April 22, 2016

The Friday 5: Favorite Fantasy Authors

Welcome to The Friday 5. Each week here on Deviant Worlds I bring you a friday top 5 list from the Fantasy or Science fiction genre. This week's top 5 are my Top 5 Favorite Fantasy Authors (With a bonus) Feel free to comment with your favorite fantasy authors in the comments below!

Bonus: Michael J. Sullivan

So before I start this week's top 5, I really have to mention Michael J. Sullivan. Although I didn't put him in my top 5, I really had hard choices to make. The Riyria Revelations has become one of my favorite fantasy reads over the last year. I've really connected with Hadrian and Royce, the mercenary main characters of the novels and I quickly devoured the novels after reading the first in the series Theft of Swords. Michael writes all his novels in the series first before publishing the first one. This way of writing meant that all the books were interconnected with nods forwards and backwards to the others in the series. The tales are epic quests with crazy odds and they really have been a joy for me to read

5. Jeff Salyards
He's not only one of my favorite authors, but I feel like I should do a list of authors who are great and not talked about much. For such a talented writer and storyteller, there's not a lot of talk about Jeff's trilogy The Bloodsounder's Arc. The first book Scourge of the Betrayer was a quick read for me and an instant favorite due to its refreshing main character Arki, a soft scribe that is contracted to accompany an elite fighting force on a military mission. The action's great, the premise is great, and Jeff Salyard's trilogy really should be talked about when mentioning the fantasy greats.

4. Anthony Ryan
I think it may be Anthony Ryan's background in history, but there's just something about his writing that really feels alive to me. The world of his Raven's Shadow trilogy is full of depth in the cultures that surround the lead characters. The dialogue he writes is realistic and I can picture all his scenes with a certain clarity that I don't get to experience in other novels in the genre. He paints a grim world, but not one without hope. His stories are worthwhile reads and I cannot wait for his forthcoming novel The Waking Fire this summer. 

3. Steven Erikson

I don't think another author in the fantasy genre has quite the scope of Steven Erikson. His combination of a political/military plot spanning continents, gods interfering and appearing in the course of the story, and a numerous number of POV characters can be hard to get right. I won't say everything about The Malazan Book of the Fallen is perfect, but the series has a kind of depth I've come to love, can get lost in, and have never read anything like before. I know there's a huge George R.R. Martin craze right now. But Steven Erikson should be in the talks for years to come. Gardens of the Moon is not right for everyone, but for those who like it, its the start of a wonderful thing.

2. Mark Lawrence

I'd been away from fantasy for a few years when I picked up Mark Lawrence's Prince of Thorns a few years back. I was taken completely by surprise by the novel as I kind of discovered it in Barnes and Noble and hadn't heard of it prior. Since then I've devoured his books. He's one of my top favorite authors because he can make me love a character which when you list out the characters traits there's no reason I should. He first made me fall in love with a sociopath in The Broken Empire and I've been loving my time with a coward in The Red Queen's War. In many ways I can owe my present crazy interest in the genre to the search for more books like Prince of Thorns that Mark Lawrence put me on.

1. Glen Cook

An older author but a great one. Cook's The Black Company novels starting with The Black Company are the purpose behind the modern 'Grimdark' movement. Even though they aren't setting any sort of poetic writing or complex plot standard they stand as a great and solid series based on the principle of the characters. Cook has several unique and interesting characters that though they are doing sometimes evil things for an eviler person, their interactions and family-esque ties with the whole company drove me from novel to novel to see the relationships build and the team overcome the chiefest of obstacles. They're great reads and Glen Cook will be a favorite of mine for a good long time.

So that's my top 5, what's your Friday 5 favorite fantasy authors? Let me know in the comments below!


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  2. Love seeing the site giving love to Jeff Salyards. Bloodsounders Arc is one of my favorites.

    I liked the old site but this one is even better. Keep up the good work.

    1. Many thanks! Jeff is a great author. Just recently got my copy of Chains of the Heretic and I'm eager to give it a go.

      I appreciate you for reading and I'm glad you enjoy the new site. I was getting a little bogged down with reading straight Grimdark and I appreciate you for following me here. I think the wider spectrum of books is a breath of fresh air and I hope you'll enjoy my constant search for great books.

      Thanks a lot Jennifer, your thoughts are appreciated. :)

  3. Anthony Ryan? While Raven's Shadow began brilliantly, the second book was a disappointment and the third was so bad that it was a chore to finish reading at all. Surely you've read more than 3 better fantasy authors?

    1. I didn't find the second and third Ravens Shadow novels to be bad as other have. Though I was originally disappointed by the series deviating from Vaelins POV in favor of multiple POVs with Vaelin getting a smaller role, I felt that the series still had very wrong qualities to it. Anthony Ryan is one of my favorites because of his writing style. I love the way he describes things, the way his characters see, and the way he develops his world. I think he's a strong writer and I love his works. I've read thousands of authors, but Anthony Ryan is a favorite. This isn't a list of best authors ever, because some of the authors I don't enjoy as much would be on there, this was just favorite. Thanks for your feedback though!