Amber brings so much to the fantasy table in terms of innovation almost touching sci-fi while staying anchored in the magical seat of fantasy, that it needs to be represented here regardless. Struck with amnesia, our hero discovers he is one of fourteen ruthless princes and princesses vying for the throne of their father, Oberon.
Being of the Royal blood of Amber grants Corwin the ability to travel between the shadows and alter reality. With plot twists as labyrinthine as the Pattern, the story pulls you along one incredible ride. Kan Savasci: a legend, a warrior, a mage… hero and villain. Tears of a Heart marks the tale of a young man, Aeden, who unwittingly shapes the world. The writing is beautiful, layered, and timely. Chase Blackwood weaves an intricate tale that hints at so much more. And that may be its greatest challenge.
Tears of a Heart, the first book in the series, was beautifully written, and interesting. It shows us an amazing world filled with detail and depth, but for a portion of it, just a touch slow.
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The writing, such beautiful writing, overshadows this, as does the ending. Tower of the Arkein , the next book in the series, is where the story truly begins to unfold, and where Chase Blackwood shines as an author. It is fast paced, full of action, adventure, and love. A very strong entry in the fantasy genre, and if the next book is equally as good, expect it to make quite a splash. You can buy on Amazon now.
Old gods and new collide in this urban fairytale that draws upon deities from every tradition ever represented in the fantasy genre and beyond. American Gods takes you on a curious journey to explore the heart of America. While some readers recoil at what's found there, that very discomfort is what many other readers love so very much about this book. Shadow, as his name suggests, is a dark anti-hero, moving through the story as our guide more than as a catalyst for the action. The pacing is different from most fantasy works, but the prose is excellent, and makes you think about the metaphors in play.
While it's another book that is polarizing, its premise is wildly unique and holds its weight as one of the best out there. The Chronicles of Prydain. Lloyd Alexander is one of the most decorated authors of the fantasy genre, including two National Book Awards, and could be said to be the gateway author for children to acquire an addiction to High Fantasy. He loves to take familiar mythology and spin new stories with it.
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The Iron Ring transforms typical heroic themes through the lens of Indian folklore, and is one of my personal favorites. The Chronicles of Prydain are touted as his highest achievement, rooted in Welsh mythology, and if you've read the Mabinogion , elements may seem familiar, but it is certainly a world and story of its own.
While Arthurian heroism abounds, the main characters aren't just some concoction of the author's own wish fulfillment. Taran is a pig-keeper of all things, and brave mostly because he's so stubborn and impetuous. Eilonwy is smart and sassy, but she can be scatterbrained and a bit of a smartass. The Death Lord Arawn uses his black cauldron to cook up pardon the pun an undead army and conquer Prydain, and his champion wears a human skull mask with arms stained red with the blood of his enemies so yeah, there's that.
Chronicles of Prydain is one of the pillars cementing the classic features of the heroic fantasy genre. With a long and tangled literary past, Conan the Cimmerian or Barbarian depending on where and when you dive into the stories stands out as the iconic warrior figure and can't be left off this list of the Best Heroic Books of all Time. He first makes his appearance in and by the time of his tragic death four years later had written 21 complete stories, though not all were published. Other writers have expanded his work from unfinished manuscripts, adapted the stories into comics, and translated them into movies for decades.
While in later iterations he is a fairly flat character, Howard's work presents him as a man filled as much with wanderlust as bloodlust. He easily blends with whatever land he is in, learns many languages, and adapts to infiltrate and ultimately lead every group of soldiers he encounters. He is chivalrous, at times choosing to forsake the treasures he's worked so hard for in order to rescue a damsel in distress. He has no qualms about plundering wherever plunder is to be found, but is never seen to attack when unprovoked, or straight-up mug anybody.
Make no mistake, he is also a study in hyperbole; he's heavily muscled, he defeats every foe, makes women fall in love with him, and can withstand the unbelievable. But he is more complex in the novelettes than in later depictions. Conan is the hero every man wishes he could be and is a classic in the genre. Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne. The Emperor has died, tumbling the Annurian Empire into chaos.
This grimdark tale follows the paths of his three children, training in vastly different societies, who try to unravel the conspiracy that felled him. Staveley pulls in some wildly imaginative elements, including a special ops team flying giant birds, and an ancient race of powerful humanoids who nearly destroy the world. Vying religious sects, harsh and brutal training, and the cunning political maneuverings of the powers that be, each shaping the character of the three heroes.
The world-building is solid, creating a realistic backdrop for the weaving, mystery-unfolding, magic that happens there. Staveley was awarded the Gemmell Morningstar Award in for The Providence of Fire ; book two in the series, so this trilogy isn't one that starts off with a bang, then fades. The prequel released in April has received excellent reviews as well, as his prose has continued to improve.
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The title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, as Abercrombie himself describes it this way: "Three men. One battle. No heroes. The entire novel transpires during a three-day battle between the North and the Union. In true Abercrombie style, The Heroes is a bloodbath full of wit and dark humor.
