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Question: Whats your favorite fantasy series?
Eragon (Inheritance)
The Lord of the Rings
Chronicles of Narnia
Redwall
Discworld

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Author Topic: Best Fantasy book series  (Read 11799 times)
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Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #30 on: 18 September 2006, 10:40:39 »

Ack, I found it amusing.  I'm not really into all that linguist stuff, though I am taking all honors language classes,(can't take APs at my age)  All those grammar rules confuse me.  Especially Mina's guide to understanding languages.  I'm sorry, but that just made me more confuzled.  buck
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Mina
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« Reply #31 on: 18 September 2006, 16:16:54 »

What guide to understanding languages?   veryconfused

Quote
And as for the Ancient Language, its alright but not great. it can function but is imcomplete and even somewhat basic. I'm not t big on languages but I liked it.
Well, what Paolini did - according to what I heard - was take Old Norse, add a couple of simple grammar rules, and occassionally switch a few letters around, then try to pass it off as some sort of masterpiece.  It might have been tolerable if not for that last bit. 
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Falethas Whisperwind
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« Reply #32 on: 19 September 2006, 03:33:05 »

That is PRECISELY what Mr. High-and-Mighty-I-am-the-God-of-Modern-Fantasy did, and the result, in my opinion, was deplorable.  Some major plot names have simply been snatched from mythology and not derived from his Ancient [so-called ->] ''Language'' as he so very faultily claims.  For example, when he refers to Eragon as Argetlam (''Silver Hand''), he merely Old-Norsifies the name of a legendary Celtic king of the Tuatha de Danaan, Nuadhu, who was known as Airgedlamh (''He of the Silver Hand'').  He then comes up with two new Ancient words to explain the name, arget ''silver'' and lam ''hand'', and calls it his own.  Now tell me that isn't ridiculous.

DISCLAIMER - I do not mean to offend anyone who may be a fan of Paolini's works in the above post.  I merely wished to express my opinions concerning the lack of originality present in the author's tales.  Please accept my humblest apologies if I have angered or aggravated you in any way.   :)
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Epthaeranté á sáh pheranía sáh alyría; ahmantát naithím sá sae'llán styaeyías.
"The rain whispers down through the trees; elvish music will rise in answer."
Baromosa
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« Reply #33 on: 19 September 2006, 03:36:41 »

no no, its a valid opinion. In his defense it takes alot to make a language out of thin air. years of work which is rather boring, and takes away from actually writing the story. maybe its not completely original, but its more convienent and lets us get on with his stories which I love.
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Mina
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« Reply #34 on: 19 September 2006, 03:39:42 »

Wow, Ysuran, you sure are passionate about this. 
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Falethas Whisperwind
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« Reply #35 on: 19 September 2006, 03:51:12 »

Yes, well, it must be the Italian blood in me.   grin

It just pains me when I do not see raw creative power such as his being pushed and focused to create new and original concepts.  Instead, I see the blatant claiming of mythological names as his own after a few petty letter transpositions.  Once again, if you enjoy reading Paolini's works and disagree, just ignore the mad blabbering of the elf in the corner ...  crazy
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Epthaeranté á sáh pheranía sáh alyría; ahmantát naithím sá sae'llán styaeyías.
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« Reply #36 on: 19 September 2006, 03:54:48 »

Its only mad blabbering if you do so without reason. you have good points, i just love his work. the romance between Eragon and Arya makes me sad everytime.
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« Reply #37 on: 19 September 2006, 04:04:14 »

I do agree on the fact that he is a very talented individual to have written such a bestselling epic at such a young age, but I stand by what I have already said.  After all, it took Tolkien twelve years to write the Red Book of Westmarch, and most of that came from his constant evolving of his conlangs.  In my opinion, those extra few years of effort certainly paid off.
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Epthaeranté á sáh pheranía sáh alyría; ahmantát naithím sá sae'llán styaeyías.
"The rain whispers down through the trees; elvish music will rise in answer."
Mina
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« Reply #38 on: 19 September 2006, 04:22:58 »

Well, most people don't love languages enough to do that, and usually don't have the skill either.  The problem is, he was apparently rather smug about having come up with the Ancient Language, despite it having been very poorly made.  Like I said, it might be tolerable if not for that. 
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Kain Cristar
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« Reply #39 on: 20 September 2006, 17:43:05 »

one must realize that Tolkien himself basically made Elvish from ancient welsh. Also, it was the goal of eragon to be a good fantasy novel, while tolkien was much more interested in creating a world. I really can't say that I think Tolkien is the best fantasy writer, the first, sure, a great world builder, yup, but best fantasy writer? That would be a sad day for fantasy.

