Dirty, Gritty Savage, Epic Fantasy

Generally, I’m not drawn to fantasy.  Just doesn’t appeal.  But there are always exceptions, and here they are.  I heartily recommend them.

But why, you ask?  What does this have to do with, well, her:

Lady Merreth

Art by SYoshiko.

Simple:  I aspire to write Lady Merreth as a gritty, flawed heroine.  All blood, blades, and black leather.

The following authors inspire me to write her in just such a fashion:

Joe Abercrombie

Best Served Cold by J Abercrombie, Brant Forseng, @brantforsengMy oh my, can this man write dirty, gritty, savage, epic fantasy.  With magic.  I have bought everything he has written, read them all at least twice and am impatiently waiting for more.


Two reasons:  First, the magic is not really central to the stories he tells, the characters are.  Second, the characters — vivid, alive, deliciously flawed, people who could really exist in this world.  In addition, the plotting is exquisite, the violence is savage but never gratuitous, and the imagery is breathtaking.

I started with Best Served Cold (Is that a great title or what?).  It’s delicious story of revenge featuring a strong, kick-ass, flawed, leather-wearing woman (see my previous post as to why this might be important to me).

From there it was on to the First Law Trilogy and  The Heroes (which is about anything but).  I’m now reading Red Country.

Even if you are not into fantasy (and I’m not) you have got to read some of Abercrombie’s work.    He’s also got a great website with a blog that is quite inspirational to budding writers such as myself.

David Weber/Linda Evans

Hell's Gate by Weber and Evans, Brant Forseng, @brantforstnThese two authors are known predominantly for science fiction (David Weber particulary for his Honor Harrington series).  They’ve both written fantasy but I’ve left those works alone except for one:  Their collaboration in the Multiverse series. 

Currently there are only two volumes: Hell’s Gate and Hell Hath No Fury.  The two volumes (with more to come I hope) about a war between two societies.  The first predominantly technology-oriented (roughly very late 19th century). 

The second is more advanced, but based on magic.  If you want airmobile assaults conducted with dragons instead of helicopters (and in this case I do, I do!) then this is the series for you.

Anything by Joe Abercrombie, and David Weber and Linda Evans’ Mulitiverse series — check’em out even if you are not drawn to fantasy.

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