Far from the typical heroic fantasy, good doesn't prevail over evil; in fact I'm not sure any of these dudes could really classify as "good," but you are invested in them either way. This rough, thrilling ride features realism done well. Full of jealousy, revenge, and recklessness, we follow their adventures, exposing the gory truth of both war and human nature. A refreshing break from fantasy led by a hero who is the strongest and the best at everything, Codex Alera trails 15 year old Tavi, the only Aleran who isn't able to command elemental spirits called furies.
Being essentially disabled in this way makes his triumph at each challenge with only ingenuity and intelligence to his credit even more entertaining and heroic. The magic and fantastic races imagined here are unique and interesting, and of course Butcher's writing is so great. Codex Alera also does this fascinating alternate reality, historical fiction thing, where Butcher imagines these people as the descendants of the Lost Roman Legion transported to the continent of Carna a la Bermuda Triangle style. Lively with violent combat, wonder-inspiring magic, and believable romance; I'd say there's something for everyone in here.
The Empire. This collaboration proves that you don't have to wade neck-deep in magic to make a great fantasy. This series showcases the other side of Feist's Riftwar Saga , which is a great read, but pretty standard as far as fantasy lore goes with the typical magician, orphan, dragon, elf, combo. Empire is something entirely different. Set in Asian-inspired Kelewan, we ditch the medieval European landscape for once, and enter a world where Akoma Honor drives the politicking of the ruling class. Mara is the new empress after her father and brother are killed, and learns to navigate these deadly waters with alacrity driven by need.
She is one of the most multidimensional and fearless characters I've read, rising from precariously clinging to her title to a truly powerful contender. The synergy between these two masterful authors yields up something richer than either alone. Even seemingly small characters have big ambitions and impact the story in surprising ways. Intrigue, murder, fantastic creatures, fervent love, and battle; Empire is everything that makes fantasy worth reading. This best-selling series imported from Poland is the foundation for the popular monster-hunting video games of the same name, and a card game is soon to follow suit beta came out May It also inspired the movie and TV series called The Hexer.
Only five Northern Kingdoms remain, warring with each other as much as fending off the greater Nothgardian Empire from the South. Dwarves and elves have been marginalized, and horrific monsters roam the land. To combat them, humans called Witchers have taken all sorts of magic potions, elixirs, even poisons, to genetically modify themselves to be faster, stronger, and have monster-like reflexes. Geralt is heralded as the best of the best and Ciri, his protg, has a destiny of her own. This dark fairy tale is told from multiple perspectives, and all these wonderfully detailed characters who cross all mediums through which the story has been told are what drive fans to ask for more and more.
Meanwhile, the Wild Hunt is on the loose a band of skeletons that kidnap and impress its captives into service in its army , and secret groups are scheming to bring other factions down. The whole world has a feeling of reckless instability while our heroes try to piece their lives together after each ill-fated blow. Moody and bookish, Elric the albino is no burly barbarian. Nor is he a product of heroic destiny fated to save the world, but rather kicks against prophecy and wants to see men succeed without the fickle gods' intervention. Moorcock's writing can be a bit flamboyant for the modern palate, but has captivated imaginations for decades beginning as pulp fiction, making its way into comics, and continuing to influence the fantasy genre today.
Stormbringer sound familiar to anyone? Our hero begins as a sickly young emperor dependent on herbs to keep him strong enough to carry on, but evolves to become herbalist, summoner, sorcerer, and swordsman; establishing sword and sorcery as a genre unto itself. The Once and Future King. This classic is the Arthurian tale standard by which modern iterations are measured. People can publish their own books, make their own TV shows and release their own music. Gigantic industries disappear over night — and all of this is great news.
Now you can choose yourself. You can pick yourself.
James shows you how, both on the outside, and the inside. James is one of the most openly vulnerable human beings ever, and it makes you relate to him instantly. Not only will you be able to identify yourself with the book , but also laugh a lot — James is funny. If you feel out of control, this book will show you that the wheel of your life is in your hand.
Steven Pressfield has written this with some tough love, and makes it a wake-up-call for artists. I like to think of Steven Pressfield as a friendly Spartan.
Just as disciplined, but not out to kill you in any way. Curious fact: Long before writing the book, Sinek ventured to find his own why, because he was deeply unhappy, in spite of owning a very successful business. For years, Simon said down with his friends and friends of friends, 1-on-1, for several hours, workshopping their why with them.
Only when he was asked to speak and share his idea in front of more and more people, did he start thinking about writing a book. It speaks to your heart. This is a much more sustainable way to find motivation in your work, which is what makes this book so helpful in finding motivation that lasts. Curious fact: In , Stephen Covey was at an event where most people were preoccupied with badmouthing Bill Clinton, who was running for president at the time. After winning the election, Bill Clinton called him a few months later, admitting he had read this book twice and wanted to incorporate the 7 habits into his presidency.
