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'Original Shannara Trilogy'
by Terry Brooks (1977)


The Sword of Shannara was the first modern work of fantasy to make an impact on the bestseller lists. It is a fairly straightforward tale of the last rightful heir of Shannara who sets out to save the world from the dreaded Warlock Lord. Brooks writes with a stylistic clarity that has won him a legion of dedicated fans over the years. Historically significant to the genre.





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'The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever'
by Stephen Donaldson (1977)


Oft-criticised as a Tolkien wannabe, Donaldson's Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever were hugely popular with the late-70s campus set. Diseased outcast Covenant finds himself in a magical world and starts feeling a whole lot better. He becomes the White Gold wielder and runs afoul of an evil lord. Not looking too bad at all in retrospect.





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'The Majipoor Cycle'
by Robert Silverberg (1980)


The first book in the Majipoor Cycle finds Lord Valentine devoid of any memory of his past, tagging along with a band of jugglers and seeking out his true identity. On their journey they encounter the shattered city of the Shapeshifters, the temple of the Lady of Sleep and the Isle of the King of Dreams. Silverberg is a major writer and editor in both the sci-fi and fantasy fields.





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'The Deverry Cycle'
by Katharine Kerr (1986)


The Deverry Cycle series is Kerr's best-known work. Kicking off with Daggerspell, a woman, her father (a mercenary), a berserker and a herbman team up in a struggle against darkness and a quest to fulfill the destinies determined centuries ago. One of thebest-loved fantasy series in recent years - a tale of bold adventure and timeless love, perilous battle and pure magic.





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'The Mallorean'
by David Eddings (1987)


The Malloreon is a sequel to Eddings' popular Belgariad series and pretty much more of the same. The hero Garion had just gotten through fulfilling one prophecy and in the blink of an eye he's working on another one. Great evil brewing, fate of the world, etc. Fans will find the series a worthwhile follow-up to the earlier stuff, but don't expect anything new.





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'Dark Elf Trilogy'
by R A Salvatore (1990-91)


Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy set in the 'Forgotten Realms' universe is widely regarded as his most enduring work. Drizzt Do'Urden is a dark elf of the Drow who basically would like to reform his somewhat evil and nasty race. His first years of schooling and warrior training are depicted in Homeland, followed closely by Exile and Sojourn where he ultimately becomes a ranger.





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'Death Gate Cycle'
by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman (1990-95)


Popular seven-volume series from frequent and prolific collaborators Weis & Hickman. Following victory the Sartan divided the world into four elemental worlds and imprisoned the Patryns in a labyrinth. The series kicks off when some Patryns escape and Halo is sent on reconnaissance missions to the four worlds. Starts with Dragon Wing (1990).





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'The Wheel of Time'
by Robert Jordan (1990-2008)


Hugely popular epic fantasy series projected to be finished posthumously by Brandon Sanderson. The first instalment, The Eye of the World, has myth and legend long forgotten placing time and existence in peril during the Third Age. When the forces of the Dark One attacks a peaceful village three young men go on a quest to set things right. From there the Wheel just keeps turning.


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