Author Topic: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age  (Read 21482 times)

Jazzlet

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Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« on: September 30, 2008, 03:29:02 pm »
I love fantasy, but one of the things I get a little bored by these days is 'coming of age' fantasy; you know, misunderstood youngster gets into trouble, finds friends and self while saving the world with a previously unrecognised talent. Nothing wrong with it, especially if well done, but it has been done a lot. The first of Patty's books I came across were the Ravens and although there are young ones in them the two main people are middle-aged - whoooo hoo! I had to read more :D and was pleased to find that a lot of Patty's characters are well over twenty ;D

So, oh founts of wisdom, what fantasy (or other) would you recommend for the more mature woman?

Gerd D.

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2008, 04:34:37 pm »
Top off my head only Tanya Huff's books come to mind (the Quarters cycle-fantasy, the Vicky Nelson books-urban fantasy, and the Valor books-sci fi).

Not that helpful I guess, if I come up with something else I add it. :)
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Patti L.

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2008, 04:36:27 pm »
Chalion series by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Cordelia's Honor, same author.
The Prince of Morning Bells (forgot the author, but it definitely starts there & takes a hard turn.)
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2008, 05:21:29 pm »
Song of the Beast by Carol Berg, it does have a bit of flashing back to the character's past when he was in his ealier twenties, but most of the book he is in his thirties if I remember right. Plus the book was just amazing. The Mage War Trilogy by Maercades Lackey, well, except for the third one, also features main characters that are, and have been for a while, adults.

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2008, 11:33:09 pm »
I'd recommend The Black Jewels Trilogy: true, the main character, Jaenelle, is but a child in the first book, but then there's plenty of other characters who are much older than her, Saetan in primis. Moreover, nothing coming-of-age: she's Witch, she knows it from the beginning, all the others know it from the beginning and her powers are there from the beginning. No self-discovery trips while saving the world. ;)
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2008, 11:34:27 pm »
Anything of David Gemmell's (Gemell?? sp??).
Unless you're looking for lots of romance in a book.
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2008, 08:11:13 am »
Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch. 
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Jazzlet

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2008, 04:55:03 pm »
I'd recommend The Black Jewels Trilogy: true, the main character, Jaenelle, is but a child in the first book, but then there's plenty of other characters who are much older than her, Saetan in primis. Moreover, nothing coming-of-age: she's Witch, she knows it from the beginning, all the others know it from the beginning and her powers are there from the beginning. No self-discovery trips while saving the world. ;)
By?

Thanks for the replies so far, I did try and reply before, but got gobbledegook about CPU being exceeded ???

Yes Huff has good mature types and Lackey does a few older ones as well, though a lot of her stuff is rathe coming of age

More please more :)

Taranis

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2008, 05:06:32 pm »
Dresden Files (Jim Butcher), more paranormal than traditional fantasy, but excellent nonetheless.


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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2008, 06:13:27 pm »
Black Jewels is by Anne Bishop, her incubus stories aren't really coming of age either now that I think about it.

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2008, 06:25:52 pm »
Joanne Bertin's two "Last Dragonlord" books.  He's what, 4, 8 centuries old?
Although, I will admit, his soultwin is only in her early twenties, as is another 'oh, look' character.
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2008, 07:32:37 pm »
How about Chris Bunch with the Dragon Master trilogy? It's got some smut, its got dragons, and its a grim and gritty fantasy. While their is magic it is rare powerful and feared by the average person. So I would say it is a low fantasy. While the main character starts off young they skip the coming off age stuff for the most part.

Three books, with two being set during a war with the third the consequences of the war for the main characters.

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Patti L.

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2008, 07:46:23 pm »
Oh, how could I forget?  If you don't mind the *dragon* being young and unusual, how about the "Tremaraire" ( I know I'm spelling it wrong) series?  Starts with "His Majesty's Dragon", and a British naval captain during the Napoleonic wars.
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2008, 08:53:53 pm »
I can't believe it took me this long to remember this recommendation, but pretty much anything by Guy Gavriel Kay fits that description! I think he actually helped put together The Simarilian (sp?) after Tolkien died. Then, his first trilogy was called "The Fionavar Tapestry." It's really a Tolkien-esque fantasy world. I personally looooooooooved that series. I actually didn't leave the house for a couple of days, blew off some friends, to finish one of the books, and then I ended up sobbing out loud at least twice. (Kay's not exactly afraid to kill off major characters.) I do have one friend who didn't enjoy him as much as I do, but considering he's in the minority, I consider him a fluke. :)

I've bought and read every single one of his books since then. Most of his other books take a particular place and time in history and re-imagine it in a fantasy setting. I think Tigana (based on Renaissance Italy) and The Lions of Al-Rassan (based on Moorish Spain, I think) are my favorites. A Song for Arbonne is really good as well -- based on medieval France.

