Read these books!

The better part of the electronic correspondence I receive from SFF fans has to do with recommendations. And even though I've posted reading lists from time to time, I guess that it's not enough.

So here are 5 series which are, in my humble opinion, almost criminally unread. So look no further if you want terrific SFF reads!

- The Cassandra Kresnov series by Joel Shepherd

- Crossover (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Breakaway (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Killswitch (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb from the first volume:

Crossover is the first novel in a series which follows the adventures of Cassandra Kresnov, an artificial person, or android, created by the League, one side of an interstellar war against the more powerful, conservative Federation. Cassandra is an experimental design — more intelligent, more creative, and far more dangerous than any that have preceded her. But with her intellect come questions, and a moral awakening. She deserts the League and heads incognito into the space of her former enemy, the Federation, in search of a new life.

Her chosen world is Callay, and its enormous, decadent capital metropolis of Tanusha, where the concerns of the war are literally and figuratively so many light years away. But the war between the League and the Federation was ideological as much as political, with much of that ideological dispute regarding the very existence of artificial sentience and the rules that govern its creation. Cassandra discovers that even in Tanusha, the powerful entities of this bloody conflict have wound their tentacles. Many in the League and the Federation have cause to want her dead, and Cassandra’s history, inevitably, catches up with her.

Cassandra finds herself at the mercy of a society whose values preclude her own right even to exist. But her presence in Tanusha reveals other fault lines, and when Federal agents attempt to assassinate the Callayan president, she finds herself thrust into the service of her former enemies, using her lethal skills to attempt to protect her former enemies from forces beyond their ability to control. As she struggles for her place and survival in a new world, Cassandra must forge new friendships with old enemies, while attempting to confront the most disturbing and deadly realities of her own existence

- The Nessantico Cycle by S. L. Farrell

- A Magic of Twilight (Canada, USA, Europe)
- A Magic of Nightfall (Canada, USA, Europe)
- A Magic of Dawn (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb from the first volume:

An intricate tale of murder and magic, deception and betrayal, Machiavellian politics, star-crossed lovers, and a world on the brink of devastating war.... Over the decades and slow centuries, the city of Nessantico spread her influence in all directions. Nessantico gathered to herself all that was intellectual, all that was rich, all that was powerful. There was no city in the known world that could rival her. But there were many who envied her...

- The Magister Trilogy by C. S. Friedman

- Feast of Souls (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Wings of Wrath (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb for the first volume:

At the end of her bestselling Coldfire Trilogy, C.S. Friedman challenged readers to imagine what a world would be like if sorcery required the ultimate sacrifice--that of life itself. Now, in a groundbreaking new fantasy novel, FEAST OF SOULS, she introduces us to a terrifying new world in which the cost of magic is just that--a world in which the fuel for sorcery is the very fire of the human spirit, and those who hunger for magical power must pay for it with their lives. In this epic tale of terrifying shadows and desperate hope, the greatest threat of all may not be that of ancient enemies returned, or ancient wars resumed, but of the darkness that lies within the hearts of men.

In the court of High King Danton Aurelius, young Prince Andovan lies dying of a mysterious malady known only as the Wasting. Desperate to save his son from this incurable disease, the High King summons a council of Magisters to aid him. These shadowy, seemingly immortal sorcerers rarely ally for any purpose, but in this cause they are willing to unite. For there is one fearsome secret the Magisters guard above all others, and that is the nature of the transformation that sets them apart from all other sorcerers, allowing them to draw on the power of a human soul without dying for it... a secret that might now be exposed if the High King learns too much about his son's illness. For the dread disease called the Wasting is in fact a sign that some Magister is stealing the young man's soulfire to fuel his sorcery, and that is a truth that must be hidden from the mortal world at any cost.

Now the Magisters must hunt down one of their own kind before the High King learns the truth, and find a way to sever the link between Andovan and his killer. But they have not counted on the prince's determination to control his own fate, nor on the existence of a young woman, schooled in their own arts, who will soon shake their secretive society to its very roots.

Sold into prostitution by her peasant mother while she was still a child, Kamala has learned the hardest lessons life can teach. Her mane of wild red hair and her diamond-hard eyes reflect the wellspring of strength and defiance within her--a hunger to live by her own rules at any cost. Honed by cruelty and poverty, she has become a uniquely fierce creature, and with the help of a reclusive Magister may well become the first of her sex to master true sorcery. But at what cost to herself, and to her world?

