Who is the greatest writer of Fantasy Novels and what is that person's best work

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  1. larryfreeman profile image78
    larryfreemanposted 14 years ago

    Who is the greatest writer of Fantasy Novels and what is that person's best work?

    With the great popularity of Harry Potter and the Twilight series, Fantasy fiction is on the rise.  Who are the best writers of this genre?

  2. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 14 years ago

    good question Larry, I have to stick with JRR Tolkien with The Hobbit. It was so 'different' when it first came out and his writing is simply amazing. then he went on to write the Trilogy which are all masterpieces of fantasy literature.  There was a thread started last night in the forums about Twilight, quite interesting.

  3. SimeyC profile image88
    SimeyCposted 14 years ago

    I did a hub on this very subject...

    http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Best-Fantas … f-all-time

    You are still hard pressed to beat Tolkien although writers like Stephen Donaldson, David Gemmel, Raymond E Feist all rate as pure fantasy writers - perhaps the best of them being Donaldson.

  4. lostgirlscat profile image61
    lostgirlscatposted 14 years ago

    I'm a big fan of the science fiction, fantasy mix  also combined with the horror genre.  I think Dean Koontz has done a great combination of all of these in his latest novels.  I'm sure all the Tolkien purists are going- boo,hiss!, But I like that forward looking style that gives one hope for humanity, while scaring the bejesus out of you with all its' warts.  Twilight is also a good combination of these genres.

  5. fishtiger58 profile image68
    fishtiger58posted 14 years ago

    C.S.Lewis was pretty good, he wrote the Narnia series.

  6. Chloe Comfort profile image59
    Chloe Comfortposted 14 years ago

    I'm going with Robert Jordan and his "Wheel of Time" saga. So far I've found nothing that compares although I do also like Terry Goodkind and David Eddings.

  7. wilatabz profile image59
    wilatabzposted 14 years ago

    oh those hp and twilight and eragon books are great but they can never sum up to the brilliance of JRR Tolkien, Anne rice, and Anne Mcaffrey,
    jrr tolkein seemed to have created the foundation of magical lands and walking trees and wizards (and he's a friend of C.SLewis)
    i guess all of his books are wonderful in their own ways. he made a whole new world of imagination and magic, there wont be harry potter if it werent for him

    Anne rice, and other vampire novelist of her time are the best ever, twilight has bad writing (thesaurus rapist as what my friends say) and those new vampire novels sprouting today are kind of annoying, i hope girls would appreciate a vampire without them sparkling and whatever

    Anne Mcaffrey is a genius, she made a beautiful art of mixing sci fi and fantasy, i love harper trilogy is my fave as a child and made me read sci fi, eragon's mind reading with her rider is not an original idea, it was Mcaffrey's

    that all

  8. boorussell profile image59
    boorussellposted 14 years ago

    Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series are some of the best books i have ever read. it has rich characters who go though things that people go through today. theres adventure, love, lust, hatred, jealousy, theres even ponytail red leather wearing woman. its story about a man finding himself and helping a nation find itself too. wizards, dragons, montsters. zedd. its just jolly good fun lad

  9. Storytellersrus profile image67
    Storytellersrusposted 14 years ago

    Tolkien, without a doubt.  But my personal favorite can only be the great Ursula LeGuin and her Earthsea series.  I also love J.K. Rowling... seriously, her first, third and final books were brilliant.  Twilight not so much-- I had to read it because of my daughter's dedication to this series, but I found it a yawner.

    The World Fantasy Award this year was shared between two books.  One, a young adult book called Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan, is the ultimate female fantasy novel in my mind-it offered up feminine fears and managed them with poetic ferocity. 

    Children's fantasies are busting at the seams and writers  like Neil Gaiman and Hunger Games author Stephanie Collins astonish me with their creative and well written tales.

  10. profile image51
    BlitzerkidSixposted 14 years ago

    Terry Goodkind. I think his Sword of Truth series is the greatest exploration of real, adult themes through the vehicle of fantasy. Stories for their own sake are good fun, but Goodkind's works have a real message and purpose. Also, I admire his creation of characters who actually behave like adults. I find that all too many fantasy novels feature one-dimensional characters who act a bit childish and seem to serve only to advance the plot.

  11. ocoonocoon profile image73
    ocoonocoonposted 14 years ago

    JRR Tolkien. I don't think I've read another fantasy writer who created as in-depth a world as he did. To actually create languages and in-depth histories of his world is inconceivable to most writers, and then on top of that to write a fantastic story trumps it all. Long live Tolkien!

