell
Sep. 17th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC)
Hey, if I can convince a bunch of yous to write this, then I'm happy! Convincing people to add a bunch of volumes to my go-to sub-genre, nameless though it is, is a great thing.

I've been noodling on what I would write to fit these criteria, too.
sunnydecho
Sep. 16th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
one word.



"thunderoak"

merriehaskell
Sep. 17th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
Ralph half-wrote it. It's too cynical!
Untitled - sweeton - Sep. 17th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC) - Expand
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asakiyume
Sep. 17th, 2008 01:38 pm (UTC)
You will have to write it! And boy will it be excellent to read. So please hurry!

I see you have a story up at Coyote Wild--I'm going to read all these newly-up stories today (yay, yay, yay)--congratulations.
merriehaskell
Sep. 18th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)
Well, hopefully my story will actually be put up!
Untitled - asakiyume - Sep. 18th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 50 comments — Leave a comment )

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