The Wheel of Time runs at various speeds, and starts at nearly a crawl. It is not a series for slow readers at all. Though of course I am not suggesting that you are a slow reader. After while, it really heats up, and gets really interesting. To be able to mix depth and excitement, thats a good fantasy writer. I cannot say that I have ever read a work of fantasy which blew my mind, though I was truely impressed with Wheel of Time, and have always enjoyed reading Tolkien.
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ishmaelion
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« Reply #40 on: 20 September 2006, 18:10:22 »

Kain, do you know any middle-welsh? just interested, as I am currently studying the beautiful language...

I haven't got any further than being able to say:

mi a welaf cwryf
yfaf fi cwryf
cwryf a garaf fi

which means something like:

I see beer,
I drink beer,
I love beer
« Last Edit: 20 September 2006, 18:20:40 by ishmaelion » Logged

Mi a welaf gwr
gwelaf fi y paladr
angheu a ofnaf fi
mi a ddifferaf fy merch
cwyddaf
Miraran Tehuriden
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« Reply #41 on: 20 September 2006, 21:38:52 »

I have read the firstfive books of the Wheel of Time,and it surprised me how much it resembles Tolkiens work.. there are powerfull 'living shadows'(Nazgul/Half-men), fire-based demon creatures(hellhounds/balrogs), animalized monsters serving the dark(Orc/Trollok), an immensely powerful dark spirit... The Ogier serve as Ent replacements, and Gondor can be found reflecting from every shield of the Children of the Light.... Even the Ring can be found in the WoT, in the form of Rhand Altor himself, being the powerfull magic source that the Dark One desires to have. and if he gets it, we're all doomed...

not that it makes for bad reading mind you.. its still a verry good book (books), but it has clearly been influenced by tolkien.
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Avrah Kehabhra

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Mahvalan the VIII
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« Reply #42 on: 21 September 2006, 08:54:41 »

I have to say that I am minorly insulted that Paolini is beign dissed. I loved all parts of the book. Then again, I may be a bit biased because I look up to him as a young aspiring writer. Still, I think that it is possible that I like Eragon and Eldest better than Tokien, as I am reading Eldest for the zillionth time, while I have only read tolkien umpteen times.
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Mina
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« Reply #43 on: 21 September 2006, 19:34:00 »

Quote
one must realize that Tolkien himself basically made Elvish from ancient welsh.
Not as far as I know.  Sindarin was meant to have a Welsh flavour, but otherwise had nothing to do with Welsh.  Likewise Quenya and Finnish.  IIRC, Tolkien's method was to first sketch out 'primitive Elvish', including a rather long list of roots, then apply various naturalistic changes to it, deriving the various Elvish languages.  In other words, he simulated the way languages naturally evolve.  IMO, this method is probably as realistic as it's possible to get, though very tedious and slow. 

I'll also argue that while Tolkien was perhaps not the best storyteller ever, he definitely was a most excellent writer.  His stories were not all that original (and perhaps weren't intended to be, since he was, in a sense, writing a mythology), but he is much better with words than anyone else I've read so far.  Well, maybe except Pratchett, but Pratchett's writings are supposed to be humourous, so it's hard to compare them. 
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Arancaytar Ilyaran
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« Reply #44 on: 25 September 2006, 21:57:33 »

There are really only two ways to handle fantasy languages: Leave them out, or spend a lot of time on them. They aren't essential, anyway.

There is practically no conlang in David Eddings (except for some phrases in Ulgo that that are never translated afaik). There is none in Harry Potter either, and when it occurs in Terry Pratchett, it's  a joke anyway:

Quote
Otto: "You know zat another term for an iconographer would be 'photographer'? From the old word photus in Latation, vhich means--"
William: "'To prance around like a pillock ordering everyone about as if you owned the place'."

But if a fantasy story will use constructed languages, the author will have to put a real effort into developing them, not just slap some Celtic and Latin together.
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