The one and only drawback that I personally have found with his books is that, after reading so many of them, I can sometimes make predictions based on character types that he frequently uses. But I'm also one of those people that figures out "suspense" movies and novels during act one... so I'm kind of used to that.

But check out Kay. Hopefully, the very brief descriptions I gave and any Amazon digging can point you to which of his you might be interested in. :)

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2008, 09:16:47 pm »
Anne McCaffrey and her dragon riders of pern books can fit that description, I would recomend spicifically, Moreta, Masterharper of Pern (covers most of his life), Dragon's Dawn and Dragon Eye (both of these have multipule characters, some which are 'coming of age' and some already adults.

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2008, 07:42:58 pm »
John Ringo first three in the Polseen war series.
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2008, 01:09:19 am »
Elizabeth Moon - Remnant Population - the heroine is an old woman left behind on a planet after the colonists are moved on. This is a brilliant book.
Mercedes Lackey - The Fire Rose (nice romance) and Sacred Ground (adventure) both have mid twenties heroines.
Robin McKinley - The Blue Sword - the heroine and hero here are early twenties I think, but not coming-of-age, very good book
Connie Willis - I think all of her books have older characters and many have won the Hugo and Nebula awards. I'd particularly recommend Doomsday Book, which is set in just-future Oxford and in a small village in 14th Century UK. Really great book. 'To say nothing of the dog' is another good book of hers, very funny light reading.
Janny Wurts - Sorcerers Legacy - this is a bit lighter than her other books. It's a really lovely romance. Heroine is late twenties maybe? She's a widow whose husband has just been killed in battle and is a very strong character.

Of those already mentioned -
The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop are very good, but be warned that I'd class this under horror rather than fantasy. All the books have detailed descriptions of torture in them.
Dragonlord books by Joanne Bertin I'd also recommend, these are great.
Ditto Moreta's Tale by Anne McCaffrey, very sad book but lovely.

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2008, 02:50:04 am »
Of those already mentioned -
The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop are very good, but be warned that I'd class this under horror rather than fantasy. All the books have detailed descriptions of torture in them.

I'd call it more dark fantasy than horror. :) I figure horror more the way of HP Lovecraft, or early-Stephen King.
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2008, 02:14:22 pm »
High Fantasy:
anything by Martha Wells, Steven Brust, Laura Resnick, Laurie J. Marks, Sarah Monette
most things by Terry Pratchett

and you may want to take a look at P.C. Hodgell and Steven Erikson

Urban Fantasy:
anything by Jim Butcher (but not his High Fantasy), Emma Bull, Carrie Vaughn, Charlaine Harris, C.E. Murphy, Stephan Zielinski, F. Paul Wilson, Kat Richardson, John Meaney, Austin Grossman, Rosemary Edghill, Keri Arthur

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2008, 12:57:54 am »
Elisabeth Haydon's Rhapsody books.
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2008, 05:11:56 am »
One of my brothers favoureds (who's more into Fantasy than me):

Barbara Hambly - The Winterlands series
Dragonsbane
Dragonshadow
Knight of the Demon Queen
Dragonstar


Personally I read her two Star Wars novels, which both are great with an intriguing female lead, and her Vampire novel, Those Who Hunt The Night, which I also liked.


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Connie Willis - I think all of her books have older characters and many have won the Hugo and Nebula awards.
I loved her Lincoln's Dreams a great history lecture and a perfect complement to Adams' Traveller.
“Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.”

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2008, 06:59:14 am »
Good thought, Gerd.  Barbara Hambly's also an old favorite of mine, and definitely not coming-of-age.  Which leads me to suggest others of hers. 