Against a backdrop of glittering kingdoms and darksome prophecies these two young people will be forced to confront their destinies...while in the shadows of their world an ancient Evil is stirring for the first time in centuries, seeking allies in a cause more terrible than any living man can imagine

- The Jump 225 Trilogy by David Louis Edelman

- Infoquake (Canada, USA, Europe)
- MultiReal (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Geosynchron (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb from the first volume:

How far should you go to make a profit?

Infoquake, the debut novel by David Louis Edelman, takes speculative fiction into alien territory: the corporate boardroom of the far future. It’s a stunning trip through the trenches of a technological war fought with product demos, press releases, and sales pitches.

Natch is a master of bio/logics, the programming of the human body. He’s clawed and scraped his way to the top of the bio/logics market using little more than his wits. Now his sudden notoriety has brought him to the attention of Margaret Surina, the owner of a mysterious new technology called MultiReal. Only by enlisting Natch’s devious mind can Margaret keep MultiReal out of the hands of High Executive Len Borda and his ruthless armies.

To fend off the intricate net of enemies closing in around him, Natch and his apprentices must accomplish the impossible. They must understand this strange new technology, run through the product development cycle, and prepare MultiReal for release to the public—all in three days.

Meanwhile, hanging over everything is the specter of the infoquake, a lethal burst of energy that’s disrupting the bio/logic networks and threatening to send the world crashing back into the Dark Ages.

With Infoquake, David Louis Edelman has created a fully detailed world that’s both as imaginative as Dune and as real as today’s Wall Street Journal

- The Deryni Saga by Katherine Kurtz

The Chronicles of the Deryni

- Deryni Rising (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Deryni Checkmate (Canada, USA, Europe)
- High Deryni (Canada, USA, Europe)

The Legends of Camber of Culdi

- Camber of Culdi (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Saint Camber (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Camber the Heretic (Canada, USA, Europe)

The Histories of King Kelson

- The Bishop's Heir (Canada, USA, Europe)
- The King's Justice (Canada, USA, Europe)
- The Quest for Saint Camber (Canada, USA, Europe)

The Heirs of Saint Camber

- The Harrowing of Gwynedd (Canada, USA, Europe)
- King Javan's Year (Canada, USA, Europe)
- The Bastard Prince (Canada, USA, Europe)

King Kelson's Bride (Canada, USA, Europe)

In the King's Service (Canada, USA, Europe)
Childe Morgan (Canada, USA, Europe)

Deryni Anthologies

- The Deryni Archives (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Deryni Magic (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Deryni Tales (Canada, USA, Europe)

For more information about this genre-defining historical fantasy series, check out the wikipage devoted to the Deryni saga. This is one of the very best fantasy series of all time (in this house at least), so I encourage everyone to read it!

There are enough books here to keep you out of trouble for quite some time! ;-)

6 commentaires:

Jacob @ Drying Ink said...

I haven't read the others, but Feast of Souls, I agree, is fantastic! I'll be ordering the rest. Thanks for the recommendations, Pat!

Dave Post said...

Crossover is on my list and I just finished Infoquake yesterday. Really fantastic stuff especially for a first novel. Highly recommended.

Sascha Walter said...

Well, thanks to you, Pat, I bought and read the Cassandra Kresnov Series about half a year ago. And I am very thankful for that. Really nice books. I have also read a lot of the Deryni books, though never the first series. I have that on my to read pile. From C S Friedman I got the Coldfire on my pile. WShen I have read that I will get the newer series from her. The others I might check out when my to read piles have diminished somewhat. :)

Kirshy said...

Thanks for the list Pat, I'll be sure to check these out. One series and author that should be added to this though is Lloyd Alexander and his Chronicles of Prydain series and The Westmark Trilogy. I read them back when I was 12 or 13 and remember them being great stories.

RobB said...

I'll vouch for Friedman, Shepherd, and Edelman. All terrific writers, I'm hoping (and I think I read somewhere on teh IntarWebs) that Joel is returning to Cassandra's world.

Friedman excels at everything, I've read almost all of her books and this latest series is very rich.

I think my continual ranking of Edelman's novels as my top read of the respective year their published just confirms we agree about him.

Farrell I tried, but couldn't get past the first 100 pages of A Magic of Twilight

I keep wanting to try Deryni based on your repeated praise, and Erfael at SFFWorld just gave some big praise to the first novel, so that one might move up since I keep wanting to read some of the older stuff.

Rich Mom, Rich Dad. Poor Mom, Poor Dad. said...

Great Pat, juuuust great. I have added all these to my amazon shopping cart. Sigh...