  12. Pelkar profile image61
    Pelkarposted 14 years ago

    I have, among others, read Tolkien, Terry Pretchet, JK Rowling, Robin Hobb and Stephan King. While they all are very good story tellers and i still treasure the experiance, i must admit that in my oppinion, the most thrillig read is still George RR Martin. No matter what books of his i start, there is no way of stopping before the last page is done. Vivid descriptions and very complicated plots make his stories an unfrogettable read. For someone unfamilliar with his work, i would recomend The Song Of Ice And Fire series(obviously) and the Fevre Dream. If you like those, then there is much more to chose from. One more great thing about Martin is that through out his time as a writer, he has experimented with many different genres and exelled in each one. No matter if you chose a book from his horror/thriller, fantasy, sci-fi or any other genre, it is still a fantastic read with complex characters, great story and an unforgettable love story.

  13. Dark knight rides profile image60
    Dark knight ridesposted 14 years ago

    Until Harry Potter knocked him down, Terry Pratchett was the number one bestselling author in Britain and he never should have lost his title. His stories are great, the characters are fantastic and develop well over time. You really feel that the Discworld could, and should exist.

  14. DR Hitt profile image60
    DR Hittposted 14 years ago

    George R.R. Martin.

    http://hubpages.com/hub/100-Fantasy-Boo … f-All-Time

    Help me list the 100 greatest fantasty novels of all time!


  15. profile image56
    JBunceposted 14 years ago

    I love the comic fantasy novels by Terry Pratchett in the Discworld series. He's been writing them for over 25 years now and actually been getting better and funnier over time. And while he never loses sight of being funny and creating a fantastic other world, they always have some sort of comment to make about life as we know it here and now. Amazing!

  16. profile image51
    newfiesailorposted 13 years ago

    George RR Martin is the new Tolkien. Tolkien's characters were black and white, evil or good. Fantasy followed this notion for almost half a century, until it became formulaic and cliche. Martin came along and flipped it, so all characters are shades of grey. Great storytelling, amazing worldbuilding and real page turning excitement. He has spawned an evolutionary fantasy genre and produced a whole new generation of fantasy storytellers like Scott Lynch, Patrick Rothfuss, R Scott Bakker and Steven Erikson. Tolkien may have been the grandfather (with some help from Robert E Howard) but Martin has taken it to the next level.

  17. Eric Calderwood profile image78
    Eric Calderwoodposted 13 years ago

    J.R.R. Tolkien for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

  18. profile image0
    FreedomChic1776posted 13 years ago

    Tolkien is good if you're going for depth, substance and a great story.  But more on the entertainment level, I like Juliet Marillier.  My favorite books by her is the series that includes Daughter of the Forest, Son of the Shadows and Child of the Prophecy.  She delves into Irish and Celtic mythology.

  19. Speedi78 profile image60
    Speedi78posted 13 years ago

    I have to say Kim Harrison is my favorite. Her best book is the first in her Hollows series: "Dead Witch Walking".

    After Kim Harrison, would be Patricia Briggs and Kat Richardson. Patricia Briggs writes the Mercy Thompson series and Kat Richardson writes the Greywalker series.

    I know people out there will disagree with me, but I have read books by these authors and I couldn't put them down!

  20. Windsweptplains profile image60
    Windsweptplainsposted 13 years ago

    Fantasy is my favorite genre, so I am starting to branch out from my usual reading habits (I usually stick to period drama or the classics) and broaden my reading horizons. I've come to discover some wonderful fantasy stories, classics like The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, comedies like The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and recent favorites like The Sword of Truth series. I hope to read the Harry Potter books sometime in the near future as well, since most people I know speak very highly of them. I have read the Twilight series and personally enjoyed it, although I wouldn't call it 'fantasy that is destined to place alongside the classics'. I think that Twilight is more of a passing fad that will fade with time.

    For now, I would have to say that J.R.R. Tolkien is my favorite fantasy author and that The Lord of the Rings is his best work. He devoted much of his life to this story, and there is such a rich and detailed background to his work that it truly makes me feel like I've stepped into another world. Stories like this stand the test of time and will continue to be passed on to future generations, inspiring others to create fantasy stories of their own.

  21. darfennian profile image59
    darfennianposted 13 years ago

    I have alway been fascinated with the father of fantasy George MacDonald. His books:
    Lilith, Phantastes, David Elginbrod, The Princess and The Goblin, The Princess and Curdie(sequel) and At the Back of the North Wind. He was the inspiration to such writers as:
    W.H.Auden, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S.Lewis, E. Nesbit, and Madeliene L'Engle. The classic's are the inspiration to imagination

  22. hanging out profile image61
    hanging outposted 13 years ago

    Stephen R. Donaldson's "illearth wars" makes tolkien look like a mother goose story.