By acquiring the first three habits, you switch to an independent mindset and take control of your life. The 7 habits are:. When I read this book I was constantly laughing, nodding, shaking my head in disbelief and my jar dropped in awe more than once. Title: The Happiness of Pursuit. He completed it in , which immediately sparked the beginning of his next quest — writing this book. Riddled with examples, it shows you that no dream of yours is unfeasible , and that, with some adjusting, any quest can be made a reality. The best part about this book is that you can pick it up again, and again, and again.
Every time you complete a quest, you just leaf through it again, and will find yourself scribbling down the next rough draft or sketch of your next adventure. Title: Rich Dad Poor Dad. Some people love this book, others hate it. I love it. Yet, the way it approaches personal finance is very simplistic, which gives you a sense of relief.
To date, over 6,! Finding it is easy. Two choices, really. It starts with introducing you to the idea that being the best in the world is very underrated. This book has had the biggest impact on me all year. But greatness always entails sacrifice. Luckily, this book also gives you the courage and confidence to happily make those sacrifices, figure out your true mission, smile and return to work that matters. Soon his host received a call from the local police that Sam was in jail.
But a great anecdote to show what a modest, relentlessly growing man he was. After an month stunt at J. Sam then explains how he built out a chain of 16 stores all but one under the Ben Franklin franchise , integrated family and business, started the first Walmart in due to Ben Franklin franchise disapproving of his discount policy and slowly grew the team, until eventually taking the company public in and using the money from the IPO to grow it further.
He then explains various aspects of growing the company into the largest retailer of the world, including employee policy, his basic principles, and handing over the reigns. The book concludes with his idea of giving back and his 10 rules for building a successful business. I highly recommend keeping his 10 rules for building a successful business around and looking at them every once in a while.
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Title: The 4-Hour Workweek. DEAL stands for definition, elimination, automation and liberation. The first section explores how you can kill the fears that will inevitably creep up in your mind about applying all of this, for example by visualizing your worst-case scenario. It also shows you that nobody needs a million dollars to live a luxurious life and how you can crunch the numbers in your favor. Elimination highlights some ancient, minimalistic, almost Stoic principles of productivity, like a low-information diet and how to deal with interruptions at work.
Automation is where the rubber hits the road. On my first read I instantly downloaded all templates, spreadsheets, and filled them in right after reading each chapter. He initially wrote it to answer his own question of whether to pick a teaching job, or go join the industry, and the answer not only surprised him, but also made his choice fairly easy and almost irrelevant. Summary: This book is broken into four rules. You can then leverage this career capital into autonomy, by gaining more control over your work, for example by turning down promotions and avoiding other control-sapping traps, which Cal describes in rule three.
He finally concludes with how you can find purpose in your work, thanks to your new skills and by going on new missions, which you can test with experiments and little bets. This is a book about where motivation comes from , so, need I really say more? If you do, keep reading. Title: The Miracle Morning. Then he breaks down the six steps of the Miracle Morning in detail, with several options and tips on how to practice each in the best way.
The six steps are:. If you read the first letter of each step in a downward row, you can discover the acronym Hal created to remember his practice better: SAVERS. Hal suggests taking around 60 minutes each morning for your Miracle Morning, but he then also presents a 6-minute version for time-strapped people like Four Minute Books readers.
He gives a few customizing ideas and options and then transitions into how you can make your new morning routine a proper habit by joining his day transformation challenge. His optimism seems to know no boundaries, and it spills over, right into your heart. You can feel that he really believes in you and that life has a lot more in store for you. I confirmed a lot of his questions or answered them in my head as I was reading. This book is simple, light, highly practical, not in the slightest overwhelming and instantly actionable. It could help you improve your own motivation tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, the day after that, and everyday henceforth as opposed to just motivating you once.
Thus, it puts the power to motivate in your own hands , which is what makes it one of my favorites. Talbott writes that " Mircea Eliade treated the Ashvamedha as a rite having a cosmogonic structure which both regenerated the entire cosmos and reestablished every social order during its performance. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Horse sacrifice. Historical Dictionary of India. Talbott , p. Gautam ed. India through the ages. Oxford University Press. Gamkrelidze; Vjaceslav V. Ivanov Part I: The Text.
Part II: Bibliography, Indexes. Walter de Gruyter. Smith, p. Lantern Books. Book Tree. Knipe , p. Early history of Rajasthan. Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan. Schmidt 20 May History of Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass. Gode Studies in Indian Literary History. Singhi Jain Shastra Sikshapith. In Rajat Datta ed.
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Aakar Books. Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. The Hindu. Oct 13, Retrieved 30 September Cowell and A. Gough, quoted in Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya ed. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Writings and Speeches. Talbott, p. Ashvini Agrawal Rise and Fall of the Imperial Guptas. Charles Drekmeier Kingship and Community in Early India.
Stanford University Press. David M. Knipe Oxford: Oxford University Press. Dineshchandra Sircar Ramesh Chandra Majumdar ed. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Jayantanuja Bandyopadhyaya