Sunday, June 13, 2010

Top 10 fantasy fiction battles: At last, the final, bloody three

After a lengthy and rather inexcusable hiatus, I’m finally bringing my Top 10 Fantasy Fiction Battles series to its savage, bloody conclusion. Spears shall be shaken, shields splintered, and Odin’s corpse hall shall overflow with fallen warriors, their souls borne away from corpse-strewn battlefields on the winged steeds of valkyries. Or something like that.

As a reminder this series focuses on the best mass battles of fantastic fiction, not small skirmishes or one-on-one duels. Note too that the term fantasy is a bit of a misnomer since a few these battles are historical fiction, but I chose to include them because they are either so ancient or so shrouded in legend that out of necessity they were heavily re-imagined by their respective authors. Plus, they kicked too much ass to leave them off the list--some of the best battle scenes I've read were penned by authors of historical fiction.

Look for the next installment a bit later this week. Here are links to the first seven parts:

4. The Battle of Unnumbered Tears, from The Silmarillion

5. The Demons Before Carce, from The Worm Ouroboros

6. Battle of Five Armies, from The Hobbit

7. A Hero Strives With Gods, from The Iliad

8. Battle of Cynuit, from The Last Kingdom

9. Battle of the Blackwater, from A Clash of Kings

10. Battle at Leidhra, from Hrolf Kraki’s Saga


Eric D. Lehman said...

Just went back and reread a few of these. I can't imagine what will be above the Battle of Unnumbered Tears!

Brian Murphy said...

Hi Eric, I think when I started these I wasn't necessarily putting them in order of my favorites, or magnitude of the battle. But my last three are certainly huge--and among my favorites.

Taranaich said...

Hmm, I notice Howard isn't on the list yet, nor is there one from Lord of the Rings... I have a few guesses at possible choices, but don't want to jinx any of them. Tolkien might be represented enough by Nirnaeth Arnoediad & Five Armies: at least I hope to see Howard in the top three!

Ted Cross said...

I just discovered your blog today, and it is great. You seem to share my taste in so many things (Blade Runner, Gates of Fire, Howard, Tolkien). This post makes me wish you had time to read my first try at a fantasy novel. I know I can't do as well as the established masters, but I have a huge battle at the end, and I wonder how I do with it. Your dead-on reviews make me believe you could both enjoy my book while also pointing out where I can really improve it.