Sun Wolf and Starhawk series (begins with The Ladies of Mandrigyn)

Windrose Chronicles (begins with The Silent Tower)

The Darwath Trilogy, which later became five books, beginning with The Time of the Dark

And a very different vampire series, that begins with Those Who Hunt the Night

She also wrote some interesting mysteries set in post-Louisiana Purchase New Orleans, the Benjamin January series.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 07:01:01 am by Ellyll »
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2008, 08:19:04 am »
Okay, try:

Patricia Bray's 2 trilogies - Devlin's Justice and First Betrayal (this one is definitely NOT for coming of age)

Diana Pharaoh Francis - Path Series

Eileen Wilks - Lupi series

I have NO idea if these are considered fantasy - but they are good reads and not "coming of age".

Jazzlet

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2008, 05:00:42 pm »
Thank you, thankyou, thankyou :-* :-* :-*

Guy Gavriel Kay I already have it all and have read them more than once :)

Hambly I have some (Ladies of Madrigyn certainly) and do like :)

I do like Elizabeth Moon too and think Remnant Population is wonderful :) I will definitely look out for Connie Willis' The Doomsday Book, I was brought up in Oxford. Mind 'near furture' Oxford would be no more strange than present day Oxford is to me these days I left in '79 and a lot has changed.

Umm are they by Naomi Novik Patti? If so they really didn't do it for me, not sure why now, but I know I managed to find all of them in the librairy in one go  :o but ended up returning them having read one and a bit I think.

Oh I am going to have some fun thanks again my wise and well read friends :-*

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2008, 05:09:38 pm »
That would be her, yes.  Well, I wasn't excited enough to buy more than one myself.

By the way, there is, particularly (for our amusement) in one of the Valdemar collections with other people allowed to come in & play, a story about a mother or grandmother who is Chosen by a Companion, & very stubborn about the fact that she's too old.
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Jazzlet

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2008, 05:21:15 pm »
Yep, doesn't have time to leave a flooding farm if I remember correctly :D

I suppose I could have said more about what I have and also have enjoed from the library, but then I am trying to pack my books at the moment and so I certainly can't go and check through them unless I resort to opening boxes and I will not open boxes, I will not, I really won't until we are moved.

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2008, 05:23:36 pm »
It should be called A Child's Adventures by Jamie Lee Simner in the Sword of Ice anthology

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2008, 05:26:01 pm »
Wow, a positive orgy of moving around here.  Where, roughly, are you moving to?

Yep, looks like she's got it.
Oh, there's one called Harald, I'm afraid I don't remember the author's name, fantasy part very subtle if there at all, the main character is a father & some kind of clan leader already.  Not usual, I enjoyed it.
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2008, 12:24:51 pm »
Oh, there's one called Harald, I'm afraid I don't remember the author's name, fantasy part very subtle if there at all,

The author is David D. Friedman, and he describes it as "fantasy without magic".  I haven't read the book, but he frequents some of the same SF/F forums I do.

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2008, 11:57:15 pm »
I'm coming in late, but how about the Dragonlance Chronicles?  Those were favorites of mine for many years, even traveling the world with me. Mind you, read the Chronicles first.

I do also HIGHLY recommend Song of the Beast by Carol Berg. Fantastic. Amazing. Breathtaking.  I've passed it along to three people already and all have loved it.

Just a few off the top of my head.  Granted, I've been immersed in Sci-Fi/Fan so much lately that I'm dreaming about it.

(Nothing like a dream starring Ray Bradbury telling you that librarians are the most powerful people to make you worry.)

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Jazzlet

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2008, 08:15:28 am »
Thanks for more suggestions :-*

We are moving to Manchester or near there Oldham at first, renting until we find the right place. It's only an hour or so across the Pennines, but will save my OH a lot of commuting time and even more money as he gets free travel on public transport in Manchester with his job ;D

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2008, 08:25:23 am »
Let's hear it for more hubby time & less use of expensive resources!
(I am so off topic.  Think, think think.)
The new Robin McKinley book has a heroine who is adult.
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2008, 01:16:26 pm »
Patti, is that in Chalice? I think that's sitting in my Amazon box waiting for me right now... squeee.  ;D (I haven't opened the box yet because I work at home and, let's be honest, the minute I open the box, one of the dozen or so books in it will get cracked, and then it's all over...)