  23. profile image57
    JScottDposted 13 years ago

    -- Besides J.R.R. Tolkien, you mean, right?  So for second greatest writer of fantasy I nominate Gene Wolfe.  Lots of other writers spin out whole shelves of door-stop volumes that merely echo Middle Earth, however faintly and repetitiously (hello, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, and even Tad Williams -- though his I've thoroughly enjoyed.)  But Wolfe's many-volumned "Book of the New Sun" and "Book of the Long Sun", etc. come at that whole genre in a unique way:  what looks like magic is the cargo cult of long-lost hi-tech cultures that died off of their own excess.  In Gene Wolfe, what seems like a medieval way of life is the post-holocaust, fall-back survival of humanity in a post-industrial environment.  Furthermore, Wolfe excels at the strangely wrenching viewpoint of a narrator who wholly believes and lives a mind-set alien to our own.  Try "Latro in the Mist" and its sequel for a taste of both amnesia and polytheism, and you'll see what I mean.  Enjoy!

  24. profile image54
    NerdKnewsposted 13 years ago

    Well, This is just a matter of opinion, but I think it is Christoper Paolini's Eragon

  25. VictorS. profile image61
    VictorS.posted 13 years ago

    Anybody mention Gene Wolfe? I'm no expert on him, but just thought I would mention him. Although not as popular with the consumer as other fantasy writers (maybe because some of his writing is difficult), some critics and other writers have considered him the best writer of fantasy and science fiction. There is a certain literary feel to his work that helps it transcend genre. He has a ton of awards attached to his works. Consider The Book of the New Sun or the much easier "Golden City Far."

    I also wanted to mention R.A. Salvatore (if he hasn't already been mentioned), particularly his work in The Forgotten Realms. One would think that writing in a shared setting like Forgotten Realms would limit originality, but Salvatore's characters and their stories are actually some of the more original that I've come across in the fantasy genre.

    Oh, and Tolkien's great of course.

  26. Jack Burton profile image80
    Jack Burtonposted 13 years ago

    Elizabeth Moon and her Paksenarian trilogy broke new ground on fantasy. Flawed but likable characters who had to make choices between bad and worse decisions, battles plenty, magic, really nasty bad guys, and a mystery to be solved. And good writing. What more to you need.

    Baen Publishing gives away the first book, Sheepfarmer's Daughter in their free library on theri website.

  27. Anaya M. Baker profile image73
    Anaya M. Bakerposted 13 years ago

    My votes go to Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and Madeline L'Engle.

  28. korculablue profile image57
    korculablueposted 13 years ago

    Tolkien comes to my mind as my all time favourite fantasy author, but also out of my many loved authors are these favourites -  Terry Goodkind, George Martin, Robin Hobb, Janny Wurts and of course Raymond Feist. His "Magician" is superb!

  29. Druid Dude profile image62
    Druid Dudeposted 13 years ago

    Well, since fantasy is linked to Sci-fi, I have to say Isaac Asimov, the creator of "I'Robot" The reason is this. From the 1930's to the end of the eighties, Asimov wrote many books of different genres, but his Sci Fi, which was the bulk of his work. Not sure about the total, is linked. All of his scifi stories combine to make the longest scifi story ever written. He wrapped it all up in the "Foundation" which was a trilogy, but has been taken up by now writers like David Brin and Greg Bear.

  30. andyoz profile image88
    andyozposted 13 years ago

    Well Tolkien is the obvious answer but there also a few excellent ones I enjoy such as Robert Jordan.  One of my favourites is Robin Hobb, I've actually just done a hub on her.  http://hubpages.com/hub/Robin-Hobb-Fant … ks-Profile

  31. erumkhan profile image61
    erumkhanposted 13 years ago

    Nobody else than Tolkein, he was and still is the best fiction writer. I loved his work because of the whole new world he has created, and all the characters. Everything about his work is fantastic.
    Lord of the Rings series is my favorite till date!!

  32. meow48 profile image69
    meow48posted 13 years ago

    anne mccaffrey: dragon riders of pern.  tolkien would be second.  with the hobbit.

  33. profile image53
    jadelawposted 12 years ago

    I like the second question better since it's tough to make a determination as to who is best. Tolkien certainly wrote magic but so did Jack Vance. Of living authors, I like David Gemmel and Glen Cook the best. They have different styles but both are masters.

  34. zebulum profile image73
    zebulumposted 12 years ago

    Dead? Jonathan Swift, and his best was probably Tale of the Tub, but everybody knows Gulliver's Travels, and it's a fantastic example, indeed..

    Living? Gene Wolf is the greatest living writer of fantastic fiction, and his Book of the New Sun is probably his best.

  35. visionandfocus profile image68
    visionandfocusposted 12 years ago

    Wow, that's a HUGE question, considering the range of authors and subgenres within the fantasy genre. Check out my hub :

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Fantasy-Subgenr … tasy-Genre

    and see if you agree with my selection of what I hope are representative novels among the various subgenres (high/epic, sword-and-sorcery, alternate history, dark fantasy, contemporary, steampunk, etc.).

    I'm also planning a hub about amazing authors who write both sci-fi and fantasy, so will post that when it's ready.


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