The Darkness That Comes Before

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar ChrisWWW
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    says:

    E.D.,
    Thanks for the tip.

    Do you have any other suggestions for fans of George R.R. Martin’s work? I’m coming to end of a “Feast for Crows” – which I’ve put off reading for years – and I’m looking for something with a similar level of quality.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain in reply to ChrisWWW
      Ignored
      says:

      Well, certainly R Scott Bakker. He’s quite a lot different than Martin, but the writing is superb and it’s very epic, a very believable world. If you like Martin or Dune or any other book like that you’ll like The Darkness that Comes Before.

      Others….hmmmm. I’m very picky. I don’t know of many other epic fantasies that were all that good. I hear Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy is very good.Report

  2. Avatar Max
    Ignored
    says:

    the finest fantasy author i know of is john crowley. if you’ve never heard of him, look no further than “little, big”. it will take your breath away.Report

  3. Avatar Ryan
    Ignored
    says:

    What about those of us who *don’t* like Martin? Not to begrudge his fans anything, but I just don’t have the patience/attention span/something for massive, five-volume, 4000+-page epics. I read the first two of his Fire and Ice series, but I couldn’t stay focused enough to continue. What’s similar in both theme and quality, but maybe doesn’t require so much time commitment and patience?Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain in reply to Ryan
      Ignored
      says:

      That’s a shame. The third Martin book is by far the best…

      But if you don’t like really long fantasy I’d recommend checking out Neil Gaiman or digging through some young adult stuff. I just finished Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones and it was very good.Report

  4. Avatar Kevin
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ve finished the first two books in Bakker’s trilogy and will start the third Any Day Now. I agree that he is much better than the (IMO) highly-overrated Martin.

    That being said, the second book was largely a struggle for me to push through. All the characters seemed to change in ways that left them less interesting and more distasteful to me. I guess that’s better than not changing at all, but it didn’t make the book as compelling as the first. Also, the series felt like it “insisted upon itself,” to steal the inestimable Peter Griffin’s criticism of The Godfather.

    However, I will still read the third and hope things get a little more palatable. There are still some plot threads that pique my curiosity. And the plot is mercifully free of the Quest For The Magic Whatsit, or the Quest To Defeat The Invincible Overlord.

    As an alternate recommendation, I much preferred Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy. Better and more interesting characters, more entertaining writing, and with much-appreciated levity interspersed amongst the darkness.Report

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