upstreamcurrent wrote:I'm not familiar with Shannara or G.R.R.M., care to enlighten a poor lost soul?
As for the WoT books, I'd check a library. That's what I did the first time, though I've since purchased all but the most recent book.
Libraries enforce time limits though, lately my reading habits have been really sporadic. I'm sure I have a half dozen books on the go, somewhere.
The Shannara series was written by Terry Brooks, ages ago. (By ages I mean I read them 10 years ago and they weren't new then.) I believe the initial series went Sword of Shannara, Elfstones of Shannara, Wishsong of Shannara, and that trilogy was the best of the lot (in my opinion). They get a bit of critism for being too much like LotR, though I don't see the connection much except that they're both epic fantasy with elves and dwarves. They're pretty typical fantasy stuff. Young boy learns from mysterious druid that he's destined to save the land from a great evil, and sets out on an epic journey with a party of friends to fulfill destiny. Next in the series fall along similar lines, the idea being that after epic journey number 1, the rest of the bloodline also gets slotted into hero roles whenever the need arises. By book three, they also get infused with magic that also follows the bloodline. There's been 3-4 trilogies after the initial one, all featuring someone from this bloodline. They're pretty good, as far as generic high fantasy goes. Used to be my favourite series, but I think I've read too much fantasy now to not see how stereotypical they are. Still, they do the stereotypes well.
George R. R. Martin is the writer of the series "A song of fire and ice". This is now easily my absolute favourite series. It's currently got 4 books out, starting with A Game of Thrones. Which, basically, the series is. It's a fantasy world, very low magic, with wierd seasons (summer can last years, winter can last decades). There's a dozen different houses within the one main kingdom, and most of the book is about the political intrigue and wars between them. Anyone can die in the series, even the people who are "good" which leaves you wondering how it'll all turn out. Along with killing off the people you're rooting for, GRRM has a tendency of taking the characters you hate and showing them in a light which makes you start rooting for them instead. Each chapter is basically written from a different person's perspective, so you see a single event from all different angles. Not to mention that when you get away from the political war in the castle and the actual wars on the battlefield, there's two other storylines involving invading monsters in the north and two children on a different continent who are the rightful hiers to the throne and are assembling a rebellion.