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2008, 01:21:35 pm »
Yes, I couldn't remember the title.  I've got her last one before that in pb that I've just started.  The opening didn't appeal to me at first, but I did splurge a few weeks ago, and am getting into Dragon Haven.  Really liked Chalice.
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2008, 07:31:00 pm »
A large portion of the diskworld series are wuth adult characters. A few with younger too, but I can't remember which ones to specifically tell you.

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2008, 07:49:02 pm »
Oh, man, Terry Pratchett is a freaking GENIUS! Any of the Discworld novels featuring Rincewind the incompetent wizard are hilarious. And, of course, Small Gods, which is my favorite (about what happens when people stop believing in Gods...

Terry Pratchett, along with Neil Gaiman, also wrote my favorite novel ever, which is Good Omens (have I mentioned it on this thread yet? Apologies if so...) There is a child character, but he only features in parts of the story and it's totally worth it. :D

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2008, 08:21:03 am »
And given the age of the Them, it's NOT coming of age.
I think the only Diskworld that fall into this category would be "Equal Rites" and "Pyramids".
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2008, 05:25:56 pm »
Plus the children's spin-off series he's doing. *nods* That is definately coming of age. But you're right, i think those two were the only two.

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2008, 06:21:14 pm »
i think the tinker series by Wen Spencer (Tinker and Wolf Who Rules) fit under this category.  the main character sometimes seems a little young but she doesn't really change/come to realize some special ability of hers really.

at least i think this series doesn't fall under the coming-of-age category.  anybody else who has read the books feel free to correct me if i'm wrong.  :P

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2008, 06:00:33 am »
Hey Jazzlet,
LOL, Im just North of Manchester and I think youre going to love Deansgates Waterstones.  Very good selection of stuff with usually a good number of author signings.  The coffee shop theres also very good.

Right onto the serious business now of Recommendations: 
David Gemmell, Pure out and out fantasy escapism with it being more the spirit of man over magic.  If you want a romantic tale then you have his Troy trilogy which is good for that but its more historical fiction.  Work wise its dependent upon what you want but if you go to http://members.lycos.co.uk/punchbag that should help you see if he's your sort of author.

If you want more stuff like Patty's then Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher and you might also like Jennifer Rardin.  I can recommend Tanya Huff's Vicky Nelson series (the Blood books) as well. 

Then again if you want pure fantasy if you could give us a taster of the sort of stuff you've already enjoyed we can go from there as to be honest I have quite a huge fantasy library here at home so Im fairly up on whats what currently in UK publishing.


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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #40 on: April 13, 2011, 05:56:12 am »
Similar to Patty's early fantasy, the "before Mercy" stuff:

Juliet E. McKenna

The Tales of Einarinn
The Thief's Gamble (1999)
The Swordsman's Oath (1999)
The Gambler's Fortune (2000)
The Warrior's Bond (2001)
The Assassin's Edge (2002)

The Aldabreshin Compass
Southern Fire (2003)
Northern Storm (2004)
Western Shore (2005)
Eastern Tide (2006)

These two sets share a magical world. Thieves, Wizards, Swordsmen, Dragons, adventure. I liked them a lot. She's written more, I'm not up to date on her newer stuff. Too many books, not enough gold. But she's on my list.

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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2011, 11:06:44 pm »
The "Thieves World" shared world anthologies and novels are not coming of age - oh, a few characters, maybe, but usually it's minor; the plots tend to be much more adult and not oriented to "oh, look, I'm special" because most of the characters are, one way and another.
Conan; Fafhard and the Grey Mouser; for fun, the "Castle Perilous" series by DeChancie; the Camber trilogy of the Deryni series by Kurtz.  "The Witches of Karres" is SF, but feels like fantasy, main character is an adult.  Poul Anderson's "Operation Chaos", WWII sort of...
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Re: Fantasy that is NOT coming-of-age
« Reply #42 on: May 16, 2012, 12:51:31 pm »
One of our newer members, Matthew Lee Adams, has some e-books/self published volumes which are not coming of age, and you can see a sampler here:
http://matthewleeadams.com/category/excerpts/

If you have questions, just pop in here & ask, I'm sure he'll be willing to give more details.
In a bit, we can get his own thread up in